NES Review – Darkwing Duck


Let’s get dangerous! Darkwing Duck is a Capcom platform game based off of a 90’s Disney cartoon. I spend a couple Saturday mornings watching Darkwing Duck with my brother, it was a fun cartoon similar to Tail Spin. The Darkwing character seems to be a parody of Batman, as Darkwing is only Darkwing by night – during the day he is a regular citizen of Duckberg named Drake Mallard.

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At first glance, it would appear to be another Mega Man clone, and for the most part thats correct. Awesome platforming, multiple weapons to utilize, a boss battle after every stage, and a stage select screen. But there are a few things that make this game unique.

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First off, Darkwing has his trusty pistol as his standard weapon to help him take enemies down, however, he does not get other weapons from beating stage bosses (bummer!). BUT…he is able to pick up different weapons scattered throughout the levels. He is only able to hold onto one at a time, so you must be strategic in which one to keep (I personally like the wall plungers which allow Darkwing to access hidden areas – see below). Darkwing also has a cool move where he can hide behind his cloak just like in the TV show – gameplay wise this is very helpful as you can hide from projectiles without needing to jump out of the way.

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There are 7 levels total that have Darkwing adventuring through sewers, docks, and the downtown of Duckberg. The player completes the first three levels (stage-select style) followed similarly by another three. Once the first six  levels are complete, Darkwing moves onto the last level and final boss!

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This game is pretty short, easy and has very few stages (compared to Mega Man which usually has around 12 stages). I beat it with my brother in about two hours. Nevertheless, the graphics and sound of the game are bright and seem to capture the magic of the show, and the platforming – albeit simpler than Mega Man – is still a lot of fun to play while it lasts.

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Overall, this game is a fun, little platform game with tight controls that can get beaten in a few hours. All this considered, I give this game a 7/10.


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