The release of DuckTales: Remastered is certainly a notable event for some retro gamers, for whom the 8-bit original is likely to be regarded as an all-time classic. A tough challenge, fun action and an awesome soundtrack are some of the features often cited, so this HD re-release — with some other modern touches applied — is being eagerly snapped up on various download platforms.
The Wii U eShop is one of those platforms, pleasingly, which is hardly surprising with WayForward picking up development duties; it's a studio with plenty of experience on Nintendo systems. Of course Capcom is the major partner, having significant oversight and involvement in the project, combining for — on paper — a strong team to do the 8-bit title credit.
With Scrooge McDuck now gracing the North American eShop, and due in Europe on 15th August, we posed a few questions to Capcom Producer Rey Jimenez on the title, learning more about targeting a new audience and tackling the Wii U GamePad, among other things.
Nintendo Life: Firstly, can you explain how this remaster of DuckTales came about?
Rey Jimenez: This is a project that the teams at Disney and Capcom have been wanting to do for a long time. Both sides are very aware of the fantastic games that we’ve created together in the past and know that there’s definitely a demand for them today. DuckTales is a fan favorite that we’ve had numerous requests to bring back… plus, we’re all fans of it as well. Once Capcom and Disney decided to “remaster” the game, it was a matter of getting the perfect developer for it and WayForward has proven to be that studio.
NL: What was it like working with Alan Young and the rest of the voice cast? Were there any challenges in getting the team together?
RJ: I wish I had some crazy story about tracking people down and knocking on doors but getting the cast was 100% Disney’s doing. They have a whole company (Disney Character Voices) that deals with contacting, contracting, and recording voice acting for their work.
Working with all the voice actors in the game, I’m told, was absolutely magical. Aside from everyone just being warm and friendly people, listening to the voices of your childhood speak is an amazing experience.
NL: Is there any chance that we'll see a soundtrack released?
RJ: I definitely hope so. The music in the game is outstanding and deserves a release outside of the game.
NL: Why did you opt for 2D sprites on 3D backgrounds? Was there ever any consideration to making the entire game in 3D?
RJ: I’m sure it was considered, but one of WayForward’s main areas of expertise as a studio is 2D animation. Combined with their personal love of DuckTales, it was a no brainer for the team.
NL: Was it easy to integrate the Wii U GamePad into the game?
RJ: Every system has its own challenges and the GamePad has features unique to the Wii U. It may not seem like it when you see the end product, but designing the map screen functionality took a few iterations.
NL: This game obviously has a lot of appeal for gamers who grew up playing the original. How are you trying to reach out to the young generation of gamers who might be interested in it now?
RJ: What made the DuckTales cartoon so memorable were the characters and the adventures that they went on. In lieu of watching the cartoons, we’re hoping that the addition of the voice acting and story exposition will help kids connect with the characters and fall in love with why DuckTales is so widely loved.
NL: Have any concessions been made to accommodate current day gamers and modern trends, in comparison to the 8-bit original?
RJ: We added some features to the game that essentially makes the easier difficulty settings easier for those that opt to use it. It was important to make sure that we kept a difficulty level (hard) that was consistent with the original game. One of the most noticeable is the map in Easy and Medium difficulties. The map helps the player identify where they’ve been, where they need to go, and if they are observant, where some secrets might be.
NL: Was there ever consideration of including the original NES title as an unlockable extra?
RJ: Of course…but unfortunately, it’s not a feature we were able to include in the game.
NL: It’s previously been stated that multiplayer was left out because of a “purist” approach to respecting the original, can you clarify that?
RJ: Multiplayer was just not in the scope of the game from the beginning. In the highest level, we always knew that we were remaking DuckTales NES. Adding multiplayer isn’t part of that game. We can embellish on features, like adding VO (voice-over) and tweaking levels, but MP is just not in the original design of the game and our goal was to stay true to that.
NL: Pending DuckTales: Remastered's success, are there any other classic titles you'd like to reboot? What about the NES sequel, for example?
RJ: The number of classic titles I would like to do a similar treatment on is immense. To be perfectly honest, I’m very excited that Strider is coming back!
We'd like to thank Rey Jimenez for his time.