A REVIEW OF MICKEY’S WILD ADVENTURE I WROTE FOR THE WEBSITE WWW.SQUARE-GO.COM
Here’s a phrase for you; PSone Classics. What does that mean to you? Final Fantasy VII? Metal Gear Solid? WipEout? Games that defined a generation, embedding themselves into a culture still growing and creating franchises that will live forever? That sounds about right to me. But, if you’re Sony, apparently that means games like Mickey’s Wild Adventure.
This game is a throwback, a strange time capsule sent from a different era. Originally developed for the Mega Drive and Super NES back in the 16bit glory days of the mid-nineties it was then, for reasons best known to the darkest corners of the internet, converted to Sony’s Grey Wonder Box, the PlayStation.
Mickey’s Wild Adventure casts you as Mickey Mouse who travels through various worlds made up of his more famous cartoon adventures from Steamboat Willy through the rest of the 1930s. It is, as you probably guessed, a platform game but not just any old platform game as this is a pure 16bit vintage.
So what does that mean? Off screen enemies that can hit you, leaps of faith to platforms you can’t see, very few checkpoints and a difficulty level that is sharp to put it mild. This serves as a reminder, a reminder of just how things have changed in fifteen years or so. There are no tutorials, no regenerating health bars, no save points so when you die you start again from the beginning of the level. It is a punch to the gut, a reanimated corpse of a style of game, long since thought dead, come to eat your flesh.
Is this a bad thing? Super Mario Brothers is held up as a work of art so the past isn’t something to be feared. The problem is that Mickey’s Wild Adventure is far from being as good as Mario: with a floaty jump that quickly annoys on top of the other problems previously listed. Mickey does his best, he’s well animated and the game does have some charm thanks to it’s 16bit art style.
The question is; why buy this game? Why, with all the games that are available on PSN, why buy this one? It does have some historical importance in that David Jaffe, Director of the first God of War game, worked on it. Does that entice you to buy the game? Is it for Mickey completists? Is it there for people who simply must own every Disney game available?
Maybe this is being overly harsh to Mickey’s Wild Adventure. It’s cheap and works on the PSP. That doesn’t stop the nagging thought; why this game? Of all the games on the PSone, why this game? It’s not a bad game and it’s not great either. It’s just there, sat on the PSN store, in the middle of the Ms for people to scroll past as they look for better games to buy. And people will see it and they’ll look at it and ask “What the hell is that doing there?”
And no one will have an answer.
Two stars out of five
Originally published January 17th 2012