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StarTropics is one of the few games developed and published that has been almost completely forgotten by the gaming community. And it’s truly a shame as the Zelda-like adventuring and the tropical island twist make for a spectacular game. Hopefully, the game can find a new life on the Virtual Console and maybe a future life with a new sequel. Maybe I can wish upon a star for that one...
There's a reason why I chose StarTropics to be the topic of my first ever IGN article a year and a half ago, and a reason why I'm excited that it's now arrived on the Virtual Console – and that's because it's just a great, fun, unique Nintendo game. First-party games developed by Nintendo's own creative teams aren't often overlooked, but StarTropics was. For whatever reason, this title that takes inspiration from the classic original Legend of Zelda design and evolves it into something new and compelling was never noticed by fans as much as it deserved to be. But for just five bucks, you can't make the mistake of passing it by now. Trust me that it's worth your 500 Wii Points and give it a download – because if you play it and enjoy it, your purchase will help motivate the Big N to make StarTropics' lone sequel, Zoda's Revenge, also available in the Wii Shop someday soon. (Not to mention other long-lost cult classics from Nintendo's own first-party catalog, like EarthBound.)
StarTropics may come off as The Legend of Zelda: Island Edition, but that's far from the truth. It has a very cool style, and, if you may prefer it to Zelda. The only downside is Mike's controls - he can only walk in the four directions, with no diagonal movement, and has to stop to change direction. It’s a small complaint as you’ll get used to it fast. The music has a very distinctive tropical style, and most people find it pretty good. The game got a sequel, although it was only released in the US, near the end of the NES's life. After it, the franchise sadly faded into obscurity. So, pitch in 500 Wii Points and buy this and the sequel - maybe Nintendo will take notice and revive the franchise!