Life is like a hurricane in Duck Tales Remastered.
Good games are never forgotten. Let’s face it, they are not going to be forgotten by the publishers who will want to squeeze every penny they can out of a good game. And they will not be forgotten by the developers who would likely want to revisit a past titles success. Most importantly though, they are not forgotten by the fans who may go years without even thinking of a good game from their past, and then suddenly be reminded and start reminiscing.
Another reason why good games are not forgotten is because they quite often come back. Sometimes they will come back as a sequel, even after a long time, as the developer tries to recreate the success and add something new. Other times they might be re-imagined, brought up to date with new features and a new way of playing, almost like giving a new game old packaging to ignite feelings of familiarity amongst the players. And then there are the games that are given a new coat of paint and relaunched just as they were in the “old days”, some thing that happens more as the hardware generations progress. Whilst this is all well and good, a good game is still a good game, times change and so do the conditions around the games, so it is not always the case that such “touched up” games are well received. Developer WayForward have given DuckTales a damn good polish and set it free into the videogaming world once more, but have times changed just too much for the elderly NES title.
Duck Tales Remastered has an uphill battle when appealing to today’s gamer. First up, the game is a platformer and comes from a time when platformers ruled the consoles. Now though, they are not so common. It is also a tie-in game, made to compliment the DuckTales animation that aired through my younger years. Many of today’s gamers will likely have never heard of DuckTales, so this appeal will be lost on them. And for the gamer that is looking for that retro nostalgic hit, it is worth remembering that this game is more than 20 years old.
But that is the bad stuff out of the way. I defy any gamer not to be humming the gloriously catchy theme tune after playing the game, or not to be impressed by the newly modernised visuals that stand as pretty much the only change that has been made to this title over the original. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing – there is a reason why DuckTales is fondly remembered as a good game.
It is not just in the minds of gamers who were around 20 odd years ago that DuckTales is an entertaining romp. The platforming adventures of Scrooge McDuck as he deals with the Beagle Boys trying to steal his vast wealth, and then the treasure hunt that takes him all over the world as he attempts to increase his vast wealth, are good retro fun. I say retro because the game has a fiendish difficulty level on all but the easy mode that was common practice back in the day. It is still damn tricky in easy mode, but the player has infinite lives with which to keep trying.
The levels are mostly linear, although there are plenty of hidden secrets to be found by explorative types. There are five stages and each stage will end with a boss to be defeated. Besides the standard running and jumping, Scrooge makes use of his walking cane to pogo onto enemies to cause damage, or reach higher areas, and can also use the can to hit things in a golfing manner. It’s fairly straight forward stuff, but it comes down to timing rather than a huge roster of different moves to complete levels and take down bosses.
DuckTales Remastered doesn’t really make any exciting use of the Wii U GamePad, but then you wouldn’t expect it to. Aside from being able to play on the GamePad when the TV is in use, playing the game on easy or medium will allow for a map to be shown on the GamePad, which is handy. Otherwise, the game plays exactly as you would expect.
DuckTales is not a huge game, lasting maybe four or five hours. But the hidden secrets and increasing the difficulty will bring players back to try again. It is also rather highly priced for a game that was originally released 20 odd years ago. However, fans of the original game will get a kick from this shiny new version, and those who have never enjoyed the adventures of Scrooge McDuck can discover them for the first time looking better than they ever have, while playing a charmingly well-made platformer. DuckTales was not forgotten, and now it is back for a new generation to enjoy.