RELEASED: November 1994
AVAILABLE ON: GEN, SNES
In 1994, Capcom produced a lesser-known sequel to their megahit The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse, this time also balancing the scale to Sega's favour. Actually the Genesis version of the sequel sold quite well, while the version for the platform that gave birth to its predecessor went largely unnoticed. Curious. Still barely recovering from the shock that The Magical Quest was in its high difficulty, I went into the sequel a bit scared, but came out a winner in just a couple of hours. The Great Circus Mystery is a fair game compared to the first one, but none the richer as a whole experience.
Pete strikes back
Mickey and Minnie's day at the circus with their friends is ruined when Baron Pete attacks it for an unknown reason. They embark on a journey to Pete's castle to find out his motives to ruin the circus.
The Great Circus Mystery is one plotless game if there ever was one. Although the title might tell you otherwise, the game doesn't really have anything to do with the circus besides the first level. It's just a basic platformer with basic settings from any other basic platformer, that needed some sort of a red herring for a "story". Even if the plot did matter, I wouldn't know what the hell's going on during half of the game. Ah, well...
I already covered the major difference in level design, but there are a few changes to the formula, even though the game starts to resemble its predecessor the more you make progress. There's a password feature, which is kind of an odd addition at this point, since the game is by all means so much easier than The Magical Quest, and it has just as many levels. This time, you respawn instantly after losing a life, which makes things one more notch easier. However, if you lose all of your lives, you'll also lose all of your coins, which makes the returning general stores completely useless to you. I don't know what the point was in having them in the game, or still hiding them in certain levels only. You'll get by fine without them, anyway, if you've beaten the previous game.
The most important addition to the game, according to enthusiastic team players, is the chance to go at it in co-op, with the other player putting on Minnie's high heels. Of course, you can also play as Minnie in the single-player mode if you want. I kind of thought about that, just to fuck Mickey over, but my heart just couldn't take it. There is no practical difference between the characters at all, and the costumes are the same for both. You'll once again gain three additional costumes on your way to Baron Pete's castle, and each one is clumsier to use than the last. Now I ain't talking just about their proper use being difficult to learn, they are indeed clumsy.
|The Ghostbusters were on vacation.|
Lastly, I don't understand why they couldn't just make the costume change so that just one simple push of a button would trigger it, like in Mega Man X, in which I might've criticized it, but here the default costume changing button really can't be pressed by accident. Once again, there are situations in which you are advised to quickly change into another costume in the middle of the action, and it breaks concentration having to toggle through the costumes and watch that cut-action changing animation.
|Somebody's been enjoying his oat meal!|
Something's definitely missing from this game when it comes to the Disney/Capcom standard created in the late 80's. I thought Capcom only lost interest in making Disney games for the NES, but I'm seeing some of that lack of enthusiasm in The Great Circus Mystery, as well. It really isn't much of a step forward from The Magical Quest when it comes to gameplay, or especially the audiovisuals. It's just an eased up, stale platformer, totally irrelevant to the cosmos. Of course it's not totally bad, it's just not even as interesting or such a standout title as its predecessor was at the time of its release. Not that magical, some would say.
GRAPHICS : 8.4
SOUND : 7.0
PLAYABILITY : 7.2
LIFESPAN : 6.5
CONCLUSION : 7.1
a.k.a. Mickey to Minnie: Magical Adventure 2 (JAP), The Great Circus Mystery, The Magical Quest 2
GameRankings: 70.00% (GEN), 69.50% (SNES)
The game was remade for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, as Disney's Magical Quest 2 Starring Mickey and Minnie.