Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck (Game Gear review)

Developer: Sega (AM7)
Publisher: Sega
Released: 1991

The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck is a portable, stripped down version of the game that appeared on the Master System.


The seven level locations are the same but they've been scaled down in size and scope to fit better on the Game Gear's smaller screen. However, this comes at a price as many sections were removed and the levels are much shorter. For example, Stage 3 originally had a cool section where the ground slopes and you need to jump over obstacles while running at full speed. This is missing and even the bosses are much less impressive. The World 3 boss is supposed to have two statues that fire from different directions; here there's only one and the challenge isn't as great. As a result of the shortened sections the game is easier and you won't see some of the more perilous areas; it also means that it can be beaten in 15-20 minutes. It's still a great platformer though where each stage feels unique and presents different environmental hazards. One neat feature is that if you fall between platforms in the Stage 2 waterfall area you won't die; instead you continue the level underwater like in Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986, Master System). There is a small section in Stage 6 that I don't remember seeing on the Master System and it involves you being chased along disappearing ice blocks by what look like dolphins with spears! The controls are still a bit stiff but they do feel a little more responsive here. The graphics are gorgeous with smooth animation and lots of colour that even manages to look good on the dull Game Gear screen! The sound is also great and does an excellent job of capturing the mood of each environment.

The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck is still a lot of fun to play and it's a well crafted platform game. However, I personally feel that the Master System has the definitive version as there's just too much missing from this Game Gear port.



Random trivia: If you lose all of your lives simply press Down + 1 on the Continue screen; you'll now have unlimited lives!

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