A year ago I’d have thought you were goddamn insane if you told me there would be a new DuckTales game. There hasn’t been a new episode of DuckTales made in almost 23 years. But regardless of that, Capcom has decided to bring us DuckTales: Remastered, a prettied-up remake of the NES classic from way back in 1989.
Remember what platformers felt like way back in the NES era? I’ll admit I didn’t, but DuckTales: Remastered reminded me. This feels like a great NES-era platform game. You must explore the game’s levels using nothing more than your ability to jump or bounce on your cane. No deep combat system here. We don’t need it. Just jump on your enemies with your pogo stick. Apart from your main objective, there are also many secrets for you to find. Everything from more treasure or extra lives all the way to extra heart containers. Extra heart containers and lives that you will actually need, by the way, because this game brings back that classic difficulty that a lot of today’s games lack. But how well do all of these classic game mechanics fare in 2013 compared to what we’ve grown accustomed too? Let’s get into it.
Looks And Feels Like A DuckTales Game Should
The fact that they made the game pretty is really the only reason for its existence. This is DuckTales: Remastered, after all. I’m happy to report that this game looks exactly like it should. Scrooge and everyone else we meet look great. The same goes for the levels themselves; those backgrounds look like they were ripped right from a high-budget cartoon.
Not only did this game capture the look of DuckTales, there was also a lot of effort put into making the game feel like DuckTales as well. Many characters from the show make appearances. Duckworth the Butler is always standing by in Scrooge’s office. The only way to get an extra life while playing a level is to find where Mrs. Beakley is hiding. Not to mention you get flown to most of the levels by Launchpad. Scrooge also encounters many villains from the show, such as Magica De Spell, Flintheart Glomgold, and, of course, the Beagle Boys. My personal favorite appearance was Gizmoduck assisting with the moon mission. Plus, who hasn’t wanted to swim in Scrooge’s money pit? That’s worth the price of admission alone.
Brought Back A Difficulty We Don’t See Anymore
Most games are fairly easy nowadays. The big companies don’t want to risk excluding casual players from their products, so hand-holding is common – and a common complaint – nowadays. This game doesn’t do any of that. I could see a lot of people not liking that fact, but for me, it was a breath of fresh air.
The easiest game to compare this type of difficulty to is Mega Man, which actually makes a lot of sense if you look at who worked on it originally. The platforming itself isn’t necessarily hard, but it is unforgiving. If you fall in a hole or get hit by too many enemies, you will die. The levels aren’t filled with power-ups to help you, either. There is mostly just treasure with the occasional food to heal some health. Also, each level only has one extra life, and it is hidden. If you don’t find where Mrs. Beakley is hiding, you don’t get that life.
This game punishes you for running out of lives, too. Sure, you can go back to the last checkpoint if you lose a life, but only for so long. When you completely run out of lives, you are kicked back to the level select screen. There isn’t much worse of a feeling than playing all the way through the level only to be killed by the boss. I haven’t had a game infuriate me like this is a long time, but a big reason for that is because most games don’t beat you like this anymore. Although a part of me hated it, another part of me loved this sort of challenge being back. Most games nowadays would just let me repeatedly fight the boss for eternity until I win.
Too Much Talking
They brought back the original voice cast for the game. I’m glad they did. I really am, but there is just too much talking. Before every level, the characters talk for too long. There are little cutscenes throughout the levels, too. I love DuckTales, so at first this didn’t bother me, but the characters all just talk so slow and it just drags the cutscenes on. I made myself sit through each cutscene once, but when I died and had to restart a level, I would skip every cutscene. The game is fun, so I just wanted to play it.
I Would’ve Liked More
I know that they added a couple extra levels with this remastering, but I still would have liked more. Just like many NES games, you can easily be done with DuckTales in an afternoon. There is some reason to replay it if you want to collect enough treasure to buy all the unlockables or beat the harder difficulties, but those both just boil down to replaying the same few levels. A person can only do that for so long.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this game. It is exactly what I had hoped it would be: all the fun and difficulty of the original game, but pretty enough to stand with the games of today. If you loved DuckTales in any form or classic platformers, this is really worth your time. But if you don’t like DuckTales or want your hand held, you might as well skip this one.