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alienjesus
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by alienjesus Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:24 pm

I played through Mickey No Tokyo Disneyland Daibouken today. This is an interesting game by Tomy where you play as Mickey exploring worlds based on Tokyo Disneyland. Mickey is equipped with a device that allows him to fill balloons with either water or helium, and this is the main gimmick of the game play. The game does quite a lot with the mechanic considering it's only 6 stages long (although for a 16 bit title, the stages are also impressively long).

Filling a balloon with helium and letting it go allows it to hit enemies above you to defeeat them, but the main use is to completely fill the balloon which lets you ride it upwards until it fully deflates. Holding a direction and letting go of the button allows you to fly fast in the direction you hold until the helium runs out and this is used to get through tight corridors with spikes and more. You can also use it dagonally downwards to gain momentum into a slide to get under spikes. Finally, Mickey is pretty bad at swimming in this game, as his swimming moves him mostly horizontally - but filling a balloon with helium allows him to float up to the surface to refill his air supply.

The water balloon is your main attack, but it has some other uses too. Fully filling a balloon lets you place it on the ground, where it can then be used as a trampoline - this gives you enough momentum to break bricks above your head. You can also use it to hold switches. In a few places you can use it to create frozen platforms, or to create floating platforms on wind currents too.

The game makes good use of it's mechanics and I found it fun, but it's surprisngly tough, especially the bosses. The final levels also feature just a few too many blind drops, with the final segment of the last stage being an atrocious set of balloon dashes over bottomless pits where you can't see the floor and it is completely down to trial and error to make it through.

Despite it's flaws though, and they are significant, I believe this is a better game than Capcom's Magical Quest titles I've played. It certainly is rougher around the edges, but it's also more creative and interesting, has great music and above all is just much more memorable. In this case, I'd happily take this flawed but fun and creative title over Capcom's serviceable but kinda disappointing time. It's still not a patch on the Illusion games though.

With that, I've beat all the 8 & 16 bit Mickey games I plan to play for Together Retro. I might play a game just outside the guidelines before the month is up and finally sit down with Mickey's Speedway USA on N64 though!
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Nemoide
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by Nemoide Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:28 pm

I finally decided to play through Castle of Illusion on my Sega Genesis Mini.
It's okay? Honestly a bit too bland for my liking. The gameplay is fine and there are no parts that feel too frustrating except for maybe the clocktower stage where I ended up using save states to prevent myself from falling back to the very beginning of the stage while missing a jump. The gameplay is too slow for my liking; I tend to prefer a bit more action.
I don't even know how much I have to say about it because the game really doesn't seem to have a lot going on beyond being a typical platformer.

The Sega Genesis Mini also includes World of Illusion, but I'm not too eager to jump into that. I'll probably play Lucky Dime Caper for Game Gear next.
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by TheEagleXIII Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:16 am

I’m really finding it tough to get into the Master System version of Castle of Illusion. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but I can only attribute it to playing Land first. It just doesn’t feel as well polished or designed. Land may also have benefitted creatively from being its own original game - rather than an alternate version of a Mega Drive title.

I’ve tried 4 separate attempts at a play-through and it just isn’t grabbing me. I’ve got up to the Toy Level each time and that’s where I start losing interest - despite finding it better than the Forest level.

I might move on to some Donald Duck first and come back to it. Maybe a break after Land will help.
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by Lurkei Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:19 pm

Today, I played and finished QuackShot!
...When I was a kid, the name always made me think this was some kind of light gun or gallery shooter.

It was okay. I started the game off with two misinterpretations that painted my expectations: first, rather than getting that the world map was a level select, I thought it was an outline of Donald's journey, sort of like the map of Dracula's castle in Castlevania. And second: when I reached the dead end wall at the end of Duckburg, I didn't realize that I needed to be near the flag to hitch a plane ride. When my plane call failed, I figured there was a plunger upgrade somewhere in the level. I ended up wandering through the level several times looking for secrets hidden in the background, enemy drops, attempting to push blocks, or anything else I could think of. It's here when I noticed that the level is linear front to back and doesn't provide much of an incentive for exploration, something that sadly carried over to the very end. The general path you take through the game is linear, too - simply head to the end of a level and then you're given an instruction on where to go next. I would've liked it a lot if items or the places you're supposed to use them were tucked within levels.

It's a little too clunky to be fun as an action romp like DuckTales - your character stops when they shoot, you can't seem to transition from running to sliding, and you don't run very fast in the first place, something that Ziggy pointed out too. The game seemingly tries a more methodical and deliberate kind of action with its plunger, which can temporarily stun enemies instead of entirely clearing them off the screen. It's a super cute idea and I could see it being a blast if this element was pushed harder - what if they had shorter stun times and forced you to rush as soon as you commit to a shot? What if they became more aggressive after being shot? What if the stun could be reflected and used against you? But as it's implemented in the game, with long stuns and low enemy counts, it didn't feel any different from gunning down an enemy in any other platformer. I never found a use for the other weapons outside of ones necessary to progress in the game, since the plunger worked for everything, even the bosses.

The game's length is my personal sweetspot - I could see someone saying it's way too short, but it has diverse scenery and level gimmicks with brief and appropriately placed downtime, all beatable in an hour or two blind. If the action were speedier, or the combat more engaging, I could easily see myself adding it to my "comfortable games to replay occasionally" pile. As it is now, though, I don't think there's a lot of experimentation or variance that can be had with the game and I feel satisfied with just one playthrough.



Seems like we have pretty similar opinions aside from the plunger stun. The India and Egypt levels were my favorites too.


I'm probably gonna go for Magical Quest 3 next. GIFs like this one that make it look rad: I love any and all grappling hooks in video games. <3

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Though I might also jump on the Land of Illusion train...
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Nemoide
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by Nemoide Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:30 pm

I just played through The Lucky Dime Caper starring Donald Duck on the Game Gear and I liked it!
It's not exactly an essential title, but this little game is fun enough to be worth a playthrough. Unlike Castle of Illusion, this one actually felt like a Donald Duck adventure; Magica de Spell has stolen Huey, Dewey, and Louie along with lucky dimes given to them by Scrooge McDuck and Scrooge's own lucky dime! Donald has to travel around the world to save them! Each stage is based on a different location and ends with a little cutscene of Donald saving one of his nephews or dimes. In the end Scrooge rewards you with your very own dime, and Donald looks straight into the camera, clearly annoyed which I found to be really nice punctuation on the game.
Donald can attack by jumping or hitting things with a giant cartoon mallet, but as you play you can also get a throwing disc (is it actually supposed to be a Frisbee?) attack which makes a few bosses SUPER EASY and thankfully stays with you even when you use a continue.

There's not a whole lot to this game and there's nothing to do once you've beaten it, but it's still a fun little game to waste some time which is really all I want from a Game Gear game. If I bought this for SMS when it was new and paid full retail price, I'd probably be a little annoyed at how short it is, but I got it for almost nothing and so I'm satisfied!
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by TheEagleXIII Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:53 am

Lurkei wrote:I started the game off with two misinterpretations that painted my expectations: first, rather than getting that the world map was a level select...


I knew straight away where you were going with this. I first played QuackShot last summer and I did the exact same thing :lol:

I had two false starts attempting to play it last year and embarrassingly it took me until my THIRD attempt to realise the map was a level select. Luckily I remembered this time around and saved a heap of time.

Lurkei wrote:Seems like we have pretty similar opinions aside from the plunger stun. The India and Egypt levels were my favorites too.


If Donald handled a lot better I’d totally be on board for your ideas with the plunger! If that run wasn’t so deceptively slow and if there was a bit of a clearer indication how long the stun lasted (maybe the sprites flashing or the little ‘shake’ they do speeding up or a musical cue) that’d be a cool challenge to the gameplay.

Everything about the stun just goes against every convention I’m used to and I found that hard to unlearn those habits and adjust.
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by windjammer Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:10 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote: It is a spectacular 8-bit platformer. Really a top-tier game, and easily one of the Game Gear’s very best. It is just really well-designed and a lot of fun to play. And, as you mentioned, it stars the golden-age Mickey Mouse, giving it a lot of charm.


Un-lurking to share the love of the SMS version of Land of Illusion.

Anyone else find the secret passage on the first level?

Wait for the snake just before the first door to get near the wall and butt bounce it. You can gain enough height to pass through a part of the wall to another door which will put you at the big snake you feed with the apple.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:45 pm

windjammer wrote:
prfsnl_gmr wrote: It is a spectacular 8-bit platformer. Really a top-tier game, and easily one of the Game Gear’s very best. It is just really well-designed and a lot of fun to play. And, as you mentioned, it stars the golden-age Mickey Mouse, giving it a lot of charm.


Un-lurking to share the love of the SMS version of Land of Illusion.

Anyone else find the secret passage on the first level?

Wait for the snake just before the first door to get near the wall and butt bounce it. You can gain enough height to pass through a part of the wall to another door which will put you at the big snake you feed with the apple.


Yes! I found it. It was a nice little Easter egg and made getting through the first level a breeze.

I played back through the level later, and the part you can skip is actually really good. It would have been a shame to miss it, and I’m glad I went back through it looking for stars.

I hope everyone enjoyed this month’s TR. I really had a lot of fun with it, and it gave me a great excuse to play through the really solid Illusion series.
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Note
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by Note Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:12 pm

After playing both Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion a good amount of times this month, but not being able to finish either game, I decided to try World of Illusion again this evening, this time playing as Mickey and ended up beating the game. In previous tries, I was playing as Donald -- I believe I reached up to level 4 playing as Donald.

I really like the graphics in this game, the character sprites look really good, and I think the Mickey sprite looks better than in Castle of Illusion. The soundtrack is also awesome, I especially enjoyed the tunes in the water level and the last level.

Regarding the gameplay, I find the controls to be a bit smoother in this game than Castle of Illusion. Also, I do like the cape attack mechanic as it's unique and it's kinda fun to see what type of harmless creature the enemy will turn into after being swarmed by the cape. I don't have any issues with the butt bump in Castle of Illusion, it's a fun move, but it took me some time to get used to pressing the jump button twice to activate the attack.

Another element that I liked in World of Illusion are the scenes where the characters are flying. It's a sequence that switches the gameplay up for a bit, which I appreciate in platformers. Both the carpet scene in the clouds and the scene where the character is riding on a cork through the starry night were fun to navigate through. It's also a nice touch that Mickey and Donald each have an exclusive level in solo mode, and I believe I read there's another exclusive level in co-op mode.

My main critique, which is nothing major, is that it's pretty short. It'd be nice if there was maybe one or two more levels or an adjustable difficulty setting, but with a normally busy week and other responsibilities, it's nice to be able to finish a quick game now and then.

I'm gonna continue to keep trying to beat Castle of Illusion, and hopefully can finish it as well. I'd eventually like to try Quackshot, and the 8-bit games. Really enjoyed this TR theme!
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Re: Together Retro February ‘21 - Mickey & Donald in 8- & 16

by TheEagleXIII Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:08 am

Note wrote:It's also a nice touch that Mickey and Donald each have an exclusive level in solo mode, and I believe I read there's another exclusive level in co-op mode.


I wasn't aware of that – that's a neat inclusion to add to the replayability.

I had hoped to play a few more than I did, but I didn't really have the time. Plus the Master System Castle of Illusion just didn't grab me, which didn't help. A few days ago I had a quick few minutes on Maui Mallard to see how Donald's games on Mega Drive evolved, but I couldn't find the time to stick it out. First impression is the animation was superb - literally felt like playing a cartoon. Serious Earthworm Jim vibes with the ray-gun too, even just aiming the thing. There was enough to intrigue me to try it again in the future.

I'm glad I took the plunge and joined in TR for the first time – I really enjoyed this, especially with lockdown here. :D
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