McDonald's TreasureLand Adventure


Review by Nathan Dunsmore



Graphics: 9

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


Ronald McDonald may not be every child’s idol, but no one can argue the icon he has become in today’s fast food industry. How is it that after decades of commercial advertising, countless merchandise, and an even more bizarre VHS cartoon mini series, Ronald’s own video game slips under the radar? This is a definite shame because Ronald McDonald’s TreasureLand Adventure on the Sega Genesis is pure evidence that even eye-rolling concepts can be grilled to goodness (does Moonwalker spring to anyone’s mind?).

mcdonaldstreasurelandadventure1gen.jpg (61533 bytes)It was just another routine stroll through the Magical Forest that held a big surprise for Ronald Mcdonald. As Ronald approaches a giant tree, he uncovers a suspicious piece of scrap paper. During inspection, Ronald discovers that the piece of scrap paper is merely a small portion of an even bigger map, which has been torn into three other halves and is currently in the hands of the “Baddies.” Along with the aid of some old pals, Ronald’s enthusiasm overcomes the grim odds as he sets out to retrieve the other map pieces, subdue the fiendish “Baddies,” and find the ultimate treasure in an adventure that is pure eye candy for young and old.

First and foremost, major props to Treasure for creating a highly imaginative world that stands on its own without an agonizing amount of McDonald’s Advertising. Players won’t find clown eating hamburgers or 1-up milkshakes, and whether or not this works in the game’s favor depends on how much you would rather see more McDonald’s than actual gameplay. Regardless, children will find themselves feasting on the graphics like a six-piece McNugget Happy Meal. Brilliantly detailed and vibrant color palettes relieve this title from the outdated appearance most Genesis titles are plagued with. Enemies look cute and child-friendly while still posing as a danger, and Ronald and friends capture the spirit of their live action counterparts flawlessly.

What kind of clown would Ronald be without a few gameplay gimmicks up his sleeves? Although the players only method of fending of Ronald’s adversaries is through a magic wave that is transmitted through his finger tips, the crispy gameplay rests in how players must use Ronald’s multi-colored handkerchief to convey himself to higher locations and also plays a clever tactic in dodging aerial enemies. Another nice touch is whenever a player misses a jump, the game gives a second chance by having Ronald dispense a patch of balloons at the cost of one health point. The advertising icon's jewel based health system orders up plenty of other satisfying options, whether it be in earning helpful hints from the Hamburgler, assisting fallen friends, purchasing health and life items from the item shop, or in playing an even more strategic role during boss showdowns. It all cooks up a basic recipe for timeless gameplay.

Providing a pleasant departure from the action is a Tetris inspired block matching mini game. Players must match up identical block symbols in groups of three either down, across, or diagonally to receive the symbol’s prize. This little treat would make for a great cell-phone title as its simplicity holds it up very well.

As with other excellent Treasure titles (Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Heady), TreasureLand renders brick solid audio with zany and peppy tunes that bring the levels to life and accommodate the action smoothly, sprinkling great pleasure for the ears. The remarkably wonderful game over piano jingle eases the embarrassing sense of defeat, given the game’s lenient difficulty. Treasure didn’t carry over any voice talent from the commercials into this game conversion but those who have played the aforementioned will be familiar with the attack and damage sound effects. For those who have not, consider any other cartoony 16-bitter with a fair dose of platform elements but to a less annoying extent. Once again, the sound effects only supply the fizz of a swell soundtrack.

Treasure truly undertook an oddball of a license with this one and hats off to them for nailing there target audience. With their talented efforts, Ronald has been able to work pure magic in his first (and most likely the only) video game romp. A delightful, charming, and simple pick-up-and-play that will leave even the most inexperienced of gamers smiling, and remember, smiles are always free.


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Last updated: Friday, May 12, 2006 12:01 AM