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Technically, Skull and Crossbones is impressive, with large characters and bright, meticulously detailed scenery. The action is fluid, although the split-screen makes things noticeably slower (hey, you can't have everything). The six diverse stages can be played in any order, and when the game is over, you're rated on your performance. Skull and Bones has its share of platform cliches, but it really hits the spot if you're in the mood for some swashbuckling fun.
Skull & Crossbones is basic NES entertainment. It's fun and easy to play, but it won't keep you up nights. The cart's main plus is the non-stop action which at least gives your reflexes a workout. If you haven't filled your quota of saved princesses, you might want to shanghai a friend and get after the Evil Wizard in Skull & Crossbones.
Ne’ertheless, once you’ve defeated the Wizard and saved the Princess, there’s not much for a plunderin’ seafarer to do. Best to take the Princess yourself back to the King, and be rewarded for your bravery. Whether you become the next prince or rot in the dungeon for the rest of your years, at least you’re not being forced to drink gallons of rum every day.
The graphics are pretty good and
the voice samples are impressive, with lots of yells, grunts, and the
laughs of enemy bosses. An interesting but bizarre split-screen two-player mode is available, but the second player will appear as a pair of
feet on the other player’s screen half. There are some good ideas here,
but blimey, the final product is a semi-sunken ship.
Skull and Crossbones lives up to the arcade version on which it's based in almost every respect. You get jerky game play, poor control, a frustrating goal and very little to be excited over. Skull and Crossbones is one of the first Tengen titles that didn't gush of superior design.