A Sonic game, with only Tails in it. In fact, you could say this is a Tails game, because that’s who stars it. No Sonic. No Knuckles. Be proud, Tails fans! Yep, good ol’ Miles runs the show alright, and it all starts off in his home in the forest, where our two-tailed friend is having a kip in the woods. When suddenly, the forest is set on fire.
Tails is left wondering what is going on. In the meantime, we see evil ducks (?) laughing with glee at the fact that they have set the woods alight. Our foxy hero (pun intended… OK, it wasn’t – quit hitting me) sees them and figures he has to stop them. Like, now.
Platform: Game Gear | Developer: SEGA Japan
EU Release: Sep 1995 | US Release: 11 Nov 1995 | JP Release: 22 Sep 1995
So, a game where Tails is the star. You don’t see that everyday, and the same can be said for the type of game that Tails’ solo outing is. You see, Tails Adventure is a platformer, but it also has a kind of puzzle/RPG element to it, which brings interesting gameplay elements. The graphics are pretty tasty, and will be familiar to anyone who has played Sonic Triple Trouble.
The way the game works is this. You have a certain amount of ‘hit points’ – the chances you have, which decreases as you are attacked, before you die. These hit points come in the lovely form of rings. You can collect more rings from boulders or enemies, should they be containing some in the first place.
You have the standard jump button, which when double tapped makes Tails fly. There is a bar to the left as you are flying – this signifies the amount of flying time you have before you get tired, but you can collect items which boost this bar. As well as this you have an action button, which at the start has bombs as its default. When you press this button, it uses the item shown in the blue box. You can carry four special items between levels, pressing a certain button or direction when paused to switch to each respective item.
Each level has a certain amount of sections, and at the end of that level, you face a boss in many guises, for example, some ‘evil ducks’ sporting a little green number. You have to work out an attack pattern in order to defeat it, which usually requires your standard bombs, so you best keep them handy when you’re choosing your four special items.
In classic RPG fashion, you can come across certain blue spiral things in your travels. If you find one of these, do not hesitate to walk over to it, as it contains a special item, which will be invaluable no-end to the success of your adventures. You may be lucky enough to find a Chaos Emerald, which boosts the total amount of rings you can hold, and also increases your ‘air time’ bar, so you have a longer period to fly in the air without getting too tired. Other items include Remote Robots, which you lay and control to get through the tiniest places, and Hammers, just to lay the smackdown on the enemy’s collective ass.
To the uninitiated, this looks like a poor excuse to market Tails a bit instead of Sonic. The fact is, that Tails’ own adventure happens to be a marvelous one. It doesn’t try to imitate any Sonic game, it is different and because it stars Tails the gameplay is perfectly tailored to his character. Although the speed is kinda slow, you get the feeling that the mood is just right because of it – you actually feel like you want to explore every nook and cranny.
The only thing to say is that, like many RPGs and adventure games, it can be a bit difficult to interpret where you’re meant to go next, but I suppose RPGs and adventure games wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t have that element of discovery. Maybe a battery save would have also been useful, but it doesn’t detract from gameplay at all – unless you lose your Passwords sheet – then you’re screwed. Is there such as thing as a cross RPG/Adventure/Platformer? Believe it baby, Tails Adventure is just that.