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Posted on Aug 12th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (Pam)
Posted under video, NES, StarTropics

The original StarTropics is a game I have a long history with. I got it as a gift for my first communion when I was 8 or 9-years old and it quickly became a favorite. I'd spend full days playing it. It's a Zelda clone, but I never played Zelda as a kid, so I didn't find that out until much later. In 1994, a sequel came out - Zoda's Revenge. Releasing so late in the NES lifecycle, it's a game many missed, myself included. In July, I finally sat down to play through it. While it looks remarkably similar, some updates to the gameplay have been made. Here are my thoughts on the game and whether it lives up to the original.

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I tried playing the original years ago but the unfortunate "Submarine code" issue kept me from progressing, but now that the Internet can help me with that little problem I might have to pick it up again.  I'd blame FuncoLand, but I don't ever remember a customer even bringing in a manual for that game, much less the map.

In your opinion, would picking up and playing the original make for a more rewarding play of the sequel, or should I just avoid it entirely (or play it separately)?  I know you mentioned how much you loved the original, but it is possible this is "retro-goggles" talking?  The same thing happened with me and Commando (NES) earlier this year, so I though to ask.

Another great one, Pam.  Please keep it up!
@bombatomba: Pam may have different thoughts on this, so I can't speak for her, but I think that the original Star Tropics is a great game.  Some people complain about the difficulty in later levels, but I had it as a kid and beat it before I was a teenager.  Overall, I'd say it holds up very well amongst the better NES games of its time and is worth a playthrough.  Side note: It barely lost out in a playthrough voting a few years ago to Little Nemo.

Also, great review Pam!  As much as I enjoyed the original game, I never played through Zoda's Revenge.  Appreciate the heads up. Smiley
@bombatomba: I think there's a bit of retro-goggles going on. If I played StarTropics for the first time now, I know there are things that would bother me - some secrets that are really hard to find, some cheap deaths that require you to die first before you learn. However, since I have the first half of the game pretty much memorized, they're not as much of an issue for me now. I do think it's a fun game though and it hold up fairly well - especially if you're not averse to looking up the way through the particularly complicated dungeons (like the ghost level). I have a review of that one as well - https://youtu.be/XJL4sP9i5XA

@singlebanana: Thanks Rich!
I'm always impressed with how well you put these videos together. The side-by-side comparison was really well done, and I liked the added touch of adding the logos above. Keep up the great work!

This game came out too late in the NES lifecycle for me to play back when it was new, and I haven't spent much time with it. It looks like one of those that may be best enjoyed these days with some cheats.
Great video Pam! I'll echo what Duke.Togo said, and say that the side-by-side really helps put the 2 games in perspective, and I thought your critique, while I haven't played the game myself, was well reasoned and communicated. I haven't managed to track this one down for the collection yet, though I have the original. Maybe I'll look at playing through the original sometime, and not worry about scoring a copy of this, unless I find it cheap.

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