Games | NES | StarTropics II

Article by Jeremy Signor? | December 16, 2010

StarTropics II

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
U.S. Release: 1994
Format: NES

While StarTropics specifically courted gamers from the West, Zodaís Revenge simply pleaded to be noticed by anyone at all. As one of those late-era NES game released while the SNES was in full swing, it pulled out all the thematic stops by having Mike travel through time. Seeing locales such as Ancient Egypt, the Wild West, and Transylvania in the pages of Nintendo Power was certainly eye-catching, but it was also a little bit of smoke and mirrors.

In reality, very little had changed. Diagonal movement was added, but it was a mixed blessing, often leading to clumsy deaths. As well, the structure was much more compartmentalized thanks to the different time periods. Beyond this, most everything else was unchanged. Exploration alternated with action stages, and players still gathered progressively better weapons. The fact that it hewed so close to an NES staple in the face of the SNES was enough to doom the game to poor sales and obscurity. For while all the neat settings looked great in the pages of the gaming mags, there was little it could do to keep from looking like an NES game when the future had already arrived.

But in a way, thatís a part of its charm. Itís still a solid game, and though it wasnít the last game to be released for the system, it represented the NES having one last lark as it was about to be phased out. The fact that it did so with a game that felt retro even when it was first released was an appropriate send-off, serving as a nostalgic bookend for the era.

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