Thursday, March 5, 2015

Nerdicus NES Review #179 : Darkwing Duck

Title : Darkwing Duck

Publisher : Capcom

Developer : Capcom

Genre : Action Platformer

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1992

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $25 - $30

Darkwing DUCK! When there's trouble you call D-W....DARKWING DUCK!!! Let's....get....DANGEROUS.

Seriously, this was one of my all time fav. Disney Afternoon cartoons. A nice little spin off from the Duck Tales series, and I'm always happy to see Launchpad McQuack get some extra screen time. He was a damn bad ass. You just had to love the fact that this was basically Batman, but a kiddy-Disney-themed version of it. Actually, you have to compare it more to the old-school SHADOW comics, since that's who he technically was based off of, but back then I didn't know that. I always just compared him to Batman.

You've got the bumbling superhero, with idiotic villains, and a rag-tag team of allies where the kid is the one doing most of the work. Sort of like Penny and Brain from Inspector Gadget. But, now we've got Ducks.

I never played this game when I was younger, and I can't fathom why. I can only guess it's because I was already moving on to the Super Nintendo when this came out, and since it was a late release I sort of just recycled my NES. Then again, I regret it also, because we all know how epic the Capcom / Disney games were back in the day. There was not a crappy one out there (and even the "crappiest" ones weren't crappy. That's a lot of crap. okay..moving on).

Luckily, I was able to get my hands on one within the last few years, and indulged myself in hours of Darkwing Duck glory. Time to tackle how is that not an epic name for a villain group for an anthropomorphic duck based series?

Title screen wins for being the epitome of animated bad-assery. Straight from the cartoon. Gotta love it. Although I would have also loved it if Darkwing also looked like that in the game, but too bad he's more of a Duck Tales sprite knock off. Hey, I'm not really complaining since it works just fine.

If you could compare Darkwing Duck to any one game, it has to be Mega Man.  It's practically the same thing. You've got your traditional level select with various end-stage bosses as well as an upgradeable "gas gun" with different types of "gas-ammo" that are more effective on different enemies. Capcom basically did a cut and paste, but I won't knock 'em for that either. The formula for Mega Man has worked for years, and there's no point in changing it.

What you've got here, is a Mega Man game you can actually beat. Seriously, it's a hell of a lot easier than any MM game you'll play, and you can only assume that it's because it's targeting more of a younger cartoon-loving generation that they didn't want a bunch of kids to cry to their mom's and dad's that the game was too hard. STILL, it's not INCREDIBLY EASY. The challenge increases with each level, and by the time you get to FOWLS fortress, you'll find yourself having to be patient with your moves less you wanna get destroyed.

Another great feature added to this game is the ability to deflect projectiles with your cape which actually becomes a VERY important game mechanic. Certain bosses are defeated a lot easier if you are able to time deflections to send their attacks right back at them.

Level design is perfect, with a number of various themed levels that you'll find in any other platformer from city landscapes, to ice caverns, to jungles, etc.  I really think Capcom just took some of their old MM levels and mashed them up for this game.

One thing you'll probably notice with this game is that the controls feel quite a bit tighter than the MM counterparts. I'm not sure if that's because they were trying to make the game easier, or if it's that they finally perfected how they wanted the motion to be with the character animations and attacks. Who knows, but everyone could tell that has the MM games progressed, controls were much MUCH easier.

This game is a visual breath of fresh air, with vibrant colors, fantastic animations and highly creative character and level designs. Heck, this is was as close as you were going to get to some 16-bit styled animations even though they were still 8-bit. 

Music? OH BOY...Darkwing Duck all the way. This is one theme song I don't mind hearing over and over again from a Disney Cartoon. Actually, Disney had the best theme songs. Was gummi bears disney? That was awesome too.

My only qualm with this game was that it was WAY too short. MM games, although similar in size, always seemed a bit longer, but for some reason I guess it's because this game just wasn't as challenging, I basically breezed through it. I want more DW Duck dammit!! But, for a Disney / Capcom marriage in gaming, this one is one of the best. 

I'm off to go watch some Disney Afternoon toons.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!

PS -

Just a little heads up before I go. There will NOT be a review tomorrow, Friday, Mar. 6. I am on my way to PAX EAST 2015, so I need to drive up to Boston tonight and get myself ready for a weekend of gaming glory! Don't worry, I will have a PAX EAST 2015 retrospective for you guys sometime next week, and of course more YOUTUBE LET'S SUCK and blog reviews! don't miss me too loyal fans.



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