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Adventure Island II is quite similar to its predecessor in many ways, but with its slightly better control and handful of gameplay additions, it's just that little bit more entertaining. It's also a lot more accessible due to the reserve item system and the shorter stages, compared to the rather brutal original game.
And, you know? It works. Hudson's series needed this kind of breath of fresh air back in 1995, and its many changes are still refreshing today. The game isn't perfect, as its control still retains a bit of older Adventure Islands' looseness, but overall this is a fun and unexpected turn for Master Higgins that's still enjoyable to re-experience today.