Donald Duck Goin' Quackers


Review by Nathan Dunsmore



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 5


In the glory days of the 16-bit consoles, Sega and Capcom crafted some of the finest Disney video game masterpieces (Virgin’s Aladdin and Sony’s Mickey Mania also deserve honorable mentions). Handled with great care and expertise, they became more than just adaptations, they became their own source of magic for the player’s imagination to dip in and wallow. Ubi-Soft’s Donald Duck Goin' Quackers (GQ) splashes into the eyes but waddles right over the imagination.

ddgoinquackers1n64.jpg (43040 bytes)As original as Disney plots come, Donald’s longtime love Daisy is kidnapped by an evil magician named Merlock during a breaking television news report. Courtesy of Gyro’s teleporter invention, players take on four worlds of vertical and horizontal scrolling levels to rescue her.

If this sounds similar to a bandicoot that made headlines during the late 90s, that’s because it is. At the heart of the gameplay, GQ is a pure kid’s game that does little to soar it above or separate it from the rest of the flock. Donald can collect stars for extra lives, punch and pounce on his enemies, double jump on hovering objects, just like any common platformer. Milkshakes also send Donald on an indestructible rampage. Though this implements the “Goin Quackers” aspect of the game, it does not serve a great deal of purpose when most enemies can be plowed over with a single hit anyway.

GQ benefits from having side tasks that make it more than simply another point A to point B adventure. Boss tablets must be secured to open the boss warp in each world. Finding Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s toys unlocks “chase” rounds that upon completion activate Gladstone’s time trials. Whereas the boss tablets and toys can be found in a single clean sweep, the time trials increase challenge and playtime. The entire game is mostly a run, jump and punch cycle with slightly inconsistent collision detection. On occasion a punch will miss its target by merely a small fraction, only to end up having received damage from the enemy a second later.

Graphics have an exquisitely sharp and colorful Disney coding, with some excellent sunlight effects during the forest and Duckburg stages. Donald’s movements, expressions, and transitions from calmness to being quacked up are animated wonderfully as he dashes through the levels. A few feathers are plucked from the frame rate but the game still moves at an adequate pace.

The music has been compressed to a softer tone from its CD counterparts but retains enough for its own saucy flavor. Most, if not all of the cut scenes and much of the voice acting have successfully migrated into this cartridge version and the sound effects liven-up the worlds tremendously.

There are moments when GQ wants to break out and shake its tail feathers but the severe easiness does not allow it to stand on its own webbed feet. At the narrow end of the pond, GQ provides a pleasant but short platforming experience for any age group. Be sure to have the SNES and Genesis on standby.


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Last updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 11:22 PM