Let’s jump into a time machine and visit the magical days of the early 1990s, the formative years for older millennials. Disney enjoyed a golden age, with blockbuster films like Aladdin , Beauty and the Beast , The Lion King , and The Little Mermaid hitting theaters. Besides those massive movies, Disney also made a daily impression on kids with its televised Disney Afternoon cartoon block. Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers , Darkwing Duck , DuckTales , and TaleSpin were must-watch TV for any kid who just got home from school between 1990 and 1997. Additionally, Disney Afternoon spawned some of the best platforming games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, thanks to developer Capcom. And, 20 years later, the excellent Disney Afternoon Collection PC game .
The company that created Mega Man developed six NES games based on the four aforementioned cartoons: Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers 2, Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, DuckTales 2, and TaleSpin. They range from the solid-but-forgettable (TaleSpin) to the top-10-NES-games-contender (DuckTales). Now, over two decades later, Capcom has bundled those six games into a single $19.99 package for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Shovel Knight (for PC)
Mega Man Legacy Collection (for PC)
Freedom Planet (for PC)
Super Mario Maker (for Wii U)
DoDonPachi Resurrection (for PC)
Nintendo NES Classic Edition
This collection consists of only the six NES games developed by Capcom based on Disney Afternoon cartoons. This means the two SNES Disney Afternoon games Capcom made, including Bonkers and Goof Troop, aren’t included. Nor are any of the games Capcom developed based on Disney movies or broader Disney properties, like The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse for the SNES.
The focus on NES games is likely for the same reason the Mega Man Legacy Collection only has the first six Mega Man games. Both collections were developed by Digital Eclipse using the company’s Eclipse Engine, which decompiles and converts NES games into a form that can be easily ported to multiple modern platforms. This allows for more flexibility in porting and the addition of new features and content, rather than simply emulating a game cartridge’s ROM file, but it hasn’t yet been commercially used for non-NES games.
The Original Games
DuckTales is the most noteworthy game in the collection, as it features some of the best platforming on the NES and game mechanics that influence side-scrolling game design to this day. Instead of simply jumping on enemies as Mario and Luigi do in Super Mario Bros., Scrooge McDuck uses his pogo stick cane to bounce on them, or on treasure chests, or even just on the ground. The ability to traverse levels by both walking and bouncing was one of the inspirations for the excellent Shovel Knight , and the action still holds up.
Its sequel, DuckTales 2, improves on the original in gameplay, graphics, and level design, but isn’t remembered as fondly because it was released near the end of the NES’s life cycle and got a fairly limited production run. It has multiple endings, persistent upgrades, and more secrets than the first DuckTales. It’s still very much worth playing, and despite my nostalgia for DuckTales, I enjoyed DuckTales 2 more when going through the collection.
Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers and its sequel put a different twist on side-scrolling platformers. Chip and Dale can’t jump on enemies at all, but they can pick up boxes and other objects and throw them. This gives the games a dynamic similar to that of Super Mario Bros. 2, but with more emphasis on simply getting through each level, rather than exploring. The levels are bright and colorful, the bosses are engaging if repetitive (especially in the first game), and the action is consistently fun. Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 doesn’t present quite the upgrade over the first game as DuckTales 2 does, but it’s still very enjoyable and, as the youngest game in the collection it saw very little attention around its original 1993 release. The two Rescue Rangers games are also the only games in the collection with any form of multiplayer. With two gamepads, two players can play simultaneously (one as Chip, the other as Dale).
Darkwing Duck is a consistently underrated Capcom/Disney game, and one of the most challenging in the collection. The action is similar to the Mega Man games, focusing on shooting enemies with a gas gun that fires pellets as its default attack. You can pick up a variety of specialized ammo, such as a heavy gas that fires along the ground in both directions or arrows that can make platforms. While you don’t have a pogo stick, you can hang from certain platforms and hooks (Scrooge McDuck also has this ability in DuckTales 2), which becomes vital when traversing over wide pits. Ammo is limited and Darkwing Duck can only take four hits, so it can reach Mega Man levels of hard at points.
TaleSpin was one of the more forgettable cartoons in the Disney Afternoon, and TaleSpin is the most forgettable game in the Disney Afternoon Collection. Unlike the other five games, TaleSpin isn’t a platformer; it’s a shoot-em-up game where you pilot the Sea Duck through sky pirate-infested airs. Sluggish movement, underpowered weapons, and unforgiving hit boxes make TaleSpin frustratingly difficult, with little of the charm or satisfying gameplay of the other five games in the collection.
The games on the collection are all faithful ports of the originals, with relatively few changes or enhancements. They don’t feature overhauled graphics like DuckTales Remastered; instead, the visuals are closer to the Mega Man games as presented in the Mega Man Legacy Collection, which keep the original experience while upconverting the graphics to look sharp on a modern television or monitor.
You can choose between three different scaling options: Original, which displays the game in a rectangle slightly shorter than the height of the screen; Full, which maintains the same 4:3 aspect ratio but expands the game to fit the height of the screen; and Wide, which stretches the game to fill up your presumably 16:9 screen. You can also toggle filters that add scanlines like a CRT TV or monitor, and (for Original and Wide modes) play with game-specific art or black bars on either side of the pillarboxed view.
Decades-old sprites are structurally primitive compared with modern graphics, or even the graphics of the SNES, but properly upscaled to a 1080p screen, they’re still crisp and colorful. The later games in the collection, like Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 and DuckTales 2, really show off what talented artists could do with both limited resolution and limited color palettes.
While the graphics haven’t been updated since the early 1990s, Capcom dipped into modern emulation technology to add two useful tools to the collection; save states and rewinding. The collection’s pause menu, accessible by pressing the right bumper on your controller and separate from each game’s original Pause menu, lets you save the game’s state at that precise moment. Whether it’s a stage-select screen or the moment before you fall into a pit, you can save your progress and pick it up later. This is a welcome touch, since none of the games in the collection originally let you save your game.
You can also rewind your gameplay by holding the left bumper on your controller, rolling the game back and letting you undo small mistakes. It’s very helpful for getting past frustrating points, but classic game purists will find it a constantly available cheat that undermines the challenge. While you can simply choose not to use it, you can’t disable the feature entirely; it will always be within finger’s reach, tempting you.
Besides playing each game normally on your own (or with two players for the Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers games), you can compete with other players in Time Attack and Boss Rush modes. Time Attack simply judges your speed as you play your game of choice, while Boss Rush sends you on a gauntlet of each game’s boss.
Minimum Requirements and Steam Options
The Disney Afternoon Collection’s simple graphics can run on even aging PCs. The meager system requirements include an Intel Core 2 6600 CPU, 1GB of RAM, an ATI Radeon HD 4800 or Nvidia GeFroce 8800GT GPU, and the Windows 7 operating system. So, you don’t need the latest beast gaming desktop to revisit gaming’s wonderful past.
As with many Steam releases, The Disney Afternoon Collection supports Steam Achievements, Steam Cloud Saves, and Steam Leaderboards.
Beyond the Games
Gallery and Music features pile on more content related to the games in the collection. The Gallery is filled with pictures from the games’ development and marketing, like the North American and Japanese packages for each game, magazine ads, and looks at the Game Boy ports of the games (which aren’t included in the collection). Music lets you listen to the full soundtrack of each game, letting you put on the DuckTales Moon theme and just chill out. They’re nice, but limited, extras. The Gallery only has still images with captions, and offers no way to zoom in. TV commercials or reprinted magazine articles (like cheat codes and maps from Nintendo Power ) would have been very welcome. And, while Capcom’s 8-bit tunes are some of the best, you can only listen to them in the collection itself, so you can’t load them on your phone and listen on the go.
The Disney Afternoon Collection is a look at gaming’s past, presented in a friendly, affordable package. The original games are intact for purists, helpful emulation tricks are available for gamers not used to the challenge of NES games, and extra material enhances the experience. It would have been nice to see some SNES or non-Disney-afternoon games in the collection (like the SNES action puzzler Goof Troop or the surprisingly good The Little Mermaid, or even the Game Boy ports of the games in the collection. Still, it’s $20 for six games, of which five can be described as very good or excellent. If you have nostalgia for the 1990s or just want a look at what platforming was like back in the days of the NES, The Disney Afternoon Collection is worth your attention, and earns our Editors’ Choice.
The Disney Afternoon Collection (for PC)
Several of the games are still excellent.
Crisp upscaling and accurate gameplay.
Gallery, Music, and Boss Rush extras.
Useful Save and Rewind features.
Limited to just NES Disney/Capcom games.
TaleSpin pales in comparison with the other games in the collection.
The Bottom Line
The Disney Afternoon Collection bundles six NES-era, Capcom-developed Disney games into a compelling, inexpensive, and very fun little package.
Like What You’re Reading?
Sign up for Lab Report to get the latest reviews and top product advice delivered right to your inbox.
Thanks for signing up!
Your subscription has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your inbox!
- PS4's Gorgeous Wonder Boy Remake Receiving Limited Physical Release
- Game Release Dates In April 2017
- The 500 best games of all time: 300-201
- Now That’s Why I Love A Best 2008 Ever! May
- A Brief History of Video Game Humor
- TIE Fighter and my new hope for the Star Wars universe
The Disney Afternoon Collection (for PC) Review have 2027 words, post on www.pcmag.com at September 30, 2021. This is cached page on TechNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.