Today's game is a request... uh, a suggestion... well okay someone basically just pointed out in a comment that the thing exists and begins with 'Q', but that's good enough for me. It turns out that Q isn't the most popular letter for video game titles, so I appreciate the help. R, S and T on the other hand I've got covered (and then some), so I wouldn't recommend recommending anything beginning with one of those letters for the next four months or so.
I've never even heard of this one before by the way, so I've no idea what kind of game it is or what the critical response to it was. Somehow though I don't expect to be impressed, but I'll give it an hour or two to surprise me.
Donald was watching all of this live on TV, and he immediately races out to go on a daring adventure through a series of levels connected by teleporters to save her! Daisy's cameraman on the other hand is on their own... sorry mate.
Fortunately our protagonist is friends with a genius inventor and we could use his machine to beam right over to her instantly! But first we need more power, and that means going to places like Duckie Mountain and setting up equipment there to... reflect something somewhere, I dunno. So our first stop is actually world 1-1.
Oh man, it's called 'Forest Edge'. This is a platformer made in in the year 2000 and it starts with a forest level. I don't know what that says to you, but to me it says that the developers either hadn't played a whole lot of platformers before, or they were deliberately aiming for 'generic'.
LEVEL 1-1: FOREST EDGE
I'm not a great fan of referring to games as 'xxx clones' just because they're in the same basic genre, but this is so obviously a Crash Bandicoot clone. The music even sounds similar... with a bit of Little Big Adventure in there as well maybe. I don't know, maybe I just haven't played enough games from the 'run into the screen' platformer sub-genre to appreciate the subtle differences.
Like Crash Bandicoot I can either hit enemies or jump on them, though the range on his punch attack is so pathetic I don't know why I'd ever choose to use it. I don't get anything for killing enemies anyway, and their death animations are strangely unrewarding. They could at least explode into a cloud of cartoon smoke or play a satisfying sound effect or something, give me some positive feedback for what I presume is supposed to be the correct action here.
Those stars on the other hand will get me an extra life if I grab 100 of them, which is positive enough for me! These creatures had the secret to resurrection right in front of them the whole time, and were too lazy to grasp it.
Anyway, when Donald is a pissed off cloud of fury like this he can destroy anything he touches, but it doesn't last long. It's basically a substitute for the brief moments of invulnerability you get in other competent platformers after taking damage, and afterwards he's just one more hit away from death. So I could really do with finding a health pick-up right about now.
The mean wizard stole the kid's toys and scattered them across the stages you see, so I have to deactivate his magic temporarily by beating up his spell book (sitting in the hallway in front of me), then I need to race to collect the toy (on the floor above) before it vanishes again. There's three of these teddy bears to collect on every stage in this world, which has me wondering why this kid needs a dozen identical bears so badly anyway. Especially now that they'll be all dirty.
Man, this is giving me serious deja-vu right about now. The game really is like a Crash Bandicoot total conversion so far.
OI, DONALD! Quit kissing your imagination! Keep your fantasies in your head like everyone else.
LEVEL 1-2: THE GORGE.
That red box down there is called a 'flapper unit' by the way. Which I'm mentioning because it's called a flapper unit. It's like a cross between a springboard and a ? box from Mario, throwing star pick-ups out of it when I trigger it. The designers have cleverly made the stars land on the path in front of me though, so bouncing on a box won't slow me down...
Oh stop beeping already, you dumb-ass platform. You're not impressing anyone.
I've been playing the PlayStation version of the game, but wikipedia claims that Quack Attack came out for eight different systems, and a cursory glance at youtube gave me the impression that there's at least four distinct games here, maybe five.
Here's the N64 version of the same part of the level for comparison. It looks pretty similar in layout and definitely plays almost exactly the same, but the more I see of it, the more I'm convinced that this isn't really the same game. The levels start differing wildly, new enemies turn up, It's got me collecting different items... and his jump seems higher!
Now I don't know what to believe. Maybe ALL the versions are different! All I know is that the N64 game came out later, but makes the PSX game feels like a rushed port by comparison.
Oh, here's a fact for you that might turn out to be complete duckshit: apparently the N64 port is the first ever console game developed on the African continent.
LEVEL 1-3: HUEY'S TRACK
Oh, just spotted that mirrored mountain in the background. Kind of spoils the otherwise impressive view really.
Oh no, I've stared at that rock wall too long and now I've started to see Batmobiles in it. See, look at the side nearest the waterfall, that's totally the bonnet of a billionaire's high-performance custom engineered vigilante automobile.
Okay give me a second to sketch this up and I'll show you what I mean.
Man I just realised that I've just taken a Rorschach test and I saw Batman instead. I think that probably counts as a fail.
Actually after reappearing at the checkpoint I did go and make the same mistake twice, because it's so incredibly harmless looking! My brain didn't even register it as something to pay attention to. I won't make the same mistake three times though.
HALFWAY POINT OF THE ARTICLE - KEEP READING, YOU'RE DOING WELL!
Oh, I'm supposed to be collecting one of those energy orbs on the right in each stage, but I've no idea what happens if I reach the exit teleporter without one because I haven't been able to overlook any of them so far. Seems entirely pointless to me.
Why am I teleporting off to visit 8 Ears? Is he going to give me a reward?
I'm hesitant to praise the developers for letting me confuse the bear by flipping that sign around along the way, in case they ripped that off Crash Bandicoot too, but it did amuse me.
Though that looks like a 1up floating over on the left hand side. Should I take a chance and go back to grab it? I've already got a decent number of lives here (because I had to play the level again to get some better shots), but I can't just let one go by when it's so easy to collect... oh fuck it, I'm getting it.
What was the point of that level then? Who knows? I got a couple of lives out of it along the way so I guess it worked out.
Okay then, I've beaten all four levels on this world so the boss portal has opened up and I don't have a good reason to put this off any longer. Well, I suppose I try beating some of the time records... nah.
BOSS LEVEL: BERNADETTE'S PEAK.
Fortunately this average duck man can crush newborn chickens into pixie dust by landing on their heads and squishing them. It's okay, they were born evil! Or maybe just hungry, it's hard to tell.
Okay ignore everything I just said, as that's apparently not the way to evade the boss. And since that was an instant kill, I have to return to the start of the boss fight and do all this from scratch.
EVENTUALLY, AFTER REPEATING THIS ROUTINE FROM THE START SEVERAL TIMES.
Oh hang on they're just baby chickens that were born wearing shark masks. Well that makes a lot more sense. Also, I've just lost a hit point by walking right into one of their pointy noses. I need to get my head in the game, or else I'll be repeating chunks of it some more.
She didn't explode into dust though like other enemies though, weirdly. Instead she's given up the ghost (but not the flies). Yes, go on up to heaven you duck murdering lunatic, you've earned your place in paradise.
Well that's an entire quarter of the game completed, but I might as well see what's behind portal #2. I think I'll have to give this one more level before I can make up my mind about it.
LEVEL 2-1: FIRST AVENUE.
Also I got to beat up an innocent dog and then use his unconscious body as a trampoline, because of my duck privilege.
Wait, that's actually just a singular rollerblade in there, and there's three to collect each level. Uh?
I'm grateful actually, as it makes my fuckups feel more fair. In the forest world most of my lost lives were thrown away on easy jumps or enemies because I misjudged my position or timing. Here if I fall off I can actually blame the level!
Donald Duck: Quack Attack (or Goin' Quackers) has trapped me on a fence. Every time I start to like it something about it puts me off, and every time I'm ready to be done with it I end up being won over by something else, so now I don't know what I feel about the game.
What I played was certainly competent for the most part, but not exactly compelling. I mean it didn't go out of its way to frustrate me, but it's all so basic and limited and slow. No matter what camera angle a level's using, there's only usually a tiny narrow path through it with no scope to try different approaches, and the main threat to me so far has been my lack of depth perception. I did like the level select hubs though, and adding the time trials was smart way to encourage replays and extend the length of the game a little without making them mandatory.
I suppose it doesn't help much that I don't care much about Donald Duck (plus being an adult distances me a bit from the target demographic), but for me this was lacking in inspiration, charm and all the other things that raise a good platformer above an average one.
I'll give it a gold star, because I would play this again of my own free will, but don't consider it a glowing recommendation.
Man, I really need to get some more good old fashioned terrible broken abominations onto the site to balance out all this averageness. Either that or rename it to the Beige Star for Not Being Crap, to take some of the shine off it.