Retro Gaming Awesome Time: 80’s & 90’s Disney Games

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Stop rolling your eyes… Back in the glory days of the NES, Sega Master System, Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive, Disney games were something to get very excited about. Nowadays, a Disney game is either part of Disney Infinity or it gets some kind of “match three” type game for mobile devices. But that was not the case in the 8, 16, and even the 32-bit era. Disney titles for the most part were regarded as some of the most well made games you could get. So dust off your Genesis, SNES, or whatever you haven’t scrapped and take a walk down the 16-bit memory lane.


Castle of Illusion

Sega Mega Drive, 1991
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This was the game that you would have used to show off your Mega Drive before Sonic came along. This is one of the finest platform games that you can get for the Sega Mega Drive and a real smash hit for an early game console. Castle of Illusion was one of those titles every kid seemed to have growing up. Mickey needs to save Minnie from an evil queen and to do so you will have to go into a creepy castle. There are a number of different stages with each one having different levels and an end-of-level boss. Each stage is very different, has a great look and its own fun soundtrack. Mickey controls amazingly well and actually not many Mickey Mouse games came close to matching this one.


DuckTales

NES, 1989
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Yeah, so this game is why I had to put 80’s in the title of this article as I really wanted to include this one. Made by Capcom (back when they made games instead of trying to find ways to disappoint their fan base each week), this is one of the finest platform games you could get for the NES. Playing as Scrooge McDuck, you must use his cane as a pogo stick and weapon to help him get even more filthy rich! I will fire up this title a couple of times a year and play through it in one sitting. You can play the levels anyway you want kind of like Mega Man – actually many of the people behind this game also worked on the NES Mega Man games. I would go as far to put this in my top five NES games (a list for another time, maybe?) as that is how highly I hold this game.


Aladdin

Sega Mega Drive, 1993
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Aladdin had different games for different systems and computers released in the early 90’s. The Super Nintendo version created by Capcom was a lot of fun, but the version made by Virgin Interactive for the Sega Mega Drive was incredible. It’s one of the best looking games on the Sega Mega Drive and I will stand by that! The game utilized actual animators, which is why it has such a striking cartoon look to it. The game is a challenging, action/platformer style of game with each level having a good variety of bad guys to kill and secrets to find. The game plays very well, but some folks do say the collision detection is a little off – I think it just takes a little while to get used to. In all Aladdin is just a very fun game and a game you can pick up dirt cheap.


Disney’s Hercules Action Game

PlayStation, 1997
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Why they felt the need to add “Action Game” to the title is beyond me, but I first played this on a demo disc (remember them?) I got from the Official UK PlayStation Magazine. Hercules is a side scrolling action game (that’s why they used it) that looks incredible and plays quite well. While most of the game is in 2D you can walk into the foreground and background and there are a couple of levels that have you running from the camera kind of like Crash Bandicoot. In 1997 everything had to be 3D or it barely got a look, so for many years this game kind of went underappreciated. But this is just such a well crafted action/platform game and one not enough people have played through. Hercs main weapons are his fists and his sword, but you can pick up some god powers as you move through. If you’re looking for an underrated gem to add to your PlayStation collection I highly recommend you check this out, especially if you appreciate solid 2D games.


Disney’s Magical Quest

Super Nintendo, 1992
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Capcom had another smash hit Disney game here. This is actually the first in a trilogy of games and if I am honest, I like the third game best. But that was only released in Japan on Super Nintendo and would not see a Western release until it was ported to the Game Boy Advance. Anyway this first game is still a lot of fun: you play as Mickey Mouse and you need to save Pluto and stop Pete from ruling the land. The gameplay here is a lot of fun and Mickey can make use of four different costumes with each one having its own ability – a magician, fireman, rock climber and regular Mickey Mouse. Like most Capcom games on the Super Nintendo, the presentation of the game is spot on with amazingly detailed characters, level design and an awesome soundtrack. There was a sequel made with tw- player co-op, allowing one player to be Minnie Mouse, but I never liked that game as much. The third game had a more medieval feel to it, lets you play as Donald Duck and is the best of the trilogy in my opinion.