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Tails Adventure – Game Gear

Tails Adventure – Game Gear

88800-Tails_Adventures_(Japan,_USA)_(En,Ja)-3Platform: Sega Game Gear

Developer: Aspect

Publisher: Sega

Release Date (NA): November, 1995

Genre: Platformer, RPG

Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Tails is alright I suppose. Sonic and Knuckles are definitely cooler. But Tails has something neither of them have… The ability of flight. We’ve played as Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but haven’t you always wanted more? Tails Adventure gives you more than you ever thought was possible while adding refreshing puzzle and RPG elements to a somewhat tired platforming genre. Whip out your Game Gear because only you can save Tails Island from complete destruction!

While taking a break from busting badniks and restoring Chaos Emeralds, Tails finds himself kicking back at his favorite holiday spot on Tails Island. But the peace doesn’t last long as a flying fortress appears out of nowhere and attacks the island. To make matters worse, an invading bird army is sweeping through the island! Tails’ vacation will have to wait as it is now up to him to save the animals of Tails Island by stopping the Battle Fortress and the bird forces. Is Tails up for the challenge? Are you?

tailsadventureIt’s a fun story even if it is a little unoriginal. The story here is pretty much like every Sonic game, but that’s not a terrible thing. I like that Dr. Robotnik is absent from this shindig, finally giving us a new enemy to battle: some tough ass birds. But despite having a different story and taking place on a new island (Cocoa Island in the Japanese regions), it still has that “Sonic” look and feel.

While Tails Adventure is definitely a different kind of game than most would expect, picking up the Game Gear and getting off to a good start is a doable task. Controls are fairly simple thanks to a 2 button layout on the handheld. Tails has the ability to fly as well as throwing/dropping bombs. In fact, the only way to take out enemies is by using bombs or other items from Tails’ inventory. Tails no longer has the ability to curl up in a tight ball and bust enemies by landing on top of them, so it’ll take some practice. Furthermore, the spindash is strangely absent. I suppose the developers wanted the emphasis to be on exploration and flight, which means there’s no need for the spindash.

The graphics are of the standard Game Gear fare: nothing special and nothing spectacular, but if I had to place it tails adventure 5somewhere on the spectrum, I would say they’re above average. The colors are pretty decent, despite the fact that my screen is slowly dying. The animations are smooth and the framerate is excellent as they were kind enough to never overload the screen with too much of anything. The soundtrack is more than good… It’s great! With your run-of-the-mill portable 8-bit chiptunes, you don’t usually expect much. But low-fi sound doesn’t mean the music should suck, and Tails Adventure delivers some pretty catchy and well-composed tunes!

tails adventure 6Gameplay in Tails Adventure is where the game shines. Instead of collecting rings and losing them all when you get hit, Tails has an HP ring monitor that loses rings with each hit you take. You only have one life throughout the entire game, and if you take a hit while your ring monitor is on 0, then the entire game is over. GAME OVER MAN! GAME OVER! There are no continues and no extra lives. Your only hope for surviving the entire game is to collect Choas Emeralds to increase the amount of rings Tails can hold. Fortunately there are passwords, but you will need to clear a stage to get to Tails’ house where you can write them down (oh, the good ol’ days). Hopefully your mom doesn’t hit too many potholes thus making it impossible for you to read your already-chicken-scratch-handwriting when you need those codes.

The RPG elements make Tails Adventure a little different than what you would expect. Instead of dashing your way through every act, you will find yourself back tracking, moving springs, and changing up your inventory to suit your specific needs. Wait, what? An inventory? Yes! That’s right! Tails can be equipped with numerous items such as running shoes, rolling bombs, regular bombs, and more. In fact, there are over 20 unique items! In some levels, you will find yourself swapping back and forth more than a handful of times as you traverse the treacherous burning island.

tails adventure 1Gameplay is radically different with the inclusion of a flying gauge, hit points, an inventory system, projectiles, submarine levels with torpedoes, and the fact that Tails can grab ledges. But these new gameplay aspects (ha) make the game all the more refreshing and exciting when you’re waiting in the doctor’s office or making your wife drive you all the way to Miami from Raleigh. I had a good time learning something new as opposed to just sprinting across the stage collecting rings and bashing badniks. But it’s not a perfect game and the difficulty curve can be pretty steep in later levels. The instant Game Over is a tough one to swallow, especially when you have 3 rings but land on a set of spikes (spikes take away 4 ring HP) that came out of nowhere because of the Game Gear’s small zoomed in screen.

Overall, Tails Adventure is a different kind of Sonic game but is a Sonic game nonetheless, despite not featuring Sonic at all. Confusing right? And even though the game is developed by Aspect and not Sega, Aspect is responsible for the development of numerous other Sonic-based Game Gear games such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic Triple Trouble. Tails Adventure is worth a pick up and worth a run through for any fan of the Sonic series or even Metroid! This game appears to have been influenced by Metroid with its focus on platforming, action, RPG, and puzzles. Fly high, Tails. Fly high!

Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Written by Nerdberry

Nerdberry

What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.

 
 

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