Monday, December 16, 2013

Wagyan Paradise (SFC) Review

Received: May 16th, 2013 / Written: December 15th-16th, 2013
Year: 1994 | Developed and Published by: Namco | [|O|]
 
Blogger's Note: I know I implied at the end of my depressingly negative Karate Champ review (if only 'cause it was the first time I ever gave a game a score below a 5 in my blog, and I was trying to cope with that) that my next video game review would be Super Mario Bros. 2, and I wanted to talk about that game so badly before the end of the year (especially since Super Mario 3D World has come out recently); but I'm having some trouble with that at the moment, so unfortunately there won't be a review for that game until early '14.  =(  I am truly sorry for that inconvenience.  In the meantime, I'll post a few more video game reviews until that moment.
 
Some of the most beautiful underwater-
looking effects you'll see in Nintendo's 16-bit
power machine  =)
There's a funny story as to how I came to be acquainted with these three games.  Sometime shortly before the Summer of '13 started, I was browsing on eBay for the Super Famicom version of Super Adventure Island II (since usually the Japanese copies of it are less expensive than the localized versions), so I entered in the search bar "SFC Adventure Island".  When the results turned up, I was like, "Oh, that's right, it goes by a different name in Japan, I forgot!"  In the Land of the Rising Sun Adventure Island is known as Takahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima.  But there was a Japanese copy of the first Super Adventure Island, which I already had for the SNES; but I had noticed it was bundled with a couple extra games I never heard of before then.  They were Super Wagyan Land and Wagyan Paradise, and being the curious gamer that I am I looked up some gameplay footage on YouTube; and a few minutes of footage were enough to convince me to try them.  I was sold!
So I looked for a bundled order exclusively Wagyan-related, which included the two games I brought up as well as Super Wagyan Land 2.  Mostly I order one Super Famicom game at a time (which I'm thinking is a big mistake), but for this case I wanted to make an exception.  I thought it would be great to try them all at once, so I bought the 3-in-1 bundle in a heartbeat.  Basically, I bought these games on a whim, which actually turned out to be one of the best whim-based decisions I've made in a long time, for they quickly became some of my favorites... errrrm, two of them, but I'll get to that shortly.  =)  Definitely worth the wait!  So what is Wagyan, you may ask?
 
Flying beside a gorgeous sunset
A Wagyan is a kind of mecha-dino creature that resides on an island comprised of other Wagyans, who have the ability to stun enemies with their loud "Wah" and "Gah" sounds (which is part of the reasons they're named what they are when you think about it).  Wagyan began life in 1987 as an attraction character for a Japanese-exclusive amusement game by Namco, but the first video game based on that would appear on the Famicom under the name Wagyan Land in 1989 (which surprisingly got a Game Gear treatment two years later, making it the only game in the series that ever got released on a Sega platform).  The action/puzzler hybrid did really well enough that it got a sequel in the form of Wagyan Land 2 for the Famicom in 1990, which implemented the power-ups for the action portions of the game and was the final game in the two that had alternative routes, leaving the rest of the series as a linear experience.  In 1991 the series finally graduated to the 16-bit console with Super Wagyan Land available for the Super Famicom, which I looked up was essentially a collection of the areas and boss battles from the first two games and was the first title in the series to utilize a password system.  Good thing too, because passwords are what you may need to finish the Wagyan series to begin with; save for one of course.
 
Our young hero traversing this breathtaking
forest
The following year in 1992, Wagyan continued its series in the slowly dying Famicom with Wagyan Land 3, which took place in a space-like setting (and enabled you to take control of the bosses should you have played in a 2-player versus mode) and concluded itself on a cliffhanger (just like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug would end up doing two-plus decades later), leading up to the first 16-bit sequel Super Wagyan Land 2 for the Super Famicom in 1993 (yeah, try making sense of that title sequence).  While it is mostly linear and it allowed you to use equipment to aid yourself in certain stages (thanks to the help of Dr. Devil, who is not the villain this time, hard to believe) there is one hidden path which must be accessed to reveal the true complete ending.  Oh, great, something else to look forward on there.  =|  Which all leads up to the final Wagyan installment available during the '90s (until the series revived itself briefly with a Japan-exclusive Nintendo DS entry Hirameki Action: Chibikko Wagyan no Ōkina Bōken in 2009); the game known as Wagyan Paradise which Namco made in 1994 as the Wagyan series' swansong for the Super Famicom, which I'll go over today!  =)  YAY!!!!!!  =D
 
Takuto shouts "Wah"
At present I've only played the three 16-bit iterations (though I do plan on importing the DS game one of these days), so I can only share how I felt about the three.  The first Super Wagyan Land I really love, I think it is a very wonderful game, and I was surprised that I loved it as much as I did considering I didn't have much expectations for it.  No lie, I was completely addicted to it the first time I played it and it gripped me to the end, and like Alcahest and DoReMi Fantasy: Milon no DokiDoki Daibōken before it, I almost beat it the day I got it (and like the other two, I was at the final boss fight)... which pretty much says how many hours I put into it (two and a half or three, if I remember correctly), as it's a very long game (I'll get to why in a second).  =O  But I beat it eventually and I can say that it was very well worth it.  =)  Super Wagyan Land 2, I didn't like as much; and at first I thought I was going to like it more than the first one, but how wrong I was.  =(  Despite the improved visuals and slightly better sound samples, it just didn't feel as gripping as the earlier game; I probably would've liked it more if not for the certain stages that had three bosses awaiting for you in three various buildings, I thought it dragged the experience a lot.  I don't hate it, but overall I think it's okay; I've still yet to beat that one, but this is my impression of that one for the time being.

Between stages you get to see this quaint
little design as to what to expect for each
area  =)
Which brings up another question: how come these games never saw the light of day in the West, as they seem like very colorful platformers?  See, here's the thing: these games are part action and part puzzler (they range from easy and simple to challengingly difficult; none can be paused).  I don't mean like The Lost Vikings where action and puzzling must be handled simultaneously, no-no,  but more along the lines of the first ActRaiser (for example purposes; I know it's simulation and not puzzling there, but bear with me), in that there are segments where action occurs as well as separate segments where puzzling occurs, and here's the thing about the puzzles: some of them involve kanji, the Japanese form of text, and some of those puzzles are relatively difficult for the inexperienced and gamers unfamiliar with the language, particularly the shiritori (the game where you must correctly guess the image of the word beginning with the last syllable that the previous word ended in; they're manageable with some notes in hand, or in my case a laptop on your lap as you play, though it does educate a little; I had done a lot of guessing the first time I played Super Wagyan Land when it came to these, and that was a while before I started taking notes).

While these puzzles would've been altered or removed altogether to have garnered a Western release, it's these puzzles themselves that make the series what they are, so eviscerating them would've been no good; which is why Westerns never got to experience these games.  And it's such a shame too, for they're definitely interesting games to play because of that.  Fortunately, Wagyan Paradise doesn't include shiritori (but it does have its own good set of challenges, and a few kanji-relevant puzzles).  =)  Let us commence at once!

Some time after the events of the previous adventures, all was fine Wagyan Land and the world itself.  As Rati, a slender bird that travels around the world, is surveying things to make sure everything is fine, he notices the unthinkable: the Wagyan tree has collapsed down on itself.  Geez, that redwood just can't catch a break, can it?  =/  It was also the subject of attack in the previous games.  So Rati decides to fly towards it to see what it wrong.  Meanwhile,
every Wagyan resident notices it, including the protagonist of the last two 16-bit games father Wagyan (who knows sports a fancy mustache and smokes a pipe... interesting turn of events), the mother Mrs. Wagyan (I guess she's enrolled herself in the Mrs. Jonathan Brisby School of women who've got no first names and take their husbands' names to support them), and their two children, who are the heroes of this installment, big brother Takuto and little sister Karin.  They insist that they all go and help out the tree, find out the source of its problems, and try to fix it all their own; but Mrs. Wagyan will have none of that and believes there are other, more professional characters that can fix it.  Yeah, as if that's ever stopped anyone before.  So what do the kids do, then?
Sneak out when everyone's asleep of course!  I mean, it's not a cute, lighthearted adventure game unless the kids help solve the problems without adult supervision.  If I'm not mistaken, that's happened in pretty much all The Land Before Time DTV sequels.  =|  So Takuto and Karin wander over yonder and meet up with Rati at the top of the recently slanted tree, who agrees to take the two should they master his challenge (which they do).  It's off to a brand new adventure and save the tree that represents all of Wagyan... again=<  I'm just kidding, their adventure will take them to various parts of the planet, and little by little they will solve the problems and rectify the wrongs that the Nummers clan have caused.  And who is the leader of Nummers clan?
This menacing figure right here!  He and the Wagyan clan go a long way back, and it was not at all a positive experience for them.  He plans to end their lifestyles and end their happiness; will Takuto and Karin succeed in taking this guy down before he gets his way?  Play and find out!

Ice, ice, baby!
Wagyan Paradise, like the other titles in the series, is divided in two genres.  The first is platforming, which you'll do for the majority of the game.  From the start you get to choose to play as either Takuto or Karin, and their characteristics vary in terms of gameplay.  They both move, jump, and stun enemies with their "Wah"s and "Gah"s, and while they're stunned you can use them as platforms.  Takuto walks at a decent pace but cannot glide farther (which is done by holding down the B button); Karin, on the other hand, has a great gliding ability but walks really slow.  Each character has got their strengths which compensate for the others' weaknesses, but I always choose to play as Takuto because he can at least go faster.  In each stage there are stars to collect, as well as power-ups, for you may need it if an enemy shoots their sound projectile at you (in which case you lose one power-up).  As is the norm for the series, your characters dies in just one hit.  For some games it breaks them while for others it makes them, and in the case of Wagyan Paradise, it definitely makes it!  =)  The gameplay, simple though they may be, is really intuitive and versatile.  There are even areas where you do things other than platforming, but more on that later.

But what really makes this game is its puzzle sequences, or "mini-games" if you prefer, and they range from easy to slightly challenging.  There are eight in total, and at the end of most stages you'll encounter one enemy who will challenge you with any one of the following:
In this challenge you must correctly guess the name of the magnified image which is consistently rotating.  You have a wide range of guesses, and getting it wrong detracts you one of five seconds each.  You must score the requisite amount to pass; oh, did I mention that you must accomplish this in four or five tries?
Oh hi, Pac-Man cameo!  =)  Also, this game gets brownie points from me for the Nummer in the penguin costume!  =3
This challenge is a fun one.  In the center is a really big image, surrounded by four other images in circular fashion.  You must match it exactly with the one that is equal to it (in direction) while the other three will face the opposite direction.  In some cases it's pretty obvious which one is the right one, but in others you'll have to really pay attention to get it right.  Get the requisite amount (or more) right in the allotted time, and you'll pass.
This one's a slightly harder one.  In the bottom you'll see an image and the kanji pertaining to it will pop up, but there's a catch: they must unscrambled (Yoshi-style) and put in the right order, each one in the allotted time that you're given.  With the shorter words it'll be easy, but with the bigger words (maximum amount of kanji six) you may be struggling a little until you got them right.  After a certain amount of time passes, you'll be given a hint, which will ease this one's difficulty a bit.  Get the requisite amount (or more) right in the time remaining, and you will pass.
This is the first challenge you'll be contending with (as Rati's test) and it will pop up once more.  In the bottom you will find a group of kanji that form up a word which you must match with any one of the images on top.  Getting one wrong will detract five seconds from you, so choose wisely.  Should you get as many blue squares as required (or most or all of them as best you can), you will pass.  It's a bit challenging, but it's worth it in the end.
Love the Super Famicom button set-up, and that female drill sergeant I always find humorous (especially the funny bit of conversation with the winner if you win), she just cracks me up!  XD
And now it's time for a fun one!  =)  This is a simple one, but a fun one at that.  You have three buttons in front of you (Y, B, A) and at the top some notes will play.  Your goal is to follow the notes in the exact right order, and the farther you go the more complicated the notes become and should you get enough sufficient squares (or manage to get as many as you can), you'll go through.  =)  Makes me think of a charming, lighthearted moment that is so endearing and appealing:
Hahaha, that's always a classic!  =D
"I am a beefy Nummerian Van Damme clone, prepare to face my pecs and abs should you be so unfortunate enough to win!"
This is one's a pretty easy one, unless you're distracted and not paying attention there's no way you could lose.  All you have to do is click on the number that the bottom says until the final turn is over; should you wait long enough the enemy will move their mouse and pick the number themselves.  While it's easy to play, I will admit some focusing will have to be done, especially since many numbers are so near each other they almost look the same.  So it's easy but not entirely.  It's fun but will require paying attention.  You know the drill, get the requisite amount of squares right, and they'll let you pass.  Next one!
This one's another easy fun one!  =)  A form of blocks will construct themselves in the center, and you must have it connected by a matching block that's its exact shape.  There are five pieces going round and round it in a circle, and once the word "Hit" is on the shape that you want, click on it and it will go down.  Mind you, they'll be rotating at a swift pace, so pay close attention.  Get the required am--, oh I think you've got it at this point.  =)
Here is the last one; on the right-hand panel will be a number concealed by six blocks.  It's your job to correctly guess the number; from time to time a couple blocks will rotate exposing a bit of the number leaving you a clue.  Should you feel confident, click on the number you think is right.  Also, in the final battle, you get to choose three of the challenges out of a possible eight.  Sweet!  Have fun!!!  =D
 
James Cameron's The Abyss is a really great
movie, but it's got nothin' on this
Now let's talk about the music, and it is good!  =)  The sound quality is really pleasant for the ears to the listen to, for a lot of the songs sound catchy, with a few that sound either ambient or soft and slow for a few.  The intro sequence sounds sweet, bouncy, and charming, and a lot of the songs sound incredibly lighthearted and enjoyable.  The sand theme is slow and ambient, the ice theme is lightheartedly chilling, the underwater themes are marvelous, the volcano theme is imposing, the flight theme sounds slightly Western, and a few of the fortress themes sound soft and mysterious.  The boss themes vary and are all good in their own right, and the final boss theme sounds really epic.  =)  The sound effects are really decent, for Takuto and Karin's sounds are different, the star sounds are cool, and as a bonus, there is even a sound effect lifted straight from Namco's Japan-exclusive arcade coin-op Libble Rabble (as a really cute nod to that game, it's played whenever you open a chest inside the sunken ship level)!  =D
 
Neon-like lights abound, and they impress
Another thing about this game, the visuals are absolutely gorgeous!  Oh, my God, this has got to be one of the best-looking Super Famicom games I've ever laid eyes on!  Yes, it's one of those visuals that are more colorful than they are detailed, but for the details that are there; good God do they count!  =)  I am in love with this game's look and feel, it's got the semblance of a really good pastel-toned anime, and here's another thing; it's also got some of the best pastel colors I've seen in 16-bit games that implemented that visual type (alongside the likes of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!, DoReMi Fantasy: Milon no DokiDoki Daibōken, and TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventure) times a hundred!  Each area has got its own distinct detail, and what's awesome about these areas is that (aside from the fact there is a huge amount of parallax scrolling, some of the best I've seen) they've also got a wide range of color schemes that match and seamlessly blend in with the surroundings (even the characters and enemies)!  Oh, I just can't get enough of these visuals!  =D
 
Would you look at those dazzling reflecting
lights!  =D
Where to start?  How about the stage with some neat lighting and shading effects on the tree as you bounce and traverse from each branch?  Or how about the first underwater stage where it's all consumed in a turquoise hue with multi-scrolling layers following and the shimmering lights shining down from time to time?  There are a couple inner volcano areas where red is abundant everywhere, and everything blends in that.  There is this base area almost full of windows by your side with reflecting lights everywhere, and it is very astonishing!  The next one that takes place at dawn is bright outside, but the characters and enemies are darker.  The ice area is serene and white, and there is one underwater area in a sunken ship where from time to time giant eel fish passes by the portholes and leaves a bright illumination.  Little attention to details here and there are what make this game.  Ohhh, it's one of those times I wish I could go over everything but I can't, you just have to see it for yourself to believe it!  =D
 
You mean like how you went over everything in Mickey's Dangerous Ch----?
Don't EVER bring up that mediocre insult to Mickey's name EVER AGAIN!!!!  >O<
Ooooh, touch-eeee!
Hmmph!!!  >=(  Anyway!
 
It's details like this that absolutely make
Wagyan Paradise come to life!  =)
Another neat thing about the game is how it's told in a story-like fashion, with in-between screens showing small detailed versions of what area you will be in.  The characters Takuto and Karin have got really round and adorably likable designs, and they're really charming characters (especially the victory animations).  =)  The animations are really smooth, and the enemy designs are varied, especially the bosses.  Many of the bosses are Nummers, and many of them have different roles or looks; some are soldiers, some are generals, one is a female drill sergeant, one of them is a robot, there's one who dons on a penguin suit (it's just so cute), and the final boss has got a really good enemy design, et al.  It's games like these that prove that you don't need a lot of Mode 7 to create a great-looking Nintendo 16-bit game!  =)
 
So, what is the challenge value of this game?  But first, here are some bonus games for ya:
After some stages you'll be given a chance to partake in one of three bonus games, a chance to get extra lives, and here they are right now!  =)
First bonus will have your character balance themselves riding on a ball towards the goal.  You've got three chances, but get to the goal and you'll get extra lives (including the chances you did not lose).
Second bonus is a chance to earn some lives by sliding yourself over.  At the starting line you must hold down on the gauge bar until you feel satisfied, and then your character will be sliding on over until the gauge gradually empties itself.  Don't overdo it though, otherwise you'll fall off the ice and not get any points.  Good luck getting up to 50, for its right at the edge of the ice.
Third and final bonus is pretty self-explanatory.  =)  You start out with a hundred balls, and you must try to get them inside the "In" box which moves automatically.  Once it's in it will signal the top, motioning through it like a roulette until it stops.  If it lands on the Wagyan symbol a life will pop up, but if not then you get nothing.
 
Sand, sand everywhere
And you know what the best part about these bonus games is?  They're entirely optional!  That's right, you don't even have to do them.  I mean it's not like you need all the lives, especially since you start off the adventure  with twenty, and the fact that for the most part the game is relatively easy; but I feel it's so nice that you are given a choice whether to accept the bonus or not.  =)  It's nice to do the bonus games, don't get me wrong, but a lot of the time I'll choose to just continue the adventure.  For that matter: twenty lives??  That sounds a little too generous, don't it?  I thought so too at first, but then I played Rushing Beat Shura (the Super Famicom version of *moan* The Peace Keepers, most ironic beat'em up name ever!) last month, and was surprised to find that you begin that game with thirty continues (each of which is the equivalent of one life)!  So yeah, that makes Wagyan Paradise's twenty-life starter seem reasonable by comparison.

Oh, if only you could see this tree rotate in motion  =)
In the battle events, I said before that the difficulties with each mini-game widely vary from easy to hard.  The easy ones are fun and manageable, while the slightly challenging ones take a bit of effort to do.  The ones that I personally have trouble with are the concentration event with the magnifying lens and the one where the word pops up in the bottom where you have to correctly select the image that matches it; I guess it doesn't help any that I can't read much Japanese.  =(  But even then, they're still manageable if you stick with them and persevere long enough.  The dialogue the enemy or characters say can be sped up (continuously with the Select), but be careful not to press Select at any time during the event otherwise you will forfeit and have to start over.  Unlike the last two 16-bit games where you picked up from the nearest checkpoint after you lost a life to the boss, you start exactly at the boss battle again once you lost.  I find that to be very convenient.  =)
 
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!
Most areas you'll explore will end in a boss fight, but there are a short number that will let you off scot-free, which is a refreshing breather as it will have you take a break from boss battling until the next area.  For the most part this game is a platformer, and the platforming stages are all well-designed and fun to navigate, even though they aren't overly complex.  While the majority will have you go straight and/or go all around the area, there is a small number where your Wagyan character finds themselves in a vertical scrolling segment.  And that's another great thing too; depending on the area you'll find yourself in a different situation; most areas you'll be platforming, but there are even times when you'll be swimming around, sliding yourself down a hill from an avalanche or lava coming after you, a couple times you'll be flying on Rati, and there is a literally a stage where you submerge yourself down the abyss, among a few examples.  All that helps keep the game experience feel fresh as you progress.  =)
 
This little guy is a friend  =)
The gameplay is really fun and intuitive, simple though it may be.  Namco even threw in some special spins on it for certain areas; for example, in this one dark room save for the blue light coming from below you there are times when you have to move forward by shouting the sounds on a tube, which will encase said sound in a bubble once it comes out the other side so you can ride on it.  Another instance is during the ice stage, where your character can still make the sounds to stun enemies, however in here they will become frozen thereby becoming platforms you can jump on (I liked when that happened in Super Wagyan Land, so I was glad to see it come back here).  =)  I liked the various ways this game tried to challenge you, it's really ingenious.  Now as great as the platforming segments are, they wouldn't be complete without the mini-games themselves; which as a whole in my opinion makes Wagyan Paradise the very game that it is: a truly enjoyable experience!
 
This stage, like Wagyan Paradise, is on fire!!!  =D
This is one of those rare times when I talk about a game and have little to nothing to say as to what I didn't like about it.  It's one of those nearly flawless experiences for the Ninendo 16-bit console for me, and one of the most succinctly colorful games too.  Even though it's got a password system, it can be beaten in one sitting (and out of the three Wagyan games I've experienced, this one's the easiest and more manageable); as far as I'm concerned it's an hour and a half's worth of fun (though those that are more experienced at this game than I might be able to beat it in less time).  =)  With that said I do acknowledge that this game (and the series itself) may not exactly be import-friendly--particularly due the fact that there are some mini-games with kanji in it--nor might it be for everyone.  But if you're willing to give it a shot and decide to persevere and stick with it long enough, I promise you it is worth every penny.  If you're only going to play one Wagyan video game though, then make it be this one.  =)  In my book, this is one of my Top 5 favorite Super Famicom games of all time (it's fun, it's engaging, it's in-depth, it's lighthearted, and it's cute), and it's a really fun game to play during the Summer, and I always enjoy playing it every now and then.

 ( >'.')>TO EACH THEIR OWN<('.'<)
P.S.: Initially I was going to make a 3-in-1 special talking about all three Wagyan games during the Summer, but I'm glad I didn't go through that otherwise I don't think I would've gone into much detail for Wagyan Paradise=)
P.S. 2: Since I brought Pac-Man up, I'm sure some of you might be wondering what my thoughts were on Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.  My thoughts on the show, from what little I saw of it were: ehh!  It's average kiddie fare, in my opinion; it's got good designs (especially the four classic ghosts, I mean wow) and it's colorful (with some serviceable CGI), but it doesn't take itself seriously.  That wouldn't be such a bad thing if it took the audience seriously, but it doesn't!  I mean how am I supposed to take that show seriously if it doesn't take me, the viewer, seriously?  =(  Honestly, that show is not for me, but I am aware that it's found itself an audience, so to each their own.  Also, I miss the classic Pac-Man look.
 
P.S. 3: I just had to throw in that Wander Over Yonder clip, I had to!  XD  As a devoted fan of that Craig McCracken animated show I felt obligated to sneak that clip in my review; also, it's one of my favorite moments from the show--takes me back to the days of Dexter's Laboratory=)  Best Show of 2013, hands down!
 
P.S. 4: Funny how the kin in this game are able to swim but Wagyan himself could not in the preceding titles.  As Phelous of ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com once humorously touted and jokingly thumbed up: "Great continuity!"  That, or the children are a little more evolved than their parents were.  Hmmm...
 
P.S. 5: As far as sequels are concerned, what did I think of Thor: The Dark World, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugLoved theeeeem=)
 
Thank you for reading my review, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought!  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and take care!  =D
 
Hey, I didn't know Spike was in this game!  =O


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Star Commentary: DuckTales (NES) Review

Star Commentary: DuckTales (NES) Review
Written: October 29th, 2013
Hi, my name is StarBoy91, or Matthew if we were talking real life, but you can call me either name.  This is an idea that I've had for awhile, but I went ahead and decided to do a commentary on one of my reviews.  Since the behind-the-scenes guys do it for movies or certain episodes of TV series, or even online critics for that matter, I figured why shouldn't I try it?  I mean, it sounds like so much fun to do, that I had to try it for myself.  Bear in mind, this is my first attempt at commentating on my work so the end result may be a bit lopsided.  And if I'm in the mood, I'll be happy to do a commentary on some of my other reviews too.  For my first commentary I will be discussing the NES hit DuckTales, based on the hit Disney animated TV series of the same name.
 
Wow, has it been roughly eight months already since I submitted the review?  Damn, time sure flies!  Anyway, DuckTales is a show that I thoroughly enjoyed watching when I was little, and even now I still enjoy watching it.  It may have had moments that made zero sense whatsoever (such as how is a tuning fork capable of causing massive shockwaves and how is it that the nephews create hammers, ship parts, and sails completely out of gold, et al), but I love it nonetheless.  It's up there with some of my top favorite Disney animated shows of all time; like The Weekenders, Kim Possible, Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Gravity Falls, Recess, and Wander Over Yonder.  Even though the last one hasn't been out for too long, it's a show that I'm just so enamored with, and it has stolen my heart (I'm almost tempted to call it my number one favorite Disney show, almost; The Weekenders is still top contender in my book).  I mean it is just so pleasant and enjoyable and charming to watch, and I'm getting off-topic I'm sorry.  Matthew, review commentary-ing, not Wander Over Yonder gushing!

Anyway, this game on the NES is very good for being Capcom's first Disney-developed title, even though I wish it was a little longer I still enjoy it once in awhile.  Why did I say "... sort of" on the disclaimer?  Of course there were going to be spoilers in it, considering what I revealed later on and how I revealed it.  I guess I added that thinking that pretty much all are familiar with the show and game when I know that is simply not the case.  That was an oversight on my part, my bad.  Also, wink from the title screen!  ;-)
Gotta love that theme song, even though it's intoxicatingly catchy and will never leave your mind once you listen to it!  XD  That's literally the first thing I think of when this show pops to mind, and it seems to be the case for a lot of people too.  I'm sorry, how do you allow there to be two Louies on the map screen?  That still bothers me to this day; was it a mistake or was it intentional?  It's especially irksome since in the game you actually do see Dewey in his blue garb; was Capcom afraid that his blue outfit would clash with the cyan mechanism in the map room, even though that would not have been the case whatsoever?  I don't get it, and frankly, I don't think I ever will.  =/

Funny story, when I first submitted the review I actually wrote Carl Banks as opposed to the actual name Carl Barks; and after I sent it a friend of mine corrected me on that, and looking back it's rather embarrassing since I should've known that; hell, some of the Italian comics I read with Scrooge McDuck has his name on it!  And as soon as I was told that I went back to review and fixed that, and a lot of the time I try not to change anything after I proofread and submit my reviews, but for this instance it definitely counted.  Once again I'd like to thank my friend for correcting me (if you're reading this, thank you), otherwise I would've said Carl Banks instead.  No lie, when I beat Donald Duck: Quack Attack on the PlayStation One years ago and it showed a message saying that the game was dedicated to him, I read the "R" in his last name as an "N".  I just can't explain that.  *shrug*

God, it's been forever since I've seen the movie!  I remember liking it a lot when I was little, and I remember some parts from it, but other than that I'm drawing a blank.  I was surprised when I found out this movie's overall reception from the critics and public (some even clamored it to be a betrayal to Carl Barks' entire work), 'cause I didn't think it was that bad; and I don't know if it still stands the test of time.  The series, don't get me wrong, it's very good, I just can't confirm the movie's status 'cause I haven't seen it in awhile.  Maybe I'll buy the DVD one day and talk about it when I find the time.  Wow, I'm doing so many new things this year: talking about episodes (still have to talk about a few of them) of Wander Over Yonder in my blog, I watch Gravity in 3D two times, I start a walkthrough guide for one of my favorite games (which I'm sad to report is far from complete); what else could I possibly do?  Discuss movies?  Make an epic fan-art crossover with Scrooge McDuck and Wander together?  The possibilities are endless!
I couldn't find a better screenshot to use for this paragraph than the one I chose.  =(  A lot of the time I go through my video recorded footage, browse, and consider which screenshot I could use to present; and most of the time I try to find ones I consider exciting or even interesting, and for the most part I succeed with that in my reviews, but for the few times that I don't I wonder if I should've chosen a better one.  But when all is said and done if things don't go my way I have no one to blame but myself.

Since I've given both DuckTales and The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse an 8 out of a possible 10 in my blog, some of you are probably wondering which of these two I prefer.  This may sound crazy, but I actually like the former the most.  The latter, on a technical and gameplay scale, is arguably superior to what was presented here, but DuckTales does have something over it: it's not a freakin' dream!  It may be shorter and easier, but at least all the areas took roughly an equal amount of time to beat and the ending was rewarding at best; not to mention I played it first, so I have more fondness for it.  If WayForward plans on Remastering The Magical Quest then it better fix some of the issues that were in the original, like make a worthwhile ending!  >=(  I'm still worked up over that!!  "But it was Capcom's first Mickey Mouse-made game!", bullshit, that's not an excuse!  Sorry, I don't mean to be rude about it, it's just something I've had a problem with since day one.  Please don't be mad at me.  ='(
Speaking of Remastered, another question you might be wondering is "did you know that this game would be reworked and remastered, Star?"  Actually no, I didn't have a single inkling of the new game when I worked on my review, and I think I only found out about it a day or two after I submitted my DuckTales review.  I'll tell you this though, it was a major coincidence, and I was really floored when I discovered the news.  I haven't played it, but then I don't have a Nintendo Wii U yet, but I'll rectify that this Christmas when I ask for it; I'll also get that game too, and as far as I hear that comeback has fared so much better than Mickey Mouse's did with Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion.  I'm one of the few people on Earth that don't hate that game.  Funny that.  =(  I'm definitely intrigued by it, though.

Since both DuckTales and Mega Man on the NES were done by Capcom, it's hard not to compare both games' structures.  Even Scroogey looks a little like the Blue Bomber here, and there are similar elements too like the screen scrolling for when you get to a new segment and the fact that you could travel to any part of the island you wanted from the get-go.  The only thing that's different is that you don't take the boss' power-up and make it your own.  The pogo-sticking controls do take a bit to accustom to, but after some time into the game it becomes second nature and less awkward.  =)
As aged as the visuals are, they do have that 8-bit/Capcom charm to them, and some areas look really well-designed from a decoration standpoint; particularly in this one screenshot in that paragraph, look at the rocky walls in the backdrop!  Bubba's in it too, but only in the Himalayas; and Mrs. Beakley also makes an appearance, though it's easy to miss if you rush through it, since she's a one-time character too in the African Mines dropping off sweets at you.  I really like the way the characters were designed.  I hear that in Remastered they give an explanation as to how every non-alien is able to breathe in space, and let me tell you I'd like to hear that very much.

Another thing I heard about the new title, which I honestly think is very inspiring and impressive, is that a lot of the voice actors from the show lent their voices to the characters in that game.  Even Scrooge McDuck's voice actor Alan Young, who's 94 and still alive as we speak, resumed his voice as him!  That.  Is.  Awesome!!!  =D  Even though I've yet to play Remastered I like how they went the distance with their dedication, homage, and faithfulness to both the show and the game, if that makes sense.  God, I am hyped for that title, but more 8-bit DuckTales review commentary-ing.
While it's not much to talk about, I'm positive there are some of you that are wondering why I keep changing colors between each paragraph or why I put emoticons after certain sentences.  The reason for the former is because I want to make it fun to read and literally colorful (just one color is okay, no offense to those that do use that method though, that's just personal preference).  And when it comes to my reviews I want to make them informative but I also want to make them entertaining as well, and the reason for the emoticons is because I want to give my reviews a little charm and personality.  I also like to be friendly and approachable when it comes to my reviews; along the way there may have been moments when I sounded harsh, but I largely focus on being friendly and approachable; another thing about my reviews is that I try to make them as accessible as possible with little to no swearing in it (I try to keep my reviews PG at best, and if I do use colorful words--or in rare cases spoilers in a non-spoiler-based review--then I just "hide" them by highlighting it in the same color, like you saw earlier in the commentary, but that does not happen too often).  =)

Oh, the Moon theme is just a-freakin'-mazing to listen to, it's one of my favorite NES songs of all time despite its simplicity in terms of notes, but the way that is executed is just breathtaking.  No one would dare talk about this game and not bring that up.  If you haven't listened to it, then what are you doing reading here?  YouTube that song and bask in all its glory!  =)  And yeah, the title theme was composed too, sans the words, and it's just as addicting to listen to.  "DuckTales!  Whoo-whoo!!"  XD  "It will never leave!  It will never leave!!!"  Man, do I love that Nostalgia Critic quote, 'cause it's so true!
...  Geez, no pressure for this game here!  *laughing*  I mean look at the way I just sound out the game's few shortcomings all in that paragraph, and in such a calm and collected way too.  "Love/hate relationship" with DuckTales's difficulty, that still sounds right.  And, again, it's not necessarily bad if a game is easy so long as it's fun, and fortunately for this game's case it's a hell of a lot of fun, for the vast majority of it.  There are respawnings in this game, and while I won't say it's too bad here, it does get a bit annoying, particularly in the Himalayas with those high hopping goat-like creatures (I know they're not goats, but they do look similar) or how about the robotic ducks that try to punch their way through small gaps in the Moon.  But, look at the bright side: at least no enemy pops out of the blue if you turn, turn back, and turn like in the first two NES Ninja Gaiden titles.  =)  It is a shame that Capcom did not take full advantage of the difficulty settings when it came to challenge, 'cause otherwise this would've been a better game.  The final stage leading up to the final boss is the same exact one in Transylvania, and to its credit until you decipher its secret path it is a bit tricky to find your way to Magica de Spell.  The only downside is that once you know the trick you're not likely to forget it anytime soon.  =(
But at least the game is very fun to play while it lasts.  Could there have been more done to it?  Of course, but aside from its flaws it's pretty good.  And it definitely is a testament to how good a licensed game can be when put in the right hands, and Capcom has proven that time and time again...um, well, for the most part.  Tag is a nod to the one from Alien but I wanted to make my own witty phrase for that screenshot.  The only characters that weren't seen in the game however are Gyro Gearloose and Duckworth, though I do imagine it would be pretty humorous.  DuckTales is still a fun time, and it makes me want to try some more 8-bit Disney Capcom, like Chip'n Dale: Rescue Rangers for instance, since I'm curious about that one.  I'm definitely glad I played this game, and I cannot wait to play Remastered.  And, to be honest, this is actually one of my favorite reviews that I've done in the all the years that I've been on my blog.  =)  And I'm still proud of the way it turned out.
Oh yeah, this joke!  *laughing*  Essentially one of the things I planned to do in this review was talk about how DuckTales is still a good show, and how grateful I was that the game was based on a show that I still liked, stating that in all the years that I've been watching Disney shows I never saw one I personally disliked, leading up to the big reveal; Disney shows I don't like!  Ahhh!!!  I know, not a great collage, but I just wanted to express my dislike for certain things in a clever way.  As much as I don't like Ultimate Spider-Man, I don't think it's God-awful, and in fact it's the least bad of all the bad shows (in my opinion) I highlighted; its main downside is that it's a Spider-Man show for beginners, though it largely comes across as something to keep younger kids quiet for a half hour (in my opinion, and that's not what a Spider-Man anything should be; it should entertain all ages), but it does have good things going for it like great designs and animation.  I'm just not a fan of it, that's all.  The less we talk about Fish Hooks the better, since I really loathe that show to bits; I cannot believe that Disney deems it acceptable for viewers, let alone children.  Truly... awful!  I still have some mental scars left from watching it long ago.

But I respect people's opinions, and I do acknowledge that there may be those that are like "Nooo, what are you talking about??  [insert show here] is not bad, it's not terrible!"  If there are people that like these then that's great, good for them; I'd like to know why, and I may or may not understand the reason one would like these shows, but to each their own.  Everything, no matter what medium or how good or bad they are, has their audience; I'm just not the audience for those shows I highlighted.  One thing I still kick myself over, though probably not too much, is not including Mr. Young in the collage; but then, seeing as it's so bland and juvenile, maybe I shouldn't be too hard on myself.  The one thing that stands out about the show is that there's a pink-ish/violet-ish hue consuming the whole setting, and I'm not entirely certain why that is, though since it's a bad Disney show, I don't care.  Thanks to years of watching TV I've since learned to avoid all the stuff I think are bad or lethally bad and watch the stuff I find good, decent, or watchable at best (no matter what channel it's on or what company was involved).  Some things you just learn the hard way.  =(

And honestly it kills me inside since one of the things I grew up on was Disney, and I'm still a supporter of theirs (the good stuff, not the bad).  How is it that for all the great stuff they release (Wander Over Yonder, DuckTales, The Weekenders) they always find a way to balance it all out with putrid crap pandering to the least common denominator (Fish Hooks, Dog with a Blog, Lab Rats)?  And it's not just shows, it's movies too (let 2013 be an example: what did I think of Oz the Great and Powerful?  I thought it was good; not great, but good.  What did I think of The Lone Ranger?  I thought it was bad, and honestly it's the worst movie I've seen in theatres this year, and aside from the exciting final fifteen minutes--too little too late, there, Gorey--the movie was insufferably long, disappointing, and unenjoyable; I'm definitely not seeing it again...willingly).  And anytime I see something of theirs that I end up thinking is bad it hurts me deeply because they have done better in the past and I know that in their best they can do better!  I could never hate on Disney, and I overlook their bad stuff because I know they do good stuff too; and one of my biggest fears is that one day they'll release something that is so awful that it will make me give up on them altogether... and that's a world I don't want to live in.  ='(  I'm sorry, I've made this commentary very depressing all of a sudden (and I thought my Karate Champ review was a downer; and don't worry I'll whip up a commentary for that one too before I release my Super Mario Bros. 2 review).  But it's all down to personal opinion when it comes to these things; different strokes for different folks, y'know.
*laughing*  Just when you thought you were safe from having to listen to the theme, here it is!!!  XD  Think of it as either a reward or a punishment for reading the whole review.  "Dammit, Star, how could you be so evil?!"  In my defense, if you were enamored with the show when you were little and still like it now, and have a great likeness for it and its theme, and have heard  Nostalgia Critic's infamous phrase regarding said theme, you'd probably have a hard time resisting the urge to do this too if you were reviewing a game based off said show.  =3  Or, I just threw the video on there for fun!  ...maybe!  ;-)
P.S.: Still have not watched Crash & Bernstein and am better off for it.  Thank you trailers for hinting at me that it would be very awful ahead of time so I wouldn't have to watch it.  =)

P.S. 2: Ugh, forget what I said about Kickin' It being an okay show, 'cause it's no longer okay.  It sucks!  You want to know why?  Because the writers have the gall to insult the viewers by making a promo of an episode before it even aired, surrounding "bird poop storm".  I am not even freaking joking, it actually said that, and once that's happened I was like: "That's it!  I'm done!  No more of Kickin' It for me; the writers clearly think everyone is unintelligent to think people will get a laugh out of that!"  So I didn't watch the episode when it came out, and I stopped watching the show altogether.

Shake It Up is a show I have a like/dislike relationship with, its got good stuff going for it but there's also bad stuff in it too that prevents it from being solid.  A.N.T. Farm is so conscientiously dumb in terms of dialogue and writing, and normally I would be offended by that, but for some odd reason I'm not; I'm actually fascinated (but not for the right reasons) by that: it makes me wonder what mindset these writers are on to actually craft dialogue and writing so unearthly juvenile and inane that it somehow manages to be presented in this program.  That's not to say it's a good show, mind you, nor do I find myself watching it often, but it's truly curious viewing.  As for Jessie, the more I watch it the more I dislike it.  It hasn't gotten to the point that I hate it yet, but I'm surprised that hasn't happened yet considering how it tries to be adult but comes across as childish as a result, not to mention the whole "We need to youthanize you, tee hee!"  "What???" (fearful, thinking the other person said "euthanize").  Of all the tasteless and charmless homonymous lines I have ever heard in my entire life, in a kid's program, I do not approve!!!  DX<  I'm so angry by that, I want to make a special rant on that scene!  But not now, in the future, but not now.

I still don't care that much about Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana.  Oh, I've seen those shows, and I would be more than happy to poke fun of and pick apart everything that's wrong with either of them, but aside from that, I don't care.  =|

P.S. 3: As I always say, to each their own.  Every show, no matter how bad, has their audience, and I know there are some people that are likely to disagree with my viewpoint (or agree with them, either one is fine, so long as they're not mean about it), so let's agree to disagree.  Watch what you personally enjoy.

P.S. 4: Seriously Capcom, was the SNES just not an option for you?  =/  Nintendo's 16-bit console only had six Disney-licensed Capcom games (including the then SFC-exclusive Mickey & Donald: Magical Adventure 3); they couldn't have made DuckTales 2 for that format instead of the slowly dying NES?  Also, why two years after the show stopped running?  I fail to see their logic in this one.

P.S. 5: It may not have done good with many gamers, but you have to give DreamRift some credit: they did at least try.  It may have failed to live up to the expectations of its spiritual predecessor Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse but I honestly think it paid good homage to it.  Also, Scrooge McDuck's attacking method from the NES game and the fact that he and Mickey are in the same game (for the second time; the first time was Japan-only during the SFC years) are at least worth praising.  Personally I liked the game, but I do understand why others didn't.

Well, this has been my commentary, and I hope you found it entertaining.  =)  And I hope I didn't drag on with it either, because this was my first ever one!  O_O  Now if you excuse me, I have to fantasize the perfect crossover fanart between the richest duck in the world and the friendliest face in outer space...  Take care!