The early-to-late nineties were a renaissance for Disney: the company was not only producing some of the most memorable and innovative films it would ever produce but also releasing spectacular original animated television series. Ducktales, Goof Troop, TaleSpin, Gargoyles, and Darkwing Duck were just some of the titles which would grace many television screens as school classes ended and the two-hour Disney Afternoon block would air.
There also used to be a time where video game movie tie-ins were not synonymous with cash-grabs. Sure, companies such as LJN and their rainbow logo haunt us to this day, but there were others which did justice to the licenses they acquired. Capcom in particular did a great job with the Disney label.
What made these games so great, was that Capcom was already known for being an impeccable video game developer. Creating games in the NES era such as Ghosts 'n Goblins and the Mega Man series, Disney wouldn't grant its content to a more capable developer until its partnership with Square Enix for the Kingdom Hearts series.
What's featured in The Disney Afternoon Collection are games based on the aforementioned Disney Afternoon programming: Ducktales, Ducktales 2, Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers, Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers 2, TaleSpin, and Darkwing Duck. These titles were some of the most innovative for the side-scrolling video game genre, with unique gameplay mechanics found most notably in Ducktales and Chip n' Dale. They're required reading if you have yet to still play them first-hand: Ducktales 1 & 2 are excellent side-scrollers, with a unique traversal system that's based around Scrooge McDuck's cane; the Chip n' Dale titles are excellent puzzle platformers (and are two of the best co-op titles on the original NES); TaleSpin is an excellent side-scrolling shoot-'em-up, with one-of-a-kind techniques in gameplay which aren't seen in very many other games; Darkwing Duckis an excellent side-scrolling platformer that stands toe-to-toe with games such a Batman on the NES.
While the original games could each have their own individual review, the additions to this collection are the primary draw of the package. Apart from various presentation options (such as the choice to make your flat screen HD TV have emulated CRT scanlines), one of the of the most notable inclusions which affects gameplay is the rewind feature. The rewind feature allows you, at any time during the perfectly emulated NES game, to rewind the game's actions seamlessly. It's very impressive, and makes us wish other retro collections had it, as it makes the games a little more accessible.
However, what solidifies this as one of the better collections on the PS4 are the extra gallery options. For starters, production designs pull back the curtain on an otherwise unknown era, where famed Japanese developers attempt desperately to adapt a granted license into not only an entertaining game, but also a great tribute to the original property. If you're an enthusiast in video game history, it's a goldmine. Key and box art collections also are a great addition, with many scans being so high quality you can see even the tiniest specks of dust. Lastly, the music collection is included as well, and some of the tracks in these games are Capcom's best. With each title including a convincing arrangement of the show's intro songs, and some absolutely spectacular original scores (look at Ducktales' moon level for a notable example).
Objectively The Disney Afternoon Collection is quite the value. Priced at £15.99/$19.99, Capcom has given gamers quite the appetising package, whether you're familiar with Capcom's retro Disney games or not. Once again, the production values and accuracy of these emulations are second-to-none, but it's the added features – like the rewind option and abundance of original artwork – that makes this selection essential.