DuckTales: Remastered Wii U Review

August 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Wii U, Nintendo

Publisher: Capcom  Developer: WayForward Technologies  Genre: Platformer  Players: 1 

Age Rating: 7+  Other console/handheld formats: Xbox 360, PS3

DuckTales was first released in 1990 on the NES, and is a game that many now look fondly back on. With that said, when downloadable update DuckTales: Remastered was announced, I’m sure many that played the original were delighted to be given the future opportunity of playing the game they remember, but this time with beautiful, colourful and hand-drawn HD visuals.

First things first, and DuckTales: Remastered has had a deeper plot with full voice acting added to it. Notable and rather surprising is the fact that they were able to get all of the surviving original voice actors to reprise their roles, given that Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck) is 93 and June Foray (Magica De Spell) is 95. Many may not like that the game has quite a lot of dialogue, although the story is inoffensive in the way that it cn all be entirely skipped through. The plot is also entertaining for what it is, and should also prove nostalgic for fans of the DuckTales series.

The original NES version was developed by a team that had previously worked on the Mega Man series, and this showed in its precision platforming. This Remastered version includes all the things that you might remember, and more.

The game has redesigned levels very much inspired by those of the original, so that means that the likes of the Amazon, Transylvania, the Himalayas, African Mines and the Moon are all intact, and you can also play them in any order in the same manner that you could in the original game. The level layout will also prove to be very familiar to those who played the NES game, and said levels also give you plenty of room to explore them for hidden treasure. Finally, developer WayForward have also added in a new tutorial level as we as an all new final level, which comes available once you’ve completed all the other levels.

Taking control of Scrooge McDuck, you’ll make use of his trusty pogo stick to defeat enemies as well as to ascend the levels. It’s fun just springing around and taking enemies out by bouncing on their heads, and the game also has an option which allows you toggle a more difficult pogo method on or off, which is how those who played the original game will remember using the pogo stick as opposed to the new and simplified default method.

Like the original, DuckTales: Remastered is also a difficult game. On the medium difficulty level, you only take three hits and are only given three lives to get through a stage, and these relatively well designed stages are rather large, and if you die, well, however far you may be through the level, you’ll get pulled all the way back to the beginning of it. There’s an easy difficulty setting, although this gives you unlimited lives and allows you to take double the damage, and, with this said, surely another difficulty level could have been squeezed in-between, which gives you a few more lives as opposed to giving you an overly generous unlimited number of them?

DuckTales: Remastered is a beautiful looking game, and Disney artists were involved during its development. The game uses a 2.5D style, with hand-drawn character models and colourful 3D backgrounds, while the animations are lovely. These are definitely some of the most stunning cartoon visuals ever seen, and, all in all, this is a good example as to how a remaster should be done.

Jake Kaufman’s music should also be commended, as it updates the original score marvelously well. Fans of the NES game will most likely love what has been done with the music, but for those who are feeling truly nostalgic, there’s also an option to hear the original music after completing the game for the first time or by entering a cheat code.

At a cost of £11.99, DuckTales: Remastered is certainly on the pricey side for such a downloadable game, and when you factor in that the ending can be seen in a swift 2 to 3 hours, this hardly softens the blow. Of course there’s difficulty levels and unlockable content, but there’s still no getting away from the fact that this feels slightly overpriced for what you get.

As pricey as it is and as badly designed as it may be in terms of its unbalanced difficulty levels, DuckTales: Remastered is still a very playable and enjoyable old school platform game. Fans will no doubt have already snapped this one up as soon as it became available to download, but everyone else should be cautious, and this is one game that would certainly be a lot easier to recommend at a slightly cheaper price point.