Thursday, July 14, 2016

1PanelReview DuckTales Remastered

Time for remastered t
ales of derring-do, bad and good luck tales - WOOooo-hooOW!!

What it is: DuckTales: Remastered 

Which is: A platform game
Created by: WayForward Technologies/Capcom/Disney Interactive Studios
Year: August 2013
Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and smartphones

(Custom cover art I made for my "digital version" of the game.)

If you grew up in the early 90s, chances are you might be familiar with Disney's afternoon cartoons, and DuckTales' probably the first one that pops to mind. The show had such a huge popularity it spawned a couple of video games, of course. And that first game made by Capcom's still remembered as a cult classic by most to this very day. Thanks to a big return of retro games in our pop culture and remakes being the big answer for a lot of licensed material these days, Disney Interactive Studios decided to revamp a few of their classic titles. DuckTales: Remastered is a "HD Remaster" of the classic Capcom platformer, developed by WayForward Technologies. This is as close you would get from a modern remake of the original 1989 NES game. The game was released to all sorts of systems including PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.

The plot follows more or less that of the original game, only it is now fully expanded and actually feels like following a proper episode of DuckTales thanks to the full voice acting as well as several musical cues taken from the show, making a lot more sense out of the story of the original game. The game follows our hero Scrooge McDuck on a quest all across the world to find 5 special hidden treasures...

What's Good about it: I love the way games have finally embraced retro gaming enough to allow us to rediscover classics like this. Remember back in the late 90s when they were trying to force every single classic 2D platformer into 3D ones? Yeah...
This is a game that took its sweet time in a long development since it was first announced as early as 2011, specially for this type of game (I mean even the originals only took about a year or so!), and it shows in the final product. They didn't simply remake the original game in a new 3D engine, it's a complete well-thought graphic overhaul of the original, using beautifully-animated enhanced gorgeous big HD 2D sprites and redrawn backgrounds by Disney Television artists Mike Peraza and Rick Evans!  
The story is also greatly expanded upon. Giving a lot more explanations for these stages and boss fights.
Let's not forget the fact we get a full voice cast, the dub was done by the original animated series' surviving voice actors and actresses as well as some impersonators, with Alan Young reprising his role as Scrooge McDuck and June Foray as Magica De Spell.
Personally for me the highest selling point of this remaster is the beautiful 2.5D direction, with these lovely 2D handdrawn sprites and the really colorful and cartoon-accurate 3D environments!

The best thing is, the gameplay itself remained mostly the same as the original's, the exact same physics. I almost forgot how fun it was using Scrooge's cane as a pogo stick! It's the same feel as the original game's!
You encounter a ton of familiar faces from the cartoon series, several classic characters fully voiced show support in the story including Launchpad, Huey, Dewey and Louie, Webby, Gizmoduck, Gyro Gearloose and many more!
The level design is mostly the same in the big lines, but level design was changed a little for the experience. You go through the usual African Mines, The Amazon, The Himalayas, Transylvania and the Moon! While most of the iconic parts remained unaltered, they did prolonge some seguments and add some more action sequences. To break up the pace and keep you on your toes!
They also added a brand new introduction level in the vault to teach players the ropes as well as get you involved in the story right from the start. As well as the addition of a final stage were the final boss and a race takes place - Mount Vesuviusbetter - which is better than the NES game's repeated Transylvania finale in my eyes.
All levels are greatly expanded upon and they even added some unique objectives to keep things fun and challenging. Even the bosses received some new patterns as well!
I love how they explained the reason behind each stage and whatnot, giving bigger roles to the
Beagle Boys and Magica De Spell!
Speaking of story, there's a ton of dialogues. Story cutscenes can be skipped. Sadly the mouths are not animated, but it didn't detract me much from the experience.
You even get to swim in the money bin!!
There's still a ton of secrets to find hidden in the levels like in the original (along the newly-added related achievements). And all the money will contribute to fill Scrooge's money bin or to unlock an art gallery
There's also the addition of a map to help you out, present in the pause menu on easier difficulties, which was a nice addition.
Finally the brand new score is the cherry on top of everything! The new music composed by
Jake Kaufman is not only a fantastic tribute to the original music but it even also has its own distinct enough quality. This is how you revamp a classic soundtrack! Kaufman was a big fan of the original game and he clearly had these songs in his head since forever, he found the perfect balance between enhancing those classic 8-bit musics and rearranging those closer to the cartoon. And if that's not enough you can even unlock the original 8-bit NES music! I love how they kept all the classic iconic NES sounds for jumping, etc.

What's Bad about it: If there's one critic I really have for the game, strangely enough, is that there's too much story in this remaster! Too much plot, too many cutscenes that keep interrupting the gameplay.
But you can skip those, but it's still annoying how that will break your gameplay whenever.
Also there's only one linear ending compared to the original game's different endings!
A couple of movements feel slightly off, but overall it's exactly as it was back then.
Sadly one negative point really ruined the experience for me and several others on PC judging from comments online, the game contains one major gamebreaking bug that will crash the game on you during the final boss!! And Wayforward never fixed it to this very day (probably because Capcom doesn't really wanna bother with that..). The game will simply freeze you before the last cutscene or during the final boss, random! And it happens a lot depending on your graphic card and settings. O tried, and tried skipping the cutscenes but it always froze on me dozen of times. The only way to work around it, I can tell you that, is by lowering your graphics and resolution, and play in windowed mode instead of full screen. But that was really annoying...

Overall: All of those last issues aside, this is how you do a proper "Remaster" of a classic video game! DuckTales actually feels properly remade for a new generation, greatly enhanced and expanded upon!

DuckTales Remastered is a fantastic game, it comes of course Highly Recommended for any platform or cartoon fans! This was such a great tribute to the original game and 8-bit retro platformers in general! The game was remade into a proper modern sidescroller! With a great mix of elements from the NES game and the original show! 

The game felt like a much better balanced game for the most part. But it also had some important issues, like that major glitch at the end that almost prevent me to complete it! But that didn't made me hate or forget the rest of my enjoyment up to that point!

I'll be the first to admit this game initially gave me a really bad first impression! But once I finally saw it on full screen and in movement, it made all my fears go away!

The was game released across different systems including separate Windows 8 and Windows Phone versions from what you might find on Steam or Xbox 360. The Wii U version is known for its very glitchy quality issues. And the I wouldn't exactly recommend the smartphones release, maybe not the best for timing purposes what with the touch controls. But at the very least most of those releases had some cross-platform elements between versions as well as cloud saves! Overall, a much better more faithful remake than the Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse one, another recent Disney remaster.
I give it: 2.5 / 3!


  1. Glad to know you liked it~!
    Fun fact: There wasn't going to be a story to begin with (well, more or less). They were just going to do the game as is and all. It was only when they were contacted by Disney, which more or less went like this:

    "This game is looking good so far. Do you want anything else? We can provide you original voice actors for this game, if you want."
    "HECK YEAH!!!!!"

    And that's why we have cutscenes.

    1. Yeah, I read about that. I love how they were able to get (most of) the original voices back, which basically turn this remaster into a bigger better game :D