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The best and worst of Mickey Mouse

2. Disney’s Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse | 2002

Why do so many of these games “star” Mickey, anyway? Couldn’t “Mickey’s Magical Mirror” have starred him too and rolled off the tongue without all those copyright symbols… anyway, holy crap! A Disney game developed by Capcom in 2002? A return to the classic adventure game not seen since the heyday of LucasArts and Sierra?! Whoa, not so fast there, seasoned game. Put a gun against your expectations’ head and pull the damned trigger.


Above: Doing what he does best, apparently 

Magical Mirror should’ve been called Baby’s First Point-and-Suck Adventure. A piece of otherworldly toilet paper sucks Mickey into an alternate universe, and it’s up to the extremely young, undiscerning player to guide him through it before they grow up and realize they’ve been tricked out of $50.  And when we say “guide” we don’t mean control. You had to point to where you wanted Mickey’s attention so he would then carry out a scripted act and ignore you completely.


Above: Minigames did their worst to make up for a complete lack of gameplay

Where do we start? The controls suck. There are no other Disney characters in the game. It was utterly boring and it looked like it was rendered by that machine in Lawnmower Man. It shares more soul with those awful “games” you find in the special features of Disney DVDs and was pretty much trotted out with the sole intention of connecting to the rerelease of the original Magical Quest game on GBA. Shameless +10!


Above: Pretty much 


1. Mickey Mousecapade

Without a doubt, the most notorious Mickey game of all time. Even though it was developed by Hudson and only published by Capcom, that purple perimeter synonymous with Disney quality duped a nation of gamers into thinking Mickey Mousecapade was something on the level of DuckTales and Chip n’ Dales Rescue Rangers.


Above: Wrong!

The game wasn’t simply difficult – these five short levels of pure pain were flat out unfair. Mickey begins the game completely defenseless, and if you wanted to equip Minnie with a weapon of self preservation you had to look for it off the beaten path in a (not particularly well) hidden room. Speaking of your girlfriend, the otherwise vixenly rodent annoyingly set the women’s movement back several decades by getting in the way, constantly getting kidnapped, and costing you lives for her stupidity while never, ever emerging from her big strong man’s shadow.


Above: Way to bring a man down, Minnie!

But if we have one major nerdy gripe with Mickey Mousecapade, it’s the idiotic localization. While nobody bothered to change the title screen from the ambiguous Japanese title “Mickey Mouse,” some asshole went and made sweeping changes to damn near everything else that could’ve redeemed it. At least the Japanese version was honest about what it was…


Above: Outside of Captain Hook, the Japanese paid a far more consistent tribute

Ohhhh… so the game was about rescuing Alice?! Both versions cast the looking glass girl as the damsel you didn’t know you were saving. But without fighting the Wonderlandians, American gamers were in for a very extraordinary letdown.


Above: It’d better be

Sep 23, 2009


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36 comments

  • tymime - June 17, 2012 2:22 p.m.

    No, those are not the weasels from Roger Rabbit.
  • Blinder - October 2, 2009 7:49 p.m.

    I thought for sure you guys would have included a story about Virtual Magic Kingdom this week. It was Disney's promotional MMO that they closed down because they weren't making any money on it, which in turn broke a lot of childrens hearts.
  • FistfulofPelican - September 26, 2009 6:18 a.m.

    Ugh. I really didn't like Mickey Mania. Sure, it looked good and was really faithful to the source material, but it played like crap. Magical Quest, on the other hand, is awesome.
  • Weegee - September 25, 2009 11:23 p.m.

    I used to love Mickey Mouse Speedway. More than Mario Kart 64. But that was back in the days where I also played Tigger's Hunny Hunt. Go figure.
  • A2guy - September 25, 2009 1:43 p.m.

    I actually remember mickymouse speedway, and likeing it as a kid.
  • Obama69DoctorFunkenstein - September 24, 2009 11:52 p.m.

    Holy shit, i totally forgot about Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle II on gb for years until i saw this ! i used to play that game hardcore when i was very young :O
  • V13Dragongal - September 24, 2009 8:41 p.m.

    oops! i meant to say, shows how much i know about mickey.
  • V13Dragongal - September 24, 2009 8:40 p.m.

    Cool article.i didn't know mickey mouse was in SO MANY games.i only knew about two.shows how i know. Yay! i commented befor cyberninja, he allways beats me.
  • Yar - September 24, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    Eh... I kinda liked Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle, and this article didn't change my mind. It seemed a bit rushed, since all you basically said about it was 'It used to have Mickey Mouse. Anyway, IT SUCKED LOL!' Solid reasoning FTW!
  • TheWebSwinger - September 24, 2009 7:37 p.m.

    Hmmm can we all just agree to call this the Week of Antista? :P But seriously, this is great stuff. Also loving the Old-Time Disney stuff on Twitter.
  • TheGiaour - September 24, 2009 7:07 p.m.

    Well now I see your colleagues were right, you have been busy Mr. Antista. Thanks for bringing back memories, good and bad, of ol Mickey himself.
  • DirkSteele1 - September 24, 2009 6:36 p.m.

    I did half expect to see Fantasia on the Mega Drive appear on the worst list, though I would have protested a little. Yes, the controls were not as smooth as they could have been, but it was a hard as nails challenge which I appreciated. Castle of Illusion will always have a special place in my gaming history, but no World of Illusion? I know it starred Donald Duck as well, but was a great game. Kudos for putting Mickey Mania at the top of the list though. Might be time to pull the Mega Drive out of the cupboard, dust it off and take it for a spin.
  • alicerose13 - September 24, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    I have Mickey Mousecapade in my house right now. I played it when I was a kid and was afraid of it (it was really hard and Pete was scary! lol), so I decided to go back last year and try to play it again. I beat it! In all its insane difficulty!
  • Felixthecat - September 24, 2009 4:07 p.m.

    This is the best part of Week of Disney so far, i am expecting more tommorow that matches to this high standard. But fantastic article, Mickey (or should i say Mortimer) is the best and has one of the greatest voices in cartoon history.
  • Conman93 - September 24, 2009 3:23 p.m.

    Lol at the 'chill everyone I got this' picture. Go Mickey!!!
  • dweller - September 24, 2009 2:49 p.m.

    Great article! Castle of Illusion reminded me the time I rented World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The point to my story is this: I beat the game as both Donald and Mickey at the same time by myself. I was bored, it was easy, and I had two controllers. I just had to alternate between the two constantly. It did add to the challenge.
  • zombiekiller13 - September 24, 2009 2:06 p.m.

    Gah, Mickey Mousecapade. A friend of mine owned this. We actually tried to beat the game, but couldn't get past the second stage. Also didn't know the goal was to save Alice. Hell, I don't think we knew anything about our goal...I assumed it was Mickey's attempt to cut the invisible leash Minnie was keeping him on.
  • Geminiman82 - September 24, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    Chris, that was an amazing article! I'm so glad they had you doing the week of Disney because you really know your stuff man.
  • Godz_Mercenary - September 24, 2009 12:01 p.m.

    Mickey Mouse is pointless in this day and age. I'm hoping he will be confined to history soon. This is the age of...um...just not Mickey. My Nephew and Niece (6 and 2) have nothing Mickey related and watch nothing Mickey related and they ask for nothing Mickey related. Goes for Donald and Goofy too.
  • Timothy_Lemon - September 24, 2009 11:58 a.m.

    man speedway usa was so good. wish i was 10 again.

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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