Saturday, 22 August 2015

QuackShot: Starring Donald Duck (Mega Drive / Genesis review)

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Released: 1991

QuackShot: Starring Donald Duck is an action-platformer that was released as I Love Donald Duck: Guruzia Ou no Hihou in Japan.

There's ten different levels and your mission is to defeat Big Bad Pete and his Ducky Gang and find the Great Duck Treasure. Your main forms of attack are a Yellow Plunger that temporarily stuns enemies and a Popcorn Shooter but you'll eventually pick up a Bubblegum Shooter that can also break down certain walls. Right from the outset you can choose any of the first three levels giving it a slightly non-linear feel. Unlike other Disney games on the Mega Drive this one requires lots of backtracking. Once you enter a level there's usually only so far you can advance without needing an item from another location; therefore you'll need to call in the airplane to take you back to the map screen. Eventually you'll gain access to a Red Plunger that sticks to walls and allows you to reach higher areas and a Green Plunger that attaches itself to birds so you can hang on to cross large gaps. These help to open up new sections and it's fun revisiting old levels as you don't have to repeat previously completed parts. There's lots of variety in both the environments and level design and the gameplay is always engaging. Some areas have you travelling in minecarts and swimming through murky waters so the game never just sticks to straight-up platforming. At times it can be maze-like in terms of finding the correct sequence of doors to progress and there's even some minor puzzle elements thrown in for good measure. The controls are responsive and the graphics are superb with great animation and detailed backgrounds. The music is highly memorable and will stay in your head for days afterwards!

QuackShot: Starring Donald Duck is an amazing adventure and an all-time classic Mega Drive game. Each style of gameplay is perfectly executed while providing just the right level of challenge and the amazing level design will keep you thoroughly entertained until the very end.

Random trivia: In 1998, both QuackShot and Castle of Illusion were re-released on the Sega Saturn in Japan as part of the Sega Ages compilation.

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