Mickey Mousecapade review
Capcom and Disney got married and crapped out an average game
Mickey Mousecapade is nothing more than the first kid that Capcom and Disney had and, to be fair, it's an average platformer. It works decently as you can, at least, navigate and jump without too much trouble and kill enemies and bosses without a whole heap of bullshit, but there are some problems which can make this game unfun and uncool to play. As for its fame, Mickey Mousecapade is a mixed one. Some people really liked it, but some people didn't (ie. Aqualung, one of the best Youtube reviewers out there). Where do I stand? I stand in the "meh it's good but not great" crowd. Why? Well, read on:
Story: Mickey and Minnie have to find their "mystery friend" (according to the instruction manual). It's your typical damsel in distress plot, and it's worked for sooo long it's not funny, but what screws up the plot...is the damsel herself. Alice in Wonderland? Aside from being another of Walt Disney's creations, this makes no sense. It'd make more sense to have Minnie as a damsel in distress and just have Mickey save her. Just a nitpick on my end. At least it makes sense to make Disney villains like Maleficent and Pete be bosses because it's a goddamn Disney game. Oh well.
Gameplay: In short, the gameplay is of the platforming variety where you shoot stars at enemies while jumping platforms. Simple stuff. The only differences between Mario and Mickey is that you can't jump on enemies, you shoot stars as opposed to collecting stars and you have to have Minnie with you at all times, plus more.
One thing that I often felt was a nice addition to the generic platforming coding, were hidden objects. I love this aspect if it was done right, and this game surely does it right. There isn't an overabundance of them, they're somewhat obvious to find and they were all (or mostly) useful.
You also have a health bar, so there's none of that one-hit death stuff you find in Contra...which unfortunately makes the game easier, until you get to the bosses. When trekking through levels, it was mostly easy. The only hard parts would be having to navigate your way through certain parts of levels or finding which doorways to go through in the forest level to beat it. No, the true hard parts come in the second, third and fourth boss battles.
The 1st and (unfortunately) last bosses are formulaic and easy to defeat, provided you find a pattern in there. The other three bosses, on the other hand, are random as hell. Their projectiles are randomly going around and almost killing you. If it wasn't for the health bar, I'd go as far as saying the game would be pretty damn hard. You would need to take a few hits before defeating the bosses. Plus, to make one of the bosses easier, you have to take advantage of the fact that Minnie is invincible, which is a great thing, because I thought I was about to die without using the Minnie Trick.
However, it's absolutely annoying with Minnie around. First off, if she dies, you die. Next off, she tends to get kidnapped during the first and last level, meaning you have to look for her in a painting, and the painting showcases a random game of chance, you have 25% chance of picking Minnie out of nothing from four pots. Finally, she isn't even all that useful, outside of one boss battle where she protects you from getting hit.
What is the Minnie Trick? Well, it's one you can use against the first and fourth bosses. Climb up the ladder, then jump off near the top so Minnie gets to the top but you don't, then rapidly fire stars. Ultimate win! The first boss isn't worth the trick, but if you're lacking in health prior to the fourth boss, this is a requirement.
Among all this, there are *dun dadadun* POWER UPS! omg who didn't see that coming!? There are three different sort of power ups you find either when you defeat an enemy, or when you shoot around it. You have diamonds that heals you. You have the clear diamonds that clears an entire screen of enemies. Then there's the fairy from the Legend of Zelda that gives Mickey temporary invincibility. The variety of power ups is small and not much to write home about, but it at least works well enough.
In a few words or so, the gameplay aspect of this game is... y'know, good enough, but nothing to gasp at in wonder.
Controls: The controls work quite well and the scheme of it all makes a lot of sense. You have the usual A for jump and B for attack, you know, the typical sort. It's also very responsive, so it's all good really...up until you realize YOU'RE CONTROLLING MINNIE AS WELL! This isn't quite Days of Thunder pit crew bad (because YOU'RE CONTROLLING EVERY GODDAMN PIT MEMBER, and there's five of those douches, that's worse), but this can be a real annoyance. See, there are times when Minnie just doesn't want to jump with you. You'll have to move yourself so that Minnie will move there and jump up there finally. If you don't get annoyed by this, then you must have infinite patience...by the way, it's only really, really bad at the last level.
Graphics: At the very least, the graphics are pretty good. Oh, the title screen is inaccurate as it just says Mickey Mouse when it's clearly Mickey Mousecapade, but that's just my little nitpick towards the graphics. While they are simple in execution (possibly simpler than most NES games), they are vibrant and colorful. Did you say the Sega Master System can do this better than the NES? Well, no shit! At least the NES tried, but with Capcom's artists working their butts off, it's no wonder that the graphics look good, while being simple in execution. Nothing to really say against the graphics.
Audio: A bright, cheerful and forgettable soundtrack, to sum it up. Bright and cheerful describes it objectively because that's what the soundtrack is. To be quite honest, it fits the game well enough, as..well, it's a goddamn Disney game involving a typical DMD scenario in the magical land of fun houses, forests, pirate ships, castles and all that other fairytale stuff. However, it gets forgettable because the music is just there for the mood. Nothing really sticks out. The forest tune gets very annoying too, because (without a walkthrough) you'll get lost and that tune repeats, so you're getting poked by two different sticks here. As for the sound effects, they're also forgettable and they're repetitive, though that's typical of an earlier NES game, so I'll let it slide.
Replay Value: Simply put, unless you really get into the game, there isn't much replay value to speak of. No secrets, no alternate endings, no nothing but improving one's self. Not that that's a bad thing or anything, but as the game is fairly short (5 levels long, lasting 45 minutes in total) and, unfortunately, gets a bit too easy or too hard at times, you might not be replaying. Suffice to say, you may find yourself replaying if you liked playing it the first time through!
Overall: Mickey Mousecape is an okay platformer that is often overlooked because Duck Tales and Chip and Dale are right next to it, developed by the same couple before Disney divorced Capcom for Square. That, and most people will tell you it's a terrible game, and while it's not good, it's not that bad. It's worth a playthrough. You might like it more than I did.
Replay Value: 2/10