Developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Sony Imagesoft in 1994
Regular visitors to my channel will remember that I reviewed the Sega Mega Drive version of the game a few weeks ago and was impressed with the quality and presentation of the game, although the gameplay was a little too formulaic at times.
Today, I want to look at the Super Nintendo version and compare this version to the Mega Drive port and to see which, if any, is the superior version (it's always fun to rekindle those heated playground rivalries as to which console was better!).
The first, and, somewhat surprising difference most players will notice is the SNES version actually has loading times between each of the game's levels! Admittedly, these last only three to four seconds at most, but it's not something I would have ever expected and for a console game.
Once into the game proper, it's apparent that the developers have cut out a range of content from the MD version. There are fewer frames of animation for certain characters, fewer digitised speech samples and certain levels have been axed in their entirety (i.e. The Band Concert secret level). Quite why this is the case remains unclear, but it's not the first time I've seen a SNES game have significantly less content than it's Sega counterpart (Delphine's Shaq Fu being an obvious example).
With a lower screen resolution than the MD, the graphics don't always look as sharp and crisp as on Sega's console. The downgrade in clarity is off-set by inclusion of additional background detail and more advanced parallax scrolling in certain levels, such as the additional clouds rendered during the Mickey and the Beanstalk stage.
The SNES version boasts an updated music soundtrack that features samples, which does sound better than the FM synthesis present in the MD edition. However, some of the sound effects are of particularly dubious quality, sounding more appropriate from an 8-bit machine than the SNES. As mentioned earlier, certain speech samples present in the MD version are absent here, replaced with more generic sound effects - a good example is the lack of the parrot squawks during Steamboat Willy.
Fortunately, one area where both games are practically identical is the gameplay. The SNES and MD versions work exactly the same in each version and both fun games, regardless of the version. Even here, however, there are some slight differences, such as the height of Mickey's jump; you can easily see this in the Prince and the Pauper level at 24:15 where it's possible to reach the star power-up, which is impossible to reach in any other version of the game.
In isolation, the SNES version of Mickey Mania still feels like a quality production and you wouldn't have felt short-changed if this was the copy that you owned. However, it's always interesting to compare cross-platform titles from the 16-bit era and it's only when you start comparing it to the other versions that it becomes evident that it's the weakest version. It's in no way a bad game, but it's difficult to understand why the content from the MD version is missing from this one (if anyone has any theories then be sure to post in the comments).
Anyone familiar with the SNES' game library will know just how amazing many of them are, so Mickey Mania is by no means a reflection on the abilities of Nintendo's console. However, as far as this game is concerned, it's clear to me that the MD is the more complete version of the two and is the version I would choose to play.
Be sure to look out for my up-and-coming reviews of the Sega Mega CD and PlayStation versions of the game in the near future!
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Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse is a 1994 platformer video game developed...