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Review: DuckTales Remastered

Who fights crime with a unicycle?

You have no idea how big the grin is on my face at the moment and I haven’t even pressed the start button. My TV is blaring out an enhanced chiptune version of the DuckTales theme tune and it is utterly glorious. It begins with the same 8 bit drums and bleeping synths as the original game before bursting into life with real orchestral trumpets.

It’s not just the music, absolutely everything in DuckTales has been lovingly restored and enhanced by WayForward Technologies. As you can see from the screens the game looks sumptuous, it retains the 2D gameplay but now all the backgrounds and platforms are rendered in 3D and hand painted, just like the original cartoon. The characters are still sprites but now look exactly like their animated counterparts rather than blocks of pixels.

Most of the original cast have returned and now the game is fully voiced with plenty of guest appearances. Alongside Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey and Louie you will also meet Magica De Spell, Mrs Beakley, Launchpad and many more. The original game had a few lines of text as a plot and this has been expanded into a full adventure and the writing is superb – I have laughed more times than I can recall.

The gameplay is simple yet enjoyable: Scrooge bounces across the screen on his pogo stick and can whack boulders into enemies or, in true 8-bit style, jump on their heads. Scrooge must collect a number of objects per level which will help him clear the way to the boss who then must be defeated with more head-bouncing. There are also occasional mine cart sections that require perfect timing and a rather fun battle on the wings of a biplane.

The collision detection is on the player’s side and on the easiest mode lives are infinite, with restart points which are generously dotted throughout the level. I played through the game on the easiest setting and it took around three hours. Although that might seem rather short, they are three excellently formed hours. Harder modes make the game more challenging by limiting the number of lives and removing respawn points, and there is a massive gallery of art, music and trinkets to unlock by spending some of McDuck’s cash.

Sadly the enemy AI is non-existent with the Beagle Brothers, ghosts and hockey players following preset paths rather than chasing Scrooge. Timing your jump is extremely important and on the harder modes the game can be extremely frustrating with enemies appearing when you are mid-jump and knocking you to your death.

What’s Good:

  • The art style and music is fantastic.
  • Genuinely amusing script.
  • Simple yet challenging platforming gameplay.

What’s Bad:

  • Enemy AI is completely absent.
  • Very challenging on harder difficulty levels.
  • Some sections require trial and error rather than skill.

WayForward have found that magical Pixar-esque sweet spot of humour that will appeal to both adults and kids. This an absolute triumph of a remake, it’s just a shame the game can be over so quickly.

Score: 8/10

  1. SpikeyMikey23
    Since: Jul 2009

    is this on the Vita? When is it out?

    Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 11:12.
    • SpikeyMikey23
      Since: Jul 2009

      just seen the release date in the info box, just need to know if it’s going to be available on the vita

      Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 11:14.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        No, not been announced for Vita which is a shame.

        Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 11:22.
      • SpikeyMikey23
        Since: Jul 2009

        That is a shame. Would have been perfect for the Vita, short blasts n all.

        Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 11:41.
      • Kennykazey
        Since: Mar 2010

        Crap, I had it in my head that it was coming to the Vita. Wii U version it is then.

        Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 13:45.
  2. Greg Turner
    Since: Feb 2009

    I’m looking forward to this – suspect I’ll play it on the easier setting and just enjoy it, rather than frustrating myself.

    I know it’s not the same devs handling it but this gives me hope that Castle Of Illusion might turn out ok as well.

    Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 11:25.
  3. Eldave0
    Since: Aug 2008

    Looks and sounds great, but the £13.49 price tag is insane! Was hoping to pick this up tomorrow but will hold fire until its sub-£10 in a sale.

    Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 12:37.
    • JR.
      Since: Apr 2013

      Yep, me too. I never played the original but I loved Ducktales when I was a kid and this looks great. No way I’m paying £13.49 for it though. Should be £7.99 max.

      Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 12:54.
      • MadBoJangles
        Since: Nov 2009

        I loved the original, checked the price on Steam and baulked a bit.
        Will wait for a price drop/sale also :)

        Comment posted on 13/08/2013 at 10:24.
  4. jimmy-google
    Since: Feb 2009

    Would have got it for the Vita. I can’t warrant it on anything else, especially at that price.

    Comment posted on 12/08/2013 at 13:02.
  5. quinkill
    Since: Oct 2010

    Wow, i’m surprised this has such a high score. I’ve heard some really bad things about this game.

    Comment posted on 13/08/2013 at 16:00.

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