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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:29 am 
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Walt Disney Treasure
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Intro:

Besides being a big Disney/Animation fan I am also a hardcore videogame fanatic, having owned nearly all of the consoles released since my birth in the 80s. I can't claim to be an expert but I have followed gaming enough to understand it.

As we all know, the Disney company is one that loves to put their franchises into whatever medium is popular with the fans. Toys, computer games, theme parks, Halloween Costumes, medical equipment and even underwear! If it can be bought by the public Disney will step in.

Videogames are no exception. Since the earliest years videogames based on franchises have been around, though ever since the disaster of E.T.: The videogame on the Atari these games have been cursed, and thus its very rare for them to be fantastic. They can be good, they can be decent or they can be horrible, but few will ever be masterpieces. Disney games have followed rule since, with the great games becoming beloved memories by many an old school gamer.

In this silly little forum editorial I will try to remember many of these games and see what they contributed to the Disney magic. Whether you are like me and spend a lot of time researching games or only play Tetris on your cel-phone I hope you enjoy this mainly as a Disney fan.

So here we go! This week's game will be...

Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour

Genre: Kart racing
Number of players: 2
Console: Playstation, Dreamcast, Gameboy Color, PC
Date of release: March 23, 2000
Rating: E for Everyone

History:

In the early 90s, with the release of the highly anticipated Super Nintendo, the company revolutionized both racing and mascot gaming with the release of "Super Mario Kart". It was a racing game unlike any other. Instead of driving the latest wheels, your vehicle of choice were karts. Instead of world famous racers the zany cast from the Mario Universe were at your disposal. And instead of playing clean, you used weapons like banana peels, turtle shells and even feathers to provide an extra boost. Not surprisingly the game was a massive hit and created a genre on the spot: the kart racer.

Since they no one, not even Nintendo, has been able to top such simplistic but incredible game design. Many, and I mean MANY, have tried to create their own kart racer along with their own mascots, and nothing came even close.

As you could guess by now, Disney tried to cash in on the popularity. With the help of external game developers and the geniuses at Disney interactive they released a couple of games that tried to dethrone Mario as the king of karts. The game in question is Magical Racing Tour.

The game:

Magical Racing Tour stars Jiminy Cricket, Chip, Dale and a host of brand new Disney characters as they race throughout Disney World and collect the missing pieces of the fireworks machine, due to an accident caused by Chip and Dale.

Each course was based on a popular Disney attraction. If you won the grand prix, a new piece of the machine would be acquired. Win them all and Disney can carry on with their celebration!

Disney Value:

The reason this game is somewhat unique among the sea of kart wannabes is because its one of the very few games based on the actual theme park, with "Adventures at the Magic Kingdom" for the NES (a game I shall review later) being one of the earlier examples. This alone entice many a Disney fan, myself included, to ply through the average game just to see how well they portrayed the park.

This is where the game succeed. Too much, in fact, as the whole thing also feels like a cheap Disney World promotion. But on the plus side at least Crystal Dynamics (the developers of the game) put some effort into the overall presentation.

You could race on the following attractions:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Blizzard Beach
Dinosaur
Haunted Mansion
Jungle Cruise
Pirates Of The Caribbean
Rock & Roller Coaster
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Tomorrow Land Speedway

While they were never 100% true recreations of the rides they put a lot of thought into the design and overall feel. Nearly all of them feature authentic ride music, which at the time was a big thing because it was rare to see the actual songs heard outside the parks. So expect to hear "A Pirate's Life for Me" as you cruise through pre-Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean".

To match the theme, the karts would change in order to reflect the feel and history of the attraction. So for example, you rode a boat on "Pirates of the Caribbean", a doom buggy on "Haunted Mansion" and even the log from "Splash Mountain".

What's surprising, though, is that despite how hard the developers worked on creating the racing stages and the kart they couldn't get a hold of beloved Disney characters to be the racers. So no, don't expect to be Donald while he's having a temper tantrum on "Blizzard Beach".

Only three Disney characters made the cut. The first being the iconic Jiminy Cricket, acting as both the narrator of our "story" and an unlockable racer. He is then followed by Chip and Dale, which are the ones that created this mess in the first place. What's very interesting about them is that they are depicted as "Rescue Ranger" Chip and Dale, Chip wearing his jacket and fedora and Dale wearing his Quagmire shirt. At the time Rescue Rangers was already canceled, with reruns running on various channels so its both weird and cool to see them acknowledge their adventure series.

The rest of the characters are generic characters created exclusively for this game. Despite their generic nature they were designed to both resemble the timeless design of the Carl Barks comics and represent an area of Disney fandom.

Here are the characters and what fandom they represented:
Bruno Biggs: Big, hulking kid that resembles Pete a bit. His fandom is that of Mickey Mouse, proudly wearing the ears hat and a shirt with the letters MM printed on it.

Tiara Damage: A character that resembled the Disney ducks. She is a big fan of the Disney villains, sporting a costume that resembles the Evil Queen's (Snow White) original costume.

Polly Roger: A girl with a thirst for Pirate adventure.

Baron Karlott: Yet another Disney duck that is a combination of Igor and a zombie. His fandom is the Haunted Mansion.

Oliver Chickly III: He's decked out to go on a jungle adventure, obviously representing fandom towards Adventure Land and the Jungle Cruise.

Amanda Sparkle: If you didn't notice by the her dress and overall looks, this little girl is a big fan of the Disney Princesses. Funny enough, this game predates the time before the Princesses got together and launched a massive franchise. So now the joke of her character makes even more sense.

Moe Whiplash: A big bear that resembled Brer Bear from "Song of the South". His fandom lies towards Frontierland.

Otto Plugnut: A boy who loves racing. His character is based on the Test Track attraction that was popular at Epcot on the late 90s, early 00s.

So while the characters are not as captivating they should make many a Disney fan smile at their silly fandoms.

The overall game is rich in Disney fan service. It doesn't quite recreate the thrill of the parks but its definitely great seeing how far the developers went to make the experience as authentic and heartfelt as possible.

Gameplay:

I would say the game is mainly average. Yes, the presentation is great but all gamers know that what truly makes a game is how it plays, not how it looks and sounds.

Its definitely better than many of the Mario Kart clones released at the time, but its still so substitute for the real thing and shall be remembered as a quirky experimentation of the Disney brand rather than an astounding racing experience.

Everything you've come to expect from Mario Kart is in Magical Racing Tour. You got weapons, including oil spills, rockets and bombs. Each cup features four races with three laps. Win them all and you unlock the next cup. Along the way you unlock new stages, missions and characters as you try to right the chipmunk's doing.

Again, nothing that will leave you dazzled but was a great rental game.

Final Thoughts:

I would say that "Magical Racing Tour" is a game for the hardcore Disney fan as that's where the game truly shines. Gameplay too standard for it to be very memorable or replayable. But the attention to detail as they recreated the Disney World attractions, along with the official soundtrack and the characters was enough for me to check it out. Unfortunately the game no longer exists and is quite rare. So if you happen to see it at a garage sale along with a working PS2 then by all means snatch it as its quite a collector's item.

Videos:
Sneak Preview

Hope you enjoyed this entry of my new weekly series! Before you ask, yes, sooner or later I will dive into the epic franchise that is "Kingdom Hearts". For now, I want to focus on smaller games people may have missed during their original release.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:28 am 
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Gold Collection
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I have the PC version which I used to play on my old computer. I recently tried loading it on windows vista but it does not run on that platform!

So sad as I really enjoyed that game.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:50 am 
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Special Edition
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I used to play that game. It's pretty entertaining.



I like it when I turn my enemies into toads. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:09 am 
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Walt Disney Treasure
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Have the PC version of the game and played it many times.

For the next volume Pap could you please do The D Show? I've got plenty to say about that one! (which is why I made a thread for it a while back but it could be merged into this new series of yours).

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:48 am 
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I have the playstation version. I remember it being average, but I do not think it can compare to Mario Kart.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:34 pm 
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Walt Disney Treasure
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Of course Mario Kart > this, but it's still fun for us Theme Park fans. Also you gotta love how it's Disneyland's Main Street in the intro to a WDW game.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:21 pm 
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I don't have this game but I have heard about it,it reminds me of Shrek-Smash And Crush Racing.
Oh,and I can open a thread about others games after a while? (I whould like to post something about Nightmare Before Christmas-Oogie's Revenge).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:03 pm 
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I would have loved to play this game! Perhaps I shall try to buy it somehow...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:06 pm 
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Ariel'sprince wrote:
I don't have this game but I have heard about it,it reminds me of Shrek-Smash And Crush Racing.
Oh,and I can open a thread about others games after a while? (I whould like to post something about Nightmare Before Christmas-Oogie's Revenge).


I would have loved to play that game to! I belive it is a little hard to get it since it was released some years back, but perhaps I should give it a try...

Everybody who loves Disney and/or gaming should play the games in the Kingdom Hearts-series! They are really amazing. Magical, melancholy, emotional, actionthrilled, sweet and funny games.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:42 am 
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Walt Disney Treasure
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Thanks everyone for the responses!

Flanger Hanger: I'm afraid that I never played "The D Show". In fact, I never knew it existed till you mentioned it! So I can't talk about it without some game time under my belt.

Ariel'sPrince: Yeah, you can write about the game on another thread.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:07 am 
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Prince Edward wrote:
Ariel'sprince wrote:
I don't have this game but I have heard about it,it reminds me of Shrek-Smash And Crush Racing.
Oh,and I can open a thread about others games after a while? (I whould like to post something about Nightmare Before Christmas-Oogie's Revenge).


I would have loved to play that game to! I belive it is a little hard to get it since it was released some years back, but perhaps I should give it a try...

Everybody who loves Disney and/or gaming should play the games in the Kingdom Hearts-series! They are really amazing. Magical, melancholy, emotional, actionthrilled, sweet and funny games.

It was released in the beginning of 2006,it's not really old so I think that you won't have any problems to find it :D.
I love the Kingdom Hearts series but the problem with it is that most of the Disney characters are out of their characters (In all of the games,espically in Kingdom Hearts II,there were so many characters out of their character like Simba,Maleficent,Hercules,Ariel,Belle,Jasmine,Mulan,Jack Skellington,maybe Beast too and more).
Pap64-When can I open the next thread? :D.

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