Mickey Mousecapade

I have a special hatred for Mickey Mousecapade.  Growing up when new games were a rarity borrowing games from friends was the only way to play new releases.  Just picture it: you’ve been playing nothing but Legendary Wings for months.  Finally someone agrees to trade it for Mickey Mousecapade.  You spend all day in school itching to get home and play it only to be greeted by this….piece of crap.  That may or may not be a true story.  Mickey Mousecapade is a heavily flawed game that isn’t worth the short time it takes to complete.

The game’s plot is left unexplained.  All you need to know is that Mickey and Minnie are on a mission to rescue their unnamed “friend”.  Who the friend is as well as the game’s colorful cast of characters are left largely unsaid for a number of reasons.  The most prominent being licensing.

While we remember Capcom’s Disney output because of titles like DuckTales and Rescue Rangers this was their unfortunate rough start.  To their credit this was simply a game they picked up for release.  In Japan Mickey Mousecapade is known as Mickey Mouse: Fushigi no Kuni no Daibouken and loosely based on Alice in Wonderland.  Rather than pay a license fee Capcom simply removed most named references to the book although they weren’t that thorough.  It’s very obvious what the game is based on but that is neither here nor there.  Mickey Mousecapade has some interesting ideas but it fails due to shoddy execution. There are far too many good Disney games to ever bother with this in my opinion. 

This is a single player game but you control two characters simultaneously.  You have direct control of Mickey while Minnie will mimic your every move.  Collecting stars will enable you to attack with the first for Mickey then Minnie.  It is entirely possible to miss a second star leaving Minnie completely useless.  If that were it than it wouldn’t be so bad but her presence will hinder you in other ways.

Having Minnie is both interesting and frustrating.  There is a slight delay when she follows your movements that can be exploited.  There are numerous boss battles where you can position her to deal all the damage while you are safe below.  Technically she is invincible so you might as well abuse it.  But that same delay is the cause of much frustration.  You can’t leave the screen without her directly behind you.  In any level that features some manner of platforming it can be annoying.  It’s made even worse considering that if she dies, you die.  Having to second guess your every step ruins what should be a simple experience.

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Mickey Mousecapade’s five levels alternate between simple platforming stages and larger maze like structures.  Stages two and four are the closest the game comes to a traditional side scroller.  These aren’t bad, just standard fare.  Stage one and the last are mazes of rooms that charge you with finding keys to reach their exit.  Secrets abound in invisible spaces although your curiosity may lead Minnie to being captured.  These levels are more ambitious but heavily show the flaws in the game’s mechanics.  Trying to navigate platforms with Minnie’s wonky behavior is infuriating.  Doubly so since you’ll probably spend the majority of the game in these two levels.

I left off stage three for a reason; it’s terrible.  Here you are presented with a level set among the changing seasons.  To reach its end you must cycle through all four seasons by entering the right doors in each setting.  However you are offered no clues other than being sent back to the beginning if you choose wrong.  Even worse, some of the necessary exits are hidden.  The only way you would find them is if you blasted every inch of the environment.  I suppose this was meant to be a creative highlight but instead comes across as the designers being too clever for their own good.  I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed when young and this stumped me for hours.  When I finally figured it out I wasn’t happy, I was aggravated. 

For such a simple and short game it can be pretty vicious.  Minnie will be the cause of many of your cheap deaths as she falls into pits left and right.  There are enemies that inflict absurd amounts of damage.  Some of the more aggressive enemies are also the hardest to hit as well.  Any boss that can’t be cheesed using Minnie can be a tough battle.  I suppose if the game were easy it would be even shorter than the twenty or so minutes it takes to complete.

In Closing

I suppose everyone has to start somewhere.  Maybe Capcom licensed this game as a quick way to make use of their new license.  Whatever resources put towards its release would have been better served creating an original title.  I know Mickey Mousecapade has its fans but I’m certainly not one of them.  This is simply a mediocre game best left ignored.