A Game Review by Greg Dabkey
Game – DuckTales Remastered
Version – Wii U eShop
ESRB Rating: ‘E10+’ – Everyone 10 and up
Release Date: 8/13/2013
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of Capcom
One of the most treasured NES games has been remastered. Will it be like a hurricane or will it be a duck blur and be skipped over?
The NES original actually did not have a story. It was select a difficulty, then select a level and at the end it was a race for the treasure. Now why did Scrooge go after each treasure? How could he breathe in space without a helmet? Thankfully this remastered version answers those questions and more!
Basically it’s a normal day at Scrooge’s mansion when the alarm blares. His money bin was being ransacked! He and his butler Duckworth rush to scene to see the Beagle Boys all over the place. He rescues his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie and chases off the Beagle Boys. He learns of five treasures from the painting he had recently purchased. The locations of them are the Amazon, African Mines, Transylvania, Himalayas and the Moon. With the help of Launchpad, Gyro, Bubba, his nephews and Webbie he manages to find all the treasures. Magica then kidnaps Huey, Dewey and Louie and demands Scrooge’s number one dime and she will return his nephews. Will Scrooge be able to save the day?
Gameplay & Controls
The classic gameplay and controls return in the remastered version. Scrooge can still pogo-stick around the levels, golf swing his cane and jump. If you played the original game, the majority of the levels and their design is mostly represented in this version. There are two entirely new levels, the introduction level the Money Bin and the finale level Mount Vesuvius. The five original levels are also present, however they’ve been designed so Scrooge must complete a collection task before heading to the boss. The collection task is collecting parts of an object that Scrooge cannot use or interact with and it forces you to go through the entire level. The bosses have also been completely redone as well. They keep their original pattern, but each received multiple new attacks and also take more hits to defeat. Also between hit sequences, they disappear to the background to become invulnerable while they continue to attack Scrooge.
All the new features mentioned above are greatly appreciated and extend the time within each level. However, one of the slowest points is the many cut scenes during the levels. While I appreciate the story the first time around, it would be best to have an option to auto skip them. The original has lots of replay value since you can quickly go through the levels and you were not stalled every five minutes with a back and forth conversation. There is an option to skip each one individually by hitting the (+) key and skipping the scene, but with the few dozen scenes in the game to skip on the next play through, it would be best to have an overall setting to skip them all, but also leave it as a scene by scene skip as well. I found no issues with the controls, they felt just like the original ones. In fact the game allows you to use the original controls where you actually had to hold down to use the pogo stick. The ‘new’ control is to simply hold Y without the down directional.
Visuals & Sound
This is the easiest section to discuss. The visuals are jaw-dropping gorgeous, as they are hand drawn and animated. The backgrounds and levels were designed with concept art from the cartoon show and everything seemed to fit together perfectly. Each of the original levels held their theme and style and made to look like the original game. The music and sound effects also received a solid upgrade. The original tunes are still there, just remixed a little and took out the tone like style. The original sound effects are also there such as the climbing sound, getting hit, golf swing, pogo jumping and level clear. In addition, this game also added voice acting and managed to get the original cast of the cartoon to do all the voices. This came as an excellent addition as it was awesome to hear the characters talk. This game really looks and sounds like the original which is very appreciated.
While being a gorgeous and musically pleasing title, the gameplay and controls are also as solid as ever. While the cut scenes do add a significant amount of story, it can subtract from the replay value. The original game had what seemed like infinite replay value, and I would count that on the quickness on being able to go through the levels without being interrupted and at your own pace and left the exploration of the entire level as an option. With the remastered version, I feel that the replay value has been slowed or lowered due to having to skip each and every scene and having to go through majority of the level on a fetch quest. DuckTales Remastered managed to exceed my expectations on this classic game and I would definitely recommend it to fans of the original. If you haven’t played the original (I’d recommend that too!), I’d recommend it to fans of platformers as it has such strong and simple gameplay and controls.
Final Score: 9.0 out of 10
+ Gorgous HD graphics
+ remixed original soundtrack
+ Removed additional trips to Transylvania
+ 2 brand new levels
+ More difficult bosses with new attacks
+ Extra sections added to original levels
– Almost exceeding amount of in-level cut scenes
– Forced to cover the entire level searching for items
Entire play-through on Normal: