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DuckTales: Remastered review [VIDEO]

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.

Overview

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.

Story

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-Remastered-5

Gameplay

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.

DuckTales-Remastered-5

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.

Audio/Visuals

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.

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Conclusion

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!

Pros

+Stunning HD visuals
+Voice work and soundtrack worthy of the DuckTales name
+Classic NES style gameplay

Cons

-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.

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  • andrewjcole

    Nice review! It will help me decide to get the game.

  • therealruben1

    how much does it cost?

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      $14.99

      • Baum 「ツリー」

        Try to do something about that guy, Ashley :/

        And to say something at the Topic:
        I think that’s a really good Price for such a well-made Remake :D

  • ezquimacore

    I was kinda bored with the game, maybe is not enough nostalgia for me, I was too young to remember.

    • Agent721

      Nostalgia is a huge factor in this. Without that, it might not hold as much interest.

      • Derk

        That’s what I am saying!

        D-D-D-Danger… I was hooked on this show growing up.

  • Agent721

    I played it for an hour last night & I think its awesome. Its old school gaming with beautiful updated graphics & sound, including great voice acting. Id give it an 8…I was expecting a 7, but it pleasantly surpassed my expectations. If you grew up in the 80s, or love old scholl side scrollers, this game is a sure fun time.

  • http://WWW.Undergroundraw.com/ Undergroundraw.com

    Why THIS game of all games?

    • Derk

      Nintendo’s target audience is in this age group…. Most of the die hard fans of Nintendo, watched this on TV growing up. Having games like this is one thing that Nintendo is doing right.

  • Metal_Man_v2

    Once again, pretty consistent with most other reviews around the web. Most state that the game is fun, great for the kids or nostalgic fans, but also point out that cutscenes and random nonsense frequently pause the gameplay.

    Great review.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/ChiGuyGaming John Zaccari

      Thanks for the compliment. I’m always trying to fit in with everyone else.

      • Derk

        You should have included whether its a buy or not in your own opinion. Was it worth the $15 after you played it? I mean, Nostalgia aside.

        Most people just want to know if it is worth it for the price.

        .

  • Magnus Eriksson

    Im happy my daughter (7 years) got to play this. She finished the game today and gives it a 10/10. I think I would say the same back in the days. The only problem with it is that its way to short. But still great an replayable at a harder modus.

    • Daniel Gonzalez

      I wish it was a bit longer, but it’s certainly worth the 15 bucks.

  • Agent721

    I hope to see a Splinter Cell review soon..

  • YogiGRB

    Love this game (and the show) definitely getting it

  • Ducked

    I haven’t bought this yet, I’m excited for this. It’s a shame I’ll have to purchase Castle of Illusion on the PS3…

    • thedeciderU

      shoot, i didn’t know nintendo is not getting castle of illusion :/

      • Ducked

        Yeah, you’d think they would since games like those sell on Nintendo platforms…

        • thedeciderU

          nintendo should start begging companies for more games. i mean, they should have done that two years ago at least. yes, their games are coming, but the lineup is still looking anemic. and i don’t want any mobile games ported – what a joke.

          • Ducked

            Yeah, they better start begging Square Enix for Kingdom Hearts III if they want to succeed.

          • thedeciderU

            that’d be a start. i’d like to see them go more wide-reaching and actually try to compete and cover all the bases genre-wise. they have enough money to develop games outside their comfort zone (which is also why 3rd parties are more than welcome imo) and they don’t seem to have much of an edge these days. the wii u is awesome, but imagine if it offered anything you could possibly want games wise, even if it isn’t your thing. i miss the nes days. a game for literally anyone.

          • Ducked

            Yeah, I think one problem Nintendo has right now is there playing it to safe. Nintendo games are great, but people are going to end up buying a different system if they miss out on 80% of 3rd party games

          • thedeciderU

            i think you’re right. i might in the future if we keep missing too many of the 3rd party games. but again, you’re right – nintendo is playing it way too safe. and the worst part is, right now, they have to because they must sell consoles or the wii u will sink further and it will not lose its “this is a joke console with no games” stigma.

            there’s a really good article on notenoughshders.com by emily rogers that addresses this negative stigma and its two-year history. i found it by accident, but it is one of the most well written and cited articles i’ve read on the gaming industry in a long time. there’s another great one on sony’s decline since the ’90s. either way, nintendo unfortunately needs to pull off a lot in the next year to lure back a lot of people, and advertise what many don’t even know exists yet – the wii u console (never mind the games).

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    Good review. I agree that the cutscenes were a bit much during certain levels. An 8/10 sounds fair to me.

  • thedeciderU

    great review! thanks for addressing the “difficulty.” nes hard is a term for a reason, and those games were so rewarding when you put the time in (usually). i admit the autosaving is getting out of control.

    a good balanced game is hard to come by these days, since most people playing video games expect huge campaigns, so naturally, publishers and developers want their consumer finishing games and buying more… i couldn’t care less if a game was three hours as long as it was good and rewarding to progress through.

    but apparently we are a changing and upsetting as it is, a self-entitled culture. we expect a hell of a lot more than we did even five years ago, and we want it now. we want it right now.

    do you think the shift since the inception of youtube and and other technological advancements/communication/social networks that offer “instant” gratification and response times will ever shift backwards? where are developers going to go now that graphics leaps can’t go too much further? will nintendo continue to be crucified for experimenting until they get it right (which they seem to continue to do in games innovation, like it or not)?

    umm, i just want entertaining games, be it a platformer, an fps, a racer, a fighter, etc.
    didn’t really have a conclusion…

    if tl;dr keep on scrolling… if not, what do you think?

  • miigamerz

    good review. Not my type of game

    mii-gamer.com

  • Too_old_for_gaming

    Can you please tell me if this game allows to play in co-op mode, like 2 players, or more? Or is this just single player? Thanks

  • Min0taur

    I’m happy that they made Scrooge’s suit blue again. The red suit in the NES version always bugged me.

  • Magnus Eriksson

    What is sarcastic with this one?

  • Magnus Eriksson

    ok.

    dont understand how a post like this one can be downvoted…

  • Arthur Jarret

    … your prescription ran out last week, didn’t it?

  • Arthur Jarret

    Why are you pissed off at Budew?
    What ‘folks’ are you talking to?
    When did your caps-lock key and shift keys break?
    Why are you calling people names and posting angry rants all over this site without instigation or reason?

    I hope you can see for yourself that your behaviour is quite odd.

  • Arthur Jarret

  • Arthur Jarret

    The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech or any form of text, and
    can be used to suggest a tense or awkward momentary silence.

    The whole all-caps speech suggest yelling… which, given the content, seems a bit out of place. Also, the parenthesis of Bad seems out of place, bad person in parenthesis would be more fitting.

    The whole fantasy that this persons loses a brain cell every time he attacks you goes a bit far (with the whole vaporization) and does not seem normal.

    I don’t mean any offence to you, personally – why would I? I don’t know you. But I did want to draw some minor attention to your presence on these forums and how it reflects on me, an objective reader – as it deviates from the norm by quite a large amount.

  • Arthur Jarret

    I watch failed experiments on youtube all the time… (you know… youtubers themselves…) – it’s nice to see a succesfull experiment there once!