Pole’s Big Adventure (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 25.05.2009 7

Review for Pole’s Big Adventure (Hands-On) on Wii

Following on from Capcom's success with the retro-styled Mega Man 9 for WiiWare and Konami's recent foray into its archives for both Gradius and Contra Rebirth, also on Nintendo's home console download system, SEGA has now decided to dip its toes in retro waters with its satire of the 8-Bit gaming days when the NES and Master System were at large. Pole no Daibouken (Pole's Big Adventure), from Phantasy Star Universe Producer Takao Miyoshi, hit Japan on 3rd February for a mere 500 Nintendo Points but has still not yet been confirmed for a Western release. However, that has not stopped Cubed3 from going hands-on with the Japanese edition to see whether gamers should be begging SEGA to translate this sooner rather than later...

SEGA's Big Adventure is a traditional 2D side-scrolling platform game (with the Wii Remote used on its side, or a Classic / GameCube controller if preferred) that revolves around protagonist Pole, a rough-looking cowboy, and his attempts to rescue Sharon, his girlfriend, who has been kidnapped by an evil creature. In what is clearly a poke at the original 80s NES classic Super Mario Bros., at the end of each stage Pole reaches the castle where he thinks Sharon is being held. However, upon arrival he discovers that it is in fact merely an awfully dressed enemy parading as his other half. So, as Mario had to do back in the day, Pole must continue on towards the next fort in the hope of eventually saving the day. To do this, players must traverse six worlds of platform fun, complete with the rather archaic feature of not being able to travel backwards through levels (in other words, once something has been passed, there is not turning to the left and returning from whence you came). Along the way he must despatch a slew of enemies, some of which are poachers in cow suits representative of the fact that 2009 is indeed the Year of the Cow in the Chinese calendar, by using his trusty side-arm, which can be upgraded via shooting special '?' blocks dotted around stages.

The aim of the game is not to simply reach the very final stage, though, since that would only take a few hours at the most. In actuality, SEGA has given players the task of uncovering as many of the hundreds of in-game jokes as possible, with many not being found unless you play through the game more than once…and there are plenty of strange goings-on throughout. Yet not everything in the game is completely crazy. Sure, there are times when you will be faced with old boots and toilet rolls raining down upon you from an erupting volcano, or having to shoot down giant penguins or even zebras and giraffes in the North Pole, but then there are some clever elements. Taking the ice level as an example, Pole will start to gradually grow colder and eventually freeze up completely if left stationary for too long and upon turning into an ice-block he promptly loses a life. There are also little tricks in store for gamers, such as finding what looks like a poisoned mushroom that causes the lead character to grow so large that he eventually cannot survive any longer. However, upon coming across said mushroom further into the game, it can have all sorts of different effects, and in one case it actually transforms the protagonist into a tall, lanky gun-toting character. Odd, yet nowhere near as odd as it gets. The enjoyment comes from uncovering the funnier moments, though, so talking about them all here would spoil it. That is if SEGA bothers to translate the game, of course, as well as whether or not it would be able to keep all of the current content included.

Screenshot for Pole’s Big Adventure (Hands-On) on Wii

There are plenty of random moments thrown in, complete with comedy comments (currently only in Japanese). Every time a joke or parody moment is encountered, text will shoot onto the screen, complete with an over-excited commentator explaining things or simply adding to the humour with a sarcastic quip. Weird occurrences help to make the standard platform adventure more interesting as well. For instance, players will be faced with boss encounters towards the end of certain levels where large creatures will sometimes await you, whilst other times nothing will have to be done at all (a large lion trapped in a cage, or polar bear covered in ice, unable to move, for example). Then, upon reaching the end of a stage, Pole will enter a small castle, as in the original Super Mario Bros., a flag will rise atop the upper most turret and fireworks appear in the sky - a sign of SEGA once again paying homage to the Nintendo mascot's first NES platform outing. The similarities do not end there either, since Koopa Troopa turtles make an appearance and there is the ever elusive princess (Sharon, as mentioned earlier) requiring rescue (at one point it is merely a man in drag awaiting the poor hero…)

Looking at the visuals it would be very easy to assume that such a basic-looking game is aimed at children, yet Pole's Big Adventure is certainly not aimed at a young demographic nor the faint of heart since there are scenes where some of the 8-bit, pixellated animals are covered in plenty of blood, as well as a moment further into the game where a special mushroom…well, gets Pole rather aroused and true to his name (if you catch my drift!). Big Adventure is packed full of clever throw-backs to the 1980s and the NES / SEGA Master System days, with moments of purposeful slowdown, or pixel corruption that messes up the graphics for short periods and a wonderful 8-bit era soundtrack that firmly lodges itself in your head for long after the game has been switched off. You really have to hope SEGA brings this comical adventure to the West sometime in 2009!

Screenshot for Pole’s Big Adventure (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

For the price of a NES game on the Virtual Console, SEGA's brand new comedy platform adventure proves to be a massive bargain that is full of retro-goodness, stacked with plenty of humorous moments, a wonderful sense of style and classic run-and-jump gameplay. It really does prove to be a very well-rounded package indeed and most certainly deserves an airing in Western markets sooner rather than later.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date TBA   


It's been a while since I heard anything about this, but at 500 Points it sounds like a steal.

Sure hope the European release isn't far off.. it's been in Japan for a while already. Smilie

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I want to play this game! Sega, bring it!

For 500 points, I think this game will get decent sales just through word of mouth. I bet most of my friends haven't heard of this, but if I let them play it I think they'd appreciate the humor.

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

It's such a quirky little game and a pretty neat platform game on its own. Throw in the humour and it's well worth the money. It'll be interesting to see what jokes are changed for the Western market IF SEGA does indeed bring it over.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Nice preview Adam, definitely sounding like it's worth the price tag and a download! Loving the old school humour and design - really want to see more games like this!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Certainly - I really enjoyed Mega Man 9 (despite it making me cry in frustration on many occasions) and am currently having fun with Gradius Rebirth and Contra Rebirth. This general retro-revival is right up my street Smilie

The bit-tunes are particularly cool as well. The music's so catchy!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

By the way, here's a video of someone playing the game, just to give more of an idea of what it's like Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Nice reveiw

I..I can't watch porn. My Mommy finds out

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