Since releasing on the NES over two decades ago, DuckTales has been widely considered one of the best platformers in gaming history. Now, WayForward, Disney, and Capcom have come together to re-release this classic title with an HD upgrade. You can check out my review of this return to Duckburg, as well as several other locations, in the video below.
The game begins with Scrooge McDuck attempting to thwart a raid on his Money Bin by the Beagle Boys. He soon realizes that the gang was after one of his paintings, and discovers this is because a treasure map was hidden inside the artwork.
The map unveils the locations of four hidden treasures scattered around the world, as well as one located on the moon. Along with his nephews, Webby, his not-so reliable pilot, Launchpad, and several other Ducktales mainstays, Scrooge can’t help but track down each of these treasures to add them to his already ludicrous amount of wealth.
As you join the DuckTales crew on their treasure hunt, you will definitely witness more story development and cutscenes than you expect. Each cutscene is accompanied by dialogue that features voice work, so well executed, you may find yourself thinking you are watching the DuckTales animated series.
While these cutscenes are great for the most part, the developers could have scaled back on the ones that occur while playing the level. I usually enjoyed them on the first viewing, but I felt some were unnecessary as they interrupted the flow of gameplay, and skipping them gets old when you find yourself having to repeat a level.
DuckTales is the embodiment of classic platformers. You have a limited number of tools at your disposal, and must figure out how to use your few options to progress through a variety of challenges, while acquiring as much treasure as possible.
Speaking of which, after completing each level, all of the money you’ve earned is tallied and stored in your vault. And, you can use that money to buy extras like concept art. If you want to collect all of the extras, you will need to play the game more than once. This added feature helps give some replay value to a game that is a little on the short side. Perhaps most importantly, you can dive into Scrooge’s vault and swim around just like in the cartoon, which never gets old.
While there are only a handful of levels in the game, they aren’t designed like your typical platformer. For the most part, they have a Metroidvania feel, where you must seek out items dispersed throughout the level before you can take on the level’s boss. This style offers an increased sense of exploration as well as difficulty, since frequent backtracking is required, and you only have a set amount of lives to complete each stage.
This game not only upholds its classic gaming roots with an old-school gameplay formula, but also with regards to its difficulty. Some will find this game quite challenging, as it’s likely that players will end up attempting some levels multiple times before actually succeeding. While some would argue that this is a negative aspect of the game, I disagree.
This is what the NES era of gaming was all about. Clawing your way through a brutally difficult section of a game just to get another chance at an even harder part was commonplace. While this style of game structure may not be around much today, it should still be respected as should the opinions’ of those who are fans of the unforgiving days of the NES.
As I stated previously, this game has a superb voice cast that really brings the simply animated cutscenes to life. The only audio aspect that might surpass the voice acting is the game’s soundtrack. Each level is given a catchy theme that is not just enjoyable to listen to, but also goes a long way in setting the tone of the level. My only issue with the audio goes back to what I mentioned with the story. While I enjoyed the voice work, I wish I didn’t have to stop mid-level so often to listen to it.
The HD visuals in this game are amazing. All of the levels look completely different from each other, but could have used some more variety in the design of the levels themselves. This goes double for the enemies who all look great have smooth animations, but there are some simple palette swaps substituted for enemy variation. Someone who doesn’t have prior knowledge of the original DuckTales game would probably never think twice about this being an original release in 2013.
This game feels like a love letter to fans of an often forgotten era of gaming. A time when there were no autosaves or regenerative health. If you are someone who is looking for classic gameplay and challenge, accompanied by the HD graphics and story driven cutscenes found in more modern games, then DuckTales: Remastered is for you. A WooHoo!
+Stunning HD visuals
+Voice work and soundtrack worthy of the DuckTales name
+Classic NES style gameplay
-Cutscenes often interrupt the gameplay
-Game is a little short
Final Score 8/10
Have any of you been playing DuckTales: Remastered? Give us your thoughts on the game.