Sunday, January 29, 2012

Retro Gaming Co-Op #1: Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom

Pre-Game Thoughts:

Ross: I remember being really excited about this game when I was a kid and saving my money to buy it. Why? I have no idea. Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom wasn’t notably well reviewed when it came out, nor does it feature any recognizable Disney characters in starring roles. Nor did I take advantage of the “SAVE $5.00 when you purchase this game” offer advertised on the box. I guess when you’re a kid, sometimes you get excited about things for no good reason.

Looking at the game now, I’m excited to give another shot. Capcom did some great things with the Disney license in the NES era (Ducktales, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers). And DAITMK is actually a pretty ambitious game, with at least four different play styles, which is a lot for an NES developer to bite off, considering how many games of the era can’t even do one play style well.

Also, I feel like that box art is designed to appeal to little girls who want to be princesses and live in castles with wonderful fireworks displays.
From the back of the retail box for Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (all spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and grossly over-exaggerated gameplay promises are left intact):

“Premier worldwide arcade game designer”

This is your ticket to breath-taking Adventures in the Magic Kingdom!
Join the exciting adventure as you search through the Magic Kingdom for the six silver keys that will unlock the Enchanted Castle. Use all your skills and resources to acheive your goal.
*Answer Disney trivia questions to gain access to the attractions
*Become the engineer of a runaway train in big Thunder Mountain
*Race Autopia cars through a maze of obstacles
*Don your sea-faring garb as you tangle with the swarthy buccaneers of Pirates of the Caribbean
*Hurl yourself into the Black Holes of Space Mountain
*Grab a silver key from the ghoulish inhabitants of the Haunted Mansion.
What other adventures await you in the Magic Kingdom? You’ll just have to find out for yourself!

BTW, you guys, the instruction book was gone from the box but the $5 mail-in refund coupon was still there. Expired on 6/30/92, though :’(


Dusty: I will admit that when the title screen came up, I was already bored and ready to quit. It just looks so lame and all you can choose is start so why even bother. But on the very next screen my attitude quickly changed. An ENTER YOUR OWN NAME screen!!!! One of my favorite features of any NES game! After I saw this I knew I could make this game fun no matter how terrible the gameplay was.

Mickey being rude.

Mickey being very rude.

Mickey has some questionable friendships.
Mickey knows how to hook a brother up!
Now Mickey is making me feel uncomfortable.

Five Silver Keys found, then this happens in the Haunted Mansion!!! Classic glitchy freeze up!! Too frustrated to continue. On a side note: I f'n hate the Pirate level!!! More to follow. Beer now.  

Sweet Bobby D: The question and answer part is pretty easy. I only got one question wrong: What was the name of the ranch on the original Mickey Mouse club? My favorite question: What is Donald Duck’s middle name? Everyone knows it’s Fauntleroy. So, after my simple question quest gave me its key I went on down to Space Mountain, which caused me to almost throw my controller at the screen. I enjoyed it at first, kind of like Guitar Hero for controlling a spaceship, that is until it asks you to press the right and left buttons simultaneously. Horse shit. I’ve already spent 5 minutes to get to this point and only have one hit point left... then bam. Finally I got one... then another right left came up. I pressed the controller the same way, this time... death, and Mickey’s disappointment, which is the worst part. Goofy has already let him and the rest of the Magic Kingdom down. Maybe it’s games like these that caused my massive adult anxiety.

Holy crap, I don’t have the patience for these games like I used to. I either need alcohol or some other drug to focus and maybe actually enjoy this. The only reason I keep on playing is because I am so mad at the game. I may have to try again tomorrow, after work and a couple drinks. Also, you are right Dusty, that pirate level is infuriating. However, they kind of all are. Though I do like the Ducktales-esque Transylvania look to the haunted house... with a tish of Castlevania. I kind of enjoy what they are trying to do with the whole minigame thing; maybe I just have to be in a different mood. Or name my character Asshat and get my kicks that way. 

So after all that talk about frustration, I tried the train level and beat it on the first try; oddly enough, I pushed very few buttons to do so. The game seemed to do it for me. Thanks, game.

Dusty: I have to disagree with you on the trivia portion of the game.  I kept getting questions dealing with Disney information from what seemed like the 1940s and earlier. What kid in 1990 is going to know the year Disneyland opened or what insanely old cartoon Goofy first appeared in, unless that kid’s WW2 veteran grandpa is sitting along side him reliving the good ol’ times when a nickel purchased an entire days worth of entertainment at the picture shows.

Does anyone else think the attractions in this theme park are far to dangerous for the general public?  

I also find it odd that mickey would send this kid (who has a gigantic hat) on an extremely treacherous journey just so that he can start his damn parade. This had better be one fantastic parade!  
As far as the levels go, Autopia, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain are pretty easy. I keep going back to Autopia to build up my stars for the Haunted Mansion and pirate levels. The Haunted Mansion features some infuriating platform jumping. 

I made a second run at the game this evening.  This time I finished the game in about 20 glitch free minutes. I have uploaded a video of the ending if anyone is curious or too frustrated to play the game a second time. I have to comment on the story of this game. So Goofy loses all of the keys and Mickey can’t start his parade and Donald is pissed off at Goofy because Donald is just an asshole like that. So they get this kid who just happens to be walking by to go and find all of the keys hidden inside the attractions at Disney World. 

Sounds really fun for the kid, right? Wrong! For some reason the fun rides that normally occupy the Magic Kingdom have been replaced with death traps full of homicidal pirates and other equally deadly objects. So this kid risks his life so that Mickey can start his parade and when you get all of the keys, Mickey thanks you and you don’t really get to see any kind of parade! What the shit is that all about. I expected to see one kickass parade for all of that trouble. Instead you get some lame-ass still frame of all the characters and the weird looking kid that helped them. Ross: the kid (you!) also seems to be thrusting his pelvis at the camera. Magic Kingdom my ass!!

Time to finish: About 20 minutes. 
Rating: 2.5 of out 10 for lack of any kind of magic or adventure.  
One of the top 10 lamest game endings ever.

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