DuckTales Remastered

Around the time I was hitting double digits I was given NES Action Set for a birthday, setting in motion a twice-yearly ritual that continued until I got my first Saturday job. One new game for Christmas and another for my birthday. With very few places to trade and swap games you had to choose well. I shared a birthday week with a close friend so one year we planned ahead and made sure we got different games that we could swap over when we were done with them. He chose Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers and I went for DuckTales; similar games based on similar shows, both really bloody hard and both with amazing theme tunes.

I remember DuckTales being a simple platform game but it was really quite unique at the time, the pogo mechanic elevates it above simple platforming while the treasure hunting required exploration and some degree of puzzle solving. All of this makes it a prime candidate for remastering.

DuckTales Remastered could easily have been a quick cash-in, playing on the fond memories of the 8-bit era, but any fears of that being the case are quickly quashed as soon as you can bring yourself to stop listening to the title screen music. The game opens with an entirely new level that both sets up the story and acts as a tutorial. Considering the game only has six levels this additional content is very welcome, and, most importantly, it seems so at home that I needed to break out my NES and replay the original to check if it really was new content.

This theme continues throughout Remastered. Every implied element of the original game is expanded upon with beautifully redrawn environments, fully voiced characters, an intelligible storyline and entirely new areas. Time has even been taken to include almost the entire DuckTales cast in Scrooge McDuck’s treasure hunt.

Now we can’t be talking about DuckTales without addressing the subject of difficulty. In the current generation the original would be considered to be unfairly hard, and rightfully so. You essentially needed to complete the game in a single sitting. Lose a life and you restart the level. Lose all your lives and you’re back to the start for the game. WayForward have remixed the original difficulty levels to make the game much more accessible. On Easy mode you’ll have the luxury of checkpoints, less damage, and unlimited retries. Knocking the game up to Hard means you lose all that, and Normal leaves you somewhere in between. I’d recommend you make your first run through on Easy then see how brave you feel.

Replaying the two to three hour story will add to your fortune. That can now be used to unlock a huge number of gallery items and potentially some achievements. Another change that deserves a nod are the revamped controls. The new ‘easy pogo’ mode is on by default and that’s how I’d recommend you leave it. The requirement for the player to be pressing down and a button to pogo on Scrooge’s walking stick was a sadistic choice by the original developers and the removal of that requirement is a godsend.

My only real issue with DuckTales Remastered is that the wonderfully recreated title screen music is missing the iconic lyrics, but I’ll admit that saving that treat for the credits is a masterstroke. BEST-CREDITS-EVER.







One response to “DuckTales Remastered”

  1. Stan avatar

    OK, now I REALLY want to try this game. May even purchase it. Glad to hear the difficulty level has been remixed/redone.

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