Adventure Story. Not... the most original name I've ever seen applied to a game. It's downright generic, in fact - but it more or less perfectly sums up the substance of the package: it's a story about an adventure. Don't need much more of a synopsis than that.
This tale has been told thousands of times in the past, and not just in video games. Your girlfriend, o powerful swordsman, has been kidnapped by some asshole. Go get her! Not empowerment literature, this game, but oh well.
Adventure Story is much more about the game play than the story, and that game play is centered around platforming hack-and-slash. You have a sword, you have magic, you can jump - use 'em all to survive a slew of stages and win back your lady love. Part of a well-worn genre, yes, though the execution is adequate enough to throw off the shackles of repetition.
Fortunately, Adventure Story also has enough RPG elements to make it more novel than it sounds. The levels are packed full of secrets, like new equipment, and you can use the cash you earn while slaying monsters to buy or upgrade spells. The emphasis on exploration really expands Adventure Story above and beyond the play time of your average browser game.
Properly guiding your character is absolutely vital in Adventure Story, and I do wish I could say that the game operates cleanly. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Roughly seventy five percent of the time your character's responsiveness will be just what you want; the other twenty five he... kinda... does what he wants. Not to any huge degree, mind, but enough that you'll get into scrapes you could otherwise have avoided. My biggest irk in this respect was the fact my character kept facing the opposite direction of where I was pressing, which, given that I generally fought with a sword, made hitting enemies reeeeeeally hard. The controls do not, however, make the game unplayable - it's just more annoying than it should be.
Adventure Story consists of somewhat bland, cutesy visuals. Don't get me wrong, the game looks great, but the characters lack... character. Open up any Japanese or Korean MMO on the market today and you'll come across a similar set of heroes and baddies.
That aside, the animation is excellent, the sprites are all top-notch and the environments are really nice. I'm a huge fan of moving backgrounds in browser games, and you could pretty much see other levels scrolling by in the distance as you slashed your way through hordes of enemies.
The characters in Adventure Story are pretty much mute, leaving the job of sound maker (beyond the swishing of swords and magic explosions) to the music. For the most part, Adventure Story's tunes are pretty good: there's a wide variety of 'em, and they typically suit the areas in which they pop up. A tad on the generic side, again, but I can at least appreciate the effort to dip into disparate musical genres.
Adventure Story is on par with its genre in terms of difficulty. It's not insanely tough, but the challenge does mount as you progress, and in an even fashion. It's not a game that holds your hand too much - and since there's a several-level-long tutorial and the ability to go back and replay levels to find more items, there's little excuse for eventual lack of advancement.
I must warn, however, that occasional control problems made Adventure Story more difficult than advertised, as you'll be leaping into pits or stupid amounts of danger without wanting to on an unfortunately consistent basis. I had additional troubles because my computer couldn't always keep up with the action, limiting Adventure Story's portability. If you wanna play this game, make sure you're on a more powerful computer - a lot of action on the screen really bogs down the experience, which is a killer in a game full of bottomless pits and crowds of enemies.
Oh, and one other thing: too many blind jumps. Any way to introduce a scrolling feature? Thanks.
Adventure Story is a good fantasy platforming game that needs some more tweaks. The foundations of the game are all there... they're just a teensy bit buggy at the moment. Work on that and Adventure Story will shine amongst its peers.
PLAY ADVENTURE STORY