Written: August 16th-22nd, 2015
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit. =) Everyone knows about Mickey Mouse, but someone who often gets the short end of the stick and isn't anywhere near as popular is Donald Duck, whom I consider to be an underrated character. It's amazing that the sailor duck has been around for eighty-one years now.
Which makes the series of events on the Nintendo side of things during the 8- and 16-bit era pretty sad. =( When it comes to video games based on licensed property, a lot of it is the result of profitability, and other causes attribute to fan demand. One downside to being the second best known character is you'll often be overshadowed by the single best known: in this case, Donald overshadowed by Mickey.
On the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo many Disney games have come and gone, but not one of them was devoted to Donald Duck being the main character. But after five nagging reminders (read: cameos) Donald at last started to get his own games for that console... in 1995. Yyyeah, by the time that happened the Nintendo 16-bit console reached its mid-life and gradually began to lose steam... which is even more sad when Donald's 16-bit foray on Sega's side occurred four years prior when it was young. =(
Fortunately for Donald he got to (co)headline three games for both consoles; unfortunately, on the Nintendo side of things only one came out in the West: the Euro platformer Donald in (Maui Mallard) in Cold Shadow. Not to knock that game, as it is good in its own right, but the fact that the other two games were not given a proper shot outside Japan during their heyday is unforgiveable and it just shows how little confidence or demand Nintendo distributors had for Donald Duck in America and Europe. One of those games, at least for awhile, was the game I'm going to talk about today.
The success of Capcom's first 16-bit Disney title led to the 1994 release of the first sequel The Great Circus Mystery starring Mickey & Minnie, which had Mickey and Minnie Mouse venture (together or separately) to solve a pretty unmysterious mystery (Pete's behind it all) and salvage the circus. While it did perform greatly saleswise it was met with mixed to generally positive reviews, with common complaints being that the magic is nowhere near as abundant and that it was essentially a two-player Magical Quest 1.5; it also underwent being compared to by Traveller's Tales' Mickey Mania which was released in the same month. While I don't disagree on those notions, I do personally think it's a great game on its own merits, even better than the first game in my opinion (mostly on account that it has got a far more satisfactory ending than its predecessor did); I even enjoyed the Sega 16-bit conversion despite not being anywhere near as colorful as the SFC/SNES original. =)
So, feeling that Capcom could muster one more game in the Magical Adventure trilogy (a first and last for their Disney library) before completely moving on to the 32-bit generation, they managed to craft the Japan-only 1995 Super Famicom Disney Capcom swansong: Mickey & Donald: Magical Adventure 3.
Received: February 23rd, 2013
Year: 1995 | Developed and Published by: Capcom | [|O|]
Or at least, it was Japan-only up until the 2003 Game Boy Advance version published by Disney Interactive was released in 2004 and 2005 in America and Europe (under a slightly different name with the Disney name attached to it) respectively. But because I'm rather picky when it comes to buying versions of games sometimes (and other reasons) I decided to opt for the Japanese version of that one too.
Received: May 6th, 2015
(As played on the Game Boy Player)
Alternate Title: Disney's Magical Quest 3 starring Mickey & Donald
Alternate Title: Disney's Magical Quest 3 starring Mickey & Donald
Year: 2003 | Developed by: Capcom | Published by: Disney Interactive | [|O|]
That's riiiight: to give the most complete reviewing experience I'll be talking about the handheld version too. Which means: two versions in one review, yay! =D This is going to be interesting. Welcome to my first ever SUPER ADVANCE REVIEW, fellow gamin' folk!During a visit to Donald Duck's place his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie have pulled a big prank on him which has the temperamental duck deeply upset. To escape his fuming rage the triplets head to the attic where they stumble upon a mysterious book lying on the ground which catches their attention. While gazing upon the pages a glowing light radiates towards them, only to be followed shortly thereafter by a huge hand which drags them inside the realm.
Having calmed down, Donald and his friend Mickey look for the three ducklings urging them not to hide anymore as they search the attic. With the help of Mickey's dog Pluto they locate them and discover that Huey, Dewey, and Louie have become trapped inside the book much to the grown ups' astonishment. At that moment the fairy godmother appears before them and explains what's going on to the two. She then helps them enter inside the book where Mickey and Donald take on their quest to save Donald's nephews and stop King Pete's evil plans once and for all.
In this Magical Adventure iteration you get to control Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or both if you have a fellow player with you. And if Mickey having eyebrows above his eyes tends to put you off, don't worry: in the Game Boy Advance version they're completely absent. =)
Feeling that they let fans of the first game down with The Great Circus Mystery and its more grounded to reality nature by comparison, Capcom decided to go back to basics and reinvigorate the Magical Adventure series' titular sense of magic and wonder once more here as a way of making it up for those disappointed in Game 2, as is evident by The Magical Quest-style chartered map inbetween stages. Already things are looking up! =)
|Marking the beginning of a brand new adventure =)|
|Haha, chucking enemies is fun! =D|
|That guy knows how to make an entrance|
|I'm magic, snowflake!|
|We interrupt this game to bring you Yoshi's Island|
a bonus ga---- holy crap, a bonus game! =O We haven't seen one in a Disney Capcom game since Disney's Aladdin! What's especially neat about it is that you have a choice whether you want to take on it or go back to the game if you so desire; I like that. =) The object of the bonus is to pick up any one of the four cards laid down before you, and picking up a good character card will give you a certain reward, as many tries as your allowed; but pick up a Pete card, and you'll be dragged back automatically.
|Underwater areas are always a wonderful feast|
for the eyes =) Well, in this version anyway...
The Super Famicom original (like most other games on the console) was made on a square aspect ratio (with a tiny black border above it which I've excluded when saving these screenshots); but when Capcom converted it to the Game Boy Advance eight years later it got cropped to accommodate its small rectangular screen (think of it as the video game equivalent of pan-and-scan). If you were curious as to what extent it got cropped, this is the result:
The Game Boy Advance is known for having a much lighter color contrast than the solid scheme exhibited by the Nintendo 16-bit, but there is an option to select one of three schemes and one of them comes close to emulating the original look. =) Despite being reduced to a small size the visuals still look just as great and the animations and areas still have an equal feel to them...... eeeexcept for one, but I'll get to that momentarily.
|Disney's Aladdin, eat your heart out!|
|I always thought the fight against Mr. Blizzard|
in Mr. Nutz would've been better if he used
ball and chain attacks against you too =P
|Stowing away on a floating ship|
|Climbing up pollenated trees|
|*insert trademark Nelson Muntz laugh here*|
|"Buy something will ya?"|
Exclusive to the Game Boy Advance port are three mini-games found under Party Mode which you can play if you're in a brief aside mood:
The first event has you go at it for sixty seconds to see how many rainbow-colored blocks you can mash and destroy before time runs out, and if you're worried that the abundance of blocks is going to run dry, that's okay: until it's over it never does.
The second mini-game is timed to see how fast you can climb up the pollenated tree and reach the goal. Bear in mind that every now and then there will be an obstacle that impedes your progress, whether it's something falling on your head or even pollen trying to reach you, so if any of these things come close to you just rotate yourself to the other side.
And finally in the third mini-game it's a one-on-one magician match to see who can turn the other into the frog (provided you have a heart icon); you only have one shot, so make sure to use it wisely otherwise you'll have to retrieve the heart again. This mini-game in particular has three different difficulty settings, and the harder the difficulty the more careful you'll have to be when conjuring your magic.
Remember when I mentioned that the Game Boy Advance version matched the exact colors of the Super Famicom cart's visuals except for one? In that version the fifth stage's underwater section you swam through a beautiful wavy bluish turquoise-filled ocean. =) ..................
In the Game Boy Advance port, however, the fifth stage's underwater section had you swimming through a wavy ocean lathered in putrid puke green! XP Now to anyone that didn't get introduced to Magical Adventure 3 via the SFC original it might not be as distracting, but to those who have it's quite a flummoxing deal (especially as the water's hues are mismatched to their foreground; it's even worse when viewed on the GameCube's Game Boy Player). =/ What happened??
I could forgive the limited color capacities in the Sega version of The Great Circus Mystery as its color library wasn't anywhere near as plentiful as the one in Nintendo's 16-bit console. But this?? A handheld that supposedly has more power than the Nintendo 16-bit, that has as vast a color library? o_o ......you had one job, Capcom, one job!!!
|A hammed up battle royale|
|There is another way to battle this wolf; I|
should know, I speak from personal
This one in particular was troublesome initially because he consistently tried to bounce and trap you on the side uncomfortably close with little room to react to the cannonball(s) he shoots at you, and at first I thought the rope was the only way to defeat him. But months ago I thought of trying the magician ability on him, and while the armored wolf still tries to close you in on a corner, it does make the battle more manageable, thank God. The fact that it took me over two years to discover this strategy albeit in miniaturized format is pretty sad. =(
|Mickey's given a brand new outfit by...|
Parappa the Rapper? o~O
|Geez, that guy's a real turkey .........sorry|
So there you have it: the end of the Nintendo 16-bit Disney Capcom era. It began with Mickey Mouse and it ended with Mickey Mouse. How fittingly full circle, and what a great way of bookending Mickey Mouse's Magical Adventure trilogy. =) In my book this is the best Mickey Mouse available on the console (not only that, but arguably the best Disney game on the SFC/SNES), and if you have the means I highly recommend you import it. If you can't however, even though it's not in high abundance, if you keep a look out there is an NTSC and PAL-formatted repro cart made for it floating around on eBay (with the GBA's translation), but like a lot of repro carts it's going to cost you if you're interested.
If you don't own a Super Famicom, Super Famiclone, or a modded SNES console, then the only other option is the Game Boy Advance port. It suffers poorly transitioned music and slight difficulty caused by the cropped screen due to overcrowding of enemies sometimes, but if you can look past that it's not a bad way to spend time on the handheld. Whichever edition you decide to purchase, you can't go wrong with the final installment of Mickey's Magical Adventure trilogy, and with Donald as an alternative character to choose from, it's even better. =) It's a story worth exploring, for the journey is just as good as the reward in the end; and that makes it all worthwhile.
My Personal Game Boy Advance Score: 7.5/10
My Personal Super Famicom Score: 9.0/10
<( ^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^ )>
P.S. I swore in a P.S. in my The Great Circus Mystery starring Mickey & Minnie review that I hoped it would take less than sixteen months to get to this game. It has been exactly sixteen... months...... I need to start keeping promises I make to myself. =(
P.S. 2 When I say Donald Duck deserved better on the Nintendo spectrum, I mean it. Like, the last time we got a game dedicated to him was, what, thirteen years ago? Show of hands: who wants to see a new Donald Duck video game?? =) That so needs to happen! ...or; the reason the original 16-bit game didn't hit the West may have attributed to Disney Interactive handling Disney licenses at the time and they refused Capcom's game...? I don't know.
P.S. 3 I liked that Capcom added the bubbles to show how much breath you've got left underwater; looks like they've taken a cue from GRC's Mickey no Tokyo Disneyland Daibōken in that regard. Only question is: why does Donald need bubbles? He's a duck, isn't it part of his natural habitat to breathe underwater forever, or is that only applicable when he doesn't team up with Mickey? =|
P.S. 4 Personally speaking, I'd rather play Mickey's Ultimate Challenge than play a version of this game in the language I understand, because at least that game (average though it may be) doesn't mismatch Huey, Dewey, and Louie's names; no, even better, they're never identified period! *sigh* I have strictly personal standards sometimes. =(
P.S. 5 In absolutely irrelevant news: I've started to love an '80s movie that is a guilty please to me that I've seen a few times now, and that guilty pleasure is Jaws 3. Maybe not a good Jaws movie, or movie for that matter, but I can't help it; I actually find it fun to watch despite its problems (though it does have genuinely good things in it too, a couple of them being Alan Parker's score, and the idea behind the movie is not bad). In fact, I think I'll watch it again. X-)
P.S. 6 Capcom would make a few more Disney games between 1998 and 2003 after a three-year hiatus (including a certain GameCube flop), but they could never recapture their glory days of the late '80s and early to mid-'90s.
P.S. 7 If you thought I was being overcritical with the Game Boy Advance's shortcomings, wait until I cover Breath of Fire in the near future (mostly the SNES version, with only a tiny portion detailing the GBA port). You haven't seen overcritical yet. -_-
P.S. 8 The GBA shots were actual snaps I took in camera mode, while the SFC shots were what I captured from my camera's video mode. The fact that I could even pull off the former here (thanks to the latter not working anymore on my old laptop) as I played it is a testament to how far I will go to express my feelings of these games in my reviews (due to current conditions).
P.S. 9 *phew* I'm beat! Discussing both versions of the same game in one review has taken a lot out of me. x.x
Happy 20th Annivesary,
Mickey & Donald: Magical Adventure 3!!! =D
Thank you for reading my review, I hope you liked it, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I hope you have a great Summer, and take care! =D