Before Capcom were famed for scaring the crap out of players while beating them up, they had a pretty cosy platforming deal with Disney.
The Disney Afternoon Collection celebrates Capcom’s 8-Bit heritage by bringing back old school franchises Duck Tales, Chip n Dale, TaleSpin, and Darkwing Duck.
While Duck Tales got an excellent remaster just a few years back, we’d long given up on seeing the other games in any other form again. This collection reminds us never to give up hope.
While I can’t say that the majority of these games have held up fantastically well over time – there’s regular hiccups, distortions and poor balancing – the charm is as present today as it was then.
Kicking off with the Duck Tales games, it’s odd replaying the original when we just got a magnificent looking retool that plays as tightly and looks as elegant as it does. And there are regular screen tears, glitching, and lag which can really pull you out of the experience, yet the concept still feels so ahead of its time and is as relevant now as it was then.
In Duck Tales, you can select one of five levels around the world – from the Himalayas to Transylvania – each one containing a hidden treasure. Scrooge and the boys have to unlock doors, discover hidden passageways and defeat bosses to bring each one back to Duck Berg.
Duck Tales 2 follows a similar non-linear pattern, though the game looks better and controls a bit better. There are a few new mechanics as well like hooks to cling onto and rafts to sail on. You can also return to levels unlike the original in order to collect more rewards. There’s even an optional sixth stage.
The Duck Tales games are considered platformer classics for good reason and, despite its age, features traits even modern titles fail to get right.
Talespin, on the other hand, most certainly acts its age. The title certainly plays the part as Baloo and Kit sail through the skies in his plane, working on bounties and supply drops in side-scrolling fashion. But the mechanics are sluggish, the responsiveness is poor with the plane only flying forward, vertically and backwards, and the turns are slow.
It’s no Ikaruga and is easily the most dated title in the collection. While it doesn’t really let anything down, it’s probably the one you’ll leave on the backburner.
Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers was my introduction to the NES – not Mario. My mother worked as a teacher at a primary school and I would occasionally visit and chat with the pupils. Around the Christmas period, a student brought the NES in with them and the entire class got to play Chip n Dale for the rest of the day. There and then, I fell in love.
Sure, I played and loved Mario, Duck Tales, Castlevania, Metroid, Zelda and many others after, but I’ve always had a fondness for the Rescue Rangers. Replaying it here brought about some truly magnificent memories. It’s not the best platformer, but it’s everything I remembered and left a smile on my face throughout. If nothing else, I’m grateful this Collection has brought these games back into my life.
Which brings me to Darkwing Duck, my favourite Disney cartoon growing up as a youngling. My experience with this came from the Game Gear version and while they’re largely the same thing, the scale of this was bigger. The game feels influenced by the Mega Man games in that you can select an enemy and stage.
Darkwing can cling onto platforms and climb up, as well as use Gas Gun variants to bring down enemies, such as arrow and thunder. It’s probably the most polished of all the platformers in the package and works a
The game feels influenced by the Mega Man games in that you can select an enemy and stage. Darkwing can cling onto platforms and climb up, as well as use Gas Gun variants to bring down enemies, such as arrow and thunder.
It’s probably the most polished of all the platformers in the package and probably the one you’ll see through to the end. You can see the type of developer Capcom was turning into with this release and how much better they were getting through the years.
The cool thing about the Afternoon Collection is that, while the games are all very challenging, there’s a rewind button which lets you rewrite any mistakes you may make. You can also add authentic filters representative of old-school TV sets, as well as full-screen the games, or play with borders.
There’s also a ton of extras like galleries, full soundtracks, boss rush modes, time attacks, and behind the scenes information that explains the concept art and influence behind most of the content. It’s a fantastic package which, all things considered, is a dream come true for retro-enthusiasts and curious parties wondering what inspired some of the greatest games of any generation.
+ Loaded with content and fun extras
+ Some of the best platformers ever made
+ Full of Disney charm
– Some games more dated than others
– Lag, slowdown and glitching does affect some titles
– TaleSpin does feel dated compared to the others
The Disney Afternoon Collection
8 out of 10
Tested on Playstation 4
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