RELEASED: June 1992
AVAILABLE ON: GB, NES
Darkwing Duck was very possibly my second favourite afternoon/Sunday morning Disney cartoon right after DuckTales when I was a child - who am I kidding? I'd probably still enjoy the hell out of it. Darkwing Duck first aired in late 1991, and it was the only direct spin-off of DuckTales, which had already been cancelled for about a year. It was a heartfelt parody of comic book superheroes, something that was missing from Disney's repertoire, and it worked like a charm. In the summer of 1992, this seemingly overlooked show spawned its first video game. It was made by Capcom for the NES and the Game Boy, and it was supposed to repeat DuckTales' success. The sales were far from those of DuckTales, but the Nintendo Entertainment System's closing life cycle can be blamed for that. As a game, Darkwing Duck is one of the best Disney games in history. Might even be one of the finest and most appealing 8-bit games I've played.
I am the terror that flaps in the night!
By day, Drake Mallard is a bumbling father to his adopted daughter Gosalyn. By night, he is Darkwing Duck, a sworn crime fighter with a very impressive ego. When St. Canard is hit by a mysterious crime wave orchestrated by six of the most volatile supervillains in the city - Quackerjack, Wolfduck, The Liquidator, Dr. Reginald Bushroot, Megavolt and Professor Moliarty - the intelligence agency S.H.U.S.H. calls in the only duck capable of hitting the villains where it hurts.
|The bigger problem than Quackerjack himself is |
Mr. Banana Brain.
|Not over 'til the fat bird's popped.|
The graphics are absolutely awesome, just about of the best God damn graphical show of power you can expect from the NES; not only does the game look good, the framerate is also very much ahead of Capcom's usual quality. The character design, especially that of the enemies, is fantastic. The music is a mix of very, VERY Mega Manly jive and the Darkwing Duck theme song. I love it, but it kind of amuses me - if I closed my eyes, I could easily imagine myself playing a Mega Man game instead. It's no wonder the music's so alike to some of the first Mega Man games, since the soundtrack's composed by Yasuaki Fujita, who worked on Mega Man 3 and 4. Great stuff.
|Climbing Moliarty's dark tower.|
What separates Darkwing Duck from most platformers in its time, is that most of it's based on DW's ability to hang. You can jump down from any platform and hang from it, and also latch on to any platform you jump at. Most of the boss fights are wholly based on a vertical game of cat and mouse, in which you really need to think about your position all the time, and whether you should lay low or go for higher ground to get the advantage. The boss fights repeat themselves a little - the duels against Quackerjack and Bushroot, and their respective buffs are nearly identical - but it's not such a big problem.
|I have a feeling this is not a pleasure cruise.|
If it's not even better than DuckTales, then Darkwing Duck is at the very least one of the most overlooked games in the whole NES library. It's probably just because people felt a whole new Disney license should've been released on the SNES or at least the Sega Genesis, there was no sense in it otherwise. Well, in those times of darkness in which all parents couldn't afford to buy their kids a 16-bit console, I think it was only fair that we got this gem all to ourselves. Darkwing Duck is excellent.
GRAPHICS : 9.3
SOUND : 9.0
PLAYABILITY : 8.9
LIFESPAN : 8.0
CONCLUSION : 8.8
a.k.a. Disney's Darkwing Duck
GameRankings: 71.00% (GB)
An unrelated game also entitled Darkwing Duck was released on the TurboGrafx-16 system in 1992. It was developed by Interactive Designs and Radiance Software, and published by Turbo Technologies.