Monthly Music; Under the Southern Cross

Once upon a time immemorial, when the Wii was still young, Nintendo hinted that they’d revive some of their franchises that we haven’t seen for some time. Naturally, we all began to wonder what games we’d see and how they would use the Wii controller. What we got was Donkey Kong Country Returns and the new Kirby games. DKCR was nice, but goddamn the Kirby games were below mediocre. Epic Yarn was just a new low, and offered very little. Kirby games in general are easy, but this game was just laughable.

All game companies have an extremely large amount of game franchises that are left in Japan. Few western developer do this vice versa, and it’s good. Nintendo had a rare gem that was meant for the Western market; StarTropics.

StarTropics is one of those games I spent a lot of time with. My grandmother bought it to me at a time when PlayStation was taking over. It’s one of the best games Japanese people have made for the Western market solely, thou the game overall had a lacklustre reception. So yeah, the game never saw release in Japan, which most likely is one reason why Nintendo forgets that it exists.

StaTropics is a Zelda clone with a dash of Goonies and other good 80’s adventure films. Your sword is a Yo-Yo and bananas are your ear-muffins. It’s a great game overall, even if it is derivative. The sequel expanded a lot on the first one, but otherwise it was a disappointment. For every step forward we got something that didn’t really work. Oh well. However, unlike The Legend of Zelda, the StarTropics games are completely linear in their nature. Then again, so is every Zelda game starting with A Link to the Past.

StarTropics has one of the best NES musics out there. Not perhaps based on what kind of samples were used (that goes for Sunsoft), and the second game is slightly better, but all the songs in there are a complete hit-or-miss deal. Some of them are awesome, while others are just another way to torture your fiancé.

StarTropics managed to gain a steady cult following, which seems to be in bed with the Earthbound fans to an extent. The possible return of Mike and other series overall is practically zero. While I’d enjoy a new entry in the series, we can all bet that it would be just like any other 3D Zelda game and would concentrate on the puzzles. Actually, the StarTropics decreases point amount for every defeated enemy, so the game kind of recommends leaving these enraged island animals and alien machines alone and concentrate on the bosses alone. Still, the fighting mechanics are just as good, if not even better, than what The Legend of Zelda had, and those were flawless. In the worst case scenario Nintendo would place it on the 3DS. If we were ever to get StarTropics III, I’d really love it to be set on the Southern Islands again. It’s an oddly exotic setting for a guy who is used to living amidst dark winter.

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