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Gamer Tuesday

August 21, 2012

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Mickey's Great Adventure in Tokyo Disneyland (Japan Only)

Developed by: TOMY

System: Super Famicom

In the past we have covered games based on the famous Disney theme parks, such as Adventures in the Magic Kingdom for the NES, Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour for the PlayStation and Dreamcast, and Kinect Disneyland Adventures for the Xbox 360. The attractions and stories the Disney resorts tell, along with the iconic landmarks and their place in pop culture history, make for some truly inspired video games (and other forms of media as well). Japan's Tokyo Disneyland is no exception to the rule, featuring a game bearing its legacy: Mickey's Great Adventure in Tokyo Disneyland. But before we move onto the game, let's learn a little bit about the resort.

Tokyo Disneyland first opened in Japan on April 15, 1983, making it the first ever international Disney theme park. Since its opening, it has added a brand new park (Tokyo DisneySea), brought forth a very popular Disney character (Duffy the Disney Bear, now appearing at the two American Disney resorts) and countless popular attractions, both original and classic. The park is unique in that it wasn't built by Disney themselves. The Oriental Land Company built and currently operates the park, obtaining the Disney license for usage. The Tokyo Disneyland resort looks very similar to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, but with the best elements of the Disneyland resort. And with that piece of history with us in our mind, let us look at the game based on this famous theme park.

Mickey's Great Adventure in Tokyo Disneyland (or Mickey no Tokyo Disneyland Daibōken as it is known in Japan) tells the story of how Mickey Mouse is looking forward to spending a day at Tokyo Disneyland. But upon arrival, he learns that not only has Pete kidnapped his friends, he has taken over the park! Now it is up to Mickey to travel to the different lands and defeat Pete and his goons once and for all.

The game is unique in that it is the first Disney theme park based game to actually star Mickey Mouse. Mickey has appeared in many video games, both under his name as well as the Disney franchise, yet this is the first time he is the playable star of a theme park based game.

Mickey also plays differently from his previous video game appearances. While he can run and jump like in past side scrolling game appearances such as Mickey Mania, he employs a new mechanic that remains exclusive to this game. Mickey wears a backpack with a hose attached to it. Mickey then uses two kinds of balloons, a blue and a red. The blue balloon works as a projectile attack used to fend off enemies. The red balloon allows Mickey to temporarily float across gaps and fly quickly.

Along the journey, Mickey will travel through levels all based on famous attractions seen at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and many more. The presentation of these attractions as levels may not be as lavish or as historically accurate as in other video games, yet the essence of these attractions shine through thanks to bright and colorful graphics and elements and scenes taken from the attractions (such as the famous portraits seen in the stretching room of the Haunted Mansion). In total there are six levels.

FUN FACT: The game features a level that takes place inside Cinderella Castle. It is based on a past attraction called Cinderella Mystery Tour where guests would take a tour inside Cinderella Castle. The story behind that attraction was that the villains have taken over the castle, leading guests through horrific scenes that are unlike the original Disney story would suggest. This emulates how each castle at the different resorts would have a different attraction or service within its corridors. Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland has a walkthrough that tells the story of Sleeping Beauty, while Cinderella Castle in Orlando, Florida features a restaurant (Cinderella's Royal Table), a boutique (the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique), and a super exclusive Dream Suite. Nowadays, the castle at Tokyo Disneyland features a walkthrough that tells the story of Cinderella.

The game, however, isn't perfect. Players that have been given the opportunity to experience it have claimed that the jump mechanics are off in some cases, and switching back and forth between the balloons can be tedious. Even with its faults, however, Mickey's Great Adventure in Tokyo Disneyland is a really captivating take on a Disney theme park. Despite its promising appeal, due to its connection to the Japanese theme park, the game failed to make it overseas. The game does remain to be one of the most fascinating attempts at bringing a foreign Disney theme park to digital life, making it a rare video game import worth looking out for.


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