The best and worst of Mickey Mouse

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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