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!

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