Mickey's Big Adventure (1995)

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Guy Sharpe / Harry Wolf (voice)
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In a word: simple
7 September 2005 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

You know those games where, when you play them, you can barely understand why they were even made, nay, thought up, in the first place? Well, this is even worse than that. Not only is the reason for the existence of the game seemingly nonexistent, it's so bad in just about every single conceivable way that you can't help but want that it never even passed for a thought in the brains of the creators. The plot is... well, not there. I'm not kidding, there seems to be no plot whatsoever. The game takes you through Mickey's most popular cartoon adventures. Yep, that's it. No grand scheme, no explanation, no reason... just a bunch of levels with references to (mostly)old animated short films. Has the character of Mickey Mouse not been exploited enough? Has this cartoon mouse not been milked of it's worth, all the profit been had? Apparently not, at least not in the eyes and minds of the people behind this game. The game-play is about as simple as it gets. Imagine the old Super Mario Land game for the GameBoy. Remember it? OK, now take it down a notch... or three... and you're just about there. The game has you controlling Mickey, jumping, running and throwing marbles(yes, marbles... he has a bag of them; seemingly to make up for the creators' complete lack thereof). That's it. Well, in a level or two you have to activate switches and push stuff around, but it's all so incredibly simple that an infant could do it with left hand behind his back while sleeping. The game is unforgivably short; I've yet to completely beat it, but this last time, where I got very far, to what I believe was the last level, it took me less than one full hour. Yes, you read that right. Now, I did know what to do(for the most part), but still... that's simply too short for a full-price game. Furthermore, it has no replay value whatsoever, since there are no high scores, no hidden stuff, and nothing to be gained from beating it at all, apart from the pride of it. The real problem with this game, why it is really this bad, is that it ignores something basic and very important; any game must have some clear-cut rules. When you play Super Mario Land, you know that if you jump on top of an enemy(and it doesn't have spikes on top), you're likely to kill it. When you play a Commander Keen game, you know that any enemy can either be killed or avoided. Any game must have rules... and this game has none. It seems random, how riddles are solved; there is no logic. The enemies seem to be randomly put in; half of them don't even react to you, merely follow a programmed pattern. Some of them can be killed, some can't, some can be jumped to pieces, some need to be shot with the marbles, some can hurt you when they die, some can't... and all of this seems completely random. As if the game wasn't properly finished, or the programmers didn't agree on how to do it. On the cover, Mickey looks mighty brave and powerful... quite a contrast to the game, in which he spends most of the time looking disoriented and sounding scared out of his mind. Ironic. Level design is lazy. The levels are based on one idea which is then repeated until there are no more variations of it. Levels don't seem to end properly, either. The idea is apparently that you continue the level until you 'rescue' Mickey from the dangers of the short film he(or, rather, the old 'him') is in(though half of the time, the danger isn't *at all* apparent to the player). When you die or beat a level, the screen fades to black, with no sign of which you did. You have to await either the loading screen, signifying that you made it through the level, or an animation of Mickey falling down with a flower in one of his hands, straight up, accompanied by a crude trumpet tune. About the animations, could they possibly be any more dull and simple? I highly doubt it. The music and sound are similarly uncreative and lacking in imagination. The game has no extra stuff, apart from a sound test that allows you to listen to most of the individual sound effects and the music one by one, but that's about it. In case anyone is wondering, I bought this game because I thought it was a different one... one I liked. Well, it wasn't, and here we are. However, please do not mistake the negativity herein to be caused by that disappointment. Had the game been any good... I think my biggest problem with this game is that you just shouldn't be charged for acquiring it. Seriously, I've played better free games. Lots of them. The game is entirely geared at kids, sacrificing any chance of anyone over the age of 7 enjoying it. Now, I know that kids that age like to have things simple and straight-forward, but this is ridiculous. I could easily imagine kids of that age laying the controller down after having tried it going, "Oh, come on!". The worst thing about this game is really the wasted potential; it's not a bad idea, having Mickey run through his well-known adventures... any nostalgic fans could have gotten a real kick out of a good game based on that. The graphics aren't half bad. There's even a nice mix of 2D and 3D visuals in some levels. It's a shame that it isn't put to better use. It really is. I recommend this to no one but kids who are such big fans of Mickey Mouse that they can't stand the very thought of there being a game featuring him that they don't own. Everyone else... stay away. For your own sake. You'll never forgive yourself if you don't. 1/10


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