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 Let's Play Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow! (SNES/Genesis) (LP #6)

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Galaxite Omega
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PostSubject: Let's Play Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow! (SNES/Genesis) (LP #6)    Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:22 pm


Awwwww here we go. Time for a comeback... and this time with a personal stake!

Donald Duck in Maui Mallard, otherwise known as Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow is an infamous Disney game from my childhood that was arguably one of the games that shaped me as a person, alongside Chrono Trigger and Donkey Kong Country, etc. It features Donald Duck as a hard-boiled private eye detective called Maui Mallard and his perilous island adventure.

His goal? Return the Mojo idol known as Shabum Shabum before the whole island goes up in smoke. Ninjas are involved. If that and the unbelievably catchy big-band style title theme isn't enough to drag you in, then just wait and see.

The version I had growing up was the Super Nintendo version, but it was also released on the Genesis (I might cover that version as part of this just so this LP doesn't count as a one-off) and the PC, complete with the PC version having a complete orchestrated soundtrack.

(I've also put Sailor Moon to the side due to switching emulators because ZSNES is a nightmare to work with. SNES9x at least allows me to keep real save states and not just save slots.)

Chapter #1 - Bad Mojo Rising
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Spoiler:
 


Last edited by Galaxite Omega on Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:10 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Play Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow! (SNES/Genesis) (LP #6)    Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:22 pm

This is no laughing matter. In fact, you could say these are...

Chapter #2 - Tests of Duckhood
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Play Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow! (SNES/Genesis) (LP #6)    Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:58 pm

I find it interesting that the chapter set-up so far reflects how I've thought of this game as a child.

Chapter #3 - Ghosts of Bad Mojo (SNES Finale)
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Play Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow! (SNES/Genesis) (LP #6)    Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:02 pm



Ready for round 2?

Donald in Maui Mallard is the original Genesis version of Maui Mallard that was only released in Europe for some reason. The reason I'm covering this version too is because the SNES and Genesis versions are vastly different when you put them side-by-side.

Their level design and aesthetic of the Genesis version differs enough to get its own chapter, and well... it feels like a piece of history I missed, seeing as I've never actually owned or even knew there was a Genesis Maui Mallard until high school.

There was also a PC port released on Windows, but all it does is clean up the visuals of the Genesis version and give it an orchestrated soundtrack. That's neat.

With that said, let's keep it going in...

Chapter #4 - Mojo Redux (Genesis 1)
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Spoiler:
 


Last edited by Galaxite Omega on Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Play Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow! (SNES/Genesis) (LP #6)    Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:18 am

TBA

Chapter #5 - See You, Space Duckman (Genesis Finale)
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Play Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow! (SNES/Genesis) (LP #6)    Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:20 am

TBA

Final Thoughts (SNES & Genesis)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Rating scale: Excellent (84 – 100)
Good(70-83)
Average(50 -69)
Bad – also counts as B-Movie So Bad It’s Good in case I happen to enjoy it (35 – 49)
Awful (34 to 0))

Full Title: Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow / Donald Duck in Cold Shadow

Originally published: Maui Mallard was originally released on December 8th, 1995 for the Genesis. The SNES version was released in Europe on November 28th, 1996. There was even a PC version released on September 30th, 1996.

Type: Sidescrolling platformer

Length: Both games are on the brief side at almost two hours - combined it's about four.

Difficulty (SNES): Fair, but reasonably challenging. Some parts are pretty intense, but nothing that can't be resolved with some practice.

Difficulty (Genesis): Absolutely brutal and in that kind of fake difficulty kind of way too. The stiff controls don't help when there's instant-kill pits all over the place, not helped by some other aspects.

Developers/Artists/Etc.: Disney Interactive Studios (Developer), Eurocom Entertainment (Developer), Michael Giacchino (Composer), Patrick J. Collins (Composer), Steve Duckworth (PC soundtrack Composer), etc.

Overall Plot:

  • It's the year 2035. A foreign exchange student living in Japan goes to see the eclipse with his girlfriend, only to get trapped in the shadow of Dracula's castle. He has to save himself and his girlfriend, but discovers that he can absorb the souls of monsters. As he makes it to the castle's throne, he learns of a dark secret surrounding his powers...

Pros & Cons

· The twists and turns it does with the Castlevania formula make this a very interesting story. (Taking place in the future, Dracula being reincarnated into a good guy, etc.)

· The graphics are amazing for a handheld, and the concept art is absolutely gorgeous.

· Soma, while a cheeseball, was a good main character. He takes risks and is savvy enough to not completely trust people like Graham.

· Speaking of characters, while not particularly developed, everybody was likable. Julius and Alucard are badasses, Graham is exceptionally hammy, and Yoko is nice. Mina is the best love interest character I've seen in a while, given how she and Soma actually act like friends and not just boyfriend and girlfriend.

· The music was good. There's not really a song in here I could call bad. Heart of Fire, Dracula's Fate and Dance Hall are my favorites.

· The difficulty was reasonably balanced. The only things I could call hard are Graham (in Boss Rush Mode) and Death, the former of which isn't even in the main game...

· The endings are very effective. The bad ending where you lose to Chaos and become Dracula is... very somber. I'm kind of a sucker for endings like those. The best ending where you destroy the castle and redeem Dracula's soul is on the other side of the spectrum - it ties up everything so nicely that it makes everything we do feel like it actually meant something.

· I enjoy shorter games over longer ones as long as they're higher quality, and Aria of Sorrow counts.

· The Soul System is amazing, to say the least. The fact that every monster has a unique ability for you to gain is very interesting, even if it was sort of rough on its first go with some lackluster souls. In Dawn of Sorrow, they improve on it by a large margin, but it's still perfectly fine here. Black Panther and Hippogryph are the best because of how much freedom they add to your mobility, much like the Space Jump and Speed Booster in Metroid.

· The monsters themselves are pretty well designed. Headhunter, Death and Balore are my favorites when it comes to the bosses, and Persephone, Valkyrie and Chronomage for regular enemies.

· The Chaos Ring is a neat little reward for 100%. I'd argue that it actually makes sense for what we were collecting, seeing as it allows us to use our new treasure trove of souls for free.

· I love it whenever games do Boss Rush Modes or Sound Tests. It gives me something to go back to on occasion.

· I like the little snippets of humor the game throws out from time to time, even if some of it is unintentional. It adds a certain charm to the experience."An always angry minion of hell. Not enough calcium in his diet" is probably the best example of this.

· By the end, with stuff like the Claimh Solais, all of the most broken souls like Valkyrie and Red Minotaur, Dracula's Tunic, the Chaos Ring... It really adds to the feeling of being invincible.

· I don't like how you have to grind for Flame Demon and Succubus's souls to get the best ending. I can tolerate the random drop thing when it's just to get a cool bullet/guardian soul, but when it's for plot? Doesn't work for me.

· Death is harder than he deserves to be. It's mostly due to how large the hitbox for his damn scythe was, as he was the only boss I had gotten a game over on (well, not on purpose).

· Despite how well-designed the final Chaos fight is, it kind of hurts my eyes.

· The game loves to recycle old enemies and bosses. I'm looking at you, Giant Skeleton.

· Grinding to gets souls can seriously get on my bad side sometimes due to how luck decides everything. For one, getting more levels than necessary is an issue because I don't want to accidentally overdo it. Secondly, killing the same enemy over and over gets boring. Even worse is if it's against a tough/annoying enemy like Final Guard, Sky Fish, Flesh Golem, etc.

Final Thoughts (90/100):

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is one of the best games for the Gameboy Advance, without a doubt. The platforming elements and difficulty are solid, the soul system adds a lot to the gameplay, and the story's pretty good for what it is.
 
However, it is kind of short and it has some things that keep it from being perfect. For example, stuff like the best ending and 100% soul completion are kind of tedious to do considering how much of it relies on soul drops being generous. The palette swaps of monsters are lazy, and not every soul is a winner.

Despite all of this, the game is a very pleasant experience - I occasionally pop it into my DS to listen to songs and do Julius mode.

Speaking of DS, I really should get to doing Dawn of Sorrow. It may not be entirely solid when compared to this game, but it has some elements that I feel it does even better than Aria. Anyway, that's all I have, guys. See you for the next game.
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