Genre: Platformer Developer: Absolute Ent. Publisher: Absolute Ent. Players: 1 Released: 1993
It’s 1993, and Genesis owners are craving a new Disney platformer. It feels like you played through Quackshot and Castle of Illusion years ago. So you go to the store, and see a game on the shelf. Goofy’s Hysterical History Tour. Absolute Entertainment… I’ve never heard of them, let’s give it a shot. Does it live up to Sega’s classic Disney games, or is this one a flop? Let’s take a look.
Goofy’s Hysterical History Tour is about Goofy working in Ludwig von Drake’s History Museum as a janitor. Ludwig wants the whole place spotless by tomorrow. Goofy isn’t worried though, as he has his new invention to help him out, the Extend-O-Glove. But that mean old Pete is spying on Goofy, and proceeds to sabotage the museum’s exhibits so Goofy will be fired! The plot is kind of kiddie, but it’s not too bad. The game is rather kid-oriented, they even have a help screen where they show you what’s bad (enemies) and what’s good (springs disguised as mushrooms). There’s really no Disney feel to this game I might add. You just play as Goofy in a museum, nothing cartoony, or taking place in Toontown, just Ludwig’s museum. This game is also very short at a mere four exhibits.
And now to the gameplay, what you’re probably wondering most about. In Goofy’s Hysterical History Tour, you play as Goofy going through each exhibit cleaning up. You use your Extend-O-Glove to hit enemies, hit blocks like in Super Mario Bros., and use blocks to swing over pits. Basically you have to get from one end of the level to the other, collecting yellow balloons for points and blue balls to throw around with your Extend-O-Glove. The Extend-O-Glove can throw balls, use a boxing glove attachment (in limited quantities) for more damage to enemies, and extend to grab or poke enemies. Seems alright right? Well, it may sound good on paper, but it was executed rather poorly.
The problems in this game are the controls and the design. First, the enemies of this game are really just poorly designed. Goofy has a health bar of five (designated by peanuts), and when he gets hit he goes invincible for a few seconds, like most platformers. The problem here is that the enemies are designed in the exact same way. You have to hit them five times before they go down, and they go invincible for a few seconds after a hit. So it takes forever to take down a small pack of enemies, even if it’s only three or four. Luckily the enemies in this game are easily bypassed.
The second thing wrong is the way the Extend-O-Glove controls. The ball throwing is horrible, you try to use it and the ball flies out and away so fast you don’t even know where it went. You can never seem to figure out where the ball flies out of your hand. It’s literally a split-second after you push the button. The other thing about the glove is that grabbing blocks sometimes is tough to control. A lot of the time the blocks that you have to grab to swing across are positioned in the levels in a way where you have to jump and then extend the glove in diagonal angle, making it very tough. And if you let go or press the wrong direction after grabbing, you’re going to most likely fall. Why didn’t they design it like most other games, where you swing across a vine and don’t have to hold any buttons down after you grab it? It’s very tough to control sometimes. And the worst part is, if you die at any point in the level, you have to start all the way back at the beginning. There aren’t any continue points or anything like that. And the levels are a little on the long side.
The graphics in this game are downright bizarre and bland. Nothing seems to match up. In the first level, the prehistoric exhibit, you’re fighting mushrooms and snails as enemies in what looks like a crappy movie backdrop. There’s almost no background at all, and the foreground is just odd-looking. With weird variations of dark blue and green, this doesn’t look anything like the prehistoric era! The music in this game is really mediocre too. Sometimes it sounds like it’s not even there, it’s so bland. The sound is mediocre as well. Aside from Goofy’s trademark “A-Hyuck!,” there’s not really much else that stands out. When you jump on enemies it sounds like you’re going up and down a wooden flight of stairs.
In conclusion, this game is bland and boring. Combine really mediocre graphics and sound, poor controls at times, a really bland storyline, and make it short, and you have a whole load of blah with a slapped-on Disney license.
SCORE: 4 out of 10