Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (GBA) Retro Review

Is Mickey Magical Enough to Save This Port?
All screenshots by SuperPhillip.

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Back in my childhood, I remember a game that would cause me so much trouble. Well, one game among many that gave me a lot of grief. This was an excellent effort between Capcom and Disney in the form of Disney's Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse for the Super Nintendo, a console that gave me so many fond childhood memories. The game was difficult for me as a child, and there's a lot of nostalgia permeating from it. Does the port on the GBA cause all these good memories to come flooding back, or was it just nostalgia that made me love this game so much as a kid?

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Minnie Mouse is a new playable addition, but she plays exactly the same as Mickey.

Our story begins with an innocent game of catch with all of Mickey's friends, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Mickey's best buddy, Pluto. When one throw of the baseball goes a little too far, Pluto chases after it and fades seemingly into oblivion. Mickey sets off on an adventure to retrieve his pooch pal. Turns out, a helpful magician is out to assist Mickey on his journey. Pluto isn't just lost-- he's been dognapped by the sinister Emperor Pete! So now the case has turned into a rescue mission. Is Mickey up to the challenge?

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Map a course for Emperor Pete's castle.

There are six worlds each with varying challenges, obstacles, enemies, and bosses to conquer. You'll venture from bouncy grasslands to dark and dangerous forests. Each world consists of 3-4 levels. Most of these are rather short. So what does Mickey have going for him here? Well, Mickey has multiple hearts serving as his life meter. If they're depleted, he loses a life. Lose all your lives, and you'll get a game over. No worries though. You can pick up where you left off via the newly-implemented save system. Mickey's no slouch either. He can brawl with the best of them. In regular form, he can grab gold boxes (or even dazed enemies) and send them flying towards enemies.

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Attack the weakpoint for-- forget it-- that joke's
older than "i has a cheeseburger"

At the conclusion of each world is a confrontation with one of the game's six bosses. You'll be launching gold boxes at the head of a massive millipede, leaping on the chin of an ornery spider, and and pounding a stone face with water while jumping from rotating platform to rotating platform. The bosses can be a serious challenge to younger gamers, but once their patterns are down, their gooses will be cooked.

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Magician Mickey's my favorite transformation.

But that's not all, dear friends! The mighty magician on Mickey's side helps him by granting Mickey the powerful ability to change into various costumes-- unleashing new powers. Magician Mickey, for instance, can charge up his finger and shoot foes with magic-- as long as he has enough magic power in storage. Fireman Mickey, the third world's transformation, allows Mickey to put out fires with his hose (no, not that hose. This is an E-rated affair) as well as push stone blocks aside. There's three transformations in all, and they can be easily switched on the fly with the L button.

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The many uses for Fireman Mickey.

So we have the story, we have the powers, but how does the game play? Well, I remember it playing very smoothly and fluidly. It still does on the GBA version, but the fun is over all within a half-hour or so. So what's the deal here? Is the game dumbed down for the current generation of kids? Not at all. The game's still the same from the SNES version difficulty-wise. It's just that I've grown up while the game's stayed the same. Add that save feature, and the game's quite the fast affair. And after you've completed it once, there's really no secrets beside 4-5 hidden heart containers to discover. Sure, there's three difficulties to complete, but they're still quite simple to beat. There's also a newly added multiplayer mode which consists of defeating as many enemies as possible in a given time frame, but this is neither intuitive nor productive. And then there's sound issues. The game soundtrack was beautiful on the Super Nintendo, but unfortunately on the GBA, the music is tinny and sounds as if it was recorded from a bus station pay phone.

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This guy's high and dry.

Unfortunately for Magical Quest on the Game Boy Advance, it's a one-playthrough-pony. Unless you really enjoyed the game on the SNES or have little children you think would appreciate this platformer, there's really no need to pick this title up. It's over far too quickly, and there's really nothing to return to once completed. Stick with the SNES version if you have it, and you'll most likely find that that version is a breeze, too.

[SuperPhillip Says: 5.25/10]

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