Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (NES)

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Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  May 22, 2014
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
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Wow! Capcom and Disney do guarantee a great NES game

The Good

Most of the Disney tie-in games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) were designed by Capcom. I am not sure how this happened, but it was probably one of the best decisions that the two companies made.

Even back in the 8-bit era, Capcom had a well-deserved reputation for making some great games. NES games such as "Duck Tales", "Rescue Rangers" and "Darkwing Duck" became classic, side-scrolling "platforming" games for their superior graphics, music, sound effects and well-design game play mechanics.

Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (herein after referred to as the "Magic Kingdom") is slightly different then the other Disney tie-in games.

The player does not take control of any familiar Disney characters. Instead, you take control of a generic (read: white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant), wholesome-looking, kid with a friendly smile and a cowboy hat.

Our young hero has to locate the keys needed to open the Magic Kingdom's castle. The theme park's castle has the one key used unlock the theme park's gates. Hmm.

Each key is located in a theme park ride, which requires the player to successfully complete a series of mini-games in order to obtain the required key.

Capcom wanted to try something different with the "Magic Kingdom", and, well, this game is certainly "different". It is just not really not that good for a Capcom game.

One of the people behind this game was Tokuro Fujiwara and it does show up. The game's features some nice music and sound effects.

The Bad

The storyline in the game is weak to the point of parody.

Basically, Mickey Mouse and the other Disney characters have decided that it would be fun to get a young boy to perform certain, highly destructive and dangerous activities, simply to ensure that Disney makes more money.

Does the Magic Kingdom exists in a world without spare keys or child labor laws? How magical can a Magical Kingdom really be, if it cannot get past theme park locks? Are these magic locks, more magically then the keys needed to open them? The Mystery Science Theater 3000-inspired jokes about the storyline game could go on forever.

Anyways, you start the game wandering around the Disney Theme Park in a poorly designed overhead perspective. Some people may confuse this for being an early video game "open world" or sand box concept, It is not.

Walking around the Theme Park serves no real purpose, other then walking to one of the game's levels (of which they are too few). The theme park does not have much to offer an explorer.

Only one puzzle in the game requires you walk around the Disney Theme Park looking for someone to ask you a Disney Trivia question. If you answer enough of these questions correctly, you are given a key.

How do you get the answers to these trivia questions? Well, hopefully you already know the answers or just keep guessing into you get the right answer.

Even with the hardware limitations of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Capcom still could have developed a much better "sand box" for the Disney Theme Park. As it stands, being able to walk around the park, is just average-looking, window dressing.

Once you walk to a particular theme park ride, a mini-game begins. Compared to other Capcom games based on Disney characters, the levels in the Magic Kingdom are a disappointment.

The game's two side-scrolling levels are the best of the bunch, in terms of graphics, music and playability. Yet, even these two platforming levels are let down.

The Haunted Mansion level starts you out with a limited supply of candle projectiles and has a boss waiting for you at the end of the level.

The Pirates Of The Carribean level does not give you any offensive weapon -- unless you locate it late in the level . After you save the hostages, all you have to do is light a fire (Remember Kids, Don't Play With Matches, Except When Disney Tells You To).

Both of these side-scrolling levels feature the best graphics and music in the game. However, they are far too unpolished to be enjoyable.

The Autopia level is a simple, and uninspiring, racing game with an overhead perspective.

The Big Thunder Mountain level is better designed, then the Autopia level,

The Space Mountain ride is done from an odd first-person perspective. On-screen icons appear telling you what button to press, and you must quickly do so.

For a Capcom game, the Magic Kingdom's graphics are strictly average and the game play is unpolished and uninspiring.

The Bottom Line

Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (1990) takes a different path then other Disney games designed by Capcom. The game lacks much of magic and inspiration that Capcom was able to other Disney tie-in video games. Younger gamers may find the levels too difficult too complete, while other, more seasoned, gamers may find the game too unpolished and uninspiring to complete.