Donald Duck Goin Quackers Review
In the long line of adventure games for the PSOne, very few have compared to the likes of Crash Bandicoot: Warped. It is by far one of my most favorite adventure games on any console, next being Mario 64. Crash: Warped had incredible visuals, everything on screen looked fantastic, and thankfully the title had gameplay to match the graphics. You venture through dozens of stages in different weather, as your mission in most of the stages is to find numerous hidden crystals which can found by either collecting every single fruit, breaking a time limit, or activating a secret room, the bottom line was that Crash: Warped was one of the best adventure games not just on the PSOne. Well little to no games really did use the same 3D third person view (that was used in Crash: Warped) and featured it, which may have partially been the reason why no game really did hold up to Crash: Warped, until now! Ubi Soft's acquisition of the Donald Duck license gives them the right to publish games based on the character, so what better way to solute the maniacal duck then by giving him his very own PSOne adventure? Donald Duck Goin' Quackers is Donald's very first Playstation appearance, and surprisingly the appearance is quite good. Full review of Donald Duck ahead.
Visually the game looks like something straight out of Donald cartoon scene on the Disney Channel. The character detail is great, Donald Duck looks great in his own polygonal way, he moves smoothly and his overall detail is excellent. Other on screen characters such as enemies are great looking as well, the bosses are huge, and they look marvelous. Though the environments aren't very varied since the exploration is done in a limited direction, and so the exploration is somewhat linear, but so was Crash Bandicoot. The backgrounds though look great, very fluid, lively and just filled with colors. Unlike Crash games, Donald Duck has some fade-in pop-up which isn't noticeable really, but it is there and if you look into the distance you'll easily spot it, but instead of popping in, in slowly forms in a ghostly like manner, so you won't be very annoyed by the draw-in. As for the cut-scenes, the characters look great, but the compression could have been so much more better, compared to what we've seen before.
What plagues adventure games a lot are bad camera views, a game like Croc 2 was a great game but unfortunately hampered by slippery camera angles and the same goes for Sonic Adventure on DC, sweet game, but hit hard at times by bad camera angles. This is where Crash Bandicoot's style of view comes in, the camera is always a slight distance behind the character and it never moves around, although you don't have all the freedom in the world, the experience is still an exceptional one. But yes we do have games like Super Mario 64 and Ape Escape which pretty much both have flawless camera angles, but games like that almost feel like they come once every blue moon. So here is where Donald Duck comes in, Ubi Soft borrowed the same exact camera perspective that was used in Crash games and included it into Donald's game, and the result is nothing short of great. Thanks to the great camera angle Donald Duck has virtually no gameplay flaws, so you can rest assured that the camera won't boggle down the gameplay.
The game consists of 20 stages, ranging in difficulty, but most of them can be completed easily, seeing as how the game is aimed at children. This is not just an adventure game, the story is one that we've seen before in a game like Super Mario 64 or Crash Bandicoot. Daisy Duck is reporting from Merlock's cave as she is later discovered by the powerful wizard and then kidnapped. While this is happening Donald and his two cousins are watching TV, and see it all happen, so he quickly decides he must go after Daisy, in order to reach her he must help out his genius cousin to find certain parts in order for his travel machine to work and so that Donald can jump into it and save Daisy from Merlock. Throughout 20 explorable stages and five different bosses including Merlock, Donald Duck will have to run, jump, punch, kick and even escape from bears (yes a lot like Crash Bandicoot). A good variety Disney characters appear including Hooey, Dewey and Louie, they will ask you to recover lost toys for them in each world, if you do that they will grant you a bonus level, and for every stage you beat you will also be allowed to beat it another time for time attack reasons, and if you beat the record you will be rewarded. Donald Duck is a bit on the short side, but in the end the game's gameplay is as solid as Donald Ducks ego, and it also gets big points for borrowing the Crash formula.
During the CG cut-scenes, which again could have looked better, voice acting occurs between all of the characters on screen and the voice acting is first class, but I wish there was more though. As you run through stages, you will hear background music to accompany the stage, the first world is in a jungle-like setting, so jungle beats is what you will hear in the music, its also a bit reminiscent to the Crash series. The sound effects sound good as well, and overall I've got nothing to ramble or to complain about in the sound.
Like I said, since the camera angles are like Crash Bandicoot's, you shouldn't have to worry about taking leap of faith jumps or any other wild actions that would cause you to lose a life. Controlling Donald Duck is very simple and is best done with the analog controls, using the left analog stick you can move Donald around, and while the sensitivity isn't what I'd call great, its is still acceptable. There are only three ways of sensitivity, running, pacing and creeping, which isn't bad, but I expect a lot more from an adventure game like Donald. Basically there is nothing to learn in the controls, and other than a double jump and maybe a jump kick, you don't have to learn any real "come in handy" moves.
Donald Duck Goin' Quackers is quite the good adventure game, especially for youngsters. It got very imaginative gameplay that will keep children occupied for hours, but the replay value isn't what you would call Crash: Warped or Final Fantasy, instead it's more like Metal Gear Solid without a single cut-scene. Albeit, never the less Donald Duck's videogame is one amusing game to play, its got bright and cartoony graphics, with some Crash Bandicoot-esque gameplay mixed into a Disney package, this is probably the best Disney game to hit store shelves since Toy Story 2, way to go team Ubi Soft!