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Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
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DuckTales / Wanpaku Duck Yume Bōken (わんぱくダック夢冒険) / DuckTales: Remastered - NES, Game Boy, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Windows (1989)

American NES Cover

American Wii U Cover

DuckTales is Capcom's first actual Disney game, and it stands out as one of the best. At its heart, it's a fairly standard platformer. Your goal is to travel around the world - through the Amazon jungles, Translyvanian castles, Himalayian mountains, African mines, and even the surface of the moon. You can choose which levels to conquer in any order. The main goal is to go from point A to point B of a given level, killing any enemies in your way and gathering as much cash as you can find. Treasure chests are littered throughout the level, mostly containing gems worth ridiculous amounts of money or life-giving ice cream. Various characters from the show make cameos, like Bubba the Caveduck, Gizmoduck the errant robotic superhero, and the three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, who give out hints.

While it sounds basic, what really makes the game stand out is Scrooge's main form of attack-his pogo cane. Scrooge can use his cane to bounce on top of platforms, open chests, cross fields of spikes, or spring off his enemies' heads. It's so enjoyable that most of the time you might find yourself pogoing from one end of the level to the other. Most of the levels are designed to take advantage of the cane as well. Many leaps are impossible unless Scrooge is actively pogo jumping, and there are times where the platforms themselves are lethal if Scrooge isn't bouncing around. In some cases it's a bad idea to pogo jump, like in the Himalayas stage. If Scrooge pogos on anything other than ice, he'll get stuck in the snow and be open to attack from marauding snow bunnies. The controls are spot-on, luckily, and the platforming sections are much more fun than they are difficult.

The level design is interesting and deceptively straightforward. While it's easy to plow through each level, there are a ton of rewards for players that carefully search every nook and cranny. Invisible treasure chests appear when Scrooge passes by, often yielding more expensive loot than chests that are lying in the open. You can even find bonus stages where Gyro the inventor tosses down diamonds from an airplane. Many of the hidden chests can be used as platforms, enabling Scrooge to jump into the status bar and find well-placed secrets. There are also times where the game may have you make a suicidal jump, only to find a cache of 1-ups and treasures. If you get enough cash by the end of the game, you'll even get a better ending. Considering the game is fairly short and easy, it adds a lot of replayability to explore every nook and cranny of each stage.

Graphics-wise, the game is quite good for its time. The sprites are large and colorful and the backgrounds are detailed. There's also a variety of characters taken from the DuckTales cartoon to be found in each level. They all look close to their Saturday morning counterparts, at least as far as an 8-bit system will allow. The music is excellent, consisting of upbeat tunes and chirpy themes that you might find yourself humming along to. The Moon theme is considered by many to be one of Capcom's greatest compositions from the NES era. The boss music is one of the weaker pieces, but considering how easy each fight is it'd be strange to have an overly dramatic song playing.

The game isn't without its share of flaws, however. For whatever reason, you're forced to backtrack to the Transylvania level numerous times. It's a fun level to be sure, but there's no reason to have to return to it three times throughout the quest. The game is also relatively easy, but is also prone to cheap enemy placement. Spiders are the main offenders, as they are often positioned over pits. If they manage to hit you, it's a sure bet that you'll plummet into the hole and die. There are also instances of the pogo cane "failing" on you. If you manage to bounce on the very edge of a platform or spike, Scrooge will suddenly stop bouncing and come to an immediate stop. This is especially troublesome where pin-point jumping is required. While it doesn't happen often, it can occasionally mean the difference between life and death.

DuckTales

DuckTales is fondly remembered by many gamers of the NES era and rightfully so. While a few minor issues slightly mar the experience, it's a genuinely fun game to play.

A ROM of the beta version was leaked onto the Internet, which contain a number of minor differences. First, the values of the treasures were drastically increased in the final. Red gems, for example, were only worth $3000, while in the final they're worth $10,000. Hamburgers were used to restore life in the beta rather than ice cream, and the drop rate for these items were much higher in the beta. Stage names were changed from the beta version, and the Transylvania stage is entirely different. The coffins in the beta version have crosses inscribed on them, while this was changed in the final version to a more mundane "RIP." Contrary to popular belief, the crosses were also censored in the Japanese release. The Moon stage's music is at a slower tempo in the beta, and the walking alien's sprite was completely changed in the final. Lastly, the conversations were changed slightly from the beta, and the conversation box was enlarged in the final version.

DuckTales was also released for the Game Boy. While the developers could have gone the easy route and used the exact same stage layout as the NES version, they instead made an almost entirely different game. Most of the stages are similar in the very beginning, but the layout becomes drastically different. Access to the underground area in the Amazon is entirely different, and the Transylvania stage is completely remixed. In some cases, the stages are actually longer and more complex than the NES version, despite being made on a weaker format. Some of the stages prove to be more difficult than the source material, which may surprise longtime fans of the NES game.

While the graphics and sound attempt to emulate the NES version, they do a poor job of doing so. The music, in particular, is terrible. While similar to the console version, it's marked by ear-splitting shrieks and beeps. The sound effects are no better, being as painful to listen to as the music. It would have been better if the developers had just created entirely new music and sound effects to better suit the Game Boy.

The Game Boy version also suffers from a few problems that were not present in the console version. The hit-detection is very spotty, allowing you to bounce on the heads of some enemies while making you fall through others and take damage. Moving platforms are perilous as it's extremely easy to fall through them at random. It's also impossible to grab onto a vine or rope while in mid-bounce, which really hamstrings some platforming sections.

This version is much weaker than the NES version, though longtime fans may want to give a shot to see the remixed levels. Had the music and gameplay issues been addressed, it's possible the Game Boy version could have been just as good as the console edition.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Capcom
WayForward Technologies (Remake)

Publisher:

Capcom

Genre:

Platforming

Themes:

Licensed
Remakes Available


DuckTales (NES)

DuckTales (NES)

DuckTales (NES)

DuckTales (NES)

DuckTales (NES)

DuckTales (Game Boy)

DuckTales (Game Boy)


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Additional Screenshots

Comparison Screenshots

Comparison Screenshots - Beta


DuckTales 2 (ダックテイルズ2) - NES, Game Boy (1993)

European NES Cover

Japanese Game Boy Cover

Eager to capitalize on the success of the first installment, Capcom released DuckTales 2 three year later. The Super Nintendo had been on the market for a few years, which resulted in this release being largely ignored. (This in turn means that it's rather expensive on the used market.)

Not content with the millions of dollars of swag his last adventure provided, Scrooge now has his sights set on the lost treasure of McDuck. Map pieces located throughout the globe provide clues to the treasure's location, and it's up to Scrooge to find them before his rival Flintheart Glomgold does. The levels include Niagara Falls, the Bermuda Triangle, the Egyptian pyramids, a Scottish castle, and the lost continent of Mu.

DuckTales 2 improves upon the original in nearly every way. Scrooge can now use his cane to drag objects around, latch onto hooks, smack walls to propel boats, and destroy hefty blocks. Before he can do this, special "cane adapters" must be obtained from the inventor Gyro. Gyro is typically hidden in certain levels, so it's important to comb through each level carefully.

The stages are also much larger, and are packed with many more secrets. Cane adapters often reveal parts of stages that were initially inaccessible, so it's a good idea to revisit each completed level when a new adapter has been discovered. It's not necessary to do so, but thorough players will be rewarded with hidden treasures, extra lives, and multiple endings. The bosses are actually a challenge this time, which is a great improvement from the weaklings in the first game.

Cash is far more important than it was in the previous game. Before each stage, Scrooge is able to use his ill-gotten gains to buy items. Life-restoring cake subtanks, health upgrades, and additional continues can be purchased at the shop. In a bone-headed decision by the developers, it's absolutely critical to buy the safe item. If Scrooge dies at any point during a level, he looses all of the cash that he collected. The safe prevents this penalty, but it is only effective for one level. Every time Scrooge enters or revisits a level, he has to buy a replacement safe.

The graphics have improved slightly from the previous game with additional background details and animations. Stages like Niagara Falls and the Scotland castle look great and are a fun to explore. The music and sound effects, however, have taken a serious hit. The music isn't terrible, but it isn't memorable either. Many of the sound effects are annoying, such as the "death squeal" each enemy makes. The poor audio quality really hurts what should be a superior game.

DuckTales 2 is pretty much exactly what a sequel should be. The game is longer, tougher, and more substantial than its predecessor. Losing all your money upon death and poor music definitely weaken this entry, but it's certainly not a deal-breaker. Fans of the original DuckTales definitely should go back and play the sequel if they missed it. Curious gamers who have an hour to spare should also give DuckTales 2 a go.

Like the previous game, the Game Boy version completely changes each stage. New powerups, such as X-Ray glasses that reveal secrets and a walkie-talkie that can call Launchpad, have been added as well. While they don't actually make the game any easier, it's a nice touch. The graphics and sound are nearly identical to the NES version, which is an enormous improvement from the first Game Boy remake. Unfortunately, you still lose all of your cash upon death, and the safe item isn't as helpful as it was in the NES version. This time, the safe is a one-shot item, instantly adding all of the cash you've collected in the stage to the bank. However, you have to be quick about using it if you're about to suffer a fatal blow from an enemy or are about to die from a pitfall. Death is very common in this game, and the new safe is an unwelcome change.

All in all, the Game Boy version is a great remake of the original, despite a few minor problems. Die hard fans will most likely enjoy the remixed levels and near-perfect sound.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Capcom

Publisher:

Capcom

Genre:

Platforming

Themes:

Licensed


DuckTales 2 (NES)

DuckTales 2 (NES)

DuckTales 2 (NES)

DuckTales 2 (Game Boy)


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Additional Screenshots

Comparison Screenshots


Other Versions: DuckTales: The Quest for Gold - Amiga, DOS, Commodore 64 (1990)

American Amiga Cover

There was another DuckTales game released for computer platforms, developed by Incredible Technologies and published by Disney Software. The concept is similar to the NES game - you need to travel around the globe and find various treasures before Glomgold does. However, there are over thirty locations to visit, most of which are puns of real areas or cities. You have 30 days to gather as much gold as you can. Once you pick your destination, you need to fly there in a side-scrolling action sequence. These are very difficult to control, because pressing "right" turns your plane clockwise, and "left" turns your plane counter-clockwise, instead of simply pressing "up" or "down". It's comical to watch, especially given Launchpad's reputation as a crazy pilot, but it's far too easy to crash, costing you valuable time.

Once you reach your location, you need to play one of three types of games. There are cavern exploration sequences, where you just wander through mazes and try to avoid wandering into pits. These are extremely well detailed and perfectly capture the look of the cartoon, even though they're very simple. Then there are scenes where you play as Webigail taking photographs of various animals. These are quite simple. Finally, there are side scrolling platforming segments where you play as Huey, Dewey, and Louie. These are pretty bad, due to terrible level design and awful controls.

Amusingly, you can also invest in the stock market in between the action segments, adding a bit of extra depth to the game. This is pretty cool, but perhaps a bit too complicated for a game aimed at kids. Anyway, even though it's a neat game in concept, the poor quality of many of the games (particularly the platforming) makes this effort somewhat weak, and definitely not up to the level of Capcom's games. The Amiga version is by far the best looking, with the PC DOS coming in the middle (with awful PC speaker sound) and the Commodore 64 version being the ugliest.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Incredible Technologies

Publisher:

Walt Disney Computer Software

Genre:

Adventure: Other
Platforming

Themes:

Licensed
Sidekicks


DuckTales: The Quest for Gold (DOS)

DuckTales: The Quest for Gold (DOS)


Additional Screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Mickey Mousecapade

Page 2:
DuckTales
DuckTales 2

Page 3:
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2
TaleSpin

Page 4:
The Little Mermaid
Darkwing Duck
Adventures in the Magic Kingdom

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