Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

Darkwing Duck (NES) artwork

Darkwing Duck (NES) review


"“Darkwing Duck” is a video game that is always inventive and rarely redundant. Here is a game where there are discoveries in every level, be it in the form of new enemies or obstacles. It is true to the spirit of the early 1990s cartoon show that inspired it, right down to the title character’s spiel every time he arrives on the scene. “I am Darkwing Duck!” he says. He also trips on banana peels, and his expression when he runs out of hearts is exactly the kind I would expect him to put on. The ..."



“Darkwing Duck” is a video game that is always inventive and rarely redundant. Here is a game where there are discoveries in every level, be it in the form of new enemies or obstacles. It is true to the spirit of the early 1990s cartoon show that inspired it, right down to the title character’s spiel every time he arrives on the scene. “I am Darkwing Duck!” he says. He also trips on banana peels, and his expression when he runs out of hearts is exactly the kind I would expect him to put on. The people that made this game did their homework all right.

This is an action-platformer, with more emphasis on the platforming than the action. It’s cut from the same cloth as Capcom’s other big platforming game, “Mega Man”. You run, gun and jump across seven levels, which comes in waves of three. Like “Mega Man”, you can tackle these levels in any order, though it doesn’t really matter which order you play them. It’s kind of neat when you start the game and see these objectives laid out for you on a map, though. You feel like a crimefighter who’s weighing some tough decisions, deciding which chaotic sector of the city to secure first.

These areas are comprised of a bridge, a downtown district, sewers, a construction site, a wharf, a forest and some docks that act as the heart of operations for the villainous organization F.O.W.L. (SPECTRE’s got nothing on them) Each is lorded over by a goon from Darkwing’s rogue gallery, including the likes of Bushroot, Moliarty and Quackerjack. There’s one unfamiliar face: Wolfduck? I didn’t remember him from the show, but what the hell.

They all have their chosen toughies. The standard is the garden variety F.O.W.L. troopers, who wear helmets that look like egg shells. Sometimes they walk around flashing a gun, other times they hover in the air and drop bombs, and on some occasions they even lurk in ceilings and hammer them to rain debris on you. One version of the trooper takes a cue from “Mega Man’s” Sniper Joe, constantly hiding behind a caped shield, only dropping his guard to toss a knife.

Even more fun are the specialty baddies, the kind that appear only in one or two levels. One of my favorites is a tortoise whose shell goes flying whenever he sneezes. Interesting to see a passive-aggressive approach in a video game bad guy. Off the top of my head I can also recall dingoes dribbling basketballs, squirrels with oversized sneakers, fire-breathing genies, inflated geese that deflate and zip about when you shoot them, pit bulls that are too big for their dog houses, alligators in zoot suits, armored mice, and one duck that takes a page from “The Terminator”. The imagination that went into designing these creatures is greater than the kind lesser games invest in their entire levels.

Each stage is a delight to play. They’re nice to look at, they have catchy music of the kind that’s normally reserved for “Mega Man” games, and there’s a good mixture of obstacles and shooting. “Darkwing” has a degree of challenge that falls into a safe intermediate zone, catering to the skills of the young or inexperienced but also delivering a light challenge for gaming experts. The controls are as tight as any you can find, with the best-implemented platform hanging mechanic I have ever seen in a video game. The optional bullets--in the form of heavy, electric, and arrow--are well implemented, and there’s a good variety of pick-ups--first aid kits, special ‘gas’ ammo, valuables and 1-UP dolls--to keep the flow spontaneous and interesting.

I recommend “Darkwing Duck” on the basis that it is a highly imaginative platforming game, one of the best on the NES platform. It will delight young and old alike. I can see some people calling it “basic”, but the basics are good. I say all this as someone who’s been revisiting this reliable cartridge since it first hit Toys ‘r’ Us shelves in 1991. Back then, I was a youngster playing the game of his favorite cartoon show. “Darkwing Duck” transcends marketing. Long after the product has gone off the air, the game still entertains.

Rating: 10/10

joseph_valencia's avatar
Community review by joseph_valencia (July 08, 2009)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by joseph_valencia
Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition (Genesis) artwork
Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition (Genesis)

Alan Grant is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore.
Mega Man Zero 2 (Game Boy Advance) artwork
Mega Man Zero 2 (Game Boy Advance)

The first stage of “Mega Man Zero 2” is one of the best possible notes a game could start on. Our hero, garbed in a poncho, fatigued from the battles he’s fought since the prior installment, limps his way through a canyon in the midst of a sandstorm. The storm dies down, and a battalion of Neo Arcadian foot soldiers fl...
Mega Man Zero (Game Boy Advance) artwork
Mega Man Zero (Game Boy Advance)

My initial impression of “Mega Man Zero” when I first played it was: This game is hard as fuck! I was humiliated by the first real boss, Aztec Falcon. The claustrophobic quarters where you fight him caused me to panic. He dwarfed my little Zero character in size, and he nimbly bounded and dashed all over the place. He ...

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Darkwing Duck review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Advertise | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Darkwing Duck is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Darkwing Duck, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.