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Disney Games that are worth playing


phart010
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Hello all. I have started an incomplete list of Disney games for retro consoles from NES thru PS1. I am interested in knowing which games are worth playing. I won't have a chance to play every game and give it a review, so I was hoping that people that have already played games on the list can share their experiences.

The list is here. It is currently editable by anyone with the link (I have a backup in case anyone screws it up!):


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hsyoPTpL5THNEmKW4xWlaK1NKMnU8GGo2U40TIdfxEI/edit?usp=sharing

 

My plan is to lock editing after a few days. At that point you would still be able to view it, but any edits would have to be posted in the thread below and then I'd add the info into the spreadsheet on your behalf.

This spreadsheet has sortable headings. So you can sort by year, by developer, by publisher, etc. I am excluding games that were not Disney at the time of release. As an example, Star Wars NES games were Lucasfilm at the time of release. Lucasfilm had not yet been acquired by Disney at that time, so its not included.  Also, as a convention the regions are NA - North America as standard, unless it was exclusive to JP or EU (sorry, but I believe most of our VGS users that would look at this are in NA).

I hope we can discover some gems 🙂

Edited by phart010
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As a general rule, the most famous Disney games are worth playing, and the shovelware ones from the PS1 generation that you never hear about aren't really worth it. 😛 

Capcom's Disney games are almost all good. I think all of them also suffer from a bit of a lack of ambition/scope compared to Capcom's original IPs at the time, though. Good looking, well playing games, that just come off as a little too short or a little too easy.
But for a quick playthrough that's fine. That goes for both Ducktales games, Darkwing Duck and Rescue Rangers 1 and 2 on NES, all three Magical Quest games starring Mickey Mouse, and the SNES Aladdin game. Goof Troop stands out with a very different zelda-ish style of gameplay. It's still way too short, but it's very interesting and unique.
I haven't played Little Mermaid or Talespin, they aren't really as popular, but I'm imagining they aren't exactly bad either.

Sega's Disney games are generally good too. Nothing out of the ordinary IMO, but fun for quick completions. Highlights here are probably Quackshot and all 4 of the Illusion games (Master System Castle of Illusions and the MegaDrive one are different games + Land of Illusion and World of Illusion). The Donald Duck ones on Master system (Lucky Dime Caper and Deep Duck Trouble) are a little more awkward feeling, but you can get used to it.

The Disney produced ones are a mixed bag.
Traveller's Tales usually made pretty crappy games, but I actually enjoyed Mickey Mania. Stay clear of the awful SNES version though. The MegaDrive one is good, MegaCD even better, and the PS1 version (Mickey's Wild Adventure) is probably the best port, with a bunch of little improvements here and there, and better implementations of the "3D" stages.
Toy Story is interesting, but kinda bad.
MegaDrive Aladdin has bad hitboxes and a bunch of other annoyances you'd expect from a western platformer at the time, but it's a beautiful game and I find it generally enjoyable. I don't know how much of that is nostalgia speaking.
Similar for Westwood's Lion King game that got ported to nearly everything. That game gets incredibly difficult for the second half, but it's the kind of game you want to keep trying at.
Maui Mallard/Cold Shadow looks amazing, but it's a really bad game. I only played the MegaDrive version, and I heard the SNES one is a little better, but I doubt it's truly salvageable.

That's probably what I can think of off the top of my head. I didn't really like what I played from the PS1/N64 generations and forward, unless you want to count something like Kingdom Hearts where at least the first is worth playing.
Also, Magical Tetris Challenge is actually a really fun take on Tetris, and the soundtrack is banging.

Edited by Sumez
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There are four N64 Disney games that I would consider worth a play, even if they might not hit the absolute highs of the 8 and 16 bit era.

First up, you got Micky's Speedway USA, which is a decent kart racer from Rare. It's not as good as DKR, and is pretty redundant in light of that and Mario Kart, but it definitely offers a decent single player challenge, and the racing is solid and there's a good variety of courses etc. as you would expect.

There's Disney's Tarzan, one of the few 2D platformers on the system. It looks great and plays well, and has some interesting hybrid 2D/3D gameplay. Not the best 2D platformer ever, but it's pretty good.

Probably the best of this bunch is Donald Duck Goin' Quackers, which has both standard 2D platforming levels and also Crash Bandicoot style 3D levels where you walk into (or sometimes out of) the screen. It's fun the whole way through, especially the time trials after you clear the levels for the first time. It's short and relatively easy, however, but if anything that's a positive as it doesn't outstay its welcome. Main thing against the game are some horrendous framerates here and there, but hey, N64... 

Finally, this is a serious pick here, Tigger's Honey Hunt! Yes, of course, this is absolutely a children's game through and through, no question there. BUT, that doesn't disqualify the fact that the game is incredibly well made, with excellent control, level designs and beautiful picturebook style visuals. It's incredibly easy, as you would expect, but never not fun, and there ARE actually some challenging additional objectives to complete for the more advanced gamer, such as collecting hidden items and photos, and a LEGIT challenging time trial mode, where you will need to master the game's controls and level layouts to succeed. The worst things about the game are the bosses (which are basically all games of chance) and no voice acting, but hey. Overall it is a chill, fun experience. 

Anyway, there's a few for ya, have at it! 🙂 

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7 hours ago, Sumez said:

I haven't played Little Mermaid or Talespin, they aren't really as popular, but I'm imagining they aren't exactly bad either.

Both are good. Little Mermaid is a tad easy. Talespin is a pretty standard shooter aside from the license; nothing spectacular, but not a waste of time, either. I like that you can flip over to shoot enemies behind you.

Edited by Tulpa
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5 minutes ago, Reed Rothchild said:

Bonkers is an enjoyable game reminiscent of the NES days

Bonkers is an easily-overlooked game (I mean, I *technically* remember the show existing but I never found any interest in watching it) but is really quite good. The graphics, sound and gameplay are all quality. It won't win any awards for originality but it is certainly worth a play.

As for Disney games I've played which I consider worth spending time with:

Castle of Illusion (GEN) - Excellent
Land of Illusion (SMS) - Good
World of Illusion (GEN) - Excellent
Magical Quest (SNES) - Good
Mickey Mania (GEN) - Fair
Quackshot (GEN) - Good
Maui Mallard (SNES) - Fair
Aladdin (GEN) - Good
Aladdin (SNES) - Good
Lion King (SNES/GEN) - Fair...but frustrating
DuckTales (NES) - Excellent
Rescue Rangers (NES) - Good
Goof Troop (SNES) - Good
Bonkers (SNES) - Good
Gargoyles (GEN) - Fair

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If I have time later, I might try to update your spreadsheet, but this is the list of Disney games for the PS1 that I pulled from my own records.  I have genres for each of these games as well, but unfortunately, I don't keep track of developer or publisher (I wish I did).  Off the top of my head, I can confirm that Hercules for PS1 is a lot of fun, and it's mostly a 2D side scroller with hand drawn art, so it still looks really good today.  There are also some fun levels where you run towards the screen in an endless runner format.

Disney’s / Pixar’s Bugs Life, A
Disney’s / Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
Disney’s / Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. Scream Team
Disney’s / Pixar’s Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue
Disney’s / Pixar’s Toy Story Racer
Disney’s 101 Dalmations II: Patch’s London Adventure
Disney’s 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue
Disney’s Aladdin in Nasira’s Revenge
Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Disney’s Dinosaur
Disney’s Donald Duck Goin’ Quackers
Disney’s Hercules
Disney’s Lilo & Stitch
Disney’s My Disney Kitchen
Disney’s Peter Pan in Return to Neverland
Disney’s Pooh’s Party Game: In Search of Treasure
Disney’s Studio Stories: Mulan
Disney’s Tarzan
Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove
Disney’s The Jungle Book: Rhythm ‘n Groove
Disney’s The Lion King: Simba’s Mighty Adventure
Disney’s The Little Mermaid II
Disney’s Tigger’s Honey Hunt
Disney’s Treasure Planet
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh Kindergarten
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh Preschool
Disney’s World Quest: Magical Tour Racing
Goofy’s Fun House
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2 hours ago, TDIRunner said:

If I have time later, I might try to update your spreadsheet, but this is the list of Disney games for the PS1 that I pulled from my own records.  I have genres for each of these games as well, but unfortunately, I don't keep track of developer or publisher (I wish I did).  Off the top of my head, I can confirm that Hercules for PS1 is a lot of fun, and it's mostly a 2D side scroller with hand drawn art, so it still looks really good today.  There are also some fun levels where you run towards the screen in an endless runner format.

Disney’s / Pixar’s Bugs Life, A
Disney’s / Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
Disney’s / Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. Scream Team
Disney’s / Pixar’s Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue
Disney’s / Pixar’s Toy Story Racer
Disney’s 101 Dalmations II: Patch’s London Adventure
Disney’s 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue
Disney’s Aladdin in Nasira’s Revenge
Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Disney’s Dinosaur
Disney’s Donald Duck Goin’ Quackers
Disney’s Hercules
Disney’s Lilo & Stitch
Disney’s My Disney Kitchen
Disney’s Peter Pan in Return to Neverland
Disney’s Pooh’s Party Game: In Search of Treasure
Disney’s Studio Stories: Mulan
Disney’s Tarzan
Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove
Disney’s The Jungle Book: Rhythm ‘n Groove
Disney’s The Lion King: Simba’s Mighty Adventure
Disney’s The Little Mermaid II
Disney’s Tigger’s Honey Hunt
Disney’s Treasure Planet
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh Kindergarten
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh Preschool
Disney’s World Quest: Magical Tour Racing
Goofy’s Fun House

Even if you don’t know all the info, plug in whatever you can if you don’t mind. I can keep refining it as I have time to research. I don’t even know what all the Disney titles are at this point so anything helps

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Sumez is totally right regarding pretty much everything he said about the Capcom games. (Well...I can't vouch for Magical Quest 3 myself.) Little Mermaid is competently made but probably shorter and easier than basically all the others - to the point of feeling a bit insufficient. Talespin is alright, has some pluses and unique features but unfortunately you have to get a power-up to be able to have more than one bullet on-screen at once, which is totally ridiculous. I'd probably go Talespin > Little Mermaid simply because there's more to it but would say they both fall a little short of good. Then there's also Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, which is a rather dull collection of five minigames thinly held together by a premise and map, plus some Disney trivia questions. I guess the two minigames that are platformer levels are alright but no better than that. And Capcom only published it in the U.S. rather than actually developed it but Mickey Mouscapade is a pretty unremarkable and below average platformer.

There is actually a 5th Illusion Game, Legend of Illusion, whose SMS version was only released in Brazil, but I haven't played it. I think the other SMS Illusion games, while obviously having worse production values and lacking World's co-op, actually play better than the Genesis ones. And I felt like Lucky Dime Caper's awkwardness combined with the difficulty made it a bit frustrating at times.

Toy Story is decent at best. It's the same basic game on SNES or Genesis and the former version has some advantages in graphics and sound but if you want to actually beat the game, don't go with the former. The SNES version's lower resolution really bites you in the ass in one level near the end.

Mickey's Ultimate Challenge is a collection of mostly extremely conventional minigames (I'd say exactly one has any ingenuity) thinly held together by a premise and a tiny 2D platformer overworld and it's ridiculous that they were selling this as a full game in 1994 but if you just want to spend an hour (possibly less) looking at sprites of Disney characters and listening to decent music while playing the likes of Sokoban and Concentration it does the job. SNES version's production values on this one beat the Genesis's.

Kid Klown in Night Mayor's World is decent. Not good really, just decent. It's pretty easy, not very long, and doesn't take its balloon mechanics seriously enough. There's a hard mode but it's kind of awful; I think all they did was double how fast all the enemies moved and how durable enemies were regardless of whether doing so made sense so it looks and plays really stupidly.

PS1 Hercules looks and sounds great but isn't very good.

Edited by MagusSmurf
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Adding to @Sumez,

Maui Mallard on the Snes is a solid title. It's good at all the main categories: graphics, hit detection, movement, sound effects. It also has that nice end of level completion calculation so it therr is some replayability. I only played the first few levels so if it front heavy I wouldn't know.

Ditto on Tulpa's Little Mermaid and Tailspin comments.

Question: Are any of the Illusion series challenging? I had two of them and got rid of them fairly quickly because they were easy/boring. They seemed well below the Magical Quest series except graphically.

Edited by Californication
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1 minute ago, Californication said:

Adding to @Sumez,

Maui Mallard on the Snes is a solid title. It's good at all the main categories: graphics, hit detection, movement, sound effects. It also has that nice end of level completion calculation so it therr is some replayability. I only played the first few levels so if it front heavy I wouldn't know.

That game is SO close to being a great game. It's definitely good, but something about the movement just doesn't feel quite tight enough.

The later levels definitely have some challenge to them, and the environments are all neat.

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1 hour ago, Californication said:

Question: Are any of the Illusion series challenging? I had two of them and got rid of them fairly quickly because they were easy/boring. They seemed well below the Magical Quest series except graphically.

Nope. All of them are enjoyable games, but it's like you run through them once, probably without even getting a game over, and there's not much enticement to go back and try to do better in any way.

Honestly that goes for nearly all of the Disney games.

1 hour ago, MagusSmurf said:

PS1 Hercules looks and sounds great but isn't very good.

That game looks so incredibly good it's pretty disappointing how frustratingly bad it actually is. I wanted it to be much better.

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I actually prefer Mickey Mania to the Illusion games on genesis/MD. That game has simply amazing animation and sprite work, it's a wonder to behold. Also, unlike the Illusion games, very decent level of challenge to the game as well, you won't simply be walking to the end without putting the effort in!

I also forgot to mention the two Pixar games on N64 as well! I personally very much enjoyed both Bug's Life and Toy Story 2, if you're into 3D platformers a they are both worth a shot IMO. Bug's Life is particularly underrated actually, it's a lot better than most give it credit for.

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Day late, dollar short...sumez got my answer there, the Capcom games.  I honestly don't feel that good about the Virgin stuff on the whole, though their Aladdin and Lion King, while good, and also ruthless(LK) were solid.  Tarzan on N64 and the GBC game are also quite nice.

I also would even if I've only seen and not played it, Toy Story 2 as it has a few styles of game blended but it works, and well.  And I used to own most(all?) the GG/SMS ...of Illusion games, a few were bland or aggravating at points but on the whole while not Capcom-Disney good, they're definitely good enough to recommend playing.

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No love here for Talespin on Genesis? I always enjoyed it.  I think the platforming bits are fun but a bit frustrating.  The plane sequences are tough but once you get the hang of them they make a nice little interlude.   Got nice graphics and atmosphere too.  Dang it’s been a long time since I played it.

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That's weird.  I swear I mentioned this the other day, but now I don't see my post.  I'm guessing that I typed it up, but never hit submit.

Anyway, I meant to say that I updated the PS1 portion of your spreadsheet with everything I had.  One of the games you already had in place is an EU game, so I updated that as well.  I added genre for each game.  However, these types of games are often difficult to categorize because many blur the line between traditional platformer and action/adventure game.  Feel free to change or update anything I added.  

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