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DuckTales Remastered – Wii U

DuckTales Remastered – Wii U

DuckTales: RemasteredPlatform:  Wii U

Developer:  Capcom, WayForward Technologies

Publisher:  Capcom, Disney Interactive Studios

Release Date (NA):  November 12th, 2013

Genre:  Platforming

Nerd Rating:  6 out of 10

DuckTales Remastered wasn’t really on my radar, but during the past month, the subject was often the topic of conversation when interacting with GameStop employees or those in the electronics department in any retail store.  The second these chatty cashiers learned of my Wii U ownership, they were more than happy to go on and on about what an exciting release this was.  Initially unfazed by their excitement, I decided to give it a shot after noticing it was only $20 — an appropriate price tag for a game of its nature.

I have no prior knowledge of the original NES title, so this review won’t be a comparison.  Maybe that makes me more critical since I can’t pinpoint the changes and improvements, but if we’re being realistic about it, I’d bet many of the people who play this will probably be kids who aren’t interested in the 1989 game in the slightest.  According to what I’ve read, this remake has undergone several vast transmutations, including different level designs, added objectives, and a simplified control scheme.  DuckTales Remastered doesn’t exactly make me want to go out and play the original at my earliest convenience, but it’s easy to see the amount of time and care that went into this title and how pleased fans of the original will be.

DuckTales: Remastered

For those who don’t (or didn’t) know (like me), DuckTales Remastered is a side-scrolling platformer typical of its day.  Again, I don’t know what the original game looks like, but it couldn’t have been this sharp and clear.  The artwork is simple but vivid, and even though gameplay is purely 2D, the backgrounds look good enough to be in any 3D game.  Character animations are also crisp and vibrant, and really pop out.  It looks identical to the old cartoon.  All the detail is there, and if it’s a DuckTales game you want, then this delivers.  Some of the sounds are memorable for those of us who grew up with the Disney show and old NES’s.  Familiar themes from the cartoon are rendered as chip tunes and serve to amp up the nostalgia factor.

DuckTales: Remastered

DuckTales Remastered remains a very straightforward game, not always an easy thing to find these days.  The gameplay is serviceable, but a little on the bland side with repetitive level concepts and Scrooge’s contrived offensive maneuvers.  Mr. McDuck uses his cane as a pogo stick to bounce on foes’ heads as well as hit objects towards enemies or other objects, and it’s not easy getting used to either of these actions.  The cane swinging is cumbersome and doesn’t work directly against an enemy while the pogo bouncing is at times difficult to control.  Apparently, the original game included a difficult method for activating the pogo stick because Remastered has the option to turn on or off “Hard Pogo.”

DuckTales: Remastered

Surprisingly, DuckTales Remastered is an extremely easy game.  Combat is minimal and never complicated.  There are few areas with difficult jumping sequences.  The levels do encourage some exploration, but you won’t need a trail of breadcrumbs to find your way back.  Aside from a few well-hidden sections above ceilings and minimal usage of fake walls, there isn’t much beyond what’s initially presented.  When looking back at the highly linear games of its source material’s time period, I suppose the diverging paths and optional areas were a welcome innovation, but by today’s standards, it’s just not enough.

DuckTales: Remastered

The majority of items that Scrooge needs to collect are placed in plain sight in areas that one is nearly guaranteed to search.  Hidden areas generally contain extra treasure, food (for health), or an occasional extra heart added to the life meter.  Nothing 100% necessary is tucked away anywhere, making the game feel pointless at times.  The enemies aren’t tough, the level design is simple, and there really aren’t many chances to test one’s reflexes or problem-solving abilities.  Even in the few areas that have the potential to pose a problem, checkpoints are generously interspersed, and it appears that Scrooge has infinite lives.

DuckTales: Remastered

One aspect where gameplay gets interesting is the boss battles.  Defeating the bosses boils down to bouncing on them a half dozen times with the pogo cane, but many times it’s all about how to bounce on the bad guys that counts.  Still, battles remain easy and DuckTales Remastered waits until the very end to throw its real challenges at the player.  The final level offers up more of what players will expect from a platformer, and the fight against Dracula Duck is appreciably difficult.  Just as the events of the game seem to wrap up, one last Metroidinspired surprise is in store, requiring Scrooge to move quickly upwards.

DuckTales: Remastered

DuckTales Remastered may not be a particularly fresh title, but there isn’t much to find fault with either.  Aside from the incessant cutscenes and relatively short length, it’s easy to see this as a solid throwback to earlier days of gaming.  It wasn’t as interesting as I’d hoped, but I wouldn’t call it a disappointment either.  In the end, DuckTales Remastered will probably only rock the socks of those familiar with the original game.  Whatever has been changed and updated hasn’t pushed any boundaries.  It’s fair to call this a well-done platformer from the cusp between 8- and 16-bit eras, but one should still keep in mind that it is still a platformer from the above mentioned period.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Check out InfiniteKnife’s review on the 1989 classic DuckTales game right here!

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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