A playthrough of Hudson Soft’s 1992 NES game, Adventure Island 3.
AI3 was the final game in the NES series to be released in the west: the fourth and final “Takahasi-meijin” game appeared only in its native Japan.
This one is a fantastic classical platformer, no doubt, and I love it to pieces, but I admit I was a little disappointed the first time I played it. I played Adventure Island II to death with my mom when it was new, and it still is easily a top 10 NES game pick for me.
The third game is extremely similar to the second, though, and the similarities make for a double-edged sword. On one hand, the mechanics, colorful graphics, smooth control, level design, bouncy catchy music, and steep difficulty ramping are all present and accounted for.
There is an awesome new dinosaur friend and a new bonus mini-game, and many of the sprites have been updated. However, in many ways, it’s got so much copy-and-pasted that it feels more like AI 2 Remix than it does a whole new game. I mean, even some of the same music tracks are included – not remixed, but pulled directly out of two and plunked into 3. Like I said, I really like both, but given the massive improvements seen between the first two games, I expected something a bit more revolutionary – or even evolutionary – than a green dinosaur that can roll.
Oh well. It was probably a cheaply produced cash-in (maybe all of the real effort went to Super Adventure Island released the same year?), but you like platformers, you can’t go wrong. It’s a high-point for the late-gen NES release calendar in terms of the polish on its mechanics and presentation.
There was a Game Boy port released as well called Adventure Island II: Aliens in Paradise. The original AI wasn’t put on the GB but the second was, hence the odd numbering.
In case you’re wondering, AI4 went in an extremely different direction than the earlier games, resembling a Metroidvania title more than the Wonderboy arcade template still in use here.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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