If you think cartons are just for kids, guess what; you’re a damn wiener. And not only are they great entertainment (mow more so than ever), but they lead to some pretty good entertainment in other mediums. It’s been a while since the days of the truly great video games based on cartoons, but that doesn’t mean we can’t remember them fondly. Remember these great cartoon-based video games! REMEMBER THEM!
Darkwing Duck (NES)
The NES’ Darkwing Duck was an incredibly solid platformer in the mold of Mega Man, right down to the somewhat open-ended level selection. The controls weren’t real tight (good lord, did this console ever have loose-y goose-y controls) but the game ended up transcending its projected kid audience, becoming popular and fondly remembered by older gamers (during the NES’ heyday, you were an older gamer if you were a teenager).
Tiny Toon Adventures (NES)
I mean, it’s kind of garbage that Tiny Toon Adventures has FOUR playable characters, and none of them are female (the one female character is the one you’re rescuing; classic video game stuff) but on the flip side, switching between four playable characters that each had a specific skill was a game mechanic ahead of its time.
Not just one of the best video games based on a cartoon, but one of the best NES games period, DuckTales, like Darkwing Duck, had a similar design to Mega Man. Unlike Darkwing Duck, though, DuckTales was as good as any Mega Man game; it even had multiple endings, a thing that was not common in the NES days, and controls that were as good as you could hope for. DuckTales is so good, and so beloved, that it ended up getting remastered pretty much as is for the Playstation 3.
Aladdin (Sega Genesis)
The SNES version of Aladdin is also good, but it’s not this good; the Sega Genesis version is an absolutely incredible platformer, with graphics that pushed the system to its limit. Sure, it took a lot of liberties with the source material (I don’t remember Aladdin killing so many enemies with a sword in any of the movies, even the dumb third one). Also, this game was also real tough. It’s nice when a game really made you work for it, but was still fair (unlike, say, Battletoads).
The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (SNES)
ANOTHER Capcom sidescroller? You bet. I actually prefer Mickey Mania to Magical Quest, but I am wildly in the minority on that one so Magical Quest it is. It’s certainly the deeper game; Mickey gets four different costumes, which can be powered up to varying degrees in between levels. Sure, Magical Quest is a little easy, but if you crank the difficulty up to “Hard”, it’s like a regular game’s normal difficulty. The graphics also have a real colorful charm to them, which helps sell the “Mickey does lots of magic stuff” tone of the game.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time (Arcade)
Oh hell yeah! This was my game, bud. In the same way Capcom nailed the side-scrolling platformer on the NES and SNES, Konami pretty much controlled the market on side-scrolling beat ‘em ups. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time is probably the best Ninja Turtles video game, and it also had a very good port on the SNES. But man, the experience in the arcade of you and three friends plowing down wave after wave of foot soldiers through a wide variety of time frames and settings… that’s a tough one to beat.
The Simpsons (Arcade)
Aside from some of the character sprites, this game could not have less to do with The Simpsons. It’s barely a Simpsons game! Like, why would the Simpsons go and fight Mr. Burns’ weird minions in hand-to-hand combat, even if Maggie were captured by Smithers? Almost all the enemies weren’t even characters from the cartoon. But again, that four player beat ‘em up was just too good to resist.
Cartoons; they’re not just for watching! Did I miss any? Let us know on Twitter @Smosh!