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PLATFORM: Nintendo DS
ESRB RATING: E
PUBLISHER: WayForward Technologies
DEVELOPER: Warner Bros. Games
You all know the classic Merrie Melodies cartoon, Duck Amuck. Daffy Duck’s pitted against a vicious animator who messes with him at every turn. He gets erased, disfigured, blown up, and just horribly, horribly tortured… and at the end you find out that it was Bugs Bunny all along.
You should know all about it. If you don’t, I’m sorry for your horrible childhood. It’s not your fault that your parents didn’t raise you right. Watch it online here and start making up for it.
Anyway, this is Daffy from that cartoon in the same situation once again, except here he’s trapped in your DS, and you’re free to torture him as you see fit.
Great idea in concept, but in execution…?
First off, be aware that this is a minigame collection. If that doesn’t appeal to you from the start stay far away.
Duck Amuck will also confuse most people right from when they first power the system on. After a short intro Daffy pops up on the bottom screen. There’s nothing but a white background and you have no idea what to do next. This is like the game pre-loader. You have to either tap various parts of the screen or wait for Daffy to do something.
Sometimes closing the lid will initiate a game, sometimes blowing into the mic. You can tap Daffy on the head till he gets mad and storms off or cut him in half with the stylus. It’ll take a little bit just to be able to find all of the different games. The minigames themselves are seemingly from every cartoon he’s ever been in, from fighting Marvin as Duck Dodgers to shooting himself out of a cannon.
The humor in this game is just as smart and witty as you’d hope… you will laugh during this game, and when’s the last time a Looney Tunes game made you laugh? (With it, not at it- Acme Arsenal doesn’t count.) They did a great job of updating the humor from the cartoon to fit the new medium, and Daffy is very aware that he’s inside a Nintendo DS. When the ceiling falls in on Daffy this time, it isn’t ink, it’s bad code, and the minigame has him trying to clean it up while complaining about the horrible programming. There’s also another game that’s all pixilated like Adventure, which is good for a laugh.
It’s also really fun to play a game where your whole objective is to make the main guy fail. It took me a bit to get used to that simple fact. Here you’re working against Daffy, and you only win if he loses and gets blown up, which almost always happens, of course.
While you’ll have fun with the game for the most part, the problem with games like this is that the minigames don’t have much to it. Most of them are amusing but once you’ve beaten them you’ll never go back. Others will hold your attention for a few rounds, but even then, depth is not a word you’d associate with this. There’s some stuff to unlock but nothing that’ll drastically change the game, and while you can play the minigames at a harder level, most of them you won’t want to touch again.
It’s worth a rent, and does use the DS in some inventive ways, like the game where Daffy’s in the dark (DS lid closed) and you have to use the shoulder buttons to control his motions.
But ultimately the gimmicks don’t make for a great game.
Everything looks and sounds like the cartoon.
The graphics are decent but the animation isn’t up to par with the old cartoon, unfortunately. Nothing like hand-drawn animation…
There is a multiplayer option, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to find someone to play a Looney Tunes game with you on the DS. It got a lot easier when I prowled elementary schools in my van telling kids about how many games I have in it, but that’s a story for another day.
The harder versions of the minigames that you can play do offer some longevity here, but like most mini-game collections, half the games here are stinkers that you’ll never want to try again.
Not much replay value, in other words. A big shame when every game can be beat in a couple of hours.
Worth a rent as a curiosity, or for a huge Daffy fan. It’s far better than most every Looney Tunes game ever released (Except Looney Tunes B-Ball, that was the shit!) and uses the license in the most faithful way yet. It’s too bad there just ain’t more to it.