On occasion, I’ve always tried to post things that I’ve found from Chris Buffa on the blog, I’m not going to go back and look for all those things, but I’ve known Chris from my R.A. days at FDU. He’s since been writing about video games past, present and future on a variety of websites and has been doing well with that as a job. I wish I had it that easy.
The Disney Afternoon hits it home for me because I remember rushing home to watch a handful of the shows that were made into video game by video game company Capcom (probably best known for their Street Fighter and Marvel vs. series). I still have (unless my parents threw them out) the last episode from the first weeks worth (which was like the pilot week for the shows) from Duck Tails, Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers and Tale Spin. I could never get the one from Darkwing Duck and I don’t think Goof Troop ever had a pilot episode. Or maybe I just didn’t care by the time that one came out.
Anyway, Chris Buffa posted the following on his facebook and I thought I’d share it with you.
Capcom And The Disney Afternoon
Posted July 13, 2010 by Chris Buffa
Gamers who grew up in the 90s know all about The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour block of 30-minute TV shows that gave thousands of kids something to look forward to after the bell rang.Â Weâ€™d run home, toss our books onto the couch, grab a snack and settle in for some Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck and TaleSpin, among other animated cartoons. Not only were they immensely entertaining, but they also served as a primer for Saved by the Bell, which started at 5:00PM; with all this TV, itâ€™s a miracle that we graduated.
Disney Afternoon kicked off in 1990, when the NES was still popular, and Capcom was there with 8-bit games for almost every show.Â But unlike most movie/TV-licensed titles, these were actually decent games, with (at the time) advanced graphics and in some cases, unforgettable music.
Itâ€™s been a while since we played these old school titles, and weâ€™d love to see some of them come back as part of a compilation or through Nintendoâ€™s Virtual Console.
Chip â€˜n Dale: Rescue Rangers
When things get tough, you call on two chipmunks (not named Alvin, Simon or Theodore) to solve the case.Â The Rescue Rangers video game let you explore different environments as the troublesome but sweet heroes.Â In addition, the game featured co-op modes and the ability to choose levels out of sequence.Â It was followed by Chip â€˜n Dale: Rescue Rangers 2.
Although itâ€™s certainly up for debate, we always felt that Duck Tales was the shining star of the whole Disney Afternoon, and the game was almost as good.Â In it, you criss-cross the globe as Scrooge McDuck in search of treasure (as if he doesnâ€™t have enough in that money bin).Â To get around, you pogo hop using his cane, which doubles as a weapon.Â What really stands out, apart from the enjoyable gameplay, is the music.Â Duck Tales has one of the best NES soundtracks ever conceived.
Capcom fans will see Darkwing Duck for what it truly is, a Mega Man clone.Â It looks and plays almost exactly like one of the blue bomber’s adventures, save for the unique cut scenes and characters.Â But hey, thatâ€™s not necessarily a bad thing.Â Capcom took a proven formula and adapted it to a new character, so despite the copycat gameplay, Darkwing Duck stood on its own.Â Besides, it was much easier than any of the NES Mega Mans, so we actually made progress instead of dying multiple times.
TaleSpin, like Duck Tales, was pure genius. Disney took characters from an old flick (in this case, The Jungle Book), and spun them off into a new series starring Baloo and Kit Cloudkicker, with Shere Khan (loved that tiger) as one of the primary antagonists.Â There were planes, pirates and lots of action.Â We loved it.
As for the NES game, itâ€™s clearly the weakest of the four.Â Baloo flies his plane, The Seaduck, though different areas trying to deliver cargo.Â What separates this from other shooters is the ability to fly up, down, left and right.Â While a novel concept, the gameplay was monotonous and at times, a bit illogical.Â Upgrades for The Seaduck are too expensive, and the cheap enemies make surviving more troublesome than it should be.Â There are also a few ridiculous moments, like when an oversized baseball crashes onto the playfield, revealing an underground cave.Â So yeah, TaleSpin was the black sheep, but we still kind of dug it.