For many born in the 80s, Disney Club has long been the weekend event not to be missed at any cost. The broadcast derived from a television format proposed by the house of Mickey Mouse around the world, called in the original language The Disney Afternoon. The enormous success achieved also in Spain among the young people of the time was naturally due to the quality of the Disney productions, led by the unforgettable adventures of Uncle Scrooge and the other ducks in DuckTales. But the cartoons broadcast over the years have been many, and from them Capcom was able to draw heavily to create some videogame transpositions for the NES, some of which at the top of the overall production for the Nintendo console. As you may have guessed, The Disney Afternoon Collection is dedicated to the Disney Club, with which the Japanese publisher has recently reported six games on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, in a single block that also includes some small changes compared to the original titles.
If you were a kid in the 90s, you won't be indifferent to The Disney Afternoon Collection!
In the quick review of the games included in The Disney Afternoon Collection we can only start with DuckTales, an adaptation made in 1990 to enter the circle of the best titles seen on NES by right. Like five sixths of the games in the collection, it is a platformer, in which you have to hunt for treasures as the richest duck in the world with a stick with which to jump and defeat enemies.
Thanks to the excellent level design, DuckTales still manages to have its say even beyond what the eyes of nostalgia can make it palatable, including the extraordinary 8-bit soundtrack. In its successor DuckTales 2, released in 1993, we find game dynamics similar to those of the first episode, with respect to which the non-linearity of the levels and the exploration increase thanks to the possible alternative uses of the stick. Staying on the "paperesco" theme, The Disney Afternoon Collection then proposes Darkwing Duck from 1992. It is always a platform, oriented to the action of its superheroic protagonist who can use his own Gas Gun to shoot enemies. With the cloak you can also deflect the opponents' blows, advancing between holds and jumps that make it rather challenging overall. From ducks we pass to squirrels, with the inevitable Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers' Cip & Dale from 1990. A title that is still very enjoyable today both in single and double, thanks to the possibility of controlling both protagonists together with a friend in a single match. As in the other cases, the design quality of the levels and game dynamics do the rest, based on the ability of the two squirrels to throw objects around. Its sequel, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 from 1993, looks pretty similar, albeit with fewer differences than the two DuckTales. Finally, to close the list of games in The Disney Afternoon Collection we find TaleSpin, dedicated in 1991 to the animated series of the same name that featured some of the animals known in the old feature film dedicated to The Jungle Book. The game clearly differs from all the others in that it is a shoot 'em up, in which we find ourselves aboard the Baloo bear plane to shoot enemies. An uninspired overall design, accompanied by a somewhat woody control system, probably makes TaleSpin the title that has aged less well among the six that are proposed to us.
The Disney Afternoon Collection features a total of twenty Trophies, all of which are bronze-type. To get them, the player must complete all of the proposed adventures, also working hard to improve their times in the Time Attack and Boss Rush modes. Also rewarded are those who do not make use of the greedy rewind function, completing all six games in the old style.
If after DuckTales: Remastered you expected to see a revamped graphics in The Disney Afternoon Collection games, we are sorry but you will be disappointed. On the contrary, also DuckTales himself is proposed in the guise known in its original version for the NES, as well as all the other titles to which you can apply only one pair of filters and three different screen sizes, ranging from original to "wide" for modern monitors.
However, we have chosen to stick with the dimensions of the time, since it seemed to us that the others made everything a bit too stretched. If from a technical point of view we are stuck with what we saw many years ago, Capcom has included in the package some new features such as the Time Attack mode, complete with online rankings with which to compete against the best speedrunners in circulation. For those who want to limit themselves to facing the bosses of the various titles proposed, The Disney Afternoon Collection includes the Boss Rush mode, thanks to which skip the parts of the intermission to be limited only to the final battles. To give a little help with respect to the anachronistic difficulty of some of the games in the collection, the Digital Eclipse team has also introduced a rewind feature, which practically allows the player to go back at any time during the game, even in the event of what would otherwise have been game over. For lovers of curiosities, the developers have finally included a historical section, where you can get lost among the artwork, documents and various anecdotes related to the games of The Disney Afternoon Collection.
If twenty years ago you ran to see Disney Club on television at the weekend and then jumped to play the titles dedicated to your favorites on the NES, you are the ideal target of The Disney Afternoon Collection. The collection obviously makes nostalgia its main weapon, with which it winks heavily at all those who have experienced firsthand the era in which these platformers have contributed to making the history of the genre. If, on the other hand, in the 90s you were not yet born, or you were too young, The Disney Afternoon Collection will hardly be able to exercise its charm on you. However, know that in case you want to recover some of the included games, you will have ways and means not to be too confused.
- Great additions to the base games
- Some design peaks still manage to have their say today
- Six NES classics for every nostalgic ...
- ... but not all at the same level
- Graphic filters aren't great