September 2015 – StarTropics

Title: StarTropics
Platforms: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date: December 1st, 1990
Developer: Nintendo IRD
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action-Adventure

Members Completed: 7
Average Rating: 47.3/100

Member Progress Rating Review and/or Comments
Apple Completed 09/05 80/100 My mom surprised me with both StarTropics games one Christmas morning and I remember them both fondly. Having replayed StarTropics this month I can say that it is still an extremely enjoyable game. Though the movement can sometimes be sticky or a bit rough around the edges I really like the tile based platforming/puzzling this game focuses on. It’s not the most cerebral of puzzle solving, it’s more of a trial and error type of game in general. There are a lot of little details that can go unnoticed leaving you stumped. I quickly learned to take the game slowly and keep my eyes peeled for every little nuance. StarTropics offers a nice amount of challenge, I attribute most of that to the trial and error nature of the game but also the lack of generous checkpoints. The most appealing thing about this game is the level of attention each dungeon needs. In order to complete most dungeons you need to have a very good understanding of what is in store for you in every room… This can take time but is very rewarding when you get that near-perfect run through. I love how goofy the game is but I really enjoy how demanding the dungeons are, especially at the end. This is for sure one of the more interesting titles on the Nintendo Entertainment System! Images
AquaLaFlor Completed 09/26 50/100  
Choas Completed 09/15 27/100 I really don’t see the appeal here. Very little about this game was interesting or entertaining, but I think the absolute worst thing about it is the controls. The developers decided to give you the option to turn in place, which was a nice thought, but the actual implementation just made the game feel like it suffered from terrible input lag. This added a decent amount of artificial difficulty to an already fairly unforgiving game. In addition, the actual puzzle-solving segments of the dungeon crawls only involve a series of slow jumps from block-to-block, looking for the one that triggers the switch you need to open the door. This monotony is broken up by the occasional sort-of-hidden passage through a wall marked by an obvious dirt trail, or the tried and true “murder everything to open the door,” which was by far the most enjoyable (read: least mind-numbing) method of advancing through a room. The process of traversing a dungeon room-by-room is broken up by the excitement of entering a room where you instantly and unavoidably die with no warning, or get trapped in an area where the only exit actually sends you outside, therefore forcing you to start the entire dungeon over again.
There is little more to the game than those tedious dungeon crawling segments. You visit various villages where you’re typically forced to talk to everyone for no real reason before a random jackass NPC will let you enter the Building of Importance, where something usually plot-significant occurs. I got a weird feeling that there was either some awkward attempt at product-placement going on, or some inside joke that I missed. Every place in the game, as well as a couple of words and proper names, was suffixed by “-cola” for no apparent reason (not that that’s a criticism or affects my final score, it’s just something that stuck out to me).
Overall, this game felt like a mishmash of several different games to me. The overworld, towns, and general exploration felt very Dragon Warrior-ish (complete with the vanishing environment when going indoors or under a mountain pass). The actual meat of the game (dungeon crawling) felt like a watered-down version of Legend of Zelda, and the music frequently reminded me of Crystalis. This is a game I may have liked a little more when I was a kid and had the time and patience for this kind of unimaginative trial-and-error method of advancement, but it was a very unenjoyable and tiresome gaming experience for adult!me. Clear Screen
gamma Completed 09/27 50/100 This game has some room for improvement. Images
Mock Incomplete    
mysticlink Completed 09/17 79/100 i played this game forever ago at my grandparents house in utah and i remember thinking it was cool, but i was probably like 6 so i didnt know what to do. since i thought it was cool i bought it on VC years ago when it came out to try it again and then just never got past chapter 3. NOW with gotm i decided WELL I SHULD PROBLY TRY IT ONE MORE TIME. n i did. n i loved it. the first thing that really bothered me was the controls, i sort of got used to them but it ended up messing me up in some way throughout the whole game. the beginning started off great, it was fun and just got you into the more strategic style of the game. you cant really just run in and kill all the enemies without planning, which i did enjoy. now the reason for not giving it a higher score was literally just the ending. it went from being fun difficulty that you know you could work around and figure out how to get past, to cheap ass enemies everywhere that kill you really fast (mostly just in chapter 7.) i just ended up getting frustrated with it, having to repeat everything over and over. that’s one of the biggest things that will make me stop playing a game, just having to play the same shit i just did. BUT i pushed through till da end and i made it. it was very accomplishing, not very rewarding…but relieving for sure. i enjoyed most of the game and am probably going to play the sequel. Game Complete!
sfc Completed 09/24 40/100 Clear Screen
Strife89 Incomplete    
Yoshi Completed 09/19 5/100 I can safely say this is one of the two or three worst games I’ve played in my entire life. It is an entirely unoriginal, uncreative messy disaster of a game that the most dreadful game developers of the era must have thrown together in about a week’s time while they were on bath salts. The story is very weak and unimagitive, after thinking it was going to start off being creative and fun. The mechanics are the worst I’ve experienced on any console of the last 30 years, with a completely awful, lagging combat and movement system. I got excited about this game at first, thinking it would somewhat resemble Zelda quality since it copied it’s save select screen 100%. This is the opposite of the case; once you put your name in, you are placed into the mediocrity and hellishness of the gameplay. The sound has a Crystalis feel to it, but quickly becomes repetitive and annoying to listen to. After Chapter 5 I just listened to Spotify and muted the game. The dungeons are by far the worst part of this game. They are booby trapped in ways that are infuriating and obnoxious, not creative. Every single room has an identical puzzle (Kill all the enemies, step on every tile of the room). If you want to complete this game, you are basically forced to use savestates. There’s no way I could ever do it without it, and I really had to force myself to get through it. This game is terrible, it does nothing worthwhile. There are literally no good qualities about this game. There aren’t even qualities about this game that are better than completely revolting. The villages all consist of having to talk to every single NPC that exists and getting nothing of use involving plot advancement or dialogue. The fact that this videogame got a sequel is a travesty to the videogame industry. I’m all for trial and error games, but with how tediously annoying and boring every room of the dungeons are, there’s just zero fun to it. One-way unmarked death traps that force you to replay huge sections of a level are bad game design. No one should ever stand for that kind of uninventive garbage in any game from any era. Many points of the game are cryptic to the point where there is no way you’ll ever figure out what the fuck to do unless you look it up. If you think this game is great, I severely question your judgments and will never take any recommendation from you in the future on any subject. The best part about this game is that I have a greater appreciation for my life. If I’m ever feeling down or sad, I can always think to myself “Well at least I’m not being forced to play StarTropics”, so in a way, I raised the score from a 1/100 to a 5/100 for this positive change in my life.

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