Saturday, July 26, 2014

VGR Daffy Duck (SNES)

Since I reviewed Daffy Duck's Sega video games, time to have a look at the Nintendo ones!

VGR: Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions originally known as Duck Rogers in the 24th Century also known as Looney Tunes Series: Daffy Duck or also simply Daffy Duck (SNES)
From ICOM Simulations/Sunsoft
Played on Super NES
Also available on Game Boy

Type Sidescrolling platformer
Year 1993/94     

Back in the early 1990s, cartoon animal characters were huge in the entertainment industry, mascots were everywhere. It was during that same time that animation went through a revival of sorts, thanks to the likes of Warner Bros' Animation's Silver Age and the renewed success of Disney films.

It was the perfect time to bring Looney Tunes back, and welcome them to the world of video games. What with the graphics finally catching up enough to retranslate cartoons in pixel art.

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

Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions is another one of those, oh, so very rare few Daffy Duck games where the Looney Tune duck was featured as the main character!

The game was originally supposed to be simply titled Duck Rogers in the 24th Century, since it was inspired by those very same eponymous theatrical animated shorts that would inspire the 2003 revival of the Looney Tunes series decades later, but was later changed to simply "Daffy Duck" during the production, Sunsoft probably fearing the young audience might have been confused otherwise at the time.

In this Duck Dodgers video game you take the role of Daffy Duck in his classic 1950s pulp scifi persona.

Earth is in danger!

Duck Dodgers is needed once more, you have to put a stop to Marvin the Martian's evil schemes! The Martian is about to destroy Earth! And only our hero can stop him.

The objective is to destroy 5 deadly machines Marvin has set to destroy Earth. And to do so you'll have to follow him all over space before it's too late!

The game begins with Duck Dodgers arriving in a Martian resort. From there it will take you to these lava-filled caves to an aquatic planet and its underwater tunnels. Next stop is Jupiter and then an unknown jungle planet (?) with giant trees. Finally on the final stretch Duck Dodgers will finally be able to put a stop to Marvin's plans...

The game will take you through these ~19 or so "stages". And every half dozen or so stages, you will get a change of scenery, or "world".

The game also includes several cameos from other Looney Tunes (such as Yosemite Sam or Wile E. Coyote). Although this time they're not much really directly involved in the actual game, but just get a passing little appearance.

"Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions" is a pretty basic typical platformer for the time.

Duck Dodgers can jump and attack. You'll mostly spend the entire game battling tons of Instant Martians and avoiding bottomless pits.

Starting the game with only Duck Dodgers' trusty ol' regular gun which has infinite ammo. There are several more alternate weapons which you can either find around or buy from the in-game store you get every new world. There are five type of guns, an electric one, a freeze gun, etc.

Our hero can also use a shield to protect himself. 

Daffy/Dodgers also has access to a jet pack to fly for a short amount of time. Don't ignore it since it's really helpful to move around these huge maze-like stages.

Finally there's a special "Nutty" attack which basically turns Duck Dodgers into his namesake Daffy Duck and defeats every foe on screen. But don't spend it right away, keep it as a last resort!

There's a Marvin-boss fight at the end of each world.

Since this was a SNES exclusive, there's a lot of digitalized lines. We get most of Daffy and Duck Dodgers classic lines like "You're despicable!" or "Mother!!", voiced here by voice actor Greg Burson.

The game has a really odd sense of momentum.

When shooting Daffy starts bouncing backwards, which you have to take into account along this game's weird physics. It's funny and give this game an almost cinematic platformer realistic feel.. only you're supposedly playing with a cartoon duck!

He also does some really huge jumps, which you have to be careful about and manage just right not to randomly fly into danger.

Also the game is far from being the best looking SNES game out there, but it's colorful enough and somewhat recaptures the Looney Tunes trademark art style.

Tag this along the really strange off-putting eerie score, and this game's kinda reminiscent of the strange atmosphere that plagued the Taz-Mania Megadrive game.

The game is actually not particularly long or difficult, but it gets tricky (starting as soon as the very long first boss). Getting lost is easy if you can't keep track of the check-points indicating the exit. The boss can really be a pain in the ass.

Overall, a simple and basic platformer all in all.

Visually decent and cartoony enough. But it feels like much potential wasted at times. They had the license, they got the mannerism and Duck Dodgers right. But they came just short to produce a game epic enough for our hero!

Really bad, sluggish and annoying controls. Add to that a couple of very frustrating moments such as the boss fights taking way too many hits... Try it only if you're a really big fan.

The Game Boy port had somewhat different level design and a lot less enemies in the stages. But it also added the additional hard difficulty (which is basically "no continues").

Most of the same crew would return behind the following game, Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage!
I give it:
1.5 / 3 Bruces!

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