Like Global Gladiators, it's Sega Genesis/Mega Drive exclusive, and this time even the poor Amiga was left out. I'm beginning to wonder if Nintendo did something to piss McDonald's off.
The game's actually made by Treasure, the same people who brought you Gunstar Heroes and Dynamite Headdy. Oh, and Light Crusader. You know, I never did figure that game out.
Of course Ronald probably realises that even if this really is a fragment of a genuine treasure map, he's not going to be able to find the treasure without the rest of it. But he's bored, so he goes off on a treasure hunt anyway.
And so the adventure begins!
Donald Land, back when he had to carry bombs to throw at enemies. But since then he's had time to master the dark arts, and hone his skills by teleporting kids into storybooks and slime coated hell dimensions. Now he can simply annihilate his foes with a single blast of magic sparkles from across the screen
Well, unless you're playing the PAL version of the game. Then his magic is pretty shit and it takes three hits just to kill a basic enemy on the standard difficulty. It seems that normal mode on the European version is the equivalent to playing on expert mode in Japan and the US. At least the bastards stay dead whatever difficulty you're playing on.
Like Dynamite Headdy, Ron has a move to grab onto certain objects and pull himself up, though he seems to have way more opportunities to use it. But then this is way more of a conventional platformer. I just wish I could pull the screen up a little while I'm hanging, so I can see if I'm going to be flinging myself into an enemy.
Gems are hit points, so they're handy to have, the terrifying clown face is a 1up, and the Golden Arches logo is a continue, but I've no clue what the rest are for. I can tell you that the rings definitely don't work like they do in Sonic the Hedgehog, but that's the extent of my knowledge.
SOON, ON LEVEL TWO.
In the US version this isn't a massive problem, but in the European version (on normal) I lose two hit points with each hit, so I'm way more fragile.
I can collect power ups along the way to upgrade my magic power and kill enemies faster. But on this difficulty one hit is enough to knock my magic power level right back down again, so that never lasts long.
Choosing to keep playing put me all the way back at the start of the world, so I reset instead to save wasting a continue.
I'm finding the game challenging enough, but it feels like 'fake' difficulty somehow because it just takes ages to kill anything. Beginner difficulty (or normal difficulty for non-Europeans) can be very easy at times, but at least it's fast.
Actually the game has very nice graphics in general, and well animated enemies. Plus I like the way I can actually see my character against the background most of the time. I've learned not to take that for granted.
Also, Ronald can survive falling into the water! He can wade through it no problem, he doesn't even mind getting his clown shoes wet.
This block dropping puzzle minigame cost me 2000 gold to play, and if I make enough lines I should be able to win magic power-ups and extra lives and stuff! But I won't, because I'm rubbish, so this turned out to be a total waste of money.
The whole game's filled with playful little touches like this, it really makes a change from the beautifully animated but incredibly repetitive Global Gladiators. There's always something new coming up.
He wants to trade information, but he's not interested in my bags of gold (or even a burger). Nope, he wants a slice of Ronald's life bar. Seems a little dark somehow for a kids game.
It's like some kind of... half-decomposed fish submarine with giant lips. Weird.
Gunstar Heroes and Dynamite Headdy were throwing like two at me every level.
Okay I've figured this out, I think. Hamburgler's hint told me to feed the boss some of my gems to give me an opportunity to hit him. But the gems are my hit-points, so I'll have to sacrifice some of Ronald's health to kill him. Don't see that in many games.
Fortunately I can get health back though by killing his minions, and stealing their precious pick-ups. Plus it turns out that I can earn a new hit-point from collecting two gold rings/flowers, or three silver rings/flowers, so that's one mystery solved.
And the killer tomato eventually goes down.
Hey, it turns out that by pure coincidence the boss I found by following the first piece of the treasure map... was carrying the second piece of the treasure map! So I now can continue my treasure hunt adventure.
That's right, it's an epic battle of clown vs clown. Ronald's got the magic, but these guys have the balls. And when I kill them the balls fly at me, knocking off my health gems. Damn clowns.
The game's full of good ideas, but they threw in a couple of terrible ones too.
Evil clown clones, that's the worst kind.
But will I choose to give up two of my incredibly precious and useful health gems to rescue someone I don't like who once forced poor Mick and Mack to jump on clouds looking for 'Puzzle Cards' way back in M.C. Kids? Hmmmmmmm.
Okay fine, she can have two units of Ronald McDonald's life force. It's not like I can get out until she's opened the door for me anyway.
If I miss a jump and land on the track then I'm dead. Or at least I would be if I wasn't carrying these handy 'get out of bottomless pit free' balloon power ups.
EVENTUALLY, AT THE FRONT OF THE TRAIN.
The fight (eventually) ends with the train hitting the end of the line, and the two of us getting thrown off down a massive drop.
Fortunately Birdie finally comes through and saves Ronald from falling to his death. The poor circus train owner on the other hand wasn't so lucky, but fortunately the ground eventually broke his fall.
LATER, ON THE NEXT LEVEL.
I got sick of playing on European normal difficulty, so I switched. The game's just way more entertaining (to me) when I don't have to stand around and hit everything three or more times to move on.
MUCH MUCH LATER.
But Ronald is ridiculously persistent, and decides to borrow a space rocket from The Professor so he can go visit the moon.
But it's alright, Ronald McDonald has another plan!
"Why don't we all split up and look for someone to help us fix the ship."Good look with finding helpful spaceship mechanics on the moon mate. Plus that that isn't even a ship anymore, it's just the largest chunk of debris. Even if they found Doc Brown, The Doctor, Wallace and Gromit, MacGuyver and Scotty all camping nearby, together they still wouldn't be able to get that wreck off the ground again. That is an ex-space rocket.
Okay, I guess Ronald was right and I was wrong. There is actually something to find on the moon. And it's fucking weird.
Sonic the Hedgehog. Suddenly this strange secret moon base all makes sense. Dr Robotnik must have built it.
The doors are paired up, and each row of doors spins around like wheels on a fruit machine. To switch between rows I need to wait for the walls to briefly stop moving, then slip out through the door with the same pattern as the door I want to end up at. Trouble is, the guy kills me in seconds whenever I appear on the same level as him.
SEVERAL MILLION DEATHS LATER.
Okay I have to admit, I actually kind of like the boss fights in this. They don't show up too often, and they're reasonably clever.
EVENTUALLY THE VILLAIN IS VANQUISHED.
That'll teach him for... defending himself in his own home.
Anyway the treasure turns out to be a rainbow that sends them all safely back home from the moon. Which kind of makes me wonder what the point of the treasure map was. Or any of this. Also good luck explaining to The Professor what happened to his rocket ship.
Oh shit, I just finished the entire game didn't I?
Shameless Advertising Rating: Not so bad. You don't even have to collect arches any more. They didn't even throw a McDonald's in the background of the city level. In fact every time someone's hungry in game, they eat Ronald's life gems. If for some reason you didn't know already that McDonald's was a fast food restaurant, there's nothing in the game to...
Clown Rating: High. You play as a clown, he turns up in every cutscene, he's never off screen, he never stops grinning, and you go to an evil circus train and fight evil clowns.
You know, given the choice between this and any of the other McDonald's games so far, I think this is the one I'd play again. Global Gladiators is slick, but has no variety, and poor M.C. Kids just isn't that interesting. Still, there is one last game left...
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)