At a Glance:. Despite it's desperate deathgrip on the collar of the American populace, Disney is slowly being brushed off like that hobo who smells like he's been rolling in stray cats all night (and he has). Their movies have since ceased to be epic, resorting to making sequels out of anything that even made them a dime. How could such a gentle giant die before us? What decisions did it make that led it to get to this place? I have no clue, but playing Mickey Mousecapades made me wish they would die a little quicker.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 64k
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Game Plot: The manual tells me this: "Mickey, followed by Minnie, adventure through the Fun House, by the Ocean, the Woods, the Pirate Ship, and the Castle. All in search of their mystery friend. Help them solve the mystery!" But what about what we can read between the lines? Let's ask some questions. Why would Minnie willingly follow Mickey into the Funhouse or onto a pirate ship or castle? Who is this mystery friend? What in the world would make you want to help them solve this mystery?
Let's start with the first question. As you begin the game, Mickey marches out onto the screen in front of a giant "TO THE FUNHOUSE" sign alone. He turns sharply and issues the call that only lovers do. "MINNIE!" She quickly runs onto the screen. Mickey says nothing else and just turns around, walking towards the fun house. Obviously, the beatings have finally taken their toll on Minnie, crippling her mind permanently to the point where she can no longer exhibit free will. As you play the game you'll notice she just mimics your movements and can barely do anything without your instruction. She doesn't ever smile, and if she does so she does it nervously. Since you move like your knees have taken a few hits from a baseball bat it can be assumed she fought back a couple times.
This also explains why she typically turns away from you when you try to look at her unless you lock her in one of your death stares. Just so she doesn't get any ideas you have some sort of device rigged up that kills Minnie as soon as you die. Unfortunately this always works the other way around, and if Minnie falls off of a cliff you end up dying with her. Expect this to happen many, many times.
Why does Minnie follow Mickey through all of these dangerous locations? Perhaps Mickey has her family tied up in a room and threatens to kill them like Blue Velvet, tossing an ear over at Minnie after she's misbehaved and finds a guy in her closet. Hell, you've heard Mickey's voice. It's already squeaky.
Who is this mystery girl? Does she owe Mickey and Minnie money? How did she end up getting wrapped up in a group of hoodlums that live in houses with dancing chairs in the first place? My apartment complex has a lot of drug dealers in it but none that can afford a pirate ship or even the tiniest castle.
Enemies: What is true glory in battle? Pounding a kitten to death with stars until they explode. Despite the kittens, most of your obstacles are things from actual Disney movies or rides of some sort; pigs from the Black Cauldron, Pirates from Peter Pan, brooms from the Sorcerer's Apprentice. So many good movies distilled down into such completely irritating enemies. As an example, the walking brooms from Fantasia can only be killed when you hit one micrometer of their broom handle. To do so requires way more buttons, dodging, and overall effort than you'd ever expect it would to kill a jumping broom with little legs. Wait.
The nearer to the end you get you find your pitiful stars becoming less and less useful on your foes, a valuable lesson to kids that they can try to wish upon a star, but you'll need to wish on five hundred stars in order to kill a pirate or a shrimp tossing walrus man.
Weapons: The only weapons you and your severely depressed girlfriend can use are stars, a gift from the Eisnerlord in the first stage. At first only Mickey is capable of handling such big boy toys, slapping the stars out of Minnie's hands.
"No honey, these are big boy toys. Do you remember the last time you tried to play with something you weren't supposed to?" Minnie's nose still had a lingering smell of chloroform, so she kept her mouth shut.
You'll find in Mickey Mousecapades that trying to fight is generally worthless anyway, opting for a strategy of running at full speed through the game tends to get you better results. Or, as I often did, sending Minnie down to the floor to be killed and beaten so she can shoot stars at your enemies while Mickey sits on the ladder sipping kool-aid and yelling sexist remarks into the air. That's what she gets for getting bleach on his best red shorts.
Levels: As mentioned before, the stages are limited to a fun house, the ocean, the woods, a pirate ship, and a castle. This is the exact order of locations I take potential girlfriends on, but I usually end up murdering them before I get to the castle. Oh well, there's always next time.
Bosses: The bosses in Mickey Mousecapades seal the deal on how horrible this game is. In fact, this game gets an even lower score than it should for tricking me into believing it could be fun until I got to the first boss. All bosses are able to hurl their weapons in an exact way that makes it nearly impossible not to get hit. When you encounter a boss all you can really do is jump wildly around and pray that you hit them enough, die, and then try again.
Defining Moment: I used to find this game fun, I honestly did. It took until now to realize that the concept of fun was actually not invented until 1999, discovered by rock troubadour Prince and referenced in his hit single, "1999" when he beckoned everyone to join in some kind of organized event like it was the year in question. Captivating.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
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The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.