Disney’s Talespin review –


Developer: Sega    Publisher: Sega    Release: 1992   Genre: Platformer

Disney’s Talespin is possibly the most underrated of the Disney afternoon cartoons. Where DuckTales and Darkwing Duck have enjoyed continued popularity decades after their shows have ended most have forgotten about Baloo’s adventures in Cape Suzette. Sadly the series could not catch a break when it comes to video games. Capcom’s NES shooter was a flawed adventure that easily could have been better. The less said about the dire Turbo Grafx-16 game the better. One would expect the Sega Genesis game to be excellent coming from Sega but they half assed this one. You will find none of the quality of Mickey and Donald’s Genesis adventures in Disney’s Talespin.

I will give the game credit for its premise which would not be out of place in the TV show. The mayor of Cape Suzette is holding a flying contest with the winner receiving a life time work contract with the city. Unfortunately Khan Industries is also participating and goes first. Now Hire for Hire and Baloo specifically must be their time of seven days to win.

Disney's Talespin 002 Disney's Talespin 003

Talespin is a combination platformer and shooter. You play as either Baloo or Kit Cloudkicker with some slight and major differences between them. Baloo uses a paddle ball that has short range while Kit has a full screen slingshot. During the flying stages Baloo pilots the Sea Duck himself. Meanwhile Kit rides a flying disc while the computer flies the plane. This is a terrible setup as the AI is borderline handicapped and will drag you into enemies left and right. There are only a few of these shooter segments but they are annoying enough to make Baloo almost mandatory. There is two-player coop but I genuinely feel sorry for the player stuck with Kit. Unfortunately that is only the beginning of this game’s problems.

The goal of each platforming stage is to find ten crates of cargo to open the exit. Each level has more cargo than necessary so that you don’t have to track down every single box. This is a good thing as the levels are massive with hidden routes everywhere. Cargo is literally behind every counter, through walls, behind waterfalls, and lying in plain sight. I like that the levels give more than you need; some can be tricky to reach so having the option to skip is nice. It also helps in managing the time limit. Although you have seven days for the most part the clock is not a hindrance. It moves slow and chances are a day will not pass until the fourth or fifth stage.

While the goal of Talespin is simple the game fights you at every turn in trying to enjoy yourself. The awful hit detection is the most immediate flaw. Enemies can only be hit during very specific frames of animation. Either that or the hit detection is truly garbage. You will watch as several direct hits whiff before registering. Smaller enemies like snakes and crabs are a nightmare and best avoided. Oh the god damn crabs. Prepare to have your life drained by these little bastards left and right. The boss battles are the absolute worst when it comes to the game’s problems with collision. They have very specific i-frames and some are virtually impossible to hit without trading damage. But wait there’s more!

The collision detection is also wonky. I have stood at least ten paces away from enemies only to still get hit by their attacks. There are Kung Fu tigers early on that I still to this day do not know how to kill reliably. I’ve made near perfect jumps and still fallen through platforms. My personal favorite is the gusts of water you can stand on to reach higher heights. Unless you stand on them pixel perfect you will always take damage. I could keep going on but I’ll stop because I am getting frustrated thinking about it.

The truth is even if the flaws I mentioned were fixed Talespin would still be disappointing. Outside of its issues the game is overall incredibly repetitive. You will face the same three or four enemies in almost every stage. There are only three bosses who are recycled multiple times each with a slightly different gimmick. These fights also take place in the exact same room every time. Even the shooting segments are near identical, featuring the same cloud backdrop and enemy ships. The only thing that changes is the aggressiveness of the enemies. This is a lengthy one for a platformer and sadly it will not hold your interest.

In Closing

Disney’s Talespin is a disappointment. From its graphics to its gameplay there is a decided lack of polish. One cannot help but compare it to Sega’s other work with the Disney license and find it lacking. The series deserved better.

Post Author: lordmrw

I’m just a dude who has been playing video games for over 30 years and want to share my extensive knowledge with the masses.

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