The Disney Afternoon Collection Review
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, platformers were the bread and butter of gaming. Disney especially, had a great showing through the 8-Bit era. However, dependent on what console you had during the infamous Sega Vs Nintendo console war, would determine what Disney games you could get your hands on. And if you had both consoles, you were a spoilt child. There were no multi-platform releases for licensed Disney software. A practice that lasted into the 16-bit era. This led to differing games for the separate consoles.
The Sega Master System had some outstanding Disney titles such as Castle of Illusion and The Lucky Dime Caper. Although, the NES possibly boasted a more robust and popular library of licensed games brought to us by Capcom. These focused on then popular (and now cult) Disney TV shows. And it is The Disney Afternoon Collection that brings these games back to life, in all their pixelated glory.
Capcom have worked to emulate six original NES titles on the Xbox One. Most of which are still hugely popular among retro collectors and gamers. The collection consists of Duck Tales, Duck Tales 2, Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers, Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers 2, Darkwing Duck and Talespin. The first thing to note is the two sequel games in this package arrived extremely late in the NES lifecycle, 1993 and 1994 respectively. As such to own an original of either would net you a small fortune. And more so if in boxed condition so this collection brings us the cheapest, and first ever offering of being able to legally play these games away from the NES.
The games themselves can be played in their original form, and they look as good as you can get for retro titles on modern day televisions. Of course, they are extremely dated, but this is a package of games where the youngest is 23 years old. Capcom have given us filtering options to slightly alter the graphics, though the change in appearance is negligible. By default, the games are set in 4:3 view, you do have the option to stretch this out and go full screen. But to be best enjoyed, the original aspect ratio is recommended.
One thing will become evident, and just as much so if you were brought up on these titles, difficulty is unforgiving. We’ve become all too reliant on auto saves, instantly jumping back in where we left off. But to play any of the six games from start to finish without doing so is no easy task. Capcom realise this, and have not only added a save feature for each game, but more interestingly, the ability to rewind. And it is rewinding that will without a doubt become your best friend in certain sections. Further features also include a time attack and boss rush mode for added longevity.
Some titles had evidence of slow down at specific periods. This didn’t become overly disrupting to gameplay, and we cannot confirm if such slowdown was brought forward to the package from the originals, but Duck Tales 2 and Darkwing Duck became the most evident in this case.
Aside from the games, there’s a jukebox feature where you can listen to the original midi soundtracks of each game. And sitting alongside this is a gorgeous gallery of art section with numerous images from actual original game box scans to original artwork.
All this adds to a package that if you were to purchase separately on the NES, would potentially set you back several hundred pounds’ minimum. Capcom have delivered an excellent way to play these games for a cheap price. Whether this is for a nostalgic return, to introduce your children (kids will no doubt find these a lot harder than we did) or if it’s your first time. For those of us from camp Sega in the 8-bit era, it’s a pleasure to sample a side of platformers we missed out on. And if you’re returning to your youth, it’s a collection that will not let you down.
The Disney Afternoon Collection is available to buy now from the Xbox Store, priced £15.99
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