I first heard about Abobo’s Big Adventure while browsing the articles at Joystiq.com. I really didn’t know what to expect of this game (considering I never heard anything about it until reading the Joystiq article), but being an NES buff and having seen the teaser screenshot of Abobo’s Big Adventure I knew this was something I wanted to play. I may have gotten as excited seeing the above picture for the first time as I did when I first played Double Dragon 2 with Derek (one of the best co-op games on the NES, second to Contra). For those of you who are unfamiliar with Abobo, he is a reoccurring bad guy character from the Double Dragon series. He’s not your main villain, he just seems to have been cloned 100 times over and always appears at the worst moments to put the beat down on you in all Double Dragon games. Abobo’s Big Adventure stars…Abobo…in an insane and ridiculous quest across multiple NES game worlds to find his missing son Aboboy.
Within a few minutes of playing this game I was bombarded with NES nostalgia. I was beating on some of your regular Double Dragon baddies and, next thing I know, I’m being assaulted by Donkey Kong (the classic varietal), enemies from Kung Fu, the spies from Spy vs. Spy, and Goombas from Mario. If that doesn’t give you a raging nerd boner, keep what will to yourself. It doesn’t stop there. The game takes you through 7 more levels, all of which carry themes of the most memorable NES games such as Zelda and Balloon Fight. The developers have also made sure to pump each level with enough NES game character cameos to make one’s head explode with joy. The laughs keep coming at a fast rate as it just seems the developers pulled references from everything I deemed funny…sharks with lasers!?!?
Controls are simple enough and reminiscent of a classic NES game control scheme. You have one button to punch, another button to kick and you move Abobo in 4 directions on a 2D plane…simple. Mash both buttons down at the same time when your ‘rage’ meter is maxed out to unleash a devastating attack that is unique to whichever level you are on and each attack is accompanied by some great, and at times hilarious, animation. I’ve played this game on my computer keyboard just fine but I assume controls would translate well when played on a gamepad. Also like games of old, Abobo’s big adventure is challenging so don’t expect a simple walk through nostalgia land here. This game will keep your classically trained gaming skills tested at all times. As with the controls, there is also nothing really lacking in the story. It’s insane, bloody, over the top, at all time ridiculous and its great! The developers have even taken the time to incorporate ‘achievements’ into the game which are a nice added touch (and I found myself laughing at most achievement descriptors and names).
The game is free to play at abobosbigadventure.com, so there is no excuse not to give this game at least a few minutes of your time. If you like it, be sure to leave some user feedback for the developers. I’d really like to see if the folks behind this game have any other games planned for the future. Abobo’s Big Adventure is one of the best tributes and mockeries I’ve had the pleasure of playing to date. If you deem yourself an NES fan, you owe it to yourself to give this game a play.