Platforms: PS3 (version tested), XBOX 360, Wii U and PC
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publishers: Capcom/Disney Interactive
WayForward Technologies have been given a pretty daunting task with this one. Recreate a twenty four year old NES game from the people behind the legendary Mega Man series, based on a defunct 80’s cartoon, and bring it bang up to date in a world where unless you’re Rayman or Mario, platform titles don’t tend to do well. Backed by Capcom and Disney, can this succeed in todays oversaturated gaming market? Or is it just for those who may have played it all those years ago?
DuckTales Remastered is a game that doesn’t quite know who it’s supposed to be targeted at. Its main problem is it’s caught between two worlds. The thirty something crowd who would have picked it up back in the ‘good ol’ days’, ready for a ride down memory lane, looking for that 8-bit gem they once played with a fresh lick of paint. And the newer, younger crowd who may be looking for something fresh in between rounds of Call of Duty and FIFA. However its main downfall is it doesn’t quite hit the mark in either.
But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It looks absolutely gorgeous. The 2.5D works brilliantly. The simple yet clear 3D back grounds are smooth and well rendered. The perfect backdrop to the beautiful hand drawn 2D sprites of Scrooge McDuck and the gang. Unfortunately the voice acting is pretty off key. While they use the original voice actors have been used, they don’t really do a very good job. But unlike the original, the game has been fleshed out with cut scenes, which is helpful as you can now figure out what the hell is going on, and why Scrooge can breathe on the moon.
The soundtrack is extraordinary. All of the original 8-bit scores have been dragged into the future and re mastered wonderfully. They really are some of the best tunes from that era and once you’ve beaten the game you can switch out the new sounds for the old ones, which is a nice touch.
The gameplay is what really lets DuckTales Remastered down. WayForward haven’t been able to replicate the tight controls that the original had, which was almost as tight as the fantastic Mega Man 2 (the game Capcom worked on just before the original DuckTales). The pogo attack from the original feels a bit off, often leading you to not landing blows on enemies properly, and also sometimes cancelling itself mid-air, which on the higher difficulties can cause you to loose huge chunks of health.
The difficulty of this game is also up there with the best of them. You have three lives that once they have gone it’s back to the start for you. The expert mode is even worse, one life and it’s game over forever. There is however an easy mode where you get twice as many lives and double the amount of health, which is great if like me, you’re not exactly a champ when it comes to platform games.
DuckTales Remastered is a mediocre affair that doesn’t offer anybody a complete experience. Newer games will be frustrated by out dated mechanics and pretty awful voice acting. Retro enthusiasts will be put off by all the new shiny new bells and whistles. It’s decent enough and looks gorgeous, but unfortunately that isn’t enough to stop it being a pretty forgettable affair once you’ve completed it. And it’s a shame because I remember the original being one of the best NES games I’d ever played, causing this update to leave a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.