Games: The Disney Afternoon Collection offers a lot of bang for your duck
The Disney Afternoon Collection (Multi)
STINKING up the market like a nappy, TV and movie tie-ins were as awful as they were numerous in the early 90s, which made it doubly surprising that a glut of Disney platformers turned heads on Nintendo's NES – a console already groaning with stone-cold Mario classics.
Lovingly recreated in all their 8-bit glory and dripping in fan service, The Disney Afternoon Collection corrals a sextet of the best from this golden age – DuckTales (a-woo-oo!), DuckTales 2, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and its sequel, meaning more duck and chipmunk than a dodgy Chinese menu.
Developed by Capcom back when the Street Fighter creators were at the top of their game, the unique hop n' bop gameplay, memorable boss battles and earworm soundtracks promise to massage the nostalgia glands of middle-aged gamers.
And while ugly as sin by today's standards, the titles on offer are still riddled with full-blown charm. DuckTales followed the booty-hunting adventures of Uncle Scrooge, a cartoon duck with a penchant for diving into pools of gold coins in a display of unfettered greed.
Darkwing Duck took a page from Batman's book as Drake Mallard protects his pantsless city from evil. Chip N' Dale followed two chipmunk private dicks clad in clobber of the era, with Chip in an Indiana Jones fedora and Dale going for the Magnum PI Hawaiian shirt, while TaleSpin features anthropomorphic bears taking to the skies in the 1930s.
Considering today's Disney fans weren't even a stirring in their parents' loins when these games first drew breath, The Disney Afternoon Collection is still immensely playable. The NES visuals remain, albeit upgraded to support modern HD tellies, while a museum feature comes packed with original artwork, fun facts, and nostalgic ephemera.
A music mode allows musos to scroll through 8-bit tracks from each game, and while low-tech, some of these (especially the moon stage from DuckTales) are chip-tune classics. Best of all is a handy gameplay rewind feature that lets players Groundhog their way through trickier sections.
And don't let the cutesy visuals fool you – these games were borne of a time when men were men. While some modern-day Disney efforts would have ole Walt spinning in his cryo-box, Afternoon Collection's blasts from the past are guaranteed to leave players with a warm glow. And given there's six of them, that's a lot of bang for your duck.