In today’s gaming era, when we often think of children’s titles, we often think of hurried titles from developers hoping to make a quick buck off of the subject material’s IP. As far as I can remember, this wasn’t exactly the case with titles from my own childhood. Is it the rose colored glasses that may be affecting my judgment? Enter DuckTales: Remastered, WayForward Technologies and Capcom’s remake of a two decade old title. Despite its age and DuckTales skin, the title is a solid one that deserves every hardcore gamers’ attention.
For those who weren’t alive during the late 80’s and 90’s, otherwise known as the best time to be alive ever, DuckTales was a kids’ cartoon show featuring Scrooge McDuck and his grandnephews as they went on various adventures. DuckTales: Remastered is based on the same show, with players assuming the role of Scrooge McDuck as he travels everywhere from the Amazon to the Moon in search of riches; with its children’s cartoon show pedigree, one would expect the title to be subpar and offer nothing of redeeming value, but that is certainly not the case.
In addition, the game does the source material justice, featuring HD sprites on top of 3D rendered backgrounds, all of which are beautifully animated. The amount of detail that goes into every little bit of visual juiciness, such as the shivers that ring through Scrooge as he whacks his cane against an immovable object, surely brings about a sense of nostalgia for catching the show after a long day of school. On top of that, the music, voice acting, and script feel like DuckTales with its inclusion of the same voice actors and Scrooge McDuck’s endless abuse of Fenton and Launchpad.
Originally made for children, and on the NES no less, the title isn’t one to feature overly complex mechanics. It’s a basic platformer, where Scrooge can pogo on his cane to damage enemies or whack it against objects to launch them towards enemies or obstacles. Though the new version makes it easier by allowing players to hold the pogo button, players who want that old pogo method can always turn on the “hard pogo” option. The game is fairly simple, but, thankfully, simplicity and difficulty are by no means mutually exclusive.
DuckTales: Remastered goes by the old school game design philosophy where the game rewards players with strong observation skills and patience. Often, challenges in the game can be overcome by simply thinking before acting, i.e. watching the environment for hazards before jumping into the fray. However, new players looking to just blow through the title haphazardly will surely be disappointed by the game’s unforgiving nature, which even spawns enemies that will walk into players just seconds after they spawn. With few lives and health at their disposal, players will find the title to be a worthwhile challenge.
With a cartoony presentation, DuckTales: Remastered is certainly deceiving. Its difficulty and presentation are all top notch, making it one of the few titles that doesn’t rely on its subject material to sell. Gamers have a lot to look forward to in this title and it shouldn’t be missed. Only thing that Wayforward and Capcom should work on next is a remake of Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers and every 80’s/90’s kid will be happy once again.
Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U; Publisher: Capcom; Developer: Wayforward Studios; Players: 1; Released: August 13, 2013; ESRB: Everyone; MSRP: $14.99; Official Site