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

Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse (Genesis) artwork

Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse (Genesis) review


"“Mickey Mania” is a potent combination of technology, imagination and tradition. In other words, it’s the Disney paradigm expressed in video game form. I don’t know if Walt would have a created a game like this, but I’m certain he would be proud, and awed, of its achievement. “Pong” wasn’t even a glint in Atari’s eye when the old master passed in 1966. Could he have imagined that children would one day interact with the sort of images his studio animated? That the drawings of his company’s own a..."



“Mickey Mania” is a potent combination of technology, imagination and tradition. In other words, it’s the Disney paradigm expressed in video game form. I don’t know if Walt would have a created a game like this, but I’m certain he would be proud, and awed, of its achievement. “Pong” wasn’t even a glint in Atari’s eye when the old master passed in 1966. Could he have imagined that children would one day interact with the sort of images his studio animated? That the drawings of his company’s own animators could become an element of a game, played on a screen? Such wonders, taken for granted these days, are what games like this and Sega’s “Aladdin” contributed to interactive entertainment in the days of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.

This is no more and no less a journey through but a few of this icon’s greatest moments. We experience this ride in the form of a side-scrolling platforming game, a genre suitable to the antics of Mickey Mouse. If you reduced “Mania” to the barest of its elements, it wouldn’t sound very impressive: a game where you jump around and throw pebbles at things. The magic is that it thrusts us into the middle of Mickey cartoon, and credibly too. A game like “Kingdom Hearts II” can’t make us believe we’re walking around in a world like 1928’s “Steamboat Willie”, a short which provides a logical starting point for “Mania”. The illusion here, created with less processing power than the Playstation 2, is more convincing because the elements are digitized drawings animated by authentic Disney talent. Cel-shading can’t emulate personality.

The rest of the tour takes us through “The Mad Doctor”, “Moose Hunters”, “Lonesome Ghosts” and “Mickey and the Beanstalk” before finally dropping us off in 1990’s “The Prince and the Pauper”. The Mouse frolics across a cryptic chemical lab, a crumbling home, a land above the clouds, a subterranean cavern of minerals and spiders, a giant’s dinner table and a royal castle sheltered from the winter. He encounters such perils as a runaway trolley heading into a gauntlet of booby traps, a very territorial moose, flooded hallways and sauntering spooks, a tower being consumed by fire; weasels and, yes, a mad doctor. There’s more, but I believe that’s a pretty thorough picture of the kinds of wonders you can expect from “Mickey Mania”.

If there’s any shortcoming to this game, it’s that we don’t quite feel we get enough. We’re given a lot, but not to the fullest extent that this high concept can deliver. Mickey has an extensive, rich animated heritage, the surface of which is hardly scratched here. What about “The Gallopin’ Groucho”, “Plane Crazy”, “The Chain Gang” or “The Fire Fighters”? Any of these could make for great levels. Oh, this game certainly delivers more than the average platformer. It certainly has a great vision which is superbly realized. It certainly has personality, expressed in each hand-drawn frame of each character. You can tell that the people who made “Mickey Mania” had lots of fun in the development process. One can only imagine what this talent would have been capable of if liberated from their tight schedule.

Maybe the plan was to make a “Mickey Mania 2”? The programmers certainly don’t conceal the intention, imploring us “If you liked this game, buy it twice.” (One of many whimsical gags in the staff roll, another being a reverse credit and staffers nick-named “Sonic” and “Tails”.) Too much time has passed for a true sequel to be produced, but what if a game like this were to be realized today in high definition, with animation cels scanned at 720p? It’s depressing to think that Disney (the company) would sooner green light “Kingdom Hearts III” than undertake a project of such ambition. But why bother with ink and pencils when you can just use cel-shading on textured polygons?

Rating: 9/10

joseph_valencia's avatar
Community review by joseph_valencia (July 09, 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 Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse 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. Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse, 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.