Friday, March 8, 2013

VGR Daffy Duck (Master System)

A game for ol' Daffy!~
And so gosh-derned riff-raffy!~
And so screwy and laffy!~
 We're all a little looney, and here's my other Looney Tunes-related reviews!

VGR: Daffy Duck in Hollywood
From Sega/Probe Entertainment
Played on Master System
Also available on Game Gear & Megadrive

Type Sidescrolling
Year 1994

During the early 90s, animal characters became quite common in the entrainment industry, mascots were everywhere apparently and the whole fad went big.
While at the same time there was a big boom in the animation, thanks to the likes of Warner Bros' Animation's Silver Age and the renewed success of Disney films.
It was the perfect time for bringing Looney Tunes into video games obviously.
And the graphics were finally catching up enough to retranslate that universe in pixels.

While Sunsoft handled the games on Nintendo systems, Sega developed their own separate titles internally.

This one here's one of those very few games that featured Daffy Duck as the main hero!
Daffy Duck in Hollywood was released exclusively for Sega systems.
They say in the land of Hollywood, anything's possible. So... What did they come up with for this adventure?

There is no introduction scene on the Master System version, but despite that it's the same overall story for all versions.

Professor Duckbrain stole Yosemite Sam's Academy Awards!
So now it's up to you, Daffy Duck, PI., to find and bring those back!!

To do so, our duck will have to explore 6 movie sets and defeat all of Duckbrain's mechanical helpers.
The game offers a less linear experience than you'd expect from a classic sidescroller platformer.
It offers you at first 2 sets right away, each "set" (or world) has 3 separate stages. Which makes a total of 18 levels to explore, no less!
From a Western movie set (the desert), Robin Hood (a forest), a Jungle, an haunted Horror movie and more!

Lemme just said it right away, the game is only vaguely inspired by the short of the same name. (and Hollywood Daffy)

Anyway, the game doesn't play exactly as you'd expect a platformer to.
The levels are more labyrinthic than what you'd find in a regular Mario or Sonic game.
The idea here is not just running to reach the end, Daffy in Hollywood requires some exploration.
The game levels are broken down to smaller segments, you must defeat all the robot enemies and find a key to move onto the next area (closed by a green vegetation-door-thingie).

To do so Daffy is equipped with a bubble gun. Why? Why not!
The bubble gun works great to trap enemies and then you can just kick 'em off screen.
To help you there are loads of power-ups you can gather around. You'll find these power-ups bubbling from zones on the ground while simply walking.
These will allow you to throw multiple bubbles, seeking enemies, etc.

Daffy has also a lot of great animations.
He can perform several movements, a lot more than you'd expect from a game like this at the time.
The gameplay is quite rich, Daffy can run by pressing the gun attack button down, he can also climb, hang on stuff (Darkwing Duck anyone?) or even climb up or down platforms years before Sam Fisher was introduced in gaming....
The "camera" is also very useful, crouching down to spot enemies or if there's a ground below. In this game the camera really works great.

This Master System title was developed by Probe.
They were one of best developers of sidescroller action games, yet really underrated at the time. I love this studio!
The game looks simply fantastic!
The Master System at its best, the graphics are cartoony, there's a lot of great detailed animations.
I just adore Daffy's nonchalent walk(badly pictured above in my drawing!).

One level, the "Kung Fu" one sees Daffy Duck using a different gameplay. There he can karaté-kick and jump like a ninja!!
Why didn't they make the entire game like this? (different gameplays according to different types of settings!)

The music is fun and catchy.
This game's even got the Looney Tunes theme song!

The game's really difficult though.
It requires a lot of patience, calm and tight controls if you want to see its end.
You start with only 4 lives at the start, and it's quite rare to find more.
You can find some smaller "Daffy fairies" to protect you from one hit. (similar idea found in the more recent Crash Bandicoot games)
But there's zero continues.
Well, it does add to the replay value.
Sometimes you can collect letters in bubbles to spell DAFFY DUCK,  which will grant you one of the 3 different endings. (a good one and two bad endings)
And there's lots of stuff to collect too, gems, Oscars.
Are those too much? Well, see it as an additional challenge. They're not really required.

Overall, despite being difficult, it's really a game for all.
There's a lots of levels, great replay value.

The game is simply a lot of fun to play or to look at.

On the Game Gear it's the same experience.
The 16-bit version follows mostly the same idea but it was developed by an entirely different team, so I'll leave that one for another time.
I give it:
2.5 / 3 Bruces!


  1. I love this game! I actually just finished it! It was quite hard and took a lot of pracise. I was a bit annoyed when i played the whole thing through and saw the "bad" ending. No warning of that to comlpete the game you have to beat it on har difficulty, in the manual. They should have mentioned it. Anywas, this game has some of the most beautiful graphics i have ever seen on the sega master system!! i especially love how the caves are so detailed with the lights and shades on every single rock etc.. I also like how you have to explore and wait for those lovely little bubbles to come out of the ground.
    I would give this game 8,3/10.

    1. It's a pretty hardcore game, alright!

      The ending... wasn't much. But then again, how many games had spectacular endings back then, heh?