When video game
acquired the license to create Super NES
games featuring the popular Looney Toons
characters, they chose to base the Daffy Duck
game on the classic cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24½ Century
in which Daffy plays a Buck Rogers
knock-off who, with his sidekick Porky Pig
as the Space Cadet
, faces off against Marvin the Martian
. This game, the third in the Sunsoft Looney Toons
series, casts the player as the wacky duck and sends him through five worlds side-scrolling platformer worlds composed of three levels each plus a boss encounter with Marvin the Martian
. While other Sunsoft Looney Toons games
feature characters who utilize full-body physical offensive attacks, the creators saw fit to equip Daffy with a series of pistols with which to do battle, and while shooting a gun in a video game is nothing new, it does help to seperate this game from its too-similar cousins. It's also the only game in the Sunsoft
series to get ported to the Game Boy
. In the end, however, Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions
suffers from the same high difficulty and poor control that the other Sunsoft Looney Toons
games do, yet it's still loads of fun.
The five worlds that Daffy explores are less than original. There's a fire world, a water world, an ice world, and giant world, and a space world. Additionally, while most side-scrollers feature level layouts that span from Point A to Point B (i.e. Super Mario Brothers), The Marvin Missions features maze-like levels that are full of passages and caverns that typically dead end into a monster, a power-up, or just a wall. Fortunately by pressing Start to pause the game a small mini-map of the surrounding area pops up onscreen, although it doesn't indicate where the location of the end of the level or any other relevant details. The levels are also loaded with enemies, most notably the instant Martians. They come in all forms: dressed for the heat, the cold, the water, etc. Level-specific enemies are also around, such as the lavarockmen, sharks, laser cannons, and so forth. Most all the baddies can be defeated with a few shots, and once they burst into oblivion they leave bags of money behind. Money? Yes; the game requires you to purchase the majority of the power-ups and weapons.
Speaking of weapons, Daffy has access to five unique pistols. He starts with and always has his trusty blaster; it's underpowered but has unlimited ammo. Up for grabs are the ice gun (which freezes enemies), the electric gun (which fires an electric bolt), a three-way gun that fires a single giant bullet that opens up to reveal three smaller ones, a bomb gun that shoots an arcing ball of boom, and an antimatter blaster that fires a high-powered blast of energy. Some of these weapons are scattered around the levels, but the best way to acquire them is to purchase them in the shop before each world. Other items up for grabs that enhance Daffy's abilities include the Nutty Attack that damages all enemies onscreen, 1-ups, chances to continue if you lose all your lives, and jetpack fuel for flying around levels. The jetpack is a nice addition to the game and helps to bypass some annoying jumps, but it's difficult to control and you'll often overshoot wherever you were hoping to fly. Adding to the control woes is the fact that Daffy's jumps are less in the style of Mario's (in which you can control the distance of the jump) and instead the duck jumps in a predefined arc. The most odd thing about this game is, in my opinion, the fact that Daffy's shots recoil. Every blast of a pistol causes Daffy to be knocked back slightly, and firing enough rapid shots causes the duck to slide backwards away from firing distance of the target. The recoil can be useful for sliding backwards into tight spaces, but overall it tends to be a hindrance.
Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions is one of the better Sunsoft Looney Toons games and it does manage to capture some of Daffy Duck's personality and wackiness. Like it's cousins, however, it becomes progressively difficult as the game progresses and with only four hits on Daffy's hit meter, you'll find that continues are extremely important. It even features a little digitized speech which you'll hear when Daffy shouts "Duck Dodgers!" at the start of each world. Overall it's a fun game if you don't mind the high difficulty and I highly recommend it if you find it in the used video games bin (especially if you're a fan of the Duck Dodgers character). Just don't overpay for it; it's not worth a huge bill.