DuckTales Remastered is a video game based on the popular Disney cartoon series of the same name. Specifically it is a remake of a Capcom platformer that originally appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Gameboy back during the early nineties. I remember owning the Gameboy version, back when I was a wee lad, and enjoying it loads despite the game’s lack of difficulty and content. Much like Kirby’s Dreamland, it was one of those titles that you could beat on your first attempt but it didn’t matter because you would replay it ad nauseam anyway. Remastered is coded by WayForward Technologies who have previously proven that they are more than capable of revitalizing retro classics, as evidenced by the brilliant Double Dragon Neon.
For those of you not familiar with the franchise, DuckTales stars a billionaire mallard named Scrooge McDuck who is a bit of a miser when it comes to money (no surprise then that he has a Scottish accent.) In the cartoon Scrooge spends most of his time gallivanting across the globe in search of valuable relics aided by Donald Duck’s nephews (Huey, Dewey & Louie) in addition to Launchpad McQuack – a pilot known for landings of the crash variety. The game’s opening stage, which acts like a tutorial level of sorts, has Scrooge fending off an assault from the thieving Beagle Boys who are attempting to raid his vault. After successfully repelling the criminals, Scrooge finds a crusty map pointing to the location of five valuable treasures. Never shy about adding to his considerable wealth he sets off to uncover the priceless artefacts, much like a documentary crew trying to unearth E.T cartridges from a landfill.
Similar to Capcom’s classic Mega Man series, DuckTales’ core levels can be tackled in whatever order the player desires. The destinations Scrooge will visit consist of the Amazon, Transylvania, African Mines, Himalayas and even an outer space trip to the Moon. Each of the environments has its own distinct feel complete with unique enemies, a diverse range of traps and pesky end of level guardians that can only be trounced once you suss out their attack patterns. Also residing on the levels are several supporting characters from the cartoon, including Mrs Beakley who gifts Scrooge with life replenishing treats. I’m not sure why she is so generous given that McDuck often makes unflattering remarks about her portly figure.
Once the five treasures have been secured Scrooge is whisked off for a final battle against a vampire duck, who disappointingly isn’t Count Duckula. Gameplay wise DuckTales plays like many of the classic 2D platformers you would find on the NES, were precise jumping is the order of the day. Our top hat wearing protagonist can only sustain three hits, before being defeated, but thankfully he can protect himself with the aid of his trusty cane. The walking stick can be used to stomp on enemies, whack obstacles out of the way and even acts as a makeshift pogo stick allowing Scrooge to bounce up to otherwise unreachable areas.
My rating for DuckTales Remastered is a four out of five. It’s a great update of a vintage NES platformer. Given that PSN Plus members can download it for nowt this month there’s no excuse for not giving it a go. Even if I were paying money for it I would highly recommend the game thanks to its fun gameplay, superb 2D artwork and fine voice acting. I’m especially impressed that the creators managed to coax Alan Young into reprising the role of Scrooge McDuck given that he no longer lives up to his surname (he’s over ninety years old.) Audio wise video game maestro Jake Kaufman delivers on the soundtrack front with catchy remixes of the DuckTales theme and the original game’s tunes. The ditty that plays during the Moon level deserves special praise for its toe tapping qualities.
The only negative I could levy at DuckTales Remastered is that, much like the original, it isn’t an especially long game. Remastered is a bit tougher than its predecessor and boasts some extra levels, but even so I was able to best it within a few sittings. It’s not a big deal though given that multiple playthroughs are required to accumulate sufficient coinage to purchase all of the bonus artwork on offer. Needless to say, DuckTales gets a thumbs up from me. You would be quacking mad not to give it a chance.