Curse Me Kilts! It’s A DuckTales Remastered Review!
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.
Twenty-four years after the original Nintendo Entertainment System release, Capcom and WayForward take us back to Duckburg to follow the adventures of Scrooge McDuck! As he battles the two-bit crime family, the Beagle Boys, the shape-shifting witch, Magica DeSpell, and his fierce rival Flintheart Glumgold, Scrooge trots around the globe to collect a series of treasures to solve a mystery. Tagging along with him in his escapades are his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie; his niece Webigail; his faithful but clumsy pilot, Launchpad McQuack, and all your favorite characters from the 80s TV show.
DuckTales Remastered is a 2.5D platformer featuring 3D rendered environments with 2D characters. The game is a collaboration between the developers at WayForward and many of the original artists and voice actors that worked on the original television series and video game. Designed to be a remake of the original game, DuckTales Remastered features the original five levels: The Amazon, The Himalayas, African Mines, Transylvania, and The Moon. Additional levels have been added to include Scrooge’s Moneybin as a tutorial area, and additional areas at the end of the storyline.
The story itself receives a makeover in the form of added cutscenes with dialogue voiced by the cast of the original 1980s series. This not only brings additional authenticity to WayForward’s re-imagining, but adds to the nostalgia of the game, and fills out the story from the original, which was somewhat lacking in substance. The music has also had a makeover, staying true to the original score, but having been updated with a more modern sound. Aficionados of the 8-bit generation, however, can still enjoy the original music by enabling the option in the game’s title menu.
The collaboration between Disney and WayForward certainly pays off, not only in the additional story and dialogue, but in the art as well. The graphical makeover in DuckTales Remastered was achieved with the assistance of some of the artists from the original television series to give the game a genuine look and feel. While the level layouts are very similar to the 80s release, some minute changes can be found if you keep a close eye out, keeping things fresh while maintaining the nostalgia.
While the original game was notoriously difficult, WayForward has managed to make the remastered version accessible to a wider audience while maintaining its ability to challenge skilled players with different difficulty modes. Most notable is the easy mode, giving players infinite lives and more life drops than the other two difficulties, and reduces the amount of damage taken by half. Another change to the game is the introduction of the “Hard Pogo” mode, available in all difficulties. This mode toggles the original game’s requirement to hold the down button in order to pogo jump, and frustrate the player at the same time if their thumb slips in the slightest. The addition of the difficulty levels in the game definitely makes this remake more accessible to gamers, but in the same respect, it cheapens the experience of DuckTales Remastered. It was the sheer amount of challenge that made the game so enticing back in my earlier days of youth, and lessening the amount of pain you had to go through to get to the end makes it hard to appreciate this do-over in the same regard.
Still, the game is true to its 80s counterpart, delivering substantial amounts of fun in hunting for the treasures hidden throughout the game. While you can conceivably blow through the entire game in about four hours’ time, unlockables such as concept art and soundtracks can keep you playing well beyond that as you have to collect money in game to access them. You can also take a dip in Scrooge’s money bin if you so desire, but that gets a bit old after a few minutes. DuckTales delivered some of my fondest memories of my NES days and provided me with hours of entertainment. WayForward’s reincarnation of this classic manages to take an already solid game and make it even better with updated graphics and a fuller storyline. While the $15 price tag might be a bitter pill to swallow, and the game might not be as challenging as before, it’s definitely worth paying to revisit the town of Duckburg and all of its adventures.
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