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Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (NES) artwork

Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (NES) review


"“Adventures in the Magic Kingdom” gets off to such a charming start, I started to think that maybe there was more than nostalgia to this game. I found myself strolling around an 8-bit tile map replica of the famous theme park, answering trivia questions in an effort to track down Pluto the Dog. Along the way, I noticed such familiar sites as Main Street U.S.A., the “Mark Twain” steam boat that chugs along the river surrounding the Haunted Mansion, the spinning rockets of Tommorowland, and the li..."



“Adventures in the Magic Kingdom” gets off to such a charming start, I started to think that maybe there was more than nostalgia to this game. I found myself strolling around an 8-bit tile map replica of the famous theme park, answering trivia questions in an effort to track down Pluto the Dog. Along the way, I noticed such familiar sites as Main Street U.S.A., the “Mark Twain” steam boat that chugs along the river surrounding the Haunted Mansion, the spinning rockets of Tommorowland, and the little Tiki hut wherein “birds sing words and the flowers croon”.

Whenever I first set foot in the Magic Kingdom, my first inclination is to visit those 999 “happy haunts” in the “Haunted Mansion”. This game has a level that lives up to that attraction. You begin in a graveyard, armed only with a wax candle. A ghoul soars overhead, corpses shuffle about, and those startling screaming heads lie in wait behind the familiar tombstones. Inside I noticed such landmarks as the three magic mirrors, the phantom pianist, the man trapped in the casket, the ballroom ghosts, and even those singing busts. So far, this is a wonderful vacation.

There a four other attractions that have been adapted into levels for this game. My next stop was the “Pirates of the Caribbean”. This stage plays out like one of those covert rescue missions in the Rambo movies. Six beautiful maidens have been taken hostage by those boisterous pirates, and you’ve got nothing but your own wits and the ability to jump really high.

This level was not as good as the “Haunted Mansion”, because so much of it revolves around precision. You need to do things a certain way, and there’s little breathing room for improvisation. “Pirates” would have been more fun if your character could carry one of those pistols they sell at the gift shop. I will admit that the fiery town and underground treasure trove were neat representations of the ride.

Next up: Autopia and Big Thunder Mountain. The first is an overhead racing minigame that’s pretty exhilarating. It’s kind of like Excitebike, where making it to the end of the obstacle course is more important than pulling ahead of your competition. Big Thunder Mountain is also exhilarating, with its tumbling boulders and those barriers that you need to slow down for. I especially liked the part with the pigs.

The final stage, Space Mountain, is the weakest. It’s basically an 8-bit predecessor to “Sewer Shark” where you push the D-Pad in whatever direction some on-screen arrow indicates. Every once in a while a meteor or Star Destroyer enters your sights, and you have to gun them down with the B- or A-button. Towards the end, the timing gets extremely strict, and you are only allowed three mistakes. This is where I usually quit.

This is not a terrible game, but whoever designed the levels could have eased up a bit. A game like “Magic Kingdom” should be easy going, not a relentless test of reflexes. There could have been more levels too. How about a Jungle Cruise stage? Or Tom Sawyer Island? You could even get a level out of the Tiki Room, if you tried.

Is it too late to ditch “Kingdom Hearts 3” and make “Adventures in the Magic Kingdom 2”?

Rating: 7/10

joseph_valencia's avatar
Community review by joseph_valencia (May 30, 2009)

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zippdementia posted May 30, 2009:

Wow, talk about fast paced reviews. That's not a criticism, I'm genuinely impressed by your ability to jump into the review with no bullshitting around. Something is lacking for me, and I haven't quite figured out what it is.

I need to give it another read, hold on.
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randxian posted May 30, 2009:

Same. Some people go too far with the gimmicks in the intros. Just get to the damn game already, I say.

I think it could use a little more meat, particularly during the haunted house attraction or whatever it is. I know a game like this is a bit more tricky to review since it's actually several mini-games, but I think a bit more detail could've been added for some of the attractions.

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