Thursday, May 19, 2016

License To Drive B:\

If you were a kid in the early '90s, chances are you'd come home from school and watch Disney Afternoon, a block of cartoons which included such classics as Ducktales, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, and of course, Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers.  The show took the classic Disney characters Chip and Dale, and reimagined them as crime solving heroes along with their tech-savvy assistant mouse Gadget, cheese-loving Aussie mouse Monterrey Jack, and faithful companion fly Zipper.  Usually, they would have to foil the evil plans of the klutzy Professor Nimnull or the slick Fat Cat (an actual fat cat in a suit) and save the day.  Naturally, their adventures made for a perfect transition to video games.

In fact, in 1990 and 1994, Capcom released two Chip 'N Dale games, both highly acclaimed, and the second one regarded as one of the best licensed NES titles ever made.  However, we're not going to cover those.  Instead, we are going to look at the DOS game known as "Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventures in Nimnul's Castle."  

Released in 1990 by Hi-Tech Expressions, this game was developed by Riedel Software Productions.  As the title would imply, the Rescue Rangers must venture into Professor Nimnul's castle.  What little story there is is shown in the opening cutscene, where we see that Monterrey Jack has gotten his tail caught in a mousetrap after going on one of his trademark cheese binges.  Although it is never explicitly stated, Monty is apparently caught in Nimnul's castle.  He urges Zipper to go get Chip 'N Dale, and so begins the game.

This is all the story we get. Also, shouldn't his tail be severed?
Despite having two main characters, this is a single player game, unlike the NES versions.  While in those games, you could choose either chipmunk in single player or co-op with 2 players, in this one you more or less control both or just Chip, depending on the level.  Speaking of, there are only 9 levels in this game.  They are divided into 3 stages, each consisting of 3 levels.  
The only difference between levels is that the camera zooms in on the background.
In the first level, Chip and Dale must go from the left side of the screen to the right, passing through holes, and avoiding falling drops of acid and robot dogs who will swallow them whole.  After completing this task 3 times, we move on to the second stage, where Chip must run from side to side avoiding dripping wax, all the while picking up screws and tossing them down to Dale, who is running around below trying to avoid more of those robot dogs.  Apparently, Gadget needs these screws to fix their flying machine for some reason.  In any case, once this set of 3 levels is completed, we move on to the final bit, wherein Chip has to shimmy along a bar on the ceiling collecting screws to throw down to Dale while avoiding being grabbed by a machine's hands.

If you run out of lives, you are treated to a screen where Chip, Dale, and Gadget look very sad.  If you win, you get a screen where Monty is saved.  That's about it for the variety in this game.  There is no music at all, and the only sound is emitted through the PC speaker.  It mostly consists of silly chirpy sound effects which are forgettable.

I can't tell if they're sad about failing, or the fact that there's a pencil coming out of Gadget's giant ass.
So, should you play this game?  If you find a copy, go for it.  It can easily be beaten in 10 minutes if you don't make any mistakes, and is clearly meant for very young children or people who have never played a video game in their life.  It's really a tragedy to see how terrible this game turned out compared to its NES cousins.