The Disney Afternoon was a fun block of cartoon shows that filled the afterschool memories of many growing up in the early 90s. Due to the popularity of some of the shows on television, Capcom created six NES games based on some of the most watched shows at that time. The Disney Afternoon Collection combines bundles every game into one package, along with a few extra features to tug at your nostalgia. If you didn’t grow up watching any of these shows or playing the games on NES, then you won’t find much value in this collection. However, the Disney Afternoon Collection is a great example for how to release classic games for a whole new generation.
The six games included in the Disney Afternoon Collection are DuckTales 1 and 2, Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers 1 & 2, Darkwing Duck, and TaleSpin. The majority of the collection is filled with 2D platformers that were popular at the time, while only one game stands alone as a side-scrolling shooter. Most of these games still hold up pretty well years after their release, but have now been given an HD upscale and a new rewind button to use willingly at any time.
The rewind button allows you to backtrack a few moments during your game by just hitting a shoulder button. This is great for anyone who needs help playing through some of the tougher sections of each game, especially since it can be used at any point without any repercussions. This definitely takes away a lot of the challenge during normal play, but gets disabled and doesn’t become a factor in any sections that involve leaderboards.
Both DuckTales and Chip ‘N Dale mark the earliest games that Capcom made for these shows on the NES, which worked out very well. Darkwing Duck pulls a lot of inspiration from the classic Mega Man series that was on the NES at the time, which works out just as well for it. TaleSpin on the other hand feels the most dated and out of touch from the rest of the collection.
Outside of being a totally different genre than the rest, many smaller elements of the game don’t seem to have aged that well. Flying around on screen and switching the direction of the scrolling can sometimes lead to a few frustrating moments, including spots where enemies will respawn on the side of the screen. It may have been part of the technical limitations of the console at the time, but it hasn’t gotten any less frustrating today.
There are some new additions to all six games that are pretty good. You have a Time Attack and Boss Rush mode, where you can speed run each level or fight every boss with online leaderboards tracking your time and score for every game. This is fun for the retro aficionados that have played these games many times throughout the years and want something different.
However, you don’t get much for completing any of these modes outside of the bragging rights for being on the leaderboards. There are no additional challenges or remixed levels, much like in the Mega Man Legacy Collection, that would fundamentally change these games for the better. It’s disappointing to see no attempt at this, since it would’ve only added to the value of replaying each game in full.
The extras in the Museum are definitely a nice touch to the Disney Afternoon Collection. Various concept art and original illustrations from Capcom and Disney staff are viewable in the menus. It’s great to see some of the classic box art and unseen posters and advertisements from the time these six games were still new on the market.
Confusingly however, a lot of digital alterations are noticeable on some of the extras, including any mentions of their original platform or other related information. It seems trivial to digitize out the Nintendo logos from box art and promotional material when it’s common knowledge where these games originated on, especially when other retro game collections acknowledge this so willingly.
Another confusing aspect of the Museum section is the inability to zoom in on some of the pictures and artwork. You can a slideshow of every piece of artwork and photo, but you can’t zoom into them at all. Part of this may be done to shy away from the digital alterations mentioned before, but it seems so basic to leave out.
Some of the extras even mention commercials and alternate versions of the games in the descriptions of the collection, but nowhere do they show this or offer the player to view them in full. This could’ve been because of licensing issues outside of the collection’s development, but it makes the extras feel a bit incomplete.
If you grew up playing any of the games in the Disney Afternoon Collection, then you may find enough nostalgic value to pick up this bundle. The majority of the games still play just as good as they did back then, and the additional modes are nice to have. The original artwork and box art included is nice for anyone that has vivid memories of these shows from back in the day, even if the extras feel a bit incomplete. However if you weren’t around when these shows were at the height of their popularity, you may not get the same enjoyment out of owning this collection.
This review was based on a digital review code for The Disney Afternoon Collection on PlayStation, provided by Capcom.