Abobo’s Big Adventure is just as fun and hilarious as it has always been. So few games do one genre well enough to be called classics, but Abobo’s Big Adventure does a superb job of covering almost every genre from the 8-bit era. Every level is a new genre and a different way to play. It stars everyone’s favorite big boss from Double Dragon; Abobo. The plot of the game is simple, a gang of 8-bit video game characters has kidnapped Abobo’s son, Aboboy and now Abobo must fight the entire world to get him back.
The humor is silly, over the top crazy and yet still genuine. Even if this wasn’t drenched in NES nostalgia it would still be a funny game. You feel every punch line, from punting Donkey Kong Junior to gory humor such as a referee being strangled by his own intestines. Abobo makes his big entrance by diving off of the Statue of Liberty down onto a kitten in an alleyway from Double Dragon. The kitten then flies in the air, tumbling, but lucky for the cat there’s a pillow off on the side for a nice soft landing. You see the shadow get bigger and bigger on the pillow, but bam! The kitten hits the pavement. That might sound horrifying, but its that sort of unexpected humor that the game hangs its hat on.
The sprites are taken straight from NES games. Backgrounds, sound effects and music are all from their respective games. It goes a long way to tapping into that nostalgia. There are several original sprites and amazing artwork. Everything from Abobo stomping a head in a cut scene to fighting a giant RoboAbobo.
Its more than humor and nostalgia, the game is a lot of fun and like great games, it starts off easy before it gets difficult. No matter how challenging it is, its always forgiving, there are unlimited continues that will let you keep playing alone with an auto save and level select.
The first level starts you off in the bad streets from Double Dragon with a belt scrolling beat’em up. You won’t just be fighting enemies from that game, but there are others from Kung Fu, Heckle and Jeckel from Spy vs Spy. You’ll even get to punch Donkey Kong in the face after he throws explosive barrels at you. It all leads up to fighting Willy on a conveyer belt at the end. There’s so much that makes this level fun, even a secret room with the old wall climbing glitch.
Each of these genres have good gameplay, but its not NES perfect. It feels slower, but it is a Flash based game. As for controls, there is only keyboard support, so I recommend third party software to make your controller work. You have the controls of an old NES controller, arrow keys to move, A to punch, S to kick, and double tap one direction to run. Abobo has a lot of energy, but so do your foes. Each foe has their own health bar that you see at the bottom next to yours. Its nice to see face artwork for enemies and even parody names for each.
As you’re beating up enemies and mercilessly killing them, you’re gaining a rage meter. When the rage meter is full, you can perform a screen clearing special attack (A + S) that is different from level to level. On the first level boulders will drop from the sky, on the Mega Man level you get a huge blast shot. It keeps the game fresh and unique. A lot of the times, the bosses need to be finished off with these rage. The only down side is that while beating up enemies gives builds your rage, taking any damage drains it.
From there, Abobo ends up in a prison cell before he climbs down a pipe and into a 2D side scrolling water level straight out of Super Mario Bros. You’ll find all sorts of aquatic enemies from more than Mario. There are bone fish from Zelda 2, Bubble Man from Mega Man 2 and even Jaws, just before an even bigger boss. The game plays completely different with a swim button and a tongue button that has Abobo reaching out with a frog tongue and holding enemies in his mouth before pushing the same button spits them out. Its such a nice way to play.
After that its a moment of comedy as you’re transported to Urban Champion and forced to play a parody of that game. Then its off to an overhead Zelda parody that I feel is the longest level of the game. Its a full fledged dungeon with keys, enemies and all sorts of different things. You’ll face off against traditional Zelda foes, but there are some from Mario 2 and even Metroid. There’s such an attention to detail with all of these levels that make you believe you’re playing a twisted and warped version of that game.
There’s a part where Abobo blows up two helium balloons and takes to the sky in a parody of Balloon Fight. There are so many black box classic parodies in here and they’re all just so fun. It keeps the game play engaging with the dynamic changes. In balloon fight you have just a button to gain height and gravity will eventually pull you down. Here you’ll find a variety of enemies, everything from penguins to grim reapers taken from two different games.
You’ll fight the boss inside of the Pro Wrestling game. Its pretty limited with punches, kicks, body slams, irish whips and clotheslines. It all builds up to a giant cameo at the end that was amazing to see. Its more than just NES nostalgia, its everything from the 80s that Abobo’s Big Adventure brings to the table.
But the Big Adventure doesn’t stop there. Then you have Quick Man’s 2D platforming shooter level from Mega Man 2. You’ll need to be speedy to make it through to the final boss. There are moments where the lights turn out and enemies with flames will light the way. You’ll find the tank from Blaster Master along with Bubble Bobble and a dragon from Dig Dug.
Then comes a run and gun in Contra’s universe, but its more than just one level, there are two from the classic game. You’ve got the first level in the jungle and the third level where you scale the waterfall. Zombies from Ghouls and Ghosts rise out of the ground all while classic Contra turrets shoot at you. It all leads up to a battle against Krang to end the first level with an amazing twist at the end. If you die enough times, you’ll get to do the Konami code to be granted more lives and Abobo’s Big Adventure doesn’t just incorporate the games, levels or sprites, it includes what makes those games great and memorable. That goes for the Konami code to the glitches in Double Dragon.
The final boss is played in a Punch Out style arena. I hated this, but I was never any good at Punch Out. It took me 15 or so lives to finally overcome the final boss. In fact, looking at the game in a different light, you play as the boss. The fight is pretty epic along with what happens afterward. No other video game gets as crazy as this one does.
Like the genres, each of the bosses are completely different. Its amazing to see so much work, detail and effort went into making these bosses along with the cut scenes. Its one of the best Flash games out there that can sadly never take money for their work. Abobo’s Big Adventure is an amazing thrill ride that never comes up short.