|Reviewer: NeoMahi||Date: Jun 17, 2014|
|I remember it as though it were just yesterday. We'd had our Genesis for maybe a couple of years, it was fall time and Christmas was coming up in a few short months. Our gaming library was small and selective but, it was about to grow. My brother had a buddy coming over I'd never met and brought with him, he had two games that were about to blow my mind. I decided I'd sit in the background and take a look at just what was going on. Where I grew up, this kid defined the word "cool", but he was very subtle or very discrete about who he was exactly and the more I learned about him, the more cool he became. He was a gamer, he had a SEGA Genesis, he was a Spawn--from Todd McFarlane-- fan and the games he pulled out of his bag radiated cool in a way I can't describe to you in words. He had Comix Zone and Mickey Mania. He popped in Mickey Mania first and I knew--without question-- this would be at the top of my list for Christmas that year, and it was.
To this day, Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse remains at the top of my all-time SEGA Genesis list of games next to Comix Zone and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers. It's really not the sort of game that comes up when SEGA Genesis is mentioned. It's instead buried under the likes of: M.U.S.H.A, Truxton, ToeJam and Earl, Streets of Rage, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Phantasy Star IV, Shinobi, and Sonic the Hedgehog; just to name a few. They're all great games indeed--I can't deny--but they really did smother out a lot of the hidden gems on the SEGA Genesis console. Now, I know, when you look at a Disney game and couple it with the coolness of SEGA Genesis, it really doesn't seem all that macho. But, the fact of the matter is, we all know that you secretly locked yourself in a closet and gamed away at Aladdin and The Lion King. A lot of us did. But, we loved them! The games looked amazing and they were a blast to play. Mickey Mania isn't any different.
When the SEGA Genesis was first shown off, it was demoed with "Castle of Illusion: Starring Mickey Mouse. The game demoed off all the subtle details--of which added animations gave Mickey Mouse more of a personality and more lifelike feel than had ever been done in games previous on the Nintendo or SEGA Master System, for that matter. It was a defining game for the Genesis and Mickey Mania takes all of that a step further. It's a game that defines the word FUN and compliments the work and vision Disney always set out for in making sure that whatever Disney experience it is that you have, that it brings a smile to your face.
Not many people know this but, along with Sony Imagesoft and Travelers Tales (which never really made any other game I was ever interested in playing), came with it the games lead designer Mr. David Jaffe of God of War fame. YES! The co-creator of the angriest game character you'll ever know, started his career with the happiest game character you'll ever know.
Mickey Mania continually blows my mind and brings back all the happiest of childhood memories when I never had a care in the world and could just pop in the cartridge, fire up the console, and just play and have fun! It was also my break from Mortal Kombat, Splatterhouse, Street Fighter, Robocop vs Terminator, etc. It really was and still provides an amazing gaming experience, with exclusive content you'll only find on the Genesis.
There are many other platforms you can play the game on including the: Super Nintendo, SEGA CD, and even PS1--if you're fortunate to either live in Europe, or own a Euro PS1 and TV, or you could download obtain it in the same method you're now looking at this one.
I'm very proud and privileged--actually-- to be the one that gets to write the first review of one of my most favorite games of all time right here at Vimm in The Vault.
Mickey Mania has some of the best graphics I've seen on the SEGA Genesis right up there with: Gunstar Heroes, Comix Zone, Panorama Cotton, and Ranger X. The characters sprites and environments are colorful and detailed. Even the lighting in "The Lonesome Ghosts" is impressive, for the Genesis and I can't recall a single moment of slowdown in the game at all with a rock-solid framerate the whole way through; that I could notice anyway. If you're likely to hit frame dips, it could be in Moose-Hunter Mickey, which I can't really understand why when The Prince and the Pauper has you racing up a narrow way going fast with a lot going on on screen from detailed sprites. Really, the bottom line is that Mickey Mania has some of the best graphics you'll see on the Genesis. Boss fights? Pete is pretty big, pretty mean, and pretty detailed for a Genesis or Super Nintendo game for that matter. Character animations and fluid and natural just as in any animated film.
Now, I've played Mickey Mania on pretty much ever console its been available on. Each version, in the sound department, has its pros and its cons. For a long time, I would have told you that the Super Nintendo had the Genesis beaten in the sound department. Then I played the Sega CD version, which sounds great, and the PlayStation version which sounds great as well. But, when it really comes down to it, the Genesis version still has the best music out there with the most variety and that's what it comes down to is not necessarily the audio overall, but that variety and I think the Genesis version beats out the whole lot.
To this game more specifically, Mickey's voiced work is amazing! It sounds like Mickey though it's still just a bit scratchy with some of it. I also wish there would have been a little more voice work for other characters in the game--like Pete--who I think in the PS1 version actually had some audio. Some variance in that sense would have made the Genesis perfect but, its lacking. Taking out enemies, explosions and such are pretty dang good and really give the game a more immersive experience.
Having played all the versions available, the game runs near flawless. There controls--for the most part--are really responsive and fluid. I can recall difficulty only during The Lonesome Ghosts were I would be trying to jump from one barrel to the next and the game would jack up the animation and either throw me in the water or I'd get hit by the ghost in the motor-boat. It's a minor gripe but still there.
What really gives this game more value over it's competitor--of the time-- is the additional content. There were a lot of things they changed with the Super Nintendo version--I don't really know why--but there were actually a few bonus stages added to the SEGA Genesis version of the game including: Descending the Tower in The Mad Doctor, and Band Concert Mickey that is accessed through Mickey and the Beanstalk--which I've yet to be able to find-- but you can access it by using the STAGE SELECT cheat to access it to play as it, and it's really difficult! Controls-wise, you can change them up in the options menu and as far as multi-platform goes, I think your controller is a preference. I like the Genesis controller better as the buttons feel more solid and have a stiffer feel to them assuring me it won't break any time soon but, gamers will have a preference toward the Super Dog-Bone. If that's your preference, the game will play just as well on the Super. The same is to be said for the PS1 controller, though I find it odd to play the game on a Dualshock, even though I've used a Dualschock controller most of my life through the PS1, PS2, PS3, and now PS4 era's. Either way, it controls great!
Overall, Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures is a must play experience on the Genesis. It looks phenomenal, sounds great--even compared to "superior versions", and is the sort of experience that will keep you coming back for more time and time over, and might even convince you to look into other versions. Mickey Mania, much like Aladdin and The Lion King covers all its bases and, could be for some, is a guilty pleasure but it is a game adding to your collection.
At the end of the day, the SEGA Genesis had a vast library of games covering so many genre's and developed series of games that will be talked about for years to come. While we all enjoy Street's of Rage, Street Fighter, Golden Axe, Phantasy Star, and Sonic the Hedgehog--just to name a few-- you really can't ignore or forget all those hidden gems that are buried beneath them all. The Genesis had a lot of great games, which I feel are still superior to most of the games the SNES had, in my own personal opinion, and shouldn't be overlooked. This game is FREE TO PLAY right before your very eyes and this review--because I'm mortal--just isn't going to do the game justice. You owe it to yourself to swallow your pride and really give this game a chance. You just might surprise yourself. This game was introduced to me by one of the coolest dudes in middle school, while I was still in grade school right alongside a game that defined awesome on the Genesis. I'm years older and still sit down and play through this game with a huge smile on my face. Like Disney is able to do with so many, his characters and creations can't help but put a smile on your face. Thanks for reading through my review! Rate this game! Get it out there and get gamers playing it! It's truly a great that really is the best experience on the Genesis.