Published on August 21st, 2013 | by David Guild2
Review: DuckTales Remastered
DuckTales: Remastered takes us back to 1989 when Nintendo ruled the gaming world with their home system the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and the Gameboy for the handhelds. Back then games were harder and punished you for not learning, life’s and continues ran out and there was a thing called a ‘Game Over’ screen. Some games still have these blockades but only a handful, now you can fail throughout a game and still earn the goal of completing the game. But we aren’t here for that, are we? DuckTales was one of the most successful titles the NES had and it has been in many “Top NES Games” lists from gamers and game critics. So when WayForward and Capcom announced DuckTales its return to us, the fans were ecstatic then worried.
WayForward announced DuckTales early this year, and said it will be a complete HD version of the original game, but this isn’t some developer artists here who were going to work on these, oh no! Disney allowed the developer to use Disney’s own artists who worked on the original DuckTales series to help create up to date art work for the new game plus the game originally was mostly just going to have text for when the characters were speaking but Disney once again came to WayForward and asked do they wish to have the original voice cast of the show to reprise their roles, of course WayForward jumped at the chance for the original cast to come back. With all this good news I couldn’t wait for the game release, original art team and voice cast, how could WayForward screw this up! Anyways …
Let’s jump in to this review shall we? As always we start with the story, back in the days you would have to read the manual for that, games didn’t have enough space and it can be quite boring to read a wall of text on the screen so most games back then had big manuals and it would tell you about the story of the game and the characters, but this version of DuckTales is going to be a digital downloadable title, no manual. So right from the start you will notice that the first level you play is the introduction to the story and a tutorial to get the feel for the simple controls. Scrooge McDuck has made his way to his ‘Money Bin’ while it’s getting robbed by those Beagle Boys, but they have tampered with the Security System and have caged up Scrooge’s grand nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. Once the boys are saved, you get to Scrooges office where you face off against your first boss battle, and find out what the Beagle Boys were really after. A map to all these different kinds of treasure from all over the world and the moon!
The tutorial level is a great way to introduce a story in to the game and to bring back the original main characters. Scrooge’s office becomes the menu of the game where you can have a quick dive in Scrooges ‘Money Bin’ and swim around in cash. You can also access the extras menu where with all the gems you find on your way through the levels can pay for game art and music from the original soundtrack and the updated music from the Remastered game. What WayForward also brought back was the level select screen, in the original DuckTales and now with the Remastered version, you didn’t have to do the levels in any certain order, you can start in The Amazon, The Himalayas, Transylvania and The Moon, the choice is yours.
Each of the 4 levels is pulled straight out from the original game with updated art work and maybe a few new secrets along the way. The levels aren’t linear and you can explore the level fully and even backtrack if you think you missed something, plus with no time limit you can fully explore each level to your heart’s content. Going through the levels you will come across enemies who you will have to dodge to get past or take them out using Scrooges Pogo Stick move, this is where Scrooge jumps up and uses his walking stick as a pogo stick to either gain extra height in his jumps or a safe way to jump on creatures. But not everything can be hit from above, sometimes like most rich billionaires Scrooges likes to play a wee bit of golf and can hit certain blocks out of the way using his stick as a golf club, which then can be used to kill enemies.
While talking about the enemies I should mention the big bosses are probably one of the biggest improvements of the game, on the older games they were more restricted and can look boring today, WayForward have brought the area to life with there is more happening in the background which is mostly cosmetic but still pleasing to the eye, while other part to the area can find new ways to kill you.
Each level can take between 20 to 30 minutes to complete, I stuck the game on easy to run through it quickly and on average I was doing 20 minutes but putting the difficultly up to normal then to hard. The game started to be a bit less forgiving. While still easier than the original game, I cannot wait to play it on extreme.
Running through the levels you will also encounter some cut scenes between other characters, they brought quite a few old favourites back from the show like Launchpad, GizmoDuck and Scrooges rivals Flintheart Glomgold and Magica De Spell, they are more but I don’t want to spoil the entire game. Anyways the cut scenes can interrupt the game pacing and feel long winded sometimes. The game was originally just going to be texted but when WayForward got permission to get the original voice actors back, they beefed up the script so the cut scenes maybe longer, while this can be annoying it’s great to hear the original cast acting out the beloved characters.
I have no complaints with the music, I loved the original soundtrack to the game and when this game boots up you hear the classic DuckTales theme with a hint of chiptune with a modern feel you will get all giggly inside. The rest of the score is just as good which have all be updated but still kept that retro feel. WayForward and Capcom just need to release the Soundtrack to make me a happy bunny. There are some rumours on the internets when I was playing that if you do an old Capcom cheat at the logo screen you can get the original soundtrack instead of the remastered version but I’ve yet to try this out. The only problem I had with the music was when I wanted to play the game, starting the game I would listen to the theme for the longest time then while playing I would take my time just to listen to the level music.
Along with the remastered music the graphics have had a lick of HD paint, as previously said the original DuckTales artists have had their say and helped out with the sprites and the back and fore ground art. I did hope they would do more to the animation of the characters when speaking in the cut scenes but sadly this didn’t happen, either it was due to wanting to keep the game to its original look or if a lot of the game design was created before the voice actors were approved. But again this is me just nip picking.
The only cons I had with the game were as previously mentioned, the cut scenes breaking up the gameplay. The only real change I would have made to the game was where you can swim in Scrooge’s money, other for getting a trophy/achievement it’s rather pointless and the swimming is basic plus I would have loved to see the level of the money change with the more cash you gained but it just sits at the same level.
On the topic of achievements and trophies, the majority of them are a easy score but what will start giving you trouble is the difficultly levels, while I played this game on easy and normal, from what I heard the difficulty does ramp up quite a bit and can be unforgiving, why I personally didn’t come in to many problems with Scrooge’s pogo stick, it can just stop leaving you open for attack. Heading over to the guys at ps3trophies.org the guide gives the game a 7/10 for the difficulty but as previously said, this is due to a trophy for finishing the game in extreme.
Overall I adored this game, it’s a blast from the past and can’t help but smile every time I play the game. I recently played the original game to get me back in to the swing of things but noticed how bad I have got. The graphics and music is superb, why staying true to the original it breaks away just enough to give it a modern feel. While old school gamers will give this a cheeky try and remember the better times, I feel this will be lost on the newer audiences. The game is a basic platformer and with completion from other up to day platform games like Rayman, this may seem a bit dull and in the harder difficultly a ball buster of a game. WayForward and Capcom have done the series proud.
Summary: WayForward and Capcom does the series proud and made an excellent attempt at updating this classic title. Old schools will smile playing this, the charm can be lost on the younger gamers. Could of be priced a bit cheaper.