TaleSpin (NES) review
"In the first level, enemy planes try to ram you as you fly over large expanses of water dotted with oil platforms. Halfway through, you confront the infamous air pirate Don Karnage, who is hell-bent on ruining your day. You can't beat him yet, so you must evade his shots while pressing forward until he gives up."
Some of us may remember TaleSpin as the high-flying action-adventure series on the Disney Channel that featured characters vaguely reminiscent of those out of the Jungle Book. It received decent reception, airing more than 60 episodes and running for almost a decade after the finale. It also earned an Emmy nomination for its introductory movie. Later, it inspired several variations, including a comic book series, and, of course, a small selection of video games.
I don't remember the cartoon as fondly as some of us might. Perhaps because I rarely watched it. But, I do remember the scrolling shooter released for Nintendo only a few months after the last episode debuted.
Like the show, you play as Baloo, the carefree bear that pilots the Sea Duck, a mono-wing flying boat used to carry cargo from the fictional Cape Suzette to other parts of the world. Eight levels present a number of challenges as you haul your freight to expecting customers.
In the first level, enemy planes try to ram you as you fly over large expanses of water dotted with oil platforms. Halfway through, you confront the infamous air pirate Don Karnage, who is hell-bent on ruining your day. You can't beat him yet, so you must evade his shots while pressing forward until he gives up. Next you must dodge bubble mortars, flying subs that rapidly dart towards you, and anti-aircraft guns mounted on the floors and ceilings of ships. Manage to survive it all and you'll confront the boss of the level – a submarine whose only vulnerability is its periscope.
The second level sees you soaring through a baseball stadium, as renegade hotdog vendors lob homing tube steak missiles at you. More anti-aircraft guns dot the ground, firing in deadly arcs. Dive into the dugout, and you're forced to wend your way through cramped corridors as you dodge proximity mines. Sometimes, the situation turns desperate, leaving you with a tough choice: continue forward and get squished between the advancing screen and the rock face, or flip upside down and fly back into the nearest mine. Conquer the dugout, however, and meet the final boss of this stage: a floating baseball that switches from an invulnerable ball that bounces around to a robotic thing that only moves vertically, firing three bullets in three predictable directions.
Community review by wolfqueen001 (December 27, 2011)
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