This time I'm checking out the different versions of M.C. Kids (aka McDonaldland in Europe). It's pronounced 'Em Cee kids' according the programmer, just in case there was any doubt.
It seemed to take forever to get this text off the screen so I could start the game.
I've read that these two were originally going to be called M.C. Kid and Micky D, but McDonald's made them change it. Which sounds plausible.
Man, this image just isn't cool enough. I'll check to see if the DOS version's any better.
I wonder what they're reading anyway.
Well c'mon then, turn the page. I'm dying to find out what happens next.
Apparently Hamburglar stole the bag off screen, and then the M.C. Kids jumped into the book to help out. Or maybe they're just characters in the book they're reading, I dunno.
I came here to help you find a Magic Bag, but if you're just going to mess me around...
Wow the Amiga sprites for Mick and Mack are massive. Mick's head is twice as wide as Ronald's head. His fist is wider than Ronald's head.
Shame the screen shows how many cards I need, but doesn't say if there's still a card to collect on this level. If I don't keep track while I'm playing I won't know which levels I've gotten a card from already.
Mario 3 style shadows on the background. Not so fond of the way those golden arches keep spinning even when the game's paused though. It's creepy.
I like how it's obvious I'm supposed to pick up that block on the left and plug it in the dotted box on the right to make a moving platform to jump on. Sensible design.
I know the poor C64 was ten years old and massively underpowered by 92, but I've seen Shadow of the Beast running on the thing with parallax scrolling. Surely the poor machine can manage running a basic Mario clone.
Look at those things, just hanging in the air. Taunting me. Well fine, okay, I can wait. I've got a level select screen, so I can come back here any time I want to get my damn arches. And I WILL get those arches. I swear it.
I've gone around the whole level trying to find a way to reach this block, but I just can't figure it out at all. This is still only the first level too.
SOON, ON LEVEL TWO.
The only thing that's really annoyed me, is that his aim is terrible. He throws the boxes 45 degrees towards the ground, so hitting enemies with them is more of a hassle than it probably should be.
And I think the soundtrack is technically the same tunes as you'd hear on the Atari and Amiga versions, but on this it's hard to even tell that it's music. It's actually painful to listen to.
He knows I don't dare go up there without finding a block to throw at him first. Plus he knows that when I get past him he'll spring right back to life the second he's off screen, so if I fall down I'll have to fight him again. Plus he can come back as many times as he has to, but I only have limited boxes to throw. Plus I'll probably miss.
All this box throwing is reminding me of another game, but I can't quite figure out what it is. Damn that's going to annoy me.
The Amiga has the best sounding music out of the 16-bit versions, colourful gradient backgrounds, and more character to the sprites. On the other hand it feels a bit... floaty and sluggish, and has considerably more clown face on the hud.
Remind me to never offer to do you a favour again.
Now I know why Ronald didn't just ask any of his friends for help. Ain't nothing free in McDonaldland.
Blues Brothers! That's what this reminds me of. It's like a cross between the box throwing gameplay of Blues Brothers and the feel of Super Mario Bros. I even have to find the secret item on each level.
I'm riding my floating cloud elsewhere.
I think I've seen enough of the game now to satisfy my curiosity anyway. Though there's still one thing I need to do.
Only this time I've looked up what to do to get that arches block, and the precious Puzzle Card within. I just have to run off the ledge, onto those shuriken-looking spiky wheels I was trying to avoid. He spins around and it flips gravity.
Game design tip, don't make important helpful things look like hazards!
Shameless Advertising Rating: Surprisingly low. You collect Golden Arches, there's arches in the background, arches on blocks, and Ronald McDonald's crew turns up. And that's about it. You don't even collect food for health. I didn't even see any food in the game.
Clown Rating: Moderate. Ronald doesn't show up too often, but he often finds ways to glare at you from the hud. Puzzle Cards seem innocent enough, but as you start to collect them...
I've heard some bad things about this game, but it seemed alright to me so far. Maybe I just haven't gotten up to the real game killing flaws yet. I gotta give it my Gold Star though, because I really wouldn't mind playing it some more.
I'll probably stick to the NES or Amiga version next time though.
Part 1: Donald Land (NES)
Part 2: M.C. Kids (NES)Part 3: McDonaldland (Game Boy)
Part 4: Global Gladiators (Genesis/Mega Drive)
Part 5: McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure (Genesis/Mega Drive)
Part 6: Ronald in The Magical World (Game Gear)