Review by Retro

Reviewed: 05/14/01 | Updated: 05/20/02

More gamers should experience this gem

There were a lot of great platformers for the Super Nintendo, and Mickey Mania is one of them. Mickey Mania is not only a great platformer, it has something a little extra for anybody who's a huge fan of the old Mickey Mouse cartoons.

Mickey Mouse is on a quest to rescue his friend, Pluto, and to eventually have a major showdown with his biggest nemesis of all, Pete.

Before each of the main levels, a screen will come up that tells you which famous animated cartoon adventure of Mickey Mouse that you're about to play through. It also reveals which year the classic was made. For example, before you start the first level in Mickey Mania, a screen comes up that says ''Steamboat Willie'' and it has 1928 under the title. It also shows a black & white Mickey Mouse at the wheel of the steamboat as he tugs on the whistle, just like he did in the real life cartoon. Once this screen goes away, you will begin playing the actual Steamboat Willie level.

That's what Mickey Mania has in store for both Mickey Mouse fanatics and platformer fans alike. The full title of this game is Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse. Once you begin the Steamboat Willie stage, if you've ever seen the real cartoon, then you'll see how similar it is to the actual cartoon, both in looks (it's even black & white to begin with) and how it progresses.

Also included in the history filled cartridge is: ''The Mad Doctor,'' ''Moose Hunters,'' ''The Lonesome Ghosts,'' ''Mickey and The Beanstalk,'' and ''The Prince and The Pauper.'' There are many stages in each of these animated stories, with many different things to do. For instance, in Mickey And The Beanstalk, you will have to get past butterflies and beetles, and even make your way up a gigantic rope in one of the stages. In the next level, you'll be facing even more enemies and you will eventually have to go across tables full of gigantic glasses, plates, etc., just like in the real cartoon.

For the most part, you just have to make it to the end of the stories' stages, and then reach the end of the final level where one of the well known Mickey Mouses are waiting. For example, at the end of The Prince and The Pauper, you will find another Mickey Mouse (apart from yourself) on a ledge taking off his armored, knight looking cap. Once you find a different Mickey Mouse, then you'll know you're at the end of the current masterpiece. Also, upon reaching the end of certain places, a screen pops up that you need to read, since it's part of the storyline.

The majority of the gameplay in Mickey Mania is a lot like your typical 2-D side scroller. Throughout the game, Mickey Mouse needs to collect and throw marbles at his enemies. He can get rid of most enemies by jumping on top of them. Others must be dealt away with by use of the almighty marbles, and some adversaries can't be destroyed at all. Other available items are energy in the form of yellow stars, and extra lives that look like Mickey's all-too familiar set of ears. But Mickey Mania isn't exactly like the usual platformer.

The levels and enemies that abound in the environments all depend on which animated feature that you're currently completing. In The Lonesome Ghosts parts, there are tons of menacing ghosts that constantly appear and disappear, and the levels seem haunted because you can be climbing up stairs that suddenly go flat, causing you to slide all the way down to the bottom. The Mad Doctor environments are full of dungeons abounding with skeletons whose bones scatter all over the place, and you even have to mix a potion in one part. To make it short, the levels, the enemies, and many of the tasks, all fit the classic cartoons to a tee.

Most of the levels in Mickey Mania are two-dimensional and are composed of side scrolling, but not all of them are. Every now and then, you have the honor of completing a stage that has some great 3-D effects. I don't mean 3-D as in Super Mario 64, but 3-D in a 16-bit manner. In one of the parts in Moose Hunters, Mickey runs toward the screen while a moose chases him. You can't move Mickey around 360º; you can only move him left and right and make him jump.

Another good example is a part that takes place on the outside of a tower. In this tower stage, you have to make Mickey go across, around, and up many wooden stairs while a fire is brewing and making its way up the screen. While you make your way past the perilous stairs, the whole tower spins around with you. For a 16-bit game, that's some great 3-D'ish effects.

Not only do the various settings stay true to the cartoons and have good animated and 3-D effects, they also differ a lot from each other. A few levels are real short and might not even have any enemies in them. Some just require you to make a few jumps without having to shoot any enemies, and others are just like most 16-bit action/adventure games by including many dangerous enemies and action around every corner.

In many parts of the game, rockets can be found. If you run into a rocket, it takes off and explodes after it flies only a few feet into the air. This marks the place where you will continue if you happen to lose a life in that same level. When you reach the end of certain parts, a boss will be awaiting your challenge.

The bosses all have their own different ways. The mad doctor waits for you to hit him with a marble, and then he throws potion-containing bottles all over the place. The final boss is pretty challenging and fun to beat, but you'll have to find out his ways by yourself.

Mickey Mania is a great one-player game for the Super Nintendo. It doesn't have any major flaws. My only complaints is that that it's a little easy after you go all the way through the game a few times, and the game seems a bit short, but not too short or too easy. Whether you're a Mickey Mouse fan (I'm not that much of one to be honest; I'm just a mediocre fan) or not, if you like 2-D platformers for the Super Nintendo, you will probably like Mickey Mania. I recommend picking up this game if you see the chance.

GRAPHICS - Mickey Mania's graphics are very well done in most parts. Some of the levels have memorable 3-D effects, and almost all the backgrounds abound with detail and nice colors. All the enemies, especially the ghosts, Mickey Mouse, and Pluto, have good animation. The only complaint I see is that one or two of the stages seem a bit poorly designed.

SOUND - The sound is just like it's supposed to be. The voices, the sounds the enemies make, and even the music, all have that cartoon-like sound to them. They all go great with the game, and they're clear. None of them should make you want to turn down the volume on the television.

CONTROL - They're not a hassle at all. It's real easy to make Mickey do what you want him to do, especially with jumping. Throwing marbles with precision can take a bit of practice since they fall a piece after you throw them, but you should be an expert at it in no time.

REPLAY VALUE - Like a lot of the great 2-D platformers in the unforgettable 16-bit era, Mickey Mania is fun enough to keep me coming back for more even though I've beat the game enough times to know exactly what to expect and what to do. While it's not one of the most addicting games of its type, it does have a good bit of replay value.

OVERALL - Mickey Mania is an overall great game. If you like classic 2-D adventures such as the Super Mario World series, Sonic The Hedgehog, etc., then I don't see why you wouldn't like Mickey Mania. Even though it might not be that well known, that doesn't mean that it's not a good one.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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