Saturday, August 17, 2013

WOY Initial Thoughts: The Picnic

Watched: August 16h, 2013 | Written: August 16-17th, 2013
Image from disney.wikia.com
Wander Over Yonder
Episode I (102a): "The Picnic"
 
Sooo, I sounded rather negative in my video game review of Mickey's Dangerous Chase for the Game Boy, so let's try something a little more positive this time.
 
Earlier in the year it was revealed that Disney would be unleashing some new shows; some in live-action, some in 3D, and others in animation, including this new show called Wander Over Yonder; and to be honest it was a show that I was half intrigued about and half disinterested in, though given that in the last 2+ decades Disney's quality in terms of shows and movies has been rather lopsided, that may explain why I wasn't too keen towards it at first.  But don't get me wrong, at their best, Disney can be really, really, really good (i.e. Wreck-It Ralph, Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb, The Weekenders, Kim Possible, Bolt); at their worst they can be really, really, really bad (i.e. Fish Hooks, Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil, The Lone Ranger, So Random!, Mr. Young, The Buzz on Maggie).  But that's just my opinion on these various movies and shows, and if you disagree with some of my choices, that's fine; we're all entitled to our opinion, so we'll agree to disagree, different strokes for different folks, to each their own, yada yada yada.  Having watched the premier episode I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised.  It was better than I expected, it took a chance, and oddly enough I was invested in it.  I'm happy to report that Wander Over Yonder was definitely worth the wait.  =)
 
The first episode is called "The Picnic", and before I go over that I should point that when I first saw an image of it months ago on Wikipedia, due to the way it was designed it looked as if it was going to be a whimsical series of adventures of a deputy alongside his trusty steed (who can talk) battling against the forces of a really big adversary.  It looked mysterious yet inviting.  But once Disney started showing the first clips on Disney Channel, I was like, "Dude, that's not at all what I expected it to be like!"  That image deceived me!  XD  So since then I was curious to see if it was going to be a hit, or if it was going to be a bomb.  Sometimes it's easy to judge a show in its entirety by just watching its first episode (in my case, it was Ultimate Spider-Man and Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja) while most times you end up making up your mind on it after having watched a good portion of it.  So Wander Over Yonder was taking a risk in this regard, but since the clips Disney showed looked really decent (and the fact that Lauren Faust was involved as co-producer) somehow made it a must-see for me.
 
So August 16th has come and gone, and before Wander Over Yonder debuted, there was also the debut of the much anticipated Phineas and Ferb and Marvel's Avengers crossover Mission Marvel and a new 2013 Mickey Mouse short called "Bad Ear Day".  Those two were pretty good, but let's discuss "The Picnic" right now.  So there is this event that takes place once every millennia where all the planets align.  And while I was watching this I thought, "Didn't Hercules do that?"  But it doesn't end there, as once that's done they'll be summoning an entity which will only grant one wish.  Lord Hater (yes that's his name), a powerful being that's a cross between the Horned King and a skeletal and bulky villain, wants to make a wish involving taking over the galaxy
but there are two things that are impeding that objective: one is trying to battle an army of small hands with tiny legs (I kid you not) led by a shark/man amalgam called Emperor Awesome (who I swear shares the Joker's grin, the only thing missing is Mark Hamill) and the other one is putting up with all the consistent pestering (as far as Hater is concerned) by the eponymous alien Wander, who as the episode's title implies wants to have a picnic on this momentous occasion, but not without consistently greeting and trying to pal up on Lord Hater.  This is where I was caught off guard, and surprisingly it's not for the worst: Wander himself.
 
He is such a happy anthropomorphic alien being, always optimistic, often energetic, sometimes random, and just extremely likable as a character.  Add to the fact that all he wants to do is have fun and enjoy himself, and you've got perhaps a really great introduction to a really good character.  He's not pessimistic at all (though I'm sure we might see an episode or two where he's glum in the future, I'm not sure), and that's incredible; if I had to make a minor nitpick, it would be that he's a little on the oblivious side but thankfully he's not oblivious to the point of being grating and obnoxious (like Gunther from Kick Buttowski).  I like his design, I admire his innocence, I like his voice, and I like his mannerisms.  That's genius!  Another thing that surprised me was: it's a "fly in the ointment" style episode; Wander is to Lord Hater similarly to what Dee Dee is to Dexter in Dexter's Laboratory and what SpongeBob is to Squidward in SpongeBob Squarepants: a total nuisance.
 
These kinds of episodes tend to fall in the "love it or hate it" trope, depending on if you can handle this sort of theme or not.  And to tell the truth, I'm surprised that this is what they're starting off Wander Over Yonder with since these episodes usually come several episodes or seasons in, rarely the series premier.  And really, I was a little worried because of this, but due to how it was presented, it was for the most part an enjoyable watch.  =)  Any time that Lord Hater makes a speech or tries to do something very important, out comes Wander whether he shouts from a distance or if he even gets closer; and I like how Hater tries to ignore him until it's quite evident that he cannot take it anymore, which happens pretty quickly thereby resulting in some humorous-looking facial expressions.
 
Speaking of Lord Hater, he is a fun kind of villain who tries so hard to maintain his objective but falters in such a way that you can't help but root for him even though deep inside you know he's not going to succeed.  He's such a likable villain too, especially with his exaggerated facial expressions and reactions.  Lord Hater is great too, and so is his eyeball with arms and legs assistant Commander Peepers, who's got in my opinion the perfect voice for him.  I also love his expressions.  I could care less for Emperor Awesome, though, but I'm certain that he'll return in some future episodes (unless he becomes a regular).
 
Like pretty much all animated shows nowadays it is done entirely in flash, and wow does it look mindblowing!  These flash-made visuals are super gorgeous, probably some of the best I've seen in recent memory; I like the colors they've chosen and how they complement the scenery.  The shading and lighting is also quite effective, and the animations all the characters and villains display are fluidly well-done; I found them pleasantly jovial and fun to look at as opposed to disturbingly creepy in certain other shows (*cough* Fish Hooks *cough*).  The title sequence itself looks wonderful.  They're boldly outlined in black, which is usually not my thing, but I didn't find myself minding it so much here.  It also makes for some really bizarre moments, like an army of eyeballs combating against an army of hands... it's about as weird as it sounds, but in a humorous sort of way.
 
Speaking of humor, with the exception of at least two moments, the jokes really work.  A lot of them involve Wander and Lord Hater, and the ending (which I won't reveal) is really funny due to how it was handled, and the way both sides' armies unanimously react equally to what happened to said event is hysterical in my opinion.  =D  Oh, and his steed Silvia makes an appearance too, but only in the last ten seconds of the episode.  Oh yeah, that's a great way of introducing a character: by making them spend the vast majority of it in the loo.  It may be due to my negative stance towards bathroom humor that I react this way, but I'm curious as to what they do with her in future episodes (she does look like she could stand on her own).
 
I'd also like to discuss the credits sequence.  The credits are done in the vein of the credits for shows such as The Replacements, Phineas and Ferb, The Emperor's New School (people find the DTV sequel to The Emperor's New Groove called Kronk's New Groove to be pointless?  I honestly find this spin-off series to be even more pointless), Gravity Falls, the last season of American Dragon: Jake Long and the final season of Kim Possible.  You know, the one where there's a big window at the top of the screen as the credits roll where you see clips from the episode you saw, even some credits-exclusive clips, where sometimes there might be some commentary and bloopers in them?  Yeah, those credits!  Interestingly enough, Wander Over Yonder does not use clips from the show but it instead uses sketches for scenes.  At first it seems like it's a sketch version of a scene that was used, until it becomes apparent that it's far from that.  It's a credits-exclusive continuation which I believe was used for blooper purposes (either that or it was an outtake, which is possible but unlikely).
 
Wander Over Yonder was a breath of fresh air as far as series premiers are concerned.  Its quirk factor went through the roof, it was highly entertaining, looked really good, has got a really good galaxy theme going for it, and most of all, it's got a really good cast of characters.  So far Wander is the best thing about the show (with Lord Hater being a close second), and while he may come across as annoying to Lord Hater sometimes  in "The Picnic", you cannot really hate him for that due to his incredible amount of innocence and fun-loving nature, plus he only annoys unintentionally (he doesn't deliberately do so).  Another thing about the show is from what I've seen there's plenty of charm; no mean-spiritedness, no condescension, no pandering, no needlessly disturbing images (isn't that right, Fish Hooks?), and no pessimistic qualities littered throughout.  Wander Over Yonder provides the fun to the audience as it has fun too.  It's not only fun but engaging; especially when Wander makes a cute face as he shrugs this one time.  Now that's an optimistic quality show full of heart right there.  =)
 
Yeah, so far I like Wander Over Yonder and I'm really curious to see where they go next with it.  The only concern I have is which direction this show will be heading, because it's the sort of show with a promising start that can easily go downhill if done in the wrong hands (if there are signs leading to that, which isn't likely at this point, I'll keep you posted).  But considering some of the people on board--executive producer/creator Craig McCracken (of The Powerpuff Girls fame) and co-producer/story editor Lauren Faust (of Friendship is Magic fame), not to mention some seasoned voice actors in the casting roster--I believe that the show is in secure hands.  =)  Here's hoping it keeps heading the right direction in the future.  I know this all sounds very hopeful of me for just having watched one episode so far, but man I found myself liking it.  Ironic that at first I wasn't too interested before watching and then when I finally watched it I suddenly become more interested.
 
I don't know if this Disney show will attract as big an audience as Phineas and Ferb and Gravity Falls, but if it does, that's great; because there are plenty of references and jokes that I feel that children, teens, and adult viewers alike will appreciate.  If it doesn't, well at least it's still a fun treat to watch (and as a halfisode series too, with eleven-minute long episodes).  It's not quite flawless, but hey I'll cut it some slack 'cause it's only just started.  I think I'll share my thoughts on every new episode of Wander Over Yonder that comes out in the future.  I doubt I'll be able to do them all on time or the exact week it debuted, but I'll try my best.  Next month we'll be treated to two episodes back to back, so it's going to be a 2-for-1 special kind of blog.  I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see more Wander Over Yonder, I'm very optimistic about what it's doing, and I like it a lot.  Until next time, TV watchers, take care!  =D
P.S.: My God, I don't think I've ever sounded so positive about a 2010's show in all my life!  =O
Thank you for reading my WOY Initial Thoughts, please leave a comment and I hope you all have a great day!  Take care!  =D

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mickey's Dangerous Chase (GB) Review

Received: January 22nd, 2013 / Written: July 29th-August 1st, 2013
Alternate Title: Mickey's Chase [|O|]
Year: 1991 | Developed by: Kemco (Kotobuki) | Published by: Capcom
(As played on the Super Game Boy SNES peripheral cartridge)

Disclaimer: Long, spoiler-heavy review; signs of anger; and it's not going to end well  =(
I really hate to do this to you readers again, but once again I'm going to have to make an exceptionally long review, in the vein of Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands!, considering the company that developed that game was also behind this one.  =(  Only for this one title I'm going to try to approach it in the chronological order of the areas, which I'll cover with a few screenshots as well as add in my own commentary when it comes to the cutscenes.  The reason this is a downside is because I'm going to basically cover about 95% of the game, so if you want a spoiler-free review of this game I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere.

If you own the game, beaten it, or are just not interested in it, you may feel free to read it as you wish.  But in the off-chance that you are interested and are curious to see a sample of my thoughts, what you could do is you could go over it once, and then go a long time without doing so so when you do manage to experience this game you won't feel like you've spoiled the game for yourself in the process.  I know that sounds bad, but bear with me, this is a game that I absolutely must go all-out on, because there is so much material to go over.  Now with that said, time for a little history lesson!
Mickey Mouse was created in 1928 by Walt Disney, sometime after having lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (which the Disney company eventually reclaimed in 2006), a mouse that captivated and appealed to audiences all over became a hit and since then his popularity has been growing and growing, therefore becoming one of the most well-known animated characters of all time.  Mickey Mouse has appeared in countless media, like comics, as a mascot for the Disney theme parks, in tons of animated shorts (even the ones animated entirely in flash that came out this year in 2013, which, I don't dislike them, but I'm just split about them), movies, and of course, video games.

In the early to mid-'80s the Disney mouse has appeared on the Game & Watch handhelds, the Atari 2600, the Apple II computer, and the Commodore 64 consoles among others.  Before Capcom would create their own Mickey Mouse title The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse for the SNES, they released two of them which were done by different companies.  The first one was Hudson Soft's 1987 Famicom game Mickey Mousecapade, released the following year for the NES by Capcom, making it the first Disney title ever released by them (whether they made it or not).  The second one was Kemco's platformer for the Game Boy handeld Mickey's Chase, or as it's known here in America: Mickey's Dangerous Chase.
If you've read my Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands! review, you would know that this is in actuality a part of a series of games recognized by many as Crazy Castle, and one of the only two Mickey-centric Kemco games which retained the characters and story when it was released in the West; Mickey Mouse I-IV received different makeovers, being replaced instead with characters such as Bugs Bunny, Kid Klown, one of the four Ghostbusters from the 1986 animated Real series, and even Garfield.

The reason this game was released by Capcom for America (and why the changes were made to Kemco's other games) should be pretty apparent to many, but for those who don't know here is the basic version of the story: after having released Mickey Mousecapade Capcom signed a contract for Nintendo stating that any and all Disney licensed titles, whether they developed it or not, would exclusively be released by Capcom for Nintendo hardware should they see a release in the West.  Their exclusivity lasted until 1994, after the video game adaptation of The Lion King by Virgin Interactive became public and got released in many a console, the SNES included, so as of that moment the contract was null and void.  And good thing too, since now the other companies got a chance to develop and produce Disney games for Nintendo's consoles and not have the company Capcom slapped on it.

Naturally since Mickey's Dangerous Chase was a Disney title released by Capcom, it became a big hit, and many people got to experience it.  Unlike Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands! which had the million unit seller ribbon plastered on it (even though no one knows exactly how many units were actually sold) for the sake of just adding the ribbon on it, this game actually did sell a million units, therefore becoming successful.  The copy I ordered from eBay was made before the fact, which is why you don't see a ribbon on this one.  And before anyone says anything, yes, I am aware that some question its connection to the Crazy Castle series, but on the other hand, I'm very convinced that Kemco worked on this game, since the font is the same as in the other title (I mean, c'mon, that's a giveaway; what other company uses font like that?), the in-game title is slightly different than the actual title (strike two), and it's also a victim of bad translation when it was released in the West, plus more.  But more will have to wait at this point, so let's not prolong the inevitable any longer and start analyzing this game.

Since Mickey's Dangerous Chase came out years before the Super Game Boy was made, it's given its default color scheme whenever you turn it on.  But I didn't like the default one that was chosen, so throughout the course of the game I decided to give each area one of my custom four-color schemes that I felt were appropriate for each respective area, so don't fret my friends, you'll be seeing lots of colors in my review before long.  =)

So let's start with the introduction, oddly enough in small letterbox format (borders omitted in these screenshots):

I hope it's something worthwhiiiiiiiillllllllle......  =)
=O  "Oh no, a gift for Minnie that I left unattended on a free-floating table on a comic-book like canvas!!  It's gone!"  =O  "All that money I spent went down the drain!"  But faster than you can say exposition their friend Goofy appears:
"Wu-"?  Who's "Wull", and how come he's addressing Mickey like that???  That's quite a record, if I do say so myself; it hasn't even been a minute and already we've found something wrong with the translation.  *claps*  Bravo, English translator(s), for faltering so early.

But then, some might argue that he was probably trying to say "Well" instead of "Wull", but given the circumstances it still wouldn't make any damn sense since when would anyone ever start a sentence with that word if they were in a worried or warning state?  =/  Also, what is up with Mickey here?  Seeing him with a flat belly as opposed to a round one is very weird; it also makes the back of his shorts look like they're being pulled down.  That might just be me, though.

Gotta love how Mickey exclaims "That's it!" and then immediately reveals to Goofy that he's talking about Minnie's present, because otherwise how would the other have known what he was talking about right away?  Also, Pete's the thief that took off with Minnie's present.
So, it's off to a wild chase and reclaim what's been taken from them.  Oh, remember Goofy's last word bubble, I'll bring it back up later on.  =|  You think it's going to be a wild goose chase?  Oh, you bet!  So let's get started!
Mickey's Dangerous Chase precedes both The Great Circus Mystery starring Mickey & Minnie and Mickey's Ultimate Challenge in that you choose to play as either Mickey or his girlfriend Minnie.  Unlike the aforementioned titles where you stick with the character you picked until the end, you're going to find yourself choosing between the two any time you lose a life, so prepare to see this screen a lot.  We begin the game in
STAGE 1 - Mickey's Hometown

Finally, some color; I sincerely hope some of the ones I chose don't negatively affect your eyes.  We start off Stage 1-1 in Mickey's aptly named hometown, where you have to go through houses, walk along fences with flowers, and possibly on top of rooftops.  Here Mickey or Minnie must put up with guard dogs and the Weasels, which are the only obstacles that are standing in their way at this point.  Once that's done, it's time for a cutscene.

Damn!  We just could not catch up to him on time!  Seriously though, they look quite happy despite that fact.  Next up is Stage 1-2!

So our heroes arrive in the "shopping center"... where surprisingly there aren't that many shops around.  =/  Once again the Weasels are trying to give them a hard time, only this time you have to jump over (or down) gaps in the ground and there are a few fire hydrants that will try to attack you by sprouting water hard on you.  Fire hydrants attacking you with water on their own...  Last I checked, there are no signs of magic occurring, so either Pete rigged them or they are just malfunctioning.  We then end this portion with a nice forest backdrop.  Oh, and a talk with Goofy, too.
"We follow him and try to capture him once and for all!"  By the way, get used to seeing this cutscene; it's practically the only one they use throughout the whole game, and I guarantee that by the time this chase is over you're going to grow tired of it.  I am dead serious!  =(
Yes, guys, go after him with a boat that you borrow from the pier...  which you use to go far...  to reach the other end of the lake...  how are they going to return the boat, exactly, if they get a lot farther than this town?  Will they even remember to return it once it's all over?  =|  Oh, well, enough pondering, let's play Stage 1-3!

Afterwards our main couple ride through the lake on a motorboat, out in the open and at times behind wooden foregrounds.  Here, Mickey or Minnie must carefully maneuver around and see to it that they avoid getting attacked by flying fish and most definitely avoid crashing into boulders.  Once on the other side it's time to continue the quest and give a brief goodbye to Mickey's hometown.

Oh, so now he's "Mickey"!  I could've sworn his name was "Wull" before.  =|
"That no good big fat cat Pete, always one step ahead of us, isn't he?!"  >=(  "We won't stop until we have captured him!"  You'll notice that due to how the word bubble facing the left is in front of Mickey and Minnie, it's a little hard to tell which of the two is speaking most of the time.  We know it's Minnie now, but that's one of the few times where we're given a clue as to who talked of the two.

Okay, so let's take a break with the game progression and talk about its gameplay.  Unlike Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands! where it was more akin to a labyrinth-like action/puzzler, Mickey's Dangerous Chase takes more on the form of a sidescrolling platformer in a strikingly similar fashion to the original Super Mario Bros.  Actually, this game has elements borrowed from Super Mario Bros., the Western Super Mario Bros. 2, and M.C. Kids of all titles.  You'll notice that once you get a little farther you cannot retrace your steps completely (like the first of these aforementioned classics).  Mickey and Minnie control the same, for they can walk, jump, and duck.  How high or low you jump depends on how soft or hard you push the button.  Enemies cannot be jumped on for them to be defeated, but they can be taken out once you throw blocks at them (you can throw above, in front, or slightly below you).  That's right, you throw blocks at them, which will make them fly and be pushed back fast and hard until they're offscreen; they're gone just like that.  You have a health capacity of three.

In these areas are "?" blocks (how original) which have various contents in them.  They are white and black stars (worth one), black and white stars (worth five), a heart to replenish your health (some refill one while some fully replenish your health), a flashing star icon (giving you a life), and a potion icon which will render you invincible for a temporary period of time (gee, that doesn't sound familiar).  Collecting a hundred stars gives you a life, and in most areas are four hidden spherical icons, and should you gather all four you'll receive a life at the end.  Some blocks are found on top of (small) platforms and they can be grabbed while ensuring that you safely land on said platform... it's just that you're going to have to time it right.

While the gameplay is decent, it's by no means great or all that responsive.  For one thing, there are moments when you have to time your jumps properly (particularly when it comes to jumping on a column of thinly-spaced platforms, with a small ceiling space to worry about), your movement must absolutely be precise when go down a tiny gap, sometimes platforms will drop and you must jump off them right away (sometimes it won't let you for some reason), timing is an essential requirement, and there are moments of bad collision detection.  I'll go over some more in detail later, but right now it's time to enter
STAGE 2 - The Woods

You are now in the woods of Stage 2-1 (with some actually well-drawn trees and forest backdrops), where you walk around trees, traverse next to a large row of tall column-like wood, and beware of the flying squirrels, so get out of the way or get damaged.  After that's over, onto the next scene.

Yeah, that's nice Goofy, thanks for the input.  But shouldn't you be keeping an eye on Pete?  =|  I'm just saying, because at this point he would two steps ahead...  Anyway, Stage 2-2!
You're almost done with the woods, so now you notice some trees, a winter/spring-like setting, and some gorgeous-looking mountains in the backdrop.  In this area you'll have to deal with bears, but fortunately they won't hurt you should you stand on top of them like Goofy mentioned.  You'll even find yourself on a very high location, standing and walking on top of wooden trunks, eventually having to put up with bouncing snowballs (yeah, because that's how they work) before reaching the end.
 
Wow, this conversation was short.  Also, "head him off with a balloon".  I guess it makes sense since balloons go up a lot faster than climbers do, it all depends on how much weight is on there.  Let's see how they plan on doing that in Stage 2-3.

This is your idea of "heading him off with a balloon"???  Also, "a balloon"!  Notice how the dialogue misleads you sometimes, for when they said "a balloon", they implied a singular hot-air balloon or something of the sort; they said nothing about being carried upward by a set of balloons.  Depending on how much health you have you'll either have all three balloons or far below that, and the more balloons you carry the faster you'll be dragged upward.  Because that's how it works with balloons!  On the way up you must be really careful to not have any of your balloons popped by these vultures, for if all three are popped you'll fall down.  Once you reach the top it's time for another same-looking cutscene.

Oh, we'd better!  'cause we still have a motorboat to return!  But no, it's not that simple, I'm afraid.  Also, damn is Pete a fast climber to have outrun us like that!  O_O

Let's discuss about the visuals; considering it's an early monochromatic Game Boy game, the game looks surprisingly good.  The character and enemy models aren't that impressive, but they do have basic animations (and if I didn't know any better I would say that Mickey and Minnie almost share the same walking and jumping animations from Super Mario Bros.).  The intro, cutscenes, and outro are drawn very well, even though there aren't that many scenes.  It's very unfortunate that the inbetween cutscenes are the exact same no matter what, making things a little redundant in the process.  =(  I do like the bubble balloons, though, for it gives it a good comic book feel, and frankly it makes up for the fact that the background is enitrely blank at this point.  Each area, for the most part, has got different enemies, so at least there is some variety in that regard.

But I want to talk about the good aspect of the visuals; the individual areas.  They are drawn and designed very well, and even though three different hues were used and they used a few samples of dithering to create a bit of a gradient effect, it looks spectacular.  I like how each area has a got a good sense of detail and variety.  One such example is Stage 2-2 where it takes place in the snow and you see a snowy mountain looming in the distance.  Some of the other areas have got great backgrounds and backdrops, especially the indoor areas.  I would share more, but I would end up repeating myself, since you'll be getting a taste of what else there is.  =)  Now then, onto
STAGE 3 - The Mountain

Stage 3-1 has your characters traveling the mountainside, with a few shots of some mountains surfacing from the clouds, and you'll also find yourself inside some rocky and decently wall-patterned caves in the process.  Watch out for prairie dogs and especially eagles that will try to attack you.  And most importantly, beware of spikes and try to avoid them as much as you can.

Yes, Goofy, he can't go far.  I mean it's not like he's been consistently getting away the moment we get close to getting him... Oh wait!  =<

"Run-down shack", huh?  More like "abandoned, haunted, and condemned building".  Anyway, Stage 3-2 advances you in this fittingly decrepit and creepy area, filled with bats, spiders, and spiderwebs.  Since it's a broken down building, also expect some spikes to avoid and incomplete wooden platforms to jump on.


"You mean to tell us we went up a mountain, only to go back down the mountain?!  This chase is just crazy!"  Also, quit smiling please, that's not something to be happy about.  Pete got away, a more appropriate expression would be to show concern.  Oh, well, time to go all the way back down in Stage 3-3... wait, "nice, friendly bird"?  I wonder what happens if it comes into contact with me...?
 HA HA HA!  HA HA!  Oh, yeah, those vultures are really "nice, friendly birds" all right!
I especially appreciated when they tried to swoop down and kill me as I rode down the mine cart in Mickey no Tokyo Disneyland Daibōken!  Aren't they so generous??  >=|
Also, aren't those the same vultures that tried to attack you in Stage 2-3?  Strike two!  Mickey has done some dumb things before, but he doesn't make dumb mistakes.  He doesn't!  =(

Again, a "nice, friendly bird"!  Bird.  Singular.  Birds!  Plural!  Plurals!!  Use them!!!  >o<  First the area with the balloon, and now this!  This translation is no longer funny, it's insulting.  Uuurrggghhh!!!  Anyway, in this area you will descend your way down by jumping on top of various vultures.  Be hit by them however, and you will take damage.  Just falling down is not an option, since the screen automatically scrolls down and if you fall offscreen you die.  Just wait until you safely get to the ground, and then you can be on your way.

Even with all that descending our heroes have just done and he's still at large.  Also, where is it implied that Pete blocked the way to the next area?  Granted, if you're familiar with that stout cat burglar (no pun intended), you know he would do anything to prevent the others from interfering, but... we don't know that it's blocked.  All we get from here is that our main duo "know another way in".  Oh, if only we could've caught him sooner.  O_O  WAIT A MINUTE!!!  I just realized:
Goofy's at the end of every area, just standing there facing you!  He always gets to the end of each area long before you do!  Oh, my God!  Do you realize what this means?  He could've up and stopped Pete in his tracks in a heartbeat (fought him, tripped him, captured him, whatever); how else would Goofy have known where he kept heading afterwards?  But instead he's just standing there... what the hell is he even doing as Mickey or Minnie put up with all the obstacles and roughing it out, fantasizing about his own series of adventures?  =/  It could've easily gone like:
Goofy: "Got 'im!"
Mickey: "Great job, Goofy!"
Pete: "Rats!"
THE END
But no, we have to keep going because the game says so!
It makes about as much sense as Grown Ups 2 doing a lot better in the box office than Pacific Rim.  ...  I mean, really, people, an Adam Sandler movie that currently scores a 7% on Rotten Tomatoes is attracting more people to watch it than Guillermo del Toro's 72%-rated giant on giant flick?!?  It's an awesome movie about giants against giants, people, why on earth would anyone not want to see that??  I- you know what, forget it, I don't want to deviate from the subject I'm talking about at present any longer.  =|

There isn't much to say about the background music, to be quite honest.  There are various songs, and they are competently instrumented (unlike Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands!, the songs actually do sound finished by the time they reach their next loop), but the songs are ultimately very short.  Most of them are lighthearted, a few of them sound creepy, and at least a couple of them sound frenetic in terms of the beat.  The original Game Boy does have some exceptional soundtracks despite their technical limitations and sound chips, but this is not one of them.  While the songs do sound nice the first few times, it doesn't take long before they become grating and repetitive; as much as I hate it when some games enable the option to turn off the music (which is usually a no-no in my book, considering that the music makes up part of an area's atmosphere, therefore rendering the option totally stupid), I'm this close to wishing this was one of them.  Even though the songs aren't really great, good luck trying to not get any of them in your head.  The sound effects are okay, but that really doesn't say much.  =(
STAGE 4 - The Industrial Area

Stage 4-1 pits you in an "industrial area", which honestly looks more like a heavily bricked cell (there are even bars on those windows).  o_O  This area is filled with blocks, so grab and throw as much as you can, and whatever you do, do not go all the way to the bottom otherwise you'll sustain damage from spikes.  Oh, and I wouldn't worry about those dark spiked, spherical objects since they'll never go away if you do hit them and they sting really badly.  Should you survive, it's time for another conversation with Goofy.
"Whoops"?  "WHOOPS"???  What do you mean by "Whoops"?!  That's not something you say when you're in a happy mood!  >=(
 
Are you tired of these cutscenes yet?  I know I am right now.

Wait, you're telling we went from a giant prison cell to a factory?  That's a weird shift in transition if I heard one.  =|  Anyway, Stage 4-2 is filled with conveyor belts, spikes to avoid, gears that want to kill you, and stompers (I'm not entirely certain what they're called exactly) that will attempt to squish you.  Remember earlier when I mentioned that there are times when there are columns of platforms with small ceiling spaces that you have to jump upward in?  That's exactly what you do here, so timing your jumps right is essential in order to ascend yourself.  Also, there are two different paths to take (high road or low road), so at least it does something unique, even if it is for just this one part.  Oh, and do soft jumps in moments when you jump from belt to belt and the spikes are in the ceiling.
 
Pete's driving away by car, so you know what that means?  A car chase sequence!  By the way, has anyone noticed a thing these cutscenes have in common... you know, aside from the fact that the visuals are the same for all them?  No?  Well, here's another problem: they're saying the same thing over and over.  It always starts with Goofy and ends with either Mickey or Minnie talking; it's a one-sided conversation.  All this time they're basically going like:
Goofy: "Pete's far ahead of us!"
MM: "Let's get closer!"
Save for the one cutscene where Goofy gives you advice on standing on bears' backs for Stage 2-2, they're pretty much all the same!  The only detail that changes is Pete's next whereabouts.  It's absolutely redundant, and the same looking cutscene doesn't help matters either!  =<
 
Stage 4-3 begins in... a construction site with cars trying to smash into you?  When did this suddenly turn into City Connection, that is sans the random cats that appear for no reason?  But then it segues in a segment of rows of buildings in fluctuating heights and stature, with at least one moment when you have to make leaps of faith as you cross a bridge.  Boy, getting around this area must be really tough.  =\  Gotta love the backdrop though, it almost reminds of NYC; if I didn't know any better, I would say that the next stage probably culminates in NYC.  Once you reach the end you'll meet up with Goofy and...
oh my God, get out of the way, Goofy, or you'll get run over!!!!  D=  Stop the car!  Stop the car!  Stop the ca-
*SCREEEEEEEECH*
*THUD*
...
Nah, he's fine!  =)  I mean, really Kemco, you couldn't have placed him in a higher platform than that?  You had to make it look like he was about to become a vehicular victim?  In most stages you have to be really close to Goofy in order to finish the area, and this is no exception.  {=|

Oh, Minnie, Mickey didn't track him down... you two were just following Goofy's directions even though he did absolutely zilch throughout the whole shebang.  But look on the bright side: we're almost done.  =)

Prior to having played this game I heard numerous complaints about its difficulty, stating that it's "too hard".  I've played and beaten it a few times and, it's not.  Sort of in a similar way that people comment that Illusion of Gaia is hard, it's not, okay (a few spikes do not a hard game make)?  Mickey no Tokyo Disneyland Daibōken is a hard game.  No, the problem with Mickey's Dangerous Chase isn't so much that it's hard so much as it's frustrating as all hell.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that this might be the most frustrating Mickey Mouse video game that I've played to date; the Japan-exclusive game had some frustrating moments too, but it's nowhere near as frustrating as this title.  You want to know why I find it so frustrating?  Because of how it was structured.  Your characters can control their movements in mid-air, and that's fine, but the main problem with the controls is proper timing.

There are some moments when you jump on certain platforms only to immediately jump off them, because there are some that will fall down the moment you land on them.  At this point you have to make sure that you properly time your jump otherwise it might not work.  Same for grabbing blocks as they're in mid-air or if they're on top of block-sized platforms; you need to time it right.  Successfully doing so will ensure that you'll be on top of said platform, but if not, you'll be falling down either to lose health or possibly lose a life.  As I said earlier you can throw the blocks above you, in front of you, or below you, but they fly by so fast whenever they're thrown so you must time to right in order to hit your target.

Another issue is the collision detection.  It is awful!  There are a few moments when you have to do low jumps as opposed to high jumps, and some moments when you must duck down in a gap until an enemy is out of the way clearing your exit.  But there is a problem with that: if you get a certain distance to them, even when you're a few pixels apart from them, you'll sustain damage.  That's just not fair.  Another thing about this game is that it's one of those "three-health" system games, and depending on how a game is structured it can either make a game or break it; and in this case it breaks it, since you'll be losing some health in no time.

Another cause for frustration: the area designs.  Now one thing I'll say about this game is that the areas' designs aren't totally bad, and it's nice that some of them offer low, medium, or high places as opposed to one long linear route.  And area designs like these can work to a gameplay's advantage if they're polished and versatile.  But since they're not, you'll be putting up with some issues, like jumping up a column of platforms while timing it right, or should you jump up a ceiling you'll fall down hard.  Challenge implies legitimate difficulty; poor design and not-so responsive controls should not amount to a game's challenge.
STAGE 5 - The Business District
 
Don't believe me that it might possibly take place in NYC?  Take a look at one of the backdrops as you get higher and tell me that doesn't look like the Empire State Building!  In Stage 5-1 you're in the slums of downtown, for you must jump on floating platforms, static platforms, avoid bouncing rubber tires that are about as big as our main heroes, and later on you time your jump correctly so as to not get hit by bouncing oil drums... yeah, because as everyone should know, that capability of the oil drums is common knowledge.  =/  This is one of those areas where the not-so responsive controls and awful collision detection become more noticeable.  Whenever the tires bounce on top of you, the natural thing to do would be to hold still until they're behind you right?  Wrong!  Wait for the tire to be directly above you, then move forward to avoid taking damage!  As for the bouncing oil drums, you need to time your small jumps exactly right, because they bounce inhumanely fast up and down.  Count your blessings that there are only a few you have to worry about.
 
Oh, good, a foreshadowing of the final showdown's location!  =D  Let's climb this bad boy!
 
Okay, it's time to climb this building in Stage 5-2, and... wait a minute!  This is an automatic scrolling area?  An automatic scrolling area with jumping controls that need to be timed right in order to work?  With small platforms later on?  You're going to have to be careful to not lose your balance and fall off, otherwise you'll be forced to start over.  Oh, and watch out for falling vases on the way up.
 
Finally, it's time for action!  The good news is that this is the last time you'll see this cutscene ever, so cheering is appropriate now.  Hurray!!!!!!  =D
 
Early on in Stage 5-3 is a life inside a "?" block, so time your jumping and grabbing controls right in order to survive.  Right then, so it's time at last to face Pete, who for the first few times will try to impede your progress by punching balls straight towards you that are twice as big as his hand.  On the way to the end are a series of platforms which must properly be jumped off the moment you land on them otherwise you will fall along with them.  Once you reach the end you will face Pete, who must be thrown a block eight times in order to take him down.  You have a health of three, and the controls are not quite so stellar.  Hmmm!  To make things worse, you have carefully pay attention to his pattern in order to successfully eliminate him; sometimes he will throw two separate balls that must be both be jumped over simultaneously (ducking just won't cut it), and Pete is pretty swift as he jumps in front of and behind the platform.  I wish you all the luck and patience to take him down.
Yeah, he's a real SOB to put up with due to how the game was designed.  But hey, at least this game can boast about the one thing that Cool Spot never had: a boss fight.  How sad that this had to be a lesser quality title.  =(
Once you've finally defeated Pete it's time to recoup Minnie's present.
What do you mean "There's Pete!"?  You just defeated him a few seconds ago!  And why are you just standing there?  He's getting away!!!  Stop him!  D=<
Oh, well, he's the police's problem now!  Our mission here is done!  =)  *facepalm*
 
*crosses fingers*  Please be a pan-and-scan destroyer!  Please be a pan-and-scan destroyer!
 
Oh, so a little bird was in there all along.  That's nice!  ...  Were there even any holes in the box?  I'm surprised that it managed to survive this long!  <=|  Actually, come to think of it, why did Pete steal it to begin with?  If he thought there was something highly valuable in there like jewelry or diamonds, then that would be understandable.  But nope, all we get is: "Pete stole Minnie's present.  Get it back!"  As weak as the main villain's motivation was for stealing Princess Luna in Pocky & Rocky 2, there was a reason nonetheless.  I don't own the manual sadly, so I don't know if it adds to the story or has elements that contradict the game itself.

Unlike Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands!, this game has a credits sequence, so you'll have the privilege of knowing the names of the people that worked on this... so you'll destroy them later.
Yes, they've done an exceptional job with this game's programming.  =|
No sarcasm here, the game does look mostly great, and these guys did a good job.
"Music Designer"?  How is music designed?  You mean notes for the songs you're going to create afterwards, sketching ideas for music?  I'm sorry, but "music designer" doesn't make sense for me.  If they meant composer, I would definitely understand.  Oh, and I love the next one that pops up.
Yeah, that doesn't at all sound wrong now does it?
Capcom would never, ever produce a Mickey Mouse video game of such shoddy quality!  >=(  And they've proven that with the Mickey's Magical Adventure trilogy.

The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse, The Great Circus Mystery starring Mickey & Minnie, and Mickey & Donald: Magical Adventure 3 is one such Mickey Mouse video game series done right when put in the right hands.  Capcom was one of those companies that understood the right steps towards developing licensed titles.  Each of these three games really had great pastel-toned visuals; polished and responsive play control; a boatload of charm and sense of wonder; wonderful area designs; a chance to discover some secrets; an amazing amount of atmosphere; lots of replay value; and, most important of all, they were fun!!!

Was Kemco just so ashamed to admit that they developed it that they had to put the publisher's name in their stead?  I'm surprised they didn't refer to themselves as "Alan Smithee" if that was the case.  Just because a company releases a game does not automatically make it their own (unless they developed it themselves).  For example, Alcahest was released by SquareSoft in Japan, but it's really a HAL Laboratory game; Plok was released in the United States by Tradewest, but in actuality it's Software Creations' baby since they developed it.  It just infuriates to see such a falsified credit as "Produced by Capcom"; the company may not have been perfect, but they did a really good job when it came to developing Disney licensed games.  Kemco should be ashamed of themselves!!!  >=(

And that's another thing about the game: there is simply no charm about it, the sense of wonder is highly diminished, there's no replay value to be found, and overall Mickey's Dangerous Chase is more frustrating than fun.  It doesn't help that the cutscenes look the same, but the dialogue is also pretty much the same throughout.  This makes me want to take back everything negative I've said about Pocky & Rocky 2's plot and translation, and while I personally didn't like that game's cutscenes, Natsume at least had the decency to not repeat themselves in terms of both visuals and story.  This is just unacceptable!

The translation is bad; not because it's badly written or anything (for the most part at least), but because a lot of it feels uninspired and repetitive.  It's not as awful as Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands!'s translation, which is actually a downside, since the translation fell in the trope of so bad it's enjoyable, plus that game had enough elements that helped justify it as a guilty pleasure title for me.  This game doesn't quite benefit from that, I'm afraid.  All it needed was a little more polish and it would've been better than it already was, decent even.  But the final execution makes the ending in The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse feel justified by comparison, and it makes Hercules on the Game Boy look better by comparison (suddenly Hades' glaring absence there isn't such a bad thing anymore).  That is a new low!

The visuals are a real high point for Mickey's Dangerous Chase, for it shows what the Game Boy was capable of in terms of detailed design.  I just wish Kemco focused an equal amount of attention to the gameplay as well, because due to how frustrating it can be it feels like a bit of a waste.  I know it's sad to say that, but it's true.  Losing all your lives gives you a game over, however you have the option to continue or quit (it must be beaten in one sitting); continuing will start you from the first part of the stage you were on.  Had a lot of the issues that were found here fixed, then maybe this would've been more enjoyable instead.  As it stands, it's neither bad nor good.  Granted, Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands! was neither as well, but it at least was fun and enjoyable while it lasted, making it average fun.  Mickey's Dangerous Chase is just mediocre.  =(

People thought lowly for Disney's Magical Mirror starring Mickey Mouse!  People thought lowly for Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion!  Okay, I get why gamers don't exactly like the former; it's a console point-and-click title, but not only that, it's a tech demo.  But give it some credit, like Drakkhen on the SNES, it's a good-looking and good-sounding tech demo!  There isn't much gameplay or depth when it comes to most tech demos, but as far as visuals and sound are concerned there's plenty of them to savor!  The latter, yeah it's flawed and could get repetitive sometimes, but it was fun and had some hint of heart and polish; things this game could only ever wish to obtain.

Admittedly the game showed some promise in the first few areas, but it doesn't take long for those flaws to start popping up and ruining your enjoyment.  If you're really good it takes between thirty to forty minutes to beat, but by the time you finish it you'll wonder if it even was worth the price of admission.  This game may have been a hit in stores, but it doesn't make the game itself a hit.  I researched that apparently this game is going to be re-released for the 3DS Virtual Console this Winter; wow, a licensed title hitting a downloadable service, that doesn't happen very often.  Another thing I've looked up: turns out that in the near future there will be a Remastered version of this game by WayForward.  Just thinking about that doesn't make any sense, considering all the problems it has, not to mention it's a Kemco game published by Capcom.  DuckTales I understand, that game is really good despite it being very short, plus it's a legitimate Capcom-developed Disney title; I'm very curious to see if WayForward succeeds in that game's Remastered edition (it's times like these that I wish I had a Nintendo Wii U).

Unless you're a fan of all things Mickey Mouse, Disney, Crazy Castle, or are a collector, I'd say skip this one.  =(  I'm sure that as time goes on my thoughts will soften on this title, however this is the worst Mickey Mouse game I've played in recent memory.  *sigh*  I guess I shouldn't gripe too much.  I suppose there have been worse things in the last two-plus decades that were released under the Disney moniker.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
5.0/10
P.S.: To each their own.  If you liked this game, then that's great; different strokes for different folks.  This Mickey Mouse platformer just did not do it for me.
P.S. 2: This game was made in the days when Mickey Mouse used to have eyebrows.  Sometimes I miss those days.
P.S. 3: I love how Mickey is wearing an outfit he'd usually wear in the Disney comics when in the game he only has his shorts and shoes on.  Speaking of which, I need to read some to make me feel better.
P.S. 4: One of the movies I've seen recently is The Conjuring, and it was so suspenseful and intense.  One of the best movies I've seen in theatres this year!  =D
P.S. 5: I was playing this game again in hopes that it would be better than Game Boy Hercules, but boy was I wrong.  I need to play a much better Game Boy game.
P.S. 6: I used to think Kickin' It was an okay Disney show, but something has happened in recent months that made me change my mind.  The reason is personal and almost not worth sharing, but I'll do so anyway.  I knew in the past that Kickin' It was a dumb show, with lots of jokes that panders to the viewers, but that was nothing compared to the episode that eventually came up: "Bird Poop Storm".  That sounded so stupid and infantile (bathroom jokes suck and are never funny) that I knew it was going to suck, and given that those exact words were used in the commercial that promoted the episode, that was the last straw, so I decided to not watch it when it came out and the rest of the show forever.  If the creators of that show honestly think people are really dumb and unintelligent, then I honestly pray that it gets cancelled and never gets shown on television again, because that is just unacceptable and people deserve better shows than that excuse of "children's entertainment"!  The writers should hang themselves in shame!  I hate to sound vehement as I share this, but that's how I feel.  I would never talk down to viewers if I ever make a show aimed for children, I would treat them as intelligent human beings and I would treat them with respect.
P.S. 7: Since I've mentioned the 2013 Mickey Mouse flash cartoons, while I still have mixed feelings about them, there is one which I thought was incredibly well-done.  It takes place in France, as Mickey must deliver a lot of croissants to Minnie's patisserie via a sentient scooter since she ran out and lots of customers demand them immediately.  The designs are really well-done, I like the atmosphere in that short, and some of the action and events make for some damn surreal and bizarre moments.  Another thing that caught my attention: it's all in French!  This was the first time in a long time that I've watched something that either takes place in France or involves people with French accents or voices that honestly and legitimately felt French (none of that contrived attempt at faking French, or some such crap).  Everyone was speaking in French, and there were no subtitles; that was very impressive, and it's become one of my favorite of those shorts.  =)  Also, it was charming and cute; something Mickey's Dangerous Chase failed at trying to be.
P.S. 8: Summer's over a month from now; man does time fly.  ='(

Thank you for reading my review, please leave a comment and I hope you have a great day!  Take care!