News Article

First Impressions: DuckTales Remastered

Posted by Ron DelVillano

The quack is back

There is a well-known phenomenon in the video gaming world where a licensed game will be adapted from a much larger franchise, and it will inevitably flop. It’s been happening for decades now, with such notable titles as Atari’s 1982 stinker E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and more recently with the ill-fated Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game that never even saw release on the Wii U because of such poor performance on other consoles. But even with franchising, there is always hope. They may be few and far between, but there are some diamonds hidden deep within the rough terrain of licensed video games. One such game is Capcom’s NES gem DuckTales, and now we’re lucky enough to receive a remake for current generation consoles appropriately titled DuckTales: Remastered.

Not only is DuckTales: Remastered a fixed up version of a classic "Metroidvania" style platformer, but the team behind the project are the rising stars at WayForward, led by Matt Bozon. Building off of the 8-bit adventure, WayForward has decided to stick with the formula that made the original game so appealing, then build upward and outward from there. Rather than completely redesigning the stage maps, it has instead decided to use the same maps with adjustments made to allow for larger levels that can’t be immediately rushed through. In other words, those familiar with the ogirinal stages will definitely recognize the paths that they’re walking, but there’s plenty more to see and explore along the way. That being said, there are also some completely new stages added to expand the game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a solid answer on how many new stages there are, or what the locations might entail.

As a Metroidvania game, there is much emphasis on exploration and collecting. Thankfully, depending on which difficulty level you choose to play at, a mini-map can be accessed in the start menu or on the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen, a feature that was frustratingly missing from the NES release. And for those of you wondering: yes, you can choose to play the entire game off television on the GamePad’s smaller screen. Another infuriating aspect of the original was the inputs required to perform Scrooge’s signature pogo-cane jump. Rather than having to hold down the B button, the Down arrow, and a left or right direction, now the move can be performed simply by holding B. For die-hard fans, however, WayForward has generously – and hilariously – included the option to choose “hard pogo” controls, reverting back to the original hand-crippling option. It’s obvious that, despite being an updated game aimed at a new generation of players, everything was designed with fans of the original in mind.

An extraordinary amount of care and effort was put into making this a “remastered” game, and it really shows. All of the stage backgrounds were rendered from paintings, creating exquisite canvases to traverse through. The characters themselves — lacking in the soft painted design and going for a crisper cartoon look — are stunningly detailed and smoothly animated. Both the environments and characters come together to form a juxtaposition that is absolutely gorgeous. Just as with the visuals, the audio design is also an achievement in its own right. Not only was the soundtrack completely rearranged and rerecord, but all of the surviving cast members from the television series return to lend their voices to the game. Alan Young — the man behind player-character Scrooge McDuck — will be celebrating his 94th birthday this year. Talk about commitment to a franchise.

DuckTales: Remastered feels like a natural fit on the Wii U, jumping several generations ahead from its original release to land squarely on the newest home console from Nintendo. While our play time with it was limited, it’s clear that development is moving in the right direction on this one. There is much love in the world for the NES version, but we can all rest assured that Capcom’s classic is in safe hands with WayForward.

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User Comments (70)

ledreppe

#2

ledreppe said:

I'm glad they kept the 'hard pogo' controls, as an old school die-hard fan I want them. I tried it out on my NES the other week, and I can still pull it off! Hands, prepare to be crippled when this game's beat. :-D

belmont

#4

belmont said:

You can preorder Ducktales in PSN, price 13.49 euros (there is no PS Plus discount). I preordered it and I assume the Wii U price to be similar. I was thinking of getting it on Wii U due to off tv play but again I can't. Why is it so hard to release prepaid cards in the whole Europe?

belmont

#6

belmont said:

@Cosats I have no idea how this stuff works. I may have to look into it though. For Wii VC and PSN I just buy prepaid cards from local retailers.

DestinyMan

#7

DestinyMan said:

So since there's new stages, that ought to make things even more interesting. I never got to play the original game unfortunately, but I have listened to the soundtrack and it sounds really catchy. The Moon level theme especially gets me, so it'll be cool to see how that level has been remastered.

belmont

#8

belmont said:

Now that I think about it wouldn't be great if the original game was also included with the Remaster Edition?

sinalefa

#10

sinalefa said:

Watching the "duckumentaries" for this game, you can see how passionate the devs are about this game. They sure are the right people for the job.

I think June Foray, the voice of Magica is in this one as well. She is actually older than Young.

Mainer82

#11

Mainer82 said:

Does anyone know if the original game will be released on VC or a part of the remastered edition? I really wish that Nintendo got the boxed/retailed edition... would have added nicely to the collection.

ricklongo

#13

ricklongo said:

You know what else I want from this game? Limited lives and no save option. Otherwise, I'll just finish it in one go and be done with it, like I did with Gunman Clive. The game over screen used to be a powerful thing. Let's hope WayForward makes good use of it.

Either way, this is for all intents and purposes a day-one download for me.

MayhemStaff

#14

Mayhem said:

@sinalefa - Yes, to my knowledge, all the original voice talent is present. I got to meet June Foray a few years ago, lovely woman to chat with. And I got to meet a few others of the Duck Tales voice cast this year as well.

Oh, and the game is just as hard as it was mwa hah hah, having tried the demo out at San Diego...

Captain_Toad

#15

Captain_Toad said:

Alan young at 94 voicing the game? My hat goes off to you.
@Mariner Releasing it on VC. Kinda doubt it. With it being licensed and capcom that make the original game and all. Being a part of the remastered/boxed copy. Hmm.. we'll see.

ledreppe

#17

ledreppe said:

@Mainer82 Well, strictly speaking, it's my sisters copy. I've put it on my gaming shelf and kinda claimed it as my own, as she doesn't seem bothered by not having it anymore.:-)

Maskeraid

#18

Maskeraid said:

How much will it cost again? I think I'd be willing to pay more for the original for some reason, maybe it's the graphical approach the remake is taking. :P

Pj1

#19

Pj1 said:

A release date for it at last! I'll download this it looks good.

Big_L91

#20

Big_L91 said:

i hate the word metroidvania it should just be called metroid, castlevania didnt start doing this untill well after metroid. there are even games like ducktales that used the style before castlevania

CAM290

#23

CAM290 said:

@Nintenjoe64 ♭♪Life is like a hurricane here in duckbergh. ♭♪
♭♪Racecars lasers aeroplanes its a duck blur!♭♪
♭♪Might solve a mystery or rewrite history!♭♪
♭♪Duck tales WOOHOO!♪♭

element187

#26

element187 said:

is this 60 fps? Platformers require that precision... its what I love about Mario and Rayman games.

banacheck

#28

banacheck said:

@element187 - DuckTales will be in 1080p HD, at 60fps..

I cannot wait for this as well as Castle of illusions, Duckumentaries is a very good watch too. Castle of illusions also has something like Duckumentaries too, which is also worth watching.

LeVideoGamer

#29

LeVideoGamer said:

Good soundtrack and nice looking gameplay, but I've never really warmed to Disney characters. That's one of the main reasons why I can't get into Kingdom Hearts.

DerpSandwich

#34

DerpSandwich said:

Never did play this. Can't say I even knew about the whole phenomenon until pretty recently. Weird how that happens.

unrandomsam

#39

unrandomsam said:

If they have made it easy so you can use an analog I won't want it.

The original is one of the few NES games that doesn't really have anything wrong with it. (If they did what was done to Twinbee 3D Classic it would be just fine).

The original wasn't a Metroidvania.

Looks like this has loads more health as well.

I wish they had kept it as is. (Controls / Levels exactly the same).

unrandomsam

#41

unrandomsam said:

As it stands I will probably get it the first time it is 75% off on steam.

(Don't want to support Capcom any more than absolutely legally necessary).

Spoony_Tech

#42

Spoony_Tech said:

Shovel Knight will have to be my Duck Tails since its not coming to the 3ds. I still say it will come at some point!

unrandomsam

#43

unrandomsam said:

Looks confusing as well. Rather have a better defined separation between the layers. (Like the multi plane camera does for old Disney films).

SparkOfSpirit

#44

SparkOfSpirit said:

Hard Difficulty and Hard Pogo for me. DuckTales is still one of my favorite games and has been since I was a kid. The updated soundtrack sounds great, too.

But I'm glad they're changing things like having to go to Transylvania three times and giving it a proper final stage. In my opinion, those were the only faults the original game had.

I do wish WayForward would bring their XBLA/PSN games like Double Dragon Neon and Bloodrayne to the Wii-U as well. Double Dragon Neon would be perfect for off-TV play.

micronean

#47

micronean said:

The original NES game wasn't really that hard. Most of us that played it were just kids. I think that by now, a lot of players are hardened platformer experts, and should breeze right through the game--and enjoy every minute of it!

BTW: The way I see it, what makes some NES games really hard, wasn't so much the gameplay, but the limitation of the technology at the time where you could not save your progress. You had to devote a long time, and serious attention, to play through in one sitting. Many of us kids at the time, couldn't do it (whether from lack of time, or lack of attention span). SNES corrected that limitation, and the rest is history.

ToxieDogg

#48

ToxieDogg said:

Meh, the original Duck Tales was never really a 'MetroidVania' style game as there's only a couple of times when you have to visit one stage to get a key for another first, it's not like you have to learn completely new moves, and you never get power up items that teach you new abilities. That being said, I'm looking forward to Duck Tales Remastered, I'll be playing it on Hard though as I've finished both the NES and Game Boy versions a few times (it's not really that hard) ;)

Ryno

#49

Ryno said:

@ToxieDogg: Exactly, nowadays everything a "Metoridvania" style game if it has the slightest hint of exploring and backtracking.

MrZanctom

#50

MrZanctom said:

I never got a chance to play the original so I will definitely be downloading this game onto my Wii U as soon as it comes out.

Dpishere

#51

Dpishere said:

Looks to be shaping up very well! I will definitely end up picking this game up seeing as I loved the TV show growing up!

WaveBoy

#52

WaveBoy said:

@element187
Guess I'm not the only one around here who is a bit of a frame rate snob.
60fps should be the standard. It pains me knowing that Trine 2 & The Giena sisters run at 30fps, it makes them look awful in motion imo(Combined with an HDTV's 'frame doubleing' when displaying 30fps content). Even Super Mario 3D Land's 30fps irked me at first until i finally got used to it. :p

Anyways! DuckTales Remastered and Shovel Knight are going to be hotter than a sizzling subcon FryGuy B-)

JaredJ

#54

JaredJ said:

Looks like this game supports Gamepad and Pro Controller only. No classic controller or Wii Remote sideways. Bummer, I really wanted to play this game with the Wii Remote NES style. Not a deal breaker though.

unrandomsam

#55

unrandomsam said:

@sinalefa Fairly sure it doesn't work like that Wayforward will get a fixed fee and Capcom/Disney will get the profits.

I would also want to play it with a wiimote sideways. (Which ironically I will be more likely to be able to do on the PC version).

unrandomsam

#56

unrandomsam said:

@WaveBoy 3D Land still annoys me. I only realised it was 30hz recently but that is probably why. Trine 2 is interesting because I use a 60fps frame cap on my PC on it. (People say the Wii U version is the best don't get that).

I wish I didn't buy Giana Sisters on Steam. (Presumably it is doing reasonably well so they should have some money to pay for the next game not have to do another kickstarter. That is just stupid). Game developers are not charities if they want to do that then the profits should be shared at least 50% with the backers.

SparkOfSpirit

#57

SparkOfSpirit said:

@unrandomsam If you support these projects, then Capcom will get the hint that we want things like this and not Resident Evil 6 or dmc or whatever else they've been shoveling out.

But if you want them to continue ignoring projects like this and go back to doing what it is you hate, then don't expect them to ever change. If consumers don't tell them what they want with their wallets, then Capcom will keep floundering about like they currently are.

sinalefa

#58

sinalefa said:

@SparkofSpirit

True. People are dreaming of having Chip N Dale, Darkwing Duck and the rest of the great Capcom NES games remastered as well, and the only way that may happen will be by showing them this sells.

@unrandomsam

I will then buy Shantae too so Wayforward gets more of my money.

element187

#59

element187 said:

@WaveBoy as a Nintendo gamer you should expect 60fps most of the time. Nintendo is the only platform holder that has more 60fps titles than 30fps (on consoles)

Most genres benefit from it, shooters, fighting games, platformers, racing, so I expect it for these genres.

But RTS, RPG, I can forgive not pushing high frame rates. I kind of understand that its hard to push the 3DS to hit the higher frame rate. It's a shame DKCR is 30fps on the 3ds. I'm still loving it but it would be epic at 60fps like the original Wii version was.

Dpullam

#60

Dpullam said:

I loved going over to my cousin's house and playing DuckTales for the NES. I am especially fond of using the pogo cane jump to bounce around the game world constantly. It was probably one of the first games that I actually completed and I can't wait until I get the opportunity to try this remastered version with new levels.

JaxonH

#61

JaxonH said:

@Big_L91 it's called Metroidvania in reference to Castlevania games, not Metroid. The prefix "Metroid" is used to denote which Castlevania games are being referred to, in this case the Metroid-inspired Castlevania games, specifically Symphony of the Night and the games which followed after. While the Castlevania games including and after Symphony of the Night do share many of the same traits of genre as games in the Metroid series, each franchise has it's own identity. Metroidvania is merely a term coined to describe the genre found in the Castlevania games which adopt a Metroid-like approach

Splat

#62

Splat said:

Pre-orded it a week ago on PSN. I saved a few bucks and got a cool DuckTales theme for doing so. I can't wait...

NImH

#63

NImH said:

Hard difficulty with hard pogo controls with one hand, a blindfold and rodents climbing all over me. I win.

Tasuki

#66

Tasuki said:

I am glad that they kept the original controls. Honestly I dont think I could play it any other way.

RantingThespian

#67

RantingThespian said:

That video is giving me all kinds of nostalgia. I only played the game a couple of times (and I thought it was great for only those few times), but I LOVED the cartoon and the movie. Hearing those voices again is just making me feel like a kid rushing home from school, and turning on the TV to watch Duck Tales.

I can't wait to play this game all the way through for the first time.

Shadow_Chad6982

#68

Shadow_Chad6982 said:

It makes me happy that it looks like a lot of love and care has gone into to this game. I never got to play the original duck tales game, but I remember some reruns of the show, and I'm really liking the art style and animation. It just about looks like watching the cartoon.

DESS-M-8

#70

DESS-M-8 said:

I want to see megaman x - x6 remade like this!!!! Day one purchases from me if capcom went back through their library of classic platformers like this and megaman 1 - 8.

Stickin with Disney, remaking Aladdin and mickeys magical quest would be great too!!!

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