Ducktales Remastered has Scrooge McDuck and his three nephew’s Huey, Dewey and Louey travel across the world in search of five treasures to further increase his fortune. Each level has you looking for a new set of artefacts in order to capture a prized jewel. All of the beloved DuckTales characters and enemies are in the game.
DuckTales Remastered includes hand-drawn 2D character sprites with 3D modelled backgrounds. The art style is absolutely incredible and maintains the original feeling of the game whilst giving it a new life that was an absolute joy to look at. I found myself stopping to look at every new enemy as just as much care was put into each and every one. WayForward hired Mike Perraza(An original DuckTales Artist) and Rick Evans (Original Disney Background Painter) to head the art for the game and it’s extremely obvious from the first second. The game absolutely screams Disney.
The music in the game is absolutely incredible. I really appreciated the fact that Jake Kaufman understood how great the original sound track was and decided to add his take on it by making the pieces more orchestral. The sound effects are just as good as they were in the original game and effects such as the pogo stick or hitting an enemy are just as punchy and addictive as they were before. The game runs extremely smoothly on the Wii U and Off TV play is a welcomed addition
WayForward decided to include cut scenes into the Remake. Scrooge McDuck is voiced by the original Disney voice actor who was bought out of retirement for the role and this was extremely appreciated. A number of other Disney voice actors were bought back to reprise their roles in the game as well. Whilst the cut scenes were beautiful and added a new sense of story to the game, I felt that they really got in the way of the fast paced gameplay. Whilst the cut scenes before or after levels were a great addition, I felt like the game would’ve done better if it didn’t stop gameplay so often in the middle of levels. It seemed to break the momentum.
Ducktales Remastered was praised for its simple, yet addictive gameplay back in 1989. The game only uses two buttons; one to jump and one for action. The original relied on its extremely tight and responsive controls to get you through the levels. WayForward have done an excellent job in making the controls as tight as they were. The amazing pogo stick jump makes a return in the remake but WayForward decided to include an easier option for new players. If you find the original method too difficult to use then you have the option to set it to Easy Pogo which allows you to simply hold the Y or A button to continue using the pogo until you’re hit.
The game includes the 5 original levels which are all vastly different in scenery. Each level brings a great variety of new enemies and a new form of terrain that makes your life difficult. For instance the Amazon level features prickly vines that you can only Pogo Stick across whilst the The Himalayas features snow which you can’t pogo stick in otherwise you get trapped.
Each level has been recreated faithfully from the original and this made me extremely happy. The original game was very challenging for its level design without feeling cheap. Dying was always something that came from mis timing a jump or not killing enemies in the correct sequence. The game definitely still feels like an old school NES game. You will die a lot and have to start the level again but this brings great satisfaction once you have completed it. You will often have to make a choice to take the deadlier route in order to gain some red gems. Majority of the original secrets passages are still intact but WayForward went the extra step in adding in even more passages.
The boss battles are the greatest thing about this game. The same boss enemies have been bought over from the original however they have been completely rebuilt and made to include new attacks and require new strategies to beat. The boss battles really bring out the creativity’s and fighting through each was an absolute joy.
There are a few changes from the original which help bring Ducktales Remastered into the 21st century. The game now includes a map screen which is incredibly useful for the artefacts in the game. Ducktales Remastered has you collecting a series of artefacts in each level before you can progress to the boss fight. This is something that the original didn’t have and I think it was a good decision to include it. These artefacts differ in each level and are a great way to ensure that you explore every nook of the level.
Those wanting a little extra will be happy to know that there is a new tutorial level that takes place in Scrooge’s mansion and a bonus level after the final level that features an extra boss fight. My main gripe with this game is that it doesn’t contain a few extra levels. The game is SO creative in its level and enemy design and it’s such a shame for it not to be implemented further in a bunch of new levels.
The main game is quite short however you will need to play the game 3-4 times to unlock everything. The game has an amazing variety of unlockables which you can buy with your money. You can buy sketches, music, arts and a bunch of other things. My favourite collectable category are the character pages. These compare both the original pixel art characters to the new hand drawn 3D characters. These are available for all of the main characters, enemies and the boss battles. It really shows how faithful WayForward were to the original art.
The game also features a leaderboard which shows things such as longest play time, most valuable play through and number of playthroughs. If that’s not enough then you’re also able to go swimming in Scrooge’s money vault and see what treasures you’ve collected so far. There are also a few treats for completing the game for the first time which I won’t spoil!
DuckTales remastered is a huge shot of Nostalgia in the arm. The game retains so many of its great 8bit ways whilst adding a few new tricks in order to appeal to the masses. The game is still as addictive and challenging as ever. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves platforming or just loves the Disney charm in general. The length may bother some but the will to better your score and unlock every collectible will keep you going through 3 or 4 playthroughs. Playing this made me want to run back and play through my NES collection!