For every review I’ve read of DuckTales: Remastered, the Capcom game developed for the NES that was released on the cusp of 1990, most reviewers boast of how great it was, and how it was a chunk of their childhood. Do I doubt the game is great? Absolutely not. I was privy to renting it from the local appropriate store that utilized that type of borrowing service, and enjoyed the experiences I had with it. But as far as it being a large part of Logan’s gaming childhood, that it is not. The DuckTales game is based on the widely beloved Disney series that ran from 1987 to 1990. The theme song is known by the majority of adults in the mid 20-early 30 range, as it encompassed our nostalgic love of cartoons that were part of our daily lives.
Now over two decades later, the NES game has been rereleased for new audiences. Capcom and developer WayForward have taken the NES classic and given it a fresh coat of paint that provides old school gaming glee but has some faults dragging it down.
The first thing anyone will notice in DuckTales: Remastered is that the voice cast from the cartoon is all back to put in their time for game cutscenes. It’s very awesome to hear the stylings of Scrooge McDuck (Alan Young, now 93 years old, still sounding crisp as the money loving duck) and company, as it feels like it’s the late 90’s all over again. However these brief intermissions come up continuously and distract the player from the game they are trying to enjoy. The flow is interrupted a lot and this downside is disappointing because it is nice to hear all the voices. This was WayForward’s subtle attempt at lengthening the game; however, while it is a nostalgic kick of awesome, they should’ve chosen their additions of the scenes more wisely for better stream of game play.
Graphically, the cartoon images in the foreground look really good. Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Launchpad, and the Beagle Boys (along with everyone else animated in the similar way) are colorful and pop. However the backgrounds were an odd choice. Polygonal images contrast with the cartoon characters appearing before you, and the proportions are way off. Doors are massive compared to the characters that you use or interact with, switches are gigantic, and the blend is just odd.
The game itself is fun but difficult. On my trip through the Amazon, I died countless times, and this was on easy mode. Capcom’s old school games have never been known to be simple, but gamers who wish to have all the controlling throwing frustration back in their lives look no further than this. The mechanics are the same; Scrooge uses his pogo stick to open treasure chests, whack objects to hit enemies, and to defeat bad guys. There is a distinct delay between hitting a button and getting a reaction sometimes, but mostly the correlation is fine. The music is also a throwback to old school gaming, as remixes of tunes from the classic NES game invade your ears. If anything, this is the strongest element of the game, as anyone who knows Capcom has a library of video game tunes that are incredible across generations.
What DuckTales: Remastered has going for it is nostalgia, pure and simple. The functions link back to a time where playing a video game was simple yet challenging. This update of the much beloved NES classic is not without fault but the demonstration of fun shines through immediately. This game is going to cater to a specific audience and at 14.99 (downloadable content) for PC, Wii U, and PS3 (Xbox owners get theirs in mid September), you got to weigh your options. For someone who didn’t have DuckTales as a piece of their gaming childhood, I’m still having fun playing through it. But then again, you can always just pop the original back into your NES and remember it that way. Either way, have fun. Go solve a mystery. Or rewrite history.
Rating: 8 back scratching scepters out of ten.