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atari mania
Published by
Developed by
Written by  :  MagFram (43)
Written on  :  May 08, 2005
Rating  :  3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars

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Though it relies on some Disney boilerplate, this isn't a bad game

The Good

1. The graphics manage to pull off the Disney look well enough.

2. The costume change, which becomes a novelty after many replays, is still a neat gimmick at the outset. A nice touch, I thought, especially for the little ones who like to giggle at Mickey in his firefighter (or magician or climber) outfit.

3. Gameplay that keeps you coming back. I was never really a big fan of this game, but for whatever reason I kept playing it when no one was looking. So for me at least the game had decent replay value.

4. Good music in a few places. I really liked the theme that went along with the snow level (think it was called "Aurora" something).

5. Does a good job, for a Capcom Disney platformer, of doing the standard things that everyone expects of a platformer: jumping, swimming, maybe a snow level for some sliding, decent boss fights, so on. The game feels like it was stamped out of the Disney assembly line, but it's somehow likable. Not bad, Capcom.

The Bad

1. A combination of forgiving hit detection and simple play control make this game very easy, even on its difficult mode.

2. The costume changes are cute at first but quickly become boring. I get it, Mickey's modest, he needs to pull the curtain so we don't see him in his mouse undies. Does he have to go through this routine every time, though?

3. I don't find the floating blocks of this particular kingdom to jive with the rest of the kingdom. I know that I have to suspend disbelief and accept that for whatever reason, there are blocks hovering throughout the world, but I don't see why they have to be blocks. For instance, in the first areas, why couldn't the blocks have been instead pixellated to look like tomatoes, and the tomatoes you use to fly be drawn to resemble something else? I don't know why, but I think the answer is just that somebody decided Mickey would spin blocks and didn't go any further with the idea. Would have been nice to take it a step further and integrate the idea into the object design for each level.

4. Again, it is a Capcom Disney platformer, and uses the Disney look to compensate for a lack of imagination in some of the level and character design. This sounds contradictory--I mean, shouldn't a Disney platformer use the Disney look?--but what I'm suggesting is that, for instance, many of the variation on Pete bosses didn't necessarily have to be Pete variants. I understand why they stuck with the Pete look on many, as he's the big bad mastermind of this whole debacle, but all they had to do was research some old Mickey cartoons to come up with different ideas for equally acceptable bosses. Would've been a cool touch.

The Bottom Line

This game is a reminder that there are many people who play video games not because they're looking for the ultimate in gameplay but because they want to do something as simple as experience the world of Disney. It's true, no matter how funny it may seem to those of us who can't begin to fathom how anyone could favor a dime-a-dozen platformer over the yet-to-be-topped insane karting action of Super Mario Kart.

Magical Quest uses the 16-bit palette to paint a picture that's a decent representation of the Disney world, and I think that's exactly what its target audience expects of it. So in the sense of fulfilling the expectations of those who want the "Disney experience," this game is a resounding success.

On top of that, this is game surprises in that it isn't a bad playthrough. When I would go home for the holidays, I'd often play this game with the younger, late NES, early SNES generation members of the family, and I'd enjoy it, so much so that I would take the hour or two necessary to play it through completely each time for the heck of it.

It's not a bad game. Honest.

atari adventure