Let the Fun Begin Again with The Disney Afternoon Collection

The Mega Man Legacy Collection worked out well for Capcom when it released in 2015, which included the first six numbered games in the original franchise. That was despite heavy skepticism towards it shortly after its announcement. The way Capcom had treated Mega Man over the years didn’t encourage anyone enough to think they’d give it any respect, even if it was only a compilation of old titles. But the biggest fear involved the company handling the port: Digital Eclipse Software, whose history in porting products was dubious at best. That’s why assurances came along with the announcement saying this wasn’t the same Digital Eclipse, but a new iteration of the company that cared about preserving retro games.

The collection launched with some issues, but most were fixed via one or two patches. The result was far better than any ports the old Digital Eclipse handled, and each game featured better emulation than other legal versions available on the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Consoles.

This is why Capcom decided to keep them around for another NES collection. Capcom announced The Disney Afternoon Collection for HD platforms and PC, which will include all six Capcom Japan-developed games based on cartoons from the Disney Afternoon programming block that ran in the early 90s. Specifically, this will have both Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers games, both DuckTales games, Darkwing Duck, and TaleSpin. Each game will be given the same treatment as the aforementioned NES Mega Man games, with Digital Eclipse making sure the pixels are crisp for HD resolutions without the need for unnecessary filters.

Since this is a retro collection, it will come with other welcome features. The “Rewind” option goes beyond the “save state” one most retro collections and rereleases offer, as it will allow players to hold a button to rewind the game to redo certain jumps and enemy encounters. While the Disney Afternoon adaptations aren’t the most difficult NES titles, some who aren’t familiar with these games are likely to pick up this collection, and Capcom has a duty to make these welcoming experiences. Those who want to play games the old-fashioned way can go without it, though it might be difficult to dodge the temptation to use it on some tougher sections in each game.

The collection will also include a Time Attack mode for each title, a speed-running mode where final times can be posted to an online leaderboard. The Rewind feature will be disabled for this mode, so this is what you’ll want to play if you’re confident in your skills. There will also be a Boss Rush mode for each game, which is exactly what it says, and where the Rewind feature will also be disabled.

The last key feature is a gallery where concept and promotional art for each title can be viewed, preserved in its late-80s and early-90s glory in high quality. Samples in the form of a textless version of TaleSpin’s cover and art for DuckTales are provided with the Capcom-Unity post, and new promotional art should also be included.

It’s interesting that Capcom took this route instead of continuing with having the titles remade, like the WayForward-developed DuckTales Remastered. That game apparently sold well, but garnered a mixed reception due to some changes made to its levels, and the plethora of added dialogue. The more likely scenario is that WayForward was too busy with their own projects to give anyone else a helping hand, especially with the crowdfunded Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. I enjoyed it, and I’m glad they were able to get Alan Young to voice Scrooge McDuck again before he passed last year, so I’m a little sad that they won’t be continuing the “Remastered” series. Still, getting the touched-up NES games is still appreciable.

One of the most confounding aspects of this announcement is how it’s coming to PS4, XB1, and PC, meaning Nintendo Switch is being left out. DuckTales Remastered released on Wii U and MMLC received a 3DS release, and since these are both Disney-related titles and NES ports, you’d think this collection would also hit a Nintendo system; but that’s not happening. Capcom was bombarded with Switch requests under the tweet of the announcement, but they’ve yet to say why they aren’t porting it — assuming they ever will. There’s nothing stopping them from providing it down the line, but this would have been a good time to capitalize on a software-deprived audience.

The Disney Afternoon Collection will release on April 18th for $19.99, a good price for six old games with good emulation. It will only be available digitally, but it’s possible they could provide a disc release down the line. If this does well, perhaps they’ll move on to more Disney collections, like an SNES one like a lot of people apparently want. They could also greenlight more collections for their franchises, too, like Mega Man X. We might find out soon.

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