Where to begin with this game? By stating the fact, I never owned a NES and therefore know almost all of the characters in this game (a definitive tribute to just that system) only by hearsay? Or that as a general rule I despise flash-games, because they are often rather half-baked concepts in an uninspired endless loop? How much I normally hate mindless violence used for mindless violence sake? That I wonder yet again why the baddies even bother with kidnapping someone instead of finally accepting that this will always end in blood and tears? Impatient people will surely already be glancing at the rating and might start to be wondering by now…
Wrongly, for this game is besides all the 'faults' stated above one of the best fan games I had the pleasure to play. And normally I try to avoid such superlatives, because they are already worn pretty thin. But here you get a real work of love for the 8-bit era, a nerd's dream come true, something you might have imagined and hoped for in your teen years, but which you never got implemented. For this a small group of programming weir… ahem… fanati… ahem… fans! gathered and set out to make a bunch of wildest fantasies come true. Have you ever felt the need to kick Donkey Kong's posterior? Has the old man from Zelda (representing all of those know-all mentor figures that rather gave you needless advice than simply handing over that magic sword) always been somewhat suspicious to you? Ever wondered if all those hordes of nameless minions in the one or the other beat 'em up had family? Or if you ever come around to have sex in a NES game? Well now you get the chance to clear up those questions (and many more to boot).
As I said before, I never had a NES myself, just a GameBoy and so my knowledge concerning many of the cameos in this game are somewhat superficial, but still I gathered enough to say the following: A great emphasis was put on even the smallest details and it's definitely not just the usual suspects that are brought forward, but an extremely broad set of characters was used. I can't tell if it really is that ultimate, but it sure is exhausting. The beauty of it is that they didn't just patch up some random ideas, but also paid a lot of attention on playability and accessibility. The things that made Nintendo so great were carefully kept intact: Fast and intuitive gameplay with still challenging level of difficulty and pleasing design, concerning graphics as well as sounds. And that's how this part gets a lot more out of a 16 colour palette and beeper sound than many AAA titles which tries so hard with 'symphonic' music, confusing brown-on-brown graphics and straining bad ported controls.
Although the recent rise of the retro hype does leave me a little bit sceptic, I still have to say that Abobo played a lot like those titles that were an awful lot of fun back in the good old days. I can't quite put my finger on it, as with many emotional things, but although I was really sceptic as I started up this game for the first time and only gave it a try out of cynical curiosity, all my doubts were gone incredibly fast and before I knew it, I spent hours on hours fighting, jumping and shooting my way through the levels. Starting with the great grandfather of all beat'em ups (Double Dragon, as far as I know, is from which the protagonist originally comes from) you move on to the classical underwater level, a Zelda dungeon and some Jump'n'Run parts of the Megaman type towards the finale, which even has to offer the one or the other surprise. One constant factor, which actually gives Abobo a decent amount of character, is the Rage-meter which opens up some special attacks if filled to the max… and some of them are quite a sight.
Which already brings us to an important part of the game: Mostly, Abobo isn't all that delicate when handling his opponents. So there is a lot of game blood, sometimes even body parts and even guts. Certainly a matter of personal taste, but I thought it was that much over the top that it was really hilarious. A wink at Nintendo’s rather harsh censorship policy? Quite likely… But actually this kind of carefree twist of conventions, shows so much of the free creative minds that runs through the whole game. With this game, someone has done exactly what he wanted, without spending too many thoughts on avoiding to tread on someones toes, and so the final product is brimming with vibrating creativity. It's a long time since I last had this intense feeling of playing a game by gamers for gamers. Especially a game that I am convinced that the creators themselves love to play. And can there be any better kind of quality standard?
Whoever still has some doubts if he/she should give it a try, if he/she should take a look at what I keep babbling about, for those I have the ultimate killer argument: The complete game is absolutely for free! You don't have to pay a single cent to play it, don't have to register anywhere and get a full game, simply as it is, as a gift from the makers of Abobo's Big Adventure. So at least giving it a short try couldn't hurt in any case.
For the clear proof that you can't thank the computer game baddies enough, for keeping true to their stubbornly masochistic streak of always kidnapping the friends and relatives of the wrong guy, I award this game 6 out of 6 ESRB censorship stickers!