The quack is back! The beloved 8-bit “DuckTales” game returns and has been re-mastered with new and improved story sequences, gameplay, and gorgeous new graphical upgrades.
Back in the early days of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Capcom made some of the best games on the market, including one of my favorite series, “Mega Man,” and several other licensed Disney games based on cartoon shows that where very popular at the time.
“DuckTales,” based on the classic cartoon series, follows the adventures of Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad, and Scrooge’s nephews as they travel the globe searching for priceless treasures to increase Scrooge’s vast riches. The style of the game is very similar to “Mega Man” in that it is an action platforming game, but you do not shoot anything. You hop on enemies’ heads using Scrooge’s cane as a pogo-stick. The cane can also be used to hop on spikes, break blocks, and jump higher to explore each of the themed levels.
For the most part, the remastered version is the same as the NES version with modern hand-drawn visuals, remixed music, and updated controls. One of my favorite updates to the game is the spoken dialogue that couldn’t be done in the original. Not only is it nice to hear what is being said, but they got most of the original voice actors to do the talking. Another great touch is most of the music is the same, but touched up to sound better; they are still as catchy as they have always been. The gameplay is very similar to the old game, but it feels more tight and precise, allowing you chain together jumps and attacks more fluidly than every before.
“DuckTales: Remastered” isn’t an exact copy of the original; it has a few extra levels, including a prologue level. After that, the game continues with a level select screen where you can pick the level you want to do first. All of the classic levels are back, with a few extra hidden sections and a map to help you not get lost. There are many different themed levels, such as Transylvania, the Amazon, the Moon, and much more. All of my favorite sections are back, from the helicopter rides to the coal mine cars – only this time the controls are more precise, making it feel more balanced. The levels are actually easier because there are more health upgrades and power-ups than there used to be, making it more accessible for new players.
The boss fights have also been remastered, making them more graphically impressive and more epic. They still have the same level of difficulty; you have to memorize the patterns and find their weaknesses to complete the levels. The only real issue I had was at the end of the game. The ending scene is playable, and if you die, you have to play the whole boss fight again, which is a real pain, but this is a minor flaw.
There isn’t much I was able to find fault with in this game. It is a loving tribute to the original game, and aside from some minor hiccups, the game holds up in quality. There are some minor hit detection issues, and sometimes the controls act a little screwy, but these are just minor annoyances in an otherwise great game. The biggest addition to the game is the story sequences; they hold true to the show, but they can’t be skipped easily. If you are playing the game for a second or third time and don’t want to watch them, it can be a pain.
Overall, “DuckTales: Remastered” is just as good as the original. If you are new to the series, you will like the fun platforming, but if you are a child of the ‘80s, you are going to love the nostalgia-filled experience of this great remake of a classic game. For just a $15 download, this game offers countless hours of entertainment exploring each level and collecting each of the treasures; you are going to want to play it again and again. This is a near-perfect remake of one of the best games on the Nintendo and is not to be missed for old school gamers. Be warned, though – you will be humming the theme song for weeks to come.
-Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]