Review: DuckTales Remastered
When we grow older we love nothing more than being reminded of our childhood, whether that is a favourite snack, a long lost toy or even a favourite game that has been brought back to life, given a shiny coat of paint and released to new and old gamers. Even the thought of DuckTales brings a tidal wave of nostalgia to those who played it years ago on their NES, but nostalgic memories and actual memories are two different things. So is DuckTales Remastered what you remember from the classic?
There are some games that are marked as a classic forever, one of which is DuckTales. With it being twenty three years since its release, I am part of the generation who only heard about DuckTales and wondered what all the fuss was about, but now is our time to experience what we have heard so much about. With DuckTales being so popular when released it is surprising it has not stood the test of time like Mario and Zelda who have managed to hold their own through the years. If you grew up watching Disney nearly every day then you will know who Scrooge McDuck is, but if not then all you need to know is an old, rich, Scottish duck who loves exploring and is the one and only Donald Duck’s uncle. We also see Huey, Dewey and Louie who often pop in to offer advise and tips. A good plus to DuckTales is the non-violent feel through out the game; there is only a rock smash and a pogo stick attack to get through enemies.
With the help of my brother, who played the original, it is clear to young and old gamers that there are too many cut scenes in the game. It verges on irritating when you get into the habit of skipping every scene but if that was not bad enough, the game will often forget if you have seen a scene or not, making you watch it again.
From the word go, it is plain to see that DuckTales Remastered is very well made with clean graphics, newly refined music and lots more. Most of this game is a frame for frame remake with the same hidden paths and treasure, taking away a lot of the mystery and fun of trying to find everything all over again. Even with new graphics and music, DuckTales is instantly recognisable and playing this brought me back to playing the classic games from my era. There is nothing that can change a memory like nostalgia and that is definitely the case here. With the games today being of such high standard it leaves DuckTales feeling a little worn out and it does not hold up as you think it will. It is not a bad game by today’s standards but it still is not amazing; it just does not translate to 21st century gaming.
To get through DuckTales you will have to face five levels that are quite varied and have uneven difficulty, full of hidden paths, treasure and a multitude of unlockable concept art and music. As this title suggests that this is a remastered version of a classic game and you would expect there to be a few changes but this new edition only has a few new features like voice acting and boss battles with more substance. But far worse is somehow a few new problems are added, one of the worst are the amount of interruptions, from the near constant tips to the repetitive and interruptive sketches.
A lot of the fond memories of classic games comes from the music and WayForward have really put a lot into this. The tunes are brilliantly catchy, I was still humming them days after hearing them, and it is great to see such attention put into a soundtrack that highlights the past and incorporates the modern.
One thing that has to be said about DuckTales Remastered is that it is certainly as tough as remembered. But it seems that for every plus for this game there is another minus. For instance, the gameplay is simple with only Scrooge McDuck’s cane to attack and pogo over danger but it is pretty annoying when you discover that the controls are sometimes not responsive, leaving you feeling pretty annoyed when you are clearly pressing jump and nothing happen. And as we all know artificial difficulty is the worse kind.
As expected, a remastered version of an old game will have a lot of changes is the way of graphics. That is certainly the case here as now the retro and outdated look has been replaced with a shiny, modern look. One small change though is that Scrooge McDuck’s outfit has changed. In the classic he wore a red jacket that didn’t relate to anything but now he is sporting his blue jacket from the actual DuckTales television show.
To sum up
DuckTales Remastered is a game that brings the best of the past into the present with fantastic new graphics and a brilliant sound track but also suffers from a crippling amount story scenes and unresponsive controls. However this game is perfect for giving yourself a rush of nostalgia but beware, it may not be what you remember.
Version reviewed: Wii U