The Disney Afternoon Collection Review: Step Right up and Come on In

Here's where the fun begins (except for TaleSpin).

Review by Nadia Oxford, .

When you return to a game you loved during childhood, one of three things will happen:

  • The game turns out to be as good as you remember, or close enough.
  • The game's a bit flawed, but still offers you a good time thanks in part to nostalgia's helpful, warming glow.
  • The game sucks the bag, and you suddenly remember you only plowed through it in the first place because some well-meaning relative bought it for you, and you had about three months to fill before your next birthday / Christmas / Bar Mitzvah.

Digital Eclipse's Disney Afternoon Collection, a very '90s gathering of Capcom's licensed Disney games for the NES, features six titles that run the gamut from "This is every bit as good as I remember it" to "Oh God, life's too short for this dreck."

Thankfully, most of the titles on-hand fall into category one. Ducktales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and Darkwing Duck are still excellent games that are very much worth another playthrough. Ducktales 2 and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 don't quite touch the bar set by their predecessors, but they're still good. And TaleSpin is, uh – well, it's fun to swear at for about ten minutes before retreating to Ducktales.

Speaking of Uncle Scrooge, his plucky nephews, and their iconic NES game, I'm pleased to report Ducktales still plays brilliantly. It's well-paced, its music is superb, and there aren't any cutscenes to button-mash through. Not to dump on Ducktales Remastered, or pooh-pooh the venerable Alan Young's performance as Scrooge McDuck therein. It was just a nice surprise to fire up Ducktales and discover it's still as fun as it was when I was ten.

Darkwing Duck plays quite a bit like Mega Man, but Mega Man never had webbed feet. Bubble Man, on the other hand...

Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck are likewise still winners, though the latter is definitely harder than the former. Blessed is Digital Eclipse's inclusion of a "Rewind" button, which lets you zip back should you happen to fall down a pit or receive a fatal blow.

Ducktales 2 (1993) and Chip 'n Dale's Rescue Rangers 2 (1994) are very welcome inclusions since most of us had moved on to the SNES or Genesis by the time the games hit the market (or we were saving up for the 16-bit revolution). Both games are downright decent, though playing them probably won't offer up the near-breathless joy you feel while playing the first Ducktales and Chip 'n Dale. Curiously, Chip 'n Dale 2 looks much more muted than the first candy-colored excursion.

Then there's TaleSpin. I know someone out there must love this game, probably someone named Kat. For me, though, its bizarre control scheme renders it an unlovable side-scrolling shooter on a system that's not hurting for top-notch shmups. The Disney Afternoon Collection doesn't suffer for its inclusion, but neither does it gain much from it.

Capcom's Decision to Keep the Disney Afternoon Collection off the Nintendo Switch Is a Load of Duck Feathers

Racecars, lasers, and aeroplanes belong on the Switch as much as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Fortunately, the love and care Digital Eclipse clearly put behind the games' emulation helps waft away the small stink TaleSpin leaves upon the collection. The aforementioned Rewind button is exactly what the busy 30-something ordered, and it might prove useful if you're interested in getting your kids to try the games, too. Make sure to stand behind them, puff on your pipe, and tell them how we didn't have a Rewind button on the NES, no sir (we also didn't have jobs to go to, or grocery runs to make).

If you were impressed with the job Digital Eclipse did with 2015's Mega Man Legacy Collection, its work with the Disney Afternoon Collection won't let you down. The graphic and music emulation is crisp, and there are plenty of fun extras to plow through, including concept art, advertising materials, boss rushes, and time attacks. There's even a chiptune rendition of the Disney Afternoon theme song – which, disappointingly, is not available through any of the games' sound tests.

The '90s are long-gone (thank goodness – I once sliced myself open with the metal edge of a slap bracelet), but good games are forever. The Disney Afternoon Collection is a well-built gathering of games that (mostly) deserve to be remembered.

Playing Ducktales is way more fun than playing with Pogs, at any rate.

The Nitty Gritty

  • Lasting appeal: Admittedly, it doesn't take long to blaze through these games (especially if you spam Rewind), but the time attack and boss rush add some longevity to the package.
  • Sound: The games' iconic chiptunes come through as clear as a bell.
  • Visuals: Digital Eclipse did a great job preserving the visuals of each game on the collection. There are tons of viewing options too, just in case you want to play Darkwing Duck in widescreen for whatever reason. "I am the terror that stretches across your screen!..."

The Disney Afternoon Collection makes it easy to re-live the part of the '90s that's worth re-living, i.e. the part that has doesn't involve neon shoelaces.

4 /5

The Disney Afternoon Collection Review: Step Right up and Come on In Nadia Oxford Here's where the fun begins (except for TaleSpin). 2017-04-18T07:01:00-04:00 4 5

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 25

  • Avatar for UnknownJones #1 UnknownJones 10 months ago
    I am the weirdo who love TaleSpin thanks to the Stockholm Syndrome of owning it as a child. I understand its flaws, though. Really.

    Beat my times on the PS4 leaderboards, kids!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Rosydey6 #2 Rosydey6 10 months ago
    Love, love, love!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for chiptoon #3 chiptoon 10 months ago
    Rewind Feature! finally a feature that is not, to my knowledge done better on a RetroPie
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Sturat #4 Sturat 10 months ago
    "If you were impressed with the job Digital Eclipse did with 2015's Mega Man Legacy Collection, its work with the Disney Afternoon Collection won't let you down."
    Unfortunately, most people were decidedly unimpressed.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #5 SIGGYZtar 10 months ago
    Wish this was on the 3DS as well. Anyway, they look pretty cool, and at least you don't have to play the TG16 Darkwing Duck.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for MarioIV #6 MarioIV 10 months ago
    Waiting for the Switch version...
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for admiralsnackbar #7 admiralsnackbar 10 months ago
    Why the H isn't this on the Switch!?
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for KaiserWarrior #8 KaiserWarrior 10 months ago
    @chiptoon This is my whole problem with Nintendo's way of doing things.

    Nearly every time we see an emulation release from anybody that is NOT Nintendo, it has several desirable properties:

    * It's usually a collection, either of a particular series, or a particular publisher, or some kind of theme.
    * It's got a frontend of some sort, even if that frontend is just a functional menu of the games instead of haphazardly-disorganized tiles.
    * There are extras, in the form of interviews, production artwork, soundtracks, or even optional gameplay enhancements such as the rewind button or extra challenge modes that did not appear in the originals.

    Nintendo VS releases have none of this, yet they still have the gall to charge the prices they do -- this Disney Afternoon collection contains 6 games and retails for $20, which works out to $3.33 per game. Nintendo, meanwhile, is charging $5 per game for NES titles.

    $5 for no-frills ROMs, vs. $3.33 for all of the lovely extras in this collection on top of the games themselves.

    I'm will to pay for old games, as long as they have some kind of value proposition. I've purchased many retro collections in my day. But I refuse to pay top-dollar for straight-up ROM dumps. That's what a Pi is for. I've already bought the games at least once before in original cartridge format.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #9 Modern-Clix 10 months ago
    I loved the Remastered edition! But seriously guys, on the gripes about the cut scenes (which I thought were funny), does no one realize you can disable them in the menu? I did.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #10 Modern-Clix 10 months ago
    @KaiserWarrior I think 5 bucks is fair, unless you are Urban Champion. 5 bucks is more than fair.

    Now, as for this collection, these are far and few. Because fire up PSN and see that Sony is charging 5-10 bucks for PSOne games, 10 bucks for PS2 games, with no added frills either.

    Or NeoGeo. Or Any of the Arcade Archives from Hamster.

    It's not a Nintendo thing. Unless the product is a collection, that is what most will provide us.

    The few times Nintendo did a collection, such as the pretty damn cool Kirby one, I got a soundtrack and a book in it.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for ShadowTheSecond #11 ShadowTheSecond 10 months ago
    I can wear neon orange shoelaces all I want! At an Astros MLB game or the gym anyhow...

    Definitely looking forward to the collection: I actually played Ducktales 2 before the first, so I have more memories of the second game--thank you Toys R Us bargain bin, home of the eternal discount Startropics games , Mega Man 6, and Ducktales 2.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SargeSmash #12 SargeSmash 10 months ago
    I don't hate TaleSpin at all. Sure, it's not as good as the others, but it's certainly passable for an NES shooter, especially once you get the control scheme down.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SargeSmash #13 SargeSmash 10 months ago
    @KaiserWarrior : To be fair, they did release the Kirby collection on the Wii. It was a pretty good value.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for KaiserWarrior #14 KaiserWarrior 10 months ago
    @SargeSmash Fair enough. Yes, the Kirby Collection was very good -- surprisingly so, given Nintendo's history on the subject. For what it's worth, the Zelda collection disc that came packed as a Wind Waker pre-order -- the one containing Zelda, Zelda II, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask -- was also a pretty good disc. Four Zelda games, good quality, a sensible frontend and even a little timeline extra, IIRC.

    Except it was never made available at retail. It was a pre-order bonus for another game. So much money left on the table.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for matt-b #15 matt-b 10 months ago
    @KaiserWarrior Kirby collection, Mario All-Stars, Super Mario Advance 1-4, Wii U HD Remasters...those are the Nintendo re-releases done right in my mind, although some of them aren't really a fair comparison (Wii U HD Remasters).

    The issue does seem to be more with companies re-releasing single games as opposed to collections.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #16 LBD_Nytetrayn 10 months ago
    @SargeSmash Getting it down is the hard part, and even then, it feels pretty substandard as shooters go. I could make a list of problems here...
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #17 Modern-Clix 10 months ago
    @mattb0527 Wind Waker HD, my favorite Zelda game, was so worth it. I would have the standard 60 price too.

    But, anyway, notice it is Digital Eclipse doing the work, not Capcom. On their own? Capcom would never do this. And they did a great job with the Japan only Mega Man re releases for the PS1 which were even better than Legacy Collection because they added a bunch of extra modes AND they added options to disable the slowdown/flicker and they added optional remixed music if you wanted to do that.

    My issue with Legacy Collection and this, is that Digital Eclipse is being too stubborn in doing what Capcom has done whenever they have done a re release on their own, which is add options to play with or without the slowdown.

    No, it was not intentional. It was the game doing more than the system could do. We got used to it, but it still sucked.

    Proof? Playing the editions Capcom did themselves at a full 60fps without a dip. It played brilliantly and no frustration.

    Digital Eclipse is being too stubborn on this :/
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SargeSmash #18 SargeSmash 10 months ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn : I'm definitely not saying it's a classic, it's just not as bad as folks think.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for yuberus #19 yuberus 10 months ago
    @Modern-Clix I actually really appreciate how Digital Eclipse has handled this and Mega Man. I am 100% on board with their notion of having the games running as close as possible as how they did on the NES and filling out the package with an incredible array of extras, HD art scans, prototype screenshots, additional modes, etc.

    Like, I don't want slowdown to get cleaned up. At that point you're not playing an NES game, and that's kind of the point of these. (And ask shmup fans what they think when slowdown gets removed from a game that features it!) And I don't care about new soundtracks getting overlaid on the game for much the same reason.

    Digital Eclipse's stance on rereleasing old games seems to be very much in the same sense as rereleasing an old movie. You're not colorizing it or adding voiceovers to a silent film, so to speak, nor are you just remaking it. You're making it available and including enough additional stuff to sweeten the pot.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #20 Modern-Clix 10 months ago
    @yuberus It's not about changing, It's about options. A toggle, like Mega Man 9-10 had, because then, there is nothing more to the emulation that makes it different from all other collections really or individual re releases.

    And different to a film, slow down and flicker on many games were the developers trying to do more than they could. I hated it then when I was a kid, hate it now.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for unoclay #21 unoclay 10 months ago
    You must be kidding--Talespin is fun for sure. Never played it as a kid fwiw, only when i grabbed an NES copy last year. Never beat it yet, but the controls, though different, arent that bad.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Sturat #22 Sturat 10 months ago
    @yuberus Actually, Digital Eclipse added a ton of bugs and inaccuracies to the Mega Man Legacy Collection. If you care about accuracy, you should tell Capcom you don't want them to hire Digital Eclipse in the future.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for yuberus #23 yuberus 9 months ago
  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #24 Modern-Clix 9 months ago
    I get all the downvotes because I wanted more meat in regards to options? Come on now. I did not say replace, I said OPTIONS. Which is not a bad thing, unless you want to be Old Man Who Yells At Clouds.

    On PSN, you can download the versions Capcom put out for the PS1, known as Rockman Complete Works. That is done RIGHT. It is the original games as you remember PLUS options to get more out of it, such as challenge modes, toggle remixed music, disable slowdown, etc.

    Or you can play them straight as they were on release.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Karimm17 #25 Karimm17 6 months ago
    So, be prepared for a lot of google search when you are reading it. Or, a minimum of have a psycho therapist at h Glad to finish this publication today, it was not an easy read. Visit for more info: avakin life cheats
    Sign in to Reply