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Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES) artwork

Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES) review


"“Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers” is a lot like “Super Mario Brothers 2,” but it’s much less tiring. Actually, it has an energy that’s infectious. Its two characters, Chip and Dale, move at a brisk pace, like you might expect chipmunks to. They lift and chuck crates like pros, plowing through approaching enemies and unearthing all manner of item pick-ups. The action is so snappy, you might find yourself, as I did, becoming entranced by the rapid-fire hopping and throwing. This is a lot of fun. "



“Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers” is a lot like “Super Mario Brothers 2,” but it’s much less tiring. Actually, it has an energy that’s infectious. Its two characters, Chip and Dale, move at a brisk pace, like you might expect chipmunks to. They lift and chuck crates like pros, plowing through approaching enemies and unearthing all manner of item pick-ups. The action is so snappy, you might find yourself, as I did, becoming entranced by the rapid-fire hopping and throwing. This is a lot of fun.

I’m no stranger to this classic NES gamepak. It’s the third or fourth Disney game developed by Capcom, following “Duck Tales” and released alongside “Adventures in the Magic Kingdom.” “Rescue Rangers” is a side-scrolling platformer with eleven levels total. You don’t have to play through all of them; Capcom, as they did with Mega Man and their previous Disney titles, gives this game a non-linear structure. The first level is always the same, but afterward you encounter a map where you can take different paths. You might go to “Zone B” or “Zone C,” or both.

I recommend playing every level to experience the full range of Capcom’s imagination. The blown-up world of the Chip & Dale cartoons--both “Rescue Rangers” and the assorted classic shorts that preceded it--is lovingly recreated. This is a journey that takes us up and across towering power lines, worm-ridden trees, rickety rural fences, diners, bookshelves, toy rooms, casinos and fountains. To our dwarfed heroes, a running faucet is a perilous waterfall and a portable fan’s breeze is like the gust of a category-5 hurricane. In one part of either “Zone B” or “Zone C,” they have to hop across knobs that manipulate the heat of open rice cookers sitting below. Capcom understands the unique challenges of being tiny in a world of relative giants.

Not only do Chip and Dale have to contend with obstacles, but an assortment of enemies and bosses too. These rogues are in the vein of the “Mega Man” foes, varied and whimsical. They range from the straightforward--mechanical mice and bulldogs--to the tricky--paddle-balling kangaroos and flying squirrel ninjas--to the down-right tough and intimidating--charging rhino athletes and towering weasel thugs. Many can be taken out with the throw of a single object, while some toughies can require a few tosses. One particular pelican can actually gobble the items you throw at him and toss them right back!

All the while you are collecting flowers, stars, acorns and peppers. Giant crates house surprises: Zipper the trust-worthy fly, who protects you and stings all opponents; cheese, which summons Rescue Ranger heavy Monterey Jack to demolish a wall; and gadgets from, well, Gadget. In between levels are these nice little message screens where Gadget “communicates” with you. Unlike the pointless cinemas in the “Ninja Gaiden” games, these sequences give out hints and information relevant to the gameplay. (“Fat Cat sent some tough-looking guys to Zone C!”) There’s also a bonus game where you try to lift as many crates as you can and pick up the items underneath. These add to the aforementioned flower and star total, which you might’ve guessed add to your 1-UP count.

This a bright, colorful game with music that will make you want to boogie like a 1950s oldie. It is easy in the sense that anyone above the age of ten can beat it in a single sitting, but some parts are pretty tricky to navigate. I didn’t care whether the challenge was crushing or not, because I had a lot of fun in this world. I’ve played this game multiple times over the decades, and I don’t think I will ever tire of revisiting it. This is one of the best games on the Nintendo.

Rating: 10/10

joseph_valencia's avatar
Community review by joseph_valencia (July 15, 2009)

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randxian posted July 15, 2009:

This game rocks. It certainly deserves a 10/10. I agree that you should play all the levels to experience all the unique environments. I always play every level everytime I play through this game. :D

One problem I have with the review - "In one part of either “Zone B” or “Zone C,”". C'mon man, you should tell your readers which zone it is. This seems like laziness.

Other than that, I think you covered all the bases for the most part. This is definately a fun, whimsical game. Easily one of the best NES games ever.
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honestgamer posted July 15, 2009:

It's a shame that the sequel wasn't as good. It was still good, but the first one definitely had the most magic to it.
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randxian posted July 15, 2009:

Agreed. There was something... missing in the sequel. Can't really put a finger on it. As you said, still a good game, but there is some X-Factor it's missing.

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