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Gamer Tuesday

September 13, 2011

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Mickey Mousecapade
System: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Developed by: Hudson Soft

It's time to get a little honest here. So far, I've highlighted games that range from solid to great, nearly all featuring amazing appeal towards gamers and Disney fans. But there are many mediocre and even bad Disney games that put a damper on a fan's enjoyment. Today's game is an example of that mentality: Mickey Mousecapade, an adventure/platforming game for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

It was originally developed and published in Japan by Hudson Soft for the Family Computer (or Famicom as the system was known there), a company best known for games like the Adventure Island and Bomberman series. Capcom, famous for developing many famous Disney games, published the game in North America. The basic story behind Mickey Mousecapade is that Alice (From 'Alice in Wonderland') has been kidnapped. It is up to Mickey and Minnie to travel to various Disney themed worlds in order to rescue her and put down the vicious Disney villains once and for all.

So far, it all sounds really nice, right? Well, this is where things get sour. Mickey Mousecapade is notorious for being one of the most difficult games out there, for all the wrong reasons. What do I mean by this?

A video game can be challenging for two reasons:

-  The developers worked hard on designing an easy to learn, hard to master game that invites you to improve your skills in order to conquer the challenges that lie ahead

-  It features many glitches, poor level design and ideas that hinder the gameplay

Mickey Mousecapade suffers from the latter. One of the most common problems is that Minnie would often get stuck in places, not allowing Mickey to move on if she is not with him. The level design was at times very confusing and hard to navigate through. Worst of all, the game suffered from horrible slowdown that would cause the characters to flicker, making the game a chore to play through.

If the game really is that bad, why am I highlighting it? Well for two reasons. The first is that the game does have its fair amount of elements that will please the Disney fan. The Japanese version of the game featured a lot of references to 'Alice in Wonderland,' including a boss battle with the Cheshire Cat and a final battle with the Queen of Hearts. Characters from 'Peter Pan' made their appearances as well, with characters such as Captain Hook and Tick Tock the Crocodile proving to be worthwhile enemies.

When the game was localized for North American audiences, the game received some slight changes in cast. Rather than just focusing on 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Peter Pan,' characters from other Disney stories such as 'The Jungle Book' and 'Sleeping Beauty' were included. The references were indeed delightful, especially if you were a young Disney gamer.

Second, and most importantly, it's because Mickey Mousecapade was indeed the start of a great legacy of Disney gaming. This title was Capcom's first ever foray into publishing Disney themed games. Mickey Mousecapade was successful enough that it inspired the company to produce their own Disney games, creating in the process some of the best and memorable titles ever released.

In conclusion, without Mickey Mousecapade we wouldn't have gotten better Disney games. It was an experiment that yielded a lot of mixed results, but eventually lead to the quality games fans wanted, hence why it deserves an honorable mention in today's Gamer Tuesday article.


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