The Disney Afternoon Collection is a throwback to an age where games were generally much simpler. It was a time when Capcom had the license to put out a number of classic Disney titles, with this collection bringing together games such as Ducktales, Ducktales, 2, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers 1 & 2, Talespin, and Darkwing Duck. It’s also aptly named, as going through the regular versions of the games can be done in an afternoon.
Don’t think that Capcom has just dug through its back catalogue for and put together a quick collection. Each of the games has been remastered so the graphics are in 1080p resolution and new modes have also been added to make the collection last longer. These modes include a Boss Rush and Time Attack with both featuring leaderboards to see how you fare against the rest of the world. On top of the leaderboards, you can watch the playthroughs of the players on the leaderboards, as well as race them. When it comes to racing another player, this is done with a small video of the other player’s run off to the side.
The other new feature added to these games is the ability to rewind time, letting you reverse your actions should you make a mistake. It is important to note that this is not available in the boss rush and time attack modes due to big a helping hand it is. It’s a very welcome lifeline though, given how these titles are a fair bit tougher than you might expect.
The levels themselves are quite short and each of the games can be beaten in around an hour, though that was down to using the rewind feature. Your character can only take a few hits before losing a life, and once those lives are lost it’s game over. There are times when you have to be thinking quickly to moving out of the way of incoming enemies, but sometimes their placement is such that you can’t help but get hit. At first it takes a little getting used to the way the games control, dealing with movement that feels a bit sluggish compared to more modern games, however once you’re over that hurdle the fun begins.
You can use either the analog stick or D-pad to move the characters, and in the platforming titles I would definitely recommend using D-pad. While the analogue stick input was serviceable, there were times where the game would get confused if the stick wasn’t precisely in the direction you wanted to be moving. Using the D-pad eliminated that issue. When it comes to Tailspin though, a side scrolling shmup, the analogue input fared slightly better.
The Disney Afternoon Collection is fun, but it also provides a snapshot of past generations of gaming. While linearity in a lot of platformers is expected, going back to the original Mario and Sonic titles for example, the Capcom Disney games were a lot more open. Barring Tailspin, you can choose the order in which levels are tackled, leading to the final stage of each game. While the original Ducktales, Tailspin, and Rescue Rangers are quite simple in design you can see how the series of games evolved if you play through the collection chronologically.
Take Ducktales 2, for example, where level exploration wasn’t just encouraged but actually required to move on. In a few levels the character Gyro has upgrades to give to Scrooge McDuck and if you miss him by going straight for the boss, another level may not be possible to complete. This is what I found when I missed Gyro in one area and discovered I needed the upgrade I missed to tackle the Mu level. Unlike the originally Ducktales where you’re told about these things, there was no mention that I had to see Gyro in order to move on. If you find you’re trapped you can find Launchpad McQuack – what a name! – to fly you out of trouble.
While getting trapped is a bit of a problem it isn’t the biggest deal. The bigger issues came in couple of spots where the games would slow down if there were too many moving parts at once. That number of moving items seemed to be five, and at these points the action would slow to a crawl and the characters would become slightly transparent. This would happen in the same areas in the games that were affected. When it comes to display options you can choose original size, full screen or wide. I honestly recommend keeping the games in original size as the other two options stretch the graphics which is off putting.
The Disney Afternoon Collection is a well compiled anthology of Capcom’s classic Disney games. There’s been a lot of care put into the collection and the extra modes have been implemented very well, but there are a couple of issues that could do with ironing out, such as the slowdown in certain sections. It’ll be a blast of nostalgia for those who played the games when they were first released almost 30 years ago, as well as fun for a newer audience.
Version tested: PS4
- Developer:Digital Eclipse
- Platforms:PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Release Date:April 18th 2017