DuckTales Remastered: Game Review
Scrooge McDuck is on the hunt for lost treasure and ancient artifacts with help from his nephews Huey, Duey and Luey! Read Kidzworld's DuckTales Remastered Game Review for PS3, Xbox 360, WiiU and PC!
Twenty-four years ago, the creators of Mega Man took all they had learned up to that point and delivered not only one of their best games but what is widely considered one of the best NES games overall. I'm a big fan of the original DuckTales and for the most part it still holds up today. My excitement built to ridiculous heights leading up to the release of developer WayForward's "remastered" update of the beloved classic.
Would it live up to the original? In almost all ways, yes. But a couple of stumbles keep it from achieving greatness.
The first thing you'll notice about the game is the fantastic 2D, hand drawn character sprites...and then the ho-hum 3D backgrounds. The backgrounds aren't horrible in any way, they just pale in comparison to the 2D characters, which are simply wonderful to look at. Every single character has been faithfully updated to eye popping effect with bright colors, sharp lines and silky animations. The voice work, something that didn't exist in the original NES game, is another high point. Every cast member from the 90's cartoon has returned and recorded full dialogue for this update and they all nail it, especially Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck. You'd swear he's been practicing it every day since the show went off the air.
But with that awesome voice work also comes my biggest gripe with DuckTales Remastered. There are constant gameplay interruptions to the point of annoyance. I was surprised how often McDuck and his nephews Huey, Duey or Luey would stop to elaborate on the current events. It got to the point that I started skipping the dialogue after just hearing each level's opening set-up. These moments of exposition would be enjoyable if something was happening on screen, but for the most part the characters are just standing there with little going on.
The reason the interruptions are so frustrating is that DuckTales core gameplay is an absolute blast when you're actually in control of it, offering a rewarding challenge to boot.
Old School Through And Through
DuckTales is a tough game. Being a faithful remake of an NES game, it comes with many of the quirks/limitations that made those games so difficult. The collision boxes around characters are too big, so Scrooge McDuck may seemingly hit a spike that you'd argue he never touched. There are also no mid-level saves. So if you lose your lives during a level right at the boss, you get booted back to the level select screen to start it again, or choose another level to be punished on. Don't let this scare you off, though. What this old school platforming brings to your gaming skills is machine-like timing and hand/eye precision. It's all about figuring out enemy patterns and once you do you can breeze through areas.
As McDuck, you'll explore 5 main stages, in any order you please, which all culminate with a final 6th stage. Each of these stages has multiple paths, a seemingly never ending assortment of treasures/secret areas and an end boss. The Bosses deserve a special nod as they are updated and improved from their original versions greatly. They pose a great challenge and while there are definitely a couple moments that feel a little cheap, when you finally defeat an end boss and scratch that level off the list it feels amazing. I yelled out in joy a couple times when playing on the harder difficulties.
Scrooge McDuck only has his trusty cane to use as a weapon. He can smack small objects with a swing of it, or use it to pogo bounce on enemy heads. Jump up and off a wall, onto a treasure chest, then onto a head of an Angry Gorilla in one smooth chain. You can bounce your way through entire sections of the levels without ever putting your feet on the ground once you get into the zone. Jump with X then hit O mid-air (on PS3) to pogo bounce on the cane. Simple as that. There are some helpful advance bouncing techniques, but I'll let you figure those out on your own.
Check out the trailer for DuckTales Remastered below. The first 20 seconds are boring...but then it turns into an epic SING-A-LONG!
DuckTales Remastered is a great game worthy of your time but be prepared to throw your controller in frustration from time to time. The game offers an old-school, rewarding challenge that has been missing in the average platformer these days. The game also packs multiple endings which add some nice replay value. You can rush through levels or take your time hunting for treasure, it's up to you!
DuckTales Remastered is available to download now on PS3, WiiU and PC. (Xbox 360 version is available Sept. 11th)
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Have Your Say!
Are you planning on helping Scrooge McDuck find treasure to fill his vault? Let me know in the comments below!