So when Valkor told me that on Aug 13th, Capcom released DuckTales: Remastered on every console system (XBOX on 9/11), I yelled, "blabbering blatherskite!" then immediately went looking for my game genie and my gold NES cartridge. I had hoped to start warming up my pogo stick skills but, I'm sad to report that my game genie is missing and my pogo skills are found wanting. The original Duck Tales was release in 1989 and I remembered playing the 8-bit version on my old 19" television, blowing on the cartridge trying to get it working and reveling in all of its 8bit glory. Today, DuckTales: Remastered has many improvements including 2.5D 1080p HD graphics and a reworked soundtrack and improved digital audio effects. But, Capcom also made sure it touched on some of the past and brought back the original voice actors (at least those still alive) to reprise their roles. Ultimately DuckTales: Remastered beautifully ties together the latest technology and what we loved about our past.
If you don't remember the story or never played the original, Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie travel across the globe in search of the five legendary treasures, all while keeping ahead of the Baddies like the Beagle boys, Flintheart Glomgold, and Magica Despell. Of course you have help, with the assistance of Launchpad McQuack, Mrs. Beakley, Bubba Duck, Gyro, and GIZMODUCK!
The gameplay is pretty much the same as the 1989 version; pogo jumps and cane swings are you main forms of attack. The levels are closely structured to the original, which you can still play in any order, with a few extended areas all leading up to a final boss battle. The original levels were timed; however in the re-mastered version, there are no time limits. The game difficulty can be set to Easy, Normal, and Hard; Easy gives you infinite lives, so no game genie is needed but, hard gives you access to 3 secret treasures from the original game! You will notice early on that some of the task have been made a wee bit more complicated and/or are completely new. I have only fought three bosses and they've changed the ways to defeat them. Since DuckTales: Remastered is so closely based on the original, what's completely new?
- Tutorial level - in the beginning to help you re-familiarize yourself with the controls
- The Money Bin - you get to dive into the Money Bin. The money bin also lets you keep track of your money.
- Scrooge's Museum – Track progress, achievements and scores (you can also reach this on the main title screen under Extras)
- Mt. Vesuvius – Replaces the return trip, Transylvania from the original game
The original intros for your helper characters have been extended and some changed, which you will especially notice with Bubba Duck's clearing your path in the Himalayas. I don't like to spoil movies or games too much, so, I am just going to highlight some of the things I personally liked from each level…except for the bunnies…stupid bunnies!
- Amazon – Collect 8 Coins to reach to reach the Temple
- Transylvania – The Beagle boys are the Mini-bosses here!
- African Mines – The mine Cart Ride!!!
- The Himalayas – I hate this place, stupid bunnies
- The Moon – Save Gizmo Duck!
- Mount Vesuvius - Replaces the return trip (used to be Transylvania)
Developer WayForward has done an amazing job of "remastering" this 8 bit title to 21st century standards. The graphics are most certainly an improvement over the original, bringing new life to these characters, giving you the impression that you're controlling their cel-shaded counterparts. Topped off with the improved soundtrack and WayForward has definitely scored a hit in my book. One of my favorite things to do in the game is taking a swim in the Money Bin, which has always been a dream since I was a kid (I also still dream of being as rich as Scrooge). I should also mention, this game has a lot of voice in it; not just within the cinematics but also as you're playing the game, which helps to flesh out the story and broaden the plot. Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck can never be replaced and I'm so glad he was brought back to reprise his role as Duckburg's favorite penny-pinching, tightwad. In the end, DuckTales: Remastered was a memorable journey, a road I was more than happy to follow once more in all of its improved glory.
The Pogo stick is your main mode of transportation and I've found a few hiccups with this move; for example it doesn't carry over to the next screen and Scrooge will randomly stop bouncing when he hits a step or a wall. Next, I remember playing DuckTales on the NES back in 1990; but aside from DVD release in 2005, no one has heard a peep since. I think it would have had a much better reception with a greater audience if there were some sort of cartoon movie or a re-release of the original series on Blu-ray to re-familiarize older audiences as well as introduce a newer audience to the characters.
If you remember Webby, the name of Bubba Duck's pet Triceratops (Tootsie), or what the Jr. Woodchucks guidebook is then DuckTales: Remastered is perfect for you. It has great extended cut scenes, unlock-able content, much improved graphics and audio and so much more, plus all of our favorite characters from the hit series. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give this a T.O.V. 4.