It surprised me.
Growing up I wasn't afan of the movie on which this game is loosely based. It had some catchy songs, Poor Unfortunate Souls and Les Poissons to nameacouple, but beyond that it wasn't a movie I would sit down and watch, wich is suurprising considering that nowadays I don't mind it so much.
The story is at best a loose interpretation of Disney's classic. It has Ariel, Prince Eric and Ursula in it as well as a few of Ariel's other friends, but that's about it. The story is that Ariel fell in love with Prince Eric, a fish-eating human, and went to the Sea Witch Ursula for help. Ursula accomodatingly turned Ariel into a human and set her on her merry way. Sometimelater, some of Ariel's ocean friends came to Eric's castle and told Ariel that Ursula had since cast a spell over all things in the sea, forcing them to do her bidding. Ariel, who apparently did not have to trade her voice in exchange for her new form, told Eric the truth about her nature and, despite his warnings, wentmermaid and returned to the sea to try to save her people.
You play as Ariel, who must fight her way through five levels of action, from a sunken ship to a sea of ice to an underwater volcano. Ariel's means of defedingherself are interesting. She can throw bubbles and shells at hher enemies. The bubbles in fact can be used to capture enemies which Ariel can then throw at other enemies. Throwing a shell at a treasure chest, plenty of which you'll find throughout your quest, will yield differently colored pearls wich can increase the strength and range of Ariel's bubble attack. At the end of each level is a boss battle whic usually involves contending with not only the boss itself but various smaller enemies.
The audio isn't what I might have chosen for a Little Mermaid game. The music in particular is much to cheery and in my opinion doesn't really fit the levels. It's not bad, and in fact most of the tunes are actually quite catchy. It's just not what I would have chosen. Fortunately while the main boss theme sufers from the same inappropriate cheeriness as the level themes, the theme for the final battle, whilestillabitmore upbeat thanI miht have liked, is certainly not ceery. Unfortunately you won't hear many tunes from the movie. In fact there's just one, a surprisingly excellent NES rendition of Under the Sea. I could listen to it for hours it's that good.
Overallthisisa game worth checking out eve if not owning. That secondd would depend on your own personal taste in gaming. But it's definitely one of the better movie-to-game adaptations to be found on the NES. LJN could have done with taking a leef or two out of Capcom's book given the crap they produced.
Reviewed by: Bryan Peterson from Twin Falls, Idaho on 7/23/2014