Capsule Review: The Disney Afternoon Collection

A collection of six classic NES titles (DuckTales, DuckTales 2, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers 2, Darkwing Duck, and TaleSpin) bundled together. Most of these games are platformers - DuckTales emphasizes treasure-hunting in non-linear levels, Rescue Rangers features frantic two-player action, Darkwing Duck has almost Mega Man-like combat and bosses, and the lone non-platformer is TaleSpin which is instead a side-scrolling aerial shooter. Each game has received a handful of new features: boss rush and time attack modes, a single saved state slot per game, and a rewind ability to undo mistakes.

A bundle of nearly-straight ports is a little strange just a few years after one of the six games got a full remake in DuckTales: Remastered (I, for one, was really hoping for a Darkwing Duck: Remastered) but this was surely much cheaper to make and it’s better than nothing. The rewind feature is a decent band-aid that vastly increases the games’ accessibility, but still feels a bit like the player is allowed to cheat to avoid punishment rather than the game being redesigned to make punishment less pointlessly painful.

If you’ve played DuckTales: Remastered, it’s hard to ignore that these games’ surface features just haven’t been brought up to modern standards. There’s really only value here if you’re specifically nostalgic for these titles. (For me, it was worth it just to finally beat Quackerjack.)

I Stopped Playing When: I played through several levels in Darkwing Duck, but didn’t like that I had to lean on the rewind feature to learn the bosses without being forced to replay levels (an infinite lives cheat would have helped here).

Docprof's Rating:

Two Stars: Meh. The game has some merit - it probably held my attention for at least an hour or I came back to it for more than one play session. But there wasn't enough draw for me to stick with it for the long haul.

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