DuckTales is an animated kids TV series that aired back in the late 80’s, and as a kid I used to watch it regularly. When the DuckTales video game came out to the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), I remember playing it over and over again. Today, 23 years after the original game was released, Capcom has decided to launch a remastered version – DuckTales: Remastered. Does it survive the test of time, or crashes harder than one of Launchpad McQuak’s landings?

Before I sat down to play this new version we got from Capcom, I played the original version one more time so I can really appreciate any changes and improvements. WayForward are the folk who took it upon themselves to develop DuckTales: Remastered, and they did just a fantastic job. They really managed to capture the old game’s atmosphere and charm, and carry it over to a new era. But I couldn’t help but wonder if DuckTales is indeed the game Capcom should have renewed for the 2013 crowd.

The story follow Scrooge McDuck (Uncle Scrooge for some) and his attempts to accumulate even more wealth for his gigantic vault (the one with the gold coins he goes swimming in). To do so, he decides to go on an adventure and seek old treasures marked on an old map he found.

Lets start with the good stuff; the remastered version succeeds in improving on a lot of features that made the original so great. Level after level, WayForward brings back every enemy and piece of hidden treasure. It’s just like the original game, but with better graphics. It seem it was really important to the studio that Remastered feels as close to the old DuckTales as it can get- and it nailed it. Of course, there is new content in the game, to appeal to this new generation of gamers, like a new tutorial level and voices for all the characters. Alan Young, the original voice actor of Scrooge McDuck for the TV series, is back to lend his voice to the character and does a wonderful job. The game’s music got the remastered treatment as well, and goes great with the gameplay.

I was glad to to see they didn’t change the way you Scrooge fights his enemies, and just added on top of it. It’s mostly noticeable during the boss fights: in the old game they were pretty straightforward, whereas in the new one they have a few more layers of combat. There are also more treasures to be found, which is nice since the whole point of the game is to collect as much coins/points as possible.

Unfortunately, not all is good about this re-release; I mentioned earlier the excellent voice over and new story content, but it goes a little too far. Every now and again you’ll reach a point where Uncle Scrooge stops and talks to other characters, and each time you find a special piece of loot (which happens quite often) he stops and talks to himself. These moments hinder the game’s pacing (it is a platformer after all). If it happened only one or two time in a level it would have been forgivable, and could have even add a new layer of story. However, after a few times you’ll find yourself pressing the Start button to skip ahead, just to get back to the gameplay. The game can only stop you from having fun so many times.

Despite the compliments I showered the devs about not changing the core gameplay, there were still instances where Scrooge decided to ignore my button presses. At first I thought it was me, that I just didn’t press the button on time. but then I noticed that even when I kept the button pressed down, making Scrooge jump constantly, he would some times just stop jumping, as if I let go of the button. This can seriously ruin your day, like when you’re trying to defeat a tricky enemy or evade a deadly blow, and it’s a real shame.

All in all, DuckTales: Remastered does a very good job. I had tons of fun playing this remastered version and going back to my childhood. I don’t know if the younger generation (who doesn’t even know who Huey, Dewey, and Louie are) will appreciate the game as much as I did, but this is great opportunity to broaden your horizons and get to know some new Disney characters. Despite its few problems, DuckTales still manages to entertain as only an old school platformer can.


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