Disney games have always been around. In fact, Disney stuff has always been everywhere. It’s about mass marketing. Before they spread across the mobile market, there were lots of them to be found on consoles, many of which were made by Capcom. I had a good time playing Ducktales and not a good time playing Mickey Mousecapade on the old NES. So here we look at one made a console generation later. The Super Nintendo, to be exact.
Plot: 3 out of 10
Capcom appears to have taken a “screw it, the kids won’t care about anything but getting to be Mickey Mouse anyway” approach to the plot. Mickey and his friends, Donald Duck and Goofy, are playing catch when Pluto, Mickey’s dog, follows a pitch and somehow gets lost. Goofy promises to find Pluto, but knowing that Goofy couldn’t find his shoes, Mickey searches himself… and somehow runs off a cliff. Instead of dying, Mickey lands in a magical land where a wizard tells him that Pluto has been kidnapped by the bad guy, Emperor Pete. So the payoff for Pluto’s unbelievable disappearance and Mickey not having any business being fit to adventure is another “save the girl/buddy” plot.
Yeah, I know it’s based on a children’s show, etc., but remember, it’s the competition that often has people falling off cliffs and getting up with not ill effects. This kind of thing is actually Disney’s preferred way of killing villains in movies. As for TV shows, I remember many in which people had to wear casts after big falls. The point is, Disney doesn’t do this that often, so the excuse goes. Couldn’t the usual “hidden doorway” cliche have worked?
Graphics: 8 out of 10
Even though it would be shamed in short order by Star Fox, and would be visually left in the dust by 1994’s Donkey Kong Country and World Series Baseball (Sega Genesis). Magical Quest still had quite impressive graphics. The sprites and backgrounds all capture the Disney feel, and the bosses are particularly well animated.
Sound: 7 out of 10
Catchy but all too generic music. It’s not memorable, but it will keep you going until the end of a level.
Gameplay: 7 out of 10
Magical Quest begins as a generic platformer. You can walk, jump, stomp on enemies, pick up and throw blocks. Smaller foes are stunned when stomped and can also be thrown.
While Mickey mostly handles well, sudden moves can be slippery, as can making landings. The latter is particularly troublesome.
Gradually, you get other outfits that give you nemerous ways of attacking. Just like a certain other game made by Capcom. The Magic Turban enables you to shoot magical blasts that can be charged by holding Y. The Firefighter Costume (my favorite) gives you a water hose that doesn’t pack much of a punch but is still reliable because you can keep a constant stream of water going. Finally, the Mounter Climber Costume lets you grapple and swing like Spider-Man. This added variety helps the player cope with the control flaws.
Challenge: 8 out of 10
You’d expect this game to be quite easy. It has three difficulty settings: Easy, Normal, and Hard. Easy just lets you win. Normal is still a piece of cake. But with Hard, the difficulty goes up enough that it might present a challenge. This is nice balancing act that makes the difficulty right for everyone. It’s kind of ridiculous that Hard and Normal are so far apart, though.
Overall: 7 out of 10
A good game, but one that does not deserve some of the high praise it gets. The awful story and control flaws hold it back. Still, it’s worth the money.