(Wii U eShop)

DuckTales: Remastered (Wii U eShop)

Game Review

DuckTales: Remastered Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

Tales of derring-do

It’s difficult to determine exactly who video game remakes are geared towards. On one hand you have generations worth of gamers who played the original and would love to experience it again on a modern console with updated graphics. It’s possible, however, that these people are no longer playing video games or don’t own current generation consoles. On the other hand you have young people who are playing games now who never had the chance to experience a game when it was first released - especially when it’s more than 20 years old. In this case you’re running the risk that they might not be interested in a reboot of something to which they have no nostalgic attachment. Finding the right audience is a challenge that any company remaking a classic is bound to face, but the most it can do is use everything in its power to make the best new version of the game that it possibly can.

When it comes to DuckTales: Remastered, it’s immediately obvious how invested the team at WayForward is in its product. The heart of gameplay in this Metroidvania-style platformer remains mostly unchanged from the original, but it has a new coat of paint tactfully brushed over in all the right ways. Fans of the original will immediately recognize the spruced up settings, and new players will get to experience them for the first time in all of their HD beauty. This game is a labour of love that takes a classic franchise and breaths new life into it, and it shows.

After an attempted robbery by the nefarious Beagle Boys, Scrooge McDuck stumbles upon a map hidden among his various treasures. Always eager to increase his fortunes, Scrooge decides to venture off to exotic locations around the globe to uncover hidden rarities to further secure his title as “the richest duck in the world.” Limited to jumping, climbing, and bouncing on his trusty cane, it’s your goal to guide the aging billionaire safely through the enemy and trap filled stages.

All of the levels are mostly linear with a bit of backtracking involved, but some routes are littered with hidden hallways and rooms full of treasure just waiting to be found. Not only does DuckTales allow for exploration, but it actually encourages and rewards it. Diamonds that you collect in each stage will go towards filling Scrooge’s vault, and all of the money that you find can be spent on assets such as character profiles, production art, and music from the soundtrack. If you have any intention of purchasing all of the additional gallery items, then you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for translucent walls and hidden ropes to climb.

There are five main stages, which can be played in any order, each lasting about 30 minutes or so — depending on how much time you spend exploring — book-ended with a massive boss fight. While some of these fights tend to be more taxing than others, they all bring unique elements to an otherwise standard formula. Like every other in-game enemy, bosses take damage by a simple pogo jump, but uncovering their weak spot takes more than a little effort. The undeniably short campaign can be completed in around three hours, but finding treasure and completing the game on higher difficulty settings will have most players coming back for more.

While this may look like a light-hearted romp from the outside with its cartoony character designs and vibrant backdrops, the fact is that DuckTales is not an easy game. The “easy” difficulty setting is obviously the most forgiving with its infinite life count and reduced damage from enemies, but you’re still going to die. A lot. With each higher difficulty, it becomes much more intense, but it just means that you’ll have to take care of what you’re doing rather than simply rushing in and hoping for the best. It can be a frustrating game, but working your way through the stages is both fun and satisfying.

In a move that’s bound to send older fans into a frenzy of reminiscence, the surviving cast members from the late 80s cartoon series return to lend their voices to the story. The extra effort is appreciated, but it comes off as an afterthought, with the characters standing mostly motionless as their voiceovers play. It’s almost as though the voices were shoehorned in after the rest of the game was completed. While the voice acting may be imperfect, it still helps to bring the story and situations to life, and all of the cinematic scenes can be skipped if you’re so inclined.

Unlike the voice acting, the soundtrack is absolutely flawless. Mixing the old with the new, each stage’s accompanying track fits perfectly into the reimagined DuckTales universe. Whether the tracks are playing on nostalgic chords or if it’s your first time hearing them, tapping your foot and humming their tunes is inevitable.

DuckTales is a natural fit on the Wii U, making use of both the television and GamePad to fully flesh-out the experience. While off-screen play is available by default on the GamePad, the small screen is at its best when displaying a mini-map of your current stage. The map is only available on easy and medium difficulty settings, but having it on hand enhances the experience for those who desire to spend more time in stages seeking diamonds rather than just cruising through to the end. Having your location readily available helps the most dedicated of treasure hunters leave no stone unturned.


Don’t let the cartoony graphics and Disney branding fool you. DuckTales: Remastered is a challenging platformer that’s absolutely brimming with charm. The campaign may be short and indicative of its source material, but it has been updated in a way that makes the experience feel fresh and guarantee that you’ll be back for more.

Are you a fan of the original DuckTales game or the animated series? Download this game immediately. Have you never played, watched, or even heard of DuckTales? Download this game immediately, and then tell all of your friends to do the same. They’ll thank you for it later.

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User Comments (101)



luminalace said:

Thank you Nintendolife. Now I can buy this game because I trust your reviews more than any site out there (though giving Zen Pinball 2 a 7 was harsh..lol)!



Shworange said:

I would love the same treatment given to tiny toons next if licenses permit. That was another platformers that was incredible.



Sabrewing said:

If anyone experiences issues with the game locking up on you (accessing leaderboards, after completing or dying out of a stage, etc.), I recommend playing the game with the console offline. That seems to solve the issue very handily; I suspect poor communication with Capcom's servers is to blame.



unrandomsam said:

I thought they would give it an 8

(I think it should have a 6 or maybe a 5).

The interesting platform bits are gone (Or the jumps made much shorter). The collision detection is off.

Doesn't feel like the same game. You have to slow down too much. The cutscenes really mess up the flow.

If you die you start from pretty much where you died. (Only comparing medium at the moment).

They have added loads of extra health to compensate for the collision detection being off.



cornishlee said:

Anyone know when the eShop updates? I've been logging in and trying to download all day.



KongFu said:

Is the original NES game in some form integrated? Maybe as an unlockable?



Spoony_Tech said:

@luminalace Let's not forget why it was scored low. It was because of the confusing dl method. NL wasn't the only site to score it that way. I believe the Metacritic rating is only 68 so obviously the structure of the dl content bothered many a revierer!



RetrogamerFan said:

@cornishlee Being as though i'm at work i've never been able to test this out, but i believe the E-shop updates at 3pm (if you're in UK).
Bit on the fence about this game, I would snap it up if they put the NES version on VC, but i doubt that will ever be an option, so I might wait for a sale on this version



Superconsole said:

Being one of the crazy fools who never played the original I think I just might have to snap up this remastered version to see what all the fuss is about

Lovely words you got there, @Ron ;D



DreamOn said:

Loved it! Excellent game. Already on my second playthrough. If you like duck tales and you like video games it's as simple as that, get it!



readyletsgo said:

Gonna wait for a sale on eshop or psn, way too much hype around this remake.

Would snap it up today IF the original NES game was included to be unlocked.

Anyway, Earthbound has taken all my time up for the past week so happy out with that.

Also, Earthbound is my first rpg game I have ever played, never liked them. Are there other games like Earthbound out there that peopel would recommend? I did get Pokemon Emerald for the GBA last week but was never a fan of Pokemon, but thought I would give it another shot.



cornishlee said:

Thanks, I'm taking the day off work and am absolutely knackered after picking my girlfriend up from the airport at 2am. A little Duck Tales could be just what I need! For some reason I'd assumed it updated at midnight, but there you go.



Jese_1 said:

@Shworange They can take all of my money if they redo the original NES Tiny Toons game, or even just release it on the VC.



ThomasBW84 said:

@unrandomsam It's sure been divisive, some love it and others clearly don't. As we always say, people should check out various reviews and, of course, each will have a different perspective when they play it.



Shiryu said:

Good stuff. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a series of successful remastered reboot from Capcom and Wayforward. most people don't even remember, but there was also a brilliant "Ducktales 2" on both NES and Game Boy...



luminalace said:

@Spoony_Tech - Yeah I read the review and agree but once you get the tables downloaded, it's gameplay is deserving of at least an 8 in my opinion. However I don't think the review was unfair and subsequently Zen updated the game to allow you to download the tables in game instead of having to jump out and go to the eshop separately!



TonLoco said:

Hearing that theme song just made my day. Loved the cartoon as a kid a remember playing the game at my cousins(and yes it was hard!) Wish I had a next gen console to play it.



ricklongo said:

I started going through the game yesterday. I was VERY happy with some of the added features, such as hidden collectibles and ways in which the money you collect actually matter (character purchasing and money bin diving). Only went through one of the stages so far (The Amazon), but I like what I've seen. I already think it's better than the original.

My main complaint is with the backgrounds. I can't understand why they didn't draw them in the cartoonish way of the characters. Instead we got 3D modeled sceneries that absolutely don't fit the material. It's a pity, because they could have been used to further immerse us in an 80's cartoon atmosphere.



odd69 said:

I'm picking up my copy today actually. I've decided to get it for the Wii U. I first experienced this on the nes and I was a big fan of the cartoon series and I have fond memories of these experiences so sorry Sony the big "N" had this one from the start. Im glad for this reboot though, brings back a lot of memories



NintyMan said:

I'll be getting it soon enough. It's been a long time, but I enjoyed watching Ducktales and other classic Disney cartoons, so I'm sure to have some nostalgia as I play through it. I didn't get to play the original game, unfortunately, but that doesn't mean I'll enjoy it less. I've listened to the music on Youtube before and it sounds very catchy, so I expect it to be catchy in remixed form too.



TonLoco said:

They don't make cartoons like this anymore. I watch Disney and nickelodeon with my son and they just don't beat the 80s cartoons. He actually prefers the old Godzilla and Spider-Man cartoons. Ahhh memories.



HAL9000 said:

My wife and I are looking forward to Ducktales immensely. We have been quoting the theme song to each other randomly during the week.



odd69 said:

I've read a lot of other reviews and it sounds like a lot of them are being whiny. Cant wait to try it to see if I can even trust these internet reviews. This one doesn't have any whining and crying thankfully



Wildfire said:

I used to watch the cartoon show quite religiously and despite not having played the nes original ( since i didn't had a nes ) I intend to download and enjoy every bit of Duck Tales remastered as soon as it's made available on eshop today! Also Wayforward rules!



bezerker99 said:

As someone who played the original many times back whenever it was....I downloaded this game and am thoroughly enjoying it. At least you can skip the cut scenes (which I find extremely charming, at least the first time around).

Awesome soundtrack!



GeminiSaint said:

"...The heart of gameplay in this Metroidvania-style platformer..."
Yeah... no. There's nothing Metroidvania in Duck Tales. At all.



unrandomsam said:

@ThomasBW84 What do you consider a Metroidvania to be ? (For me I associate it with lots of empty places that you go that you cannot do anything and spending ages finding out what you need to do and power ups). I like the bosses in Super Metroid but that isn't what Metroidvania seems to mean. (More like the way to do it is to go through everything with a tooth comb).

I found out the original used the Megaman 3 engine. The vines for example use similar sorts of timing to the ladders in Megaman. In this it is like you need to do stuff half a second in advance.

I have playing a level of the original and a level of this and thing that no matter what the position of the enemy you can always land on top of it and get the chest you end up getting hit every time you try it. Snakes that you can get past with good timing whether they are up or down just doesn't seem doable.

The bosses are not like the originals at all. (That were quite fun quite a bit easier than the Megaman ones but really fun because of it).

There is some parts you have to concentrate more.



unrandomsam said:

@GeminiSaint This has some that makes it less fun to play. The aspects of Symphony of Night and Super Metroid that people seem to like when they refer to something as "Metroidvania" are the parts that I really dislike. (I like the bosses and combat in Super Metroid not the messing around).



Whopper744 said:

@PinkSpider yeah I'm not really sure what GameSpot's problem was on that. I guess it's not an online FPS so they didn't know what to do with it.



unrandomsam said:

@PinkSpider What the Gamespot review says about the controls is totally accurate. (I have been playing them side by side a level of each). I wouldn't be surprised to learn this uses the same engine as the Smurfs 2. (Whereas the original uses the Megaman 3 engine).



readyletsgo said:

@MasterChordles Hmm maybe, but I dont fancy spending 45euro on something I didnt like before lol (i'm a difficult gamer), I always mean to play the Mario & Luigi on the GBA, have a Micro so might be a good idea.

Thanks for your reply MasterChordles



UnseatingKDawg said:

I never had the original NES version. But being a classic Disney game fan (like Aladdin and The Lion King for Game Gear and Toy Story and Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow for PC), I decided to pick it up. After playing through the Amazon level, I can safely say that this was very much worth its purchase.



readyletsgo said:

Haha awesome, I just ordered a Vita (I know) on amazon there, might as well order Suprstar Saga with it. Cheers dude!



allav866 said:

I would've expected a 9 or 10. This is better than the original, but then again, I didn't care too much for collecting coins in the Amazon. The lower half of the stage was originally designed to let players choose their own path, but in Remastered, you end up taking both paths, then take one of them a second time. This "item hunting" mechanic works for Transylvania, as it's made like a maze, and you could beat it easily in the NES version, provided you knew where the secret exit was. In the Amazon and the Himilayas, however, it comes off as unnecessary padding.
I did enjoy the extra levels, and the bosses are more complex than their 8-bit counterparts. And on top of that, the 8-bit music mode and Extreme difficulty modes are nice incentives to keep playing.



JeanOfmArc said:

"It can be a frustrating game, but working your way through the stages is both fun and satisfying."

This is exactly how I feel, and am glad to see that NintendoLife can interpret it that way as well. Some other reviews seem to feel that there's no satisfaction in beating a challenging game like this one, and gave it a low score. Thanks for a well-written and reasonable review.



shonenjump86 said:

My brother had the NES game when I was pretty young. Since I don't have a Wii U, I'm gonna have to pick this up on 360. Be nice if it was on 3DS.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@JeanOfmArc I agree completely!! The thing is Wayforward included 3 levels of difficulty and if you can't make it through on just the easy mode then you'd have problems with the simplest of platformers because it wasn't hard at all but great for newcomers. Normal is where the challenge comes around & even then it's more than doable with a little effort.



sinalefa said:

I will beat this one today. I know it is short but I am taking my sweet time with it. I am really satisfied with this game.

I may be in the minority but I like the cutscenes. Some people seem to forget that this is a remake of an old game based on a TV show, so now that technology allows for graphics and music more similar to the series, then the storytelling and the voice acting should strive to be the same too.

And if Disney reunited the surviving cast, then they might as well make the most out of it and add many cutscenes. A treat for fan of the series, and that includes the developers, who clearly love the work they are doing.



RantingThespian said:

@sinalefa I'm with you on the cutscenes. I love them.

I am really enjoying the voice acting. It's great to hear Scrooge and the gang after all these years, and they sound just like I remembered them.

I only played this game for a little bit in my childhood, so most of this is new to me. I can honestly say I am having a blast. Wayforward did an amszing job. I would give it a 9/10

Also, I can't get that theme song out of my head . . . not that I am complaining . . . wooo-hooo!



Drake said:

So, who's going to beat my time? (Playing the Steam version, but I assume the other versions don't have different time calculation.)



Katzii said:

not sure if anyone else has mentioned it but the UK price is actually £11.99.




Just bought the game based on this review, also - it was £11.99 not £13.49! So that made the decision even easier!



FleetwoodMackin said:

Great review Ron. Seeing all of this positive feedback has me so dang excited!! Can't wait to check it out..



potomas said:

This is the only good review I've seen for this.Seems this game is only for nostalgic yanks.



Linkus said:

Thanks for an informative and
well written review. Will probably buy this eventually and I hope they bring the original to the vc even though it doesn't seem likely.



WanderingPB said:

People that have complained about the pogo stick jump controls do u realize that if after u jump u can hold the A button and automatically do like 3 pogo jumps?

I personally love and feel nostalgic during the cutscenes and if u feel it interrupts the flow if the game then why not jus hit the start button and select "skip cinematic?"

Everyones entitled to their own opinions but as for me i like how they remastered this classic game and wont treat it like a brand new game series…im go swim in my money bin now!!!!!!



Tony_342 said:

From the very first day this remake was announced, I was surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reactions. I always considered DuckTales to be a pretty mediocre game at best. I even went back and played through it again a couple months ago just to refresh my memory. I beat it in about 30 minutes and didn't have very much fun doing it. It's very strange to me that anybody could consider this game a "classic." And I say that as someone who both watched the cartoon and played the original NES game as a kid.

I'm glad that some people are enjoying it, though, because I would like to see more "classic" Disney / Capcom games get remade. There are several others that are much more deserving than DuckTales.



Finntendo said:


Hah, I've been humming the title all day, watched cartoon from Netflix and downloadded it when eShop updated.And this evening, i sat on couch and started the game, my husband calls (he's away for the night) and I click home button and then again and he just says WHAT WAS THAT MUSIC.. now poor thing have to wait until tomorrow

I never had NES but I've played it and since being a Finn, Ducks are kind of our thing (over a million of 5 million people reads Donald Duck comic every week, from magazines published once a week, it has the largest subscription)



ricklongo said:

On the "frustrating difficulty": have gamers become THAT soft? I've been playing in hard mode, and it's about on par with what I would expect from any platformer. It's not a piece of cake, but it's nowhere near too difficult.

Then again, I never though the original game was extra hard either way. Nothing there comes even close to the level of difficulty on, say, the unlockable temple stages on Donkey Kong Country Returns.



TheAdrock said:

Love the shows. This game is decent so far. I wish you could skip all the talking sequences.



moroboshi said:

This game has been given pretty harsh reviews on every other site. The score here is the outlier. I'd suggest checking metacritic.



sinalefa said:


Actually reviews are all over the place. There are anything from 45 to 90, the only pattern seemed to be that the reviewers who liked the source material tended to enjoy the game more than the others, thus giving out higher scores.

Glad I did not listen to them. I just beat the game and I loved every second of it.



TG1 said:

@moroboshi Not sure what review(s) you've read so far, but your statement isn't accurate. The game has gotten a bunch of positive reviews! You suggest checking Metacritic ... well, the game (so far) has gotten 80 out of 100 from critics, and 8.4 from users. Checking Metacritic shows that you are mistaken.



moroboshi said:

@TG1 Not really. If you check the X360 metacritic (which is always the best course of action, as the majority of review sites only review the 360 version) then it has a metacritic of 69%.

The big scores are the most telling:

IGN - 7/10
Eurogamer - 6/10
Polygon - 5/10
Gamespot - 4.5/10

If you enjoy it then great, good for you.



sinalefa said:


It is the same game, why not check also the Metacritic PS3, PC and Wii U scores? Those 3 others happen to have the higher metascores as well. The best course of action would be to check all reviews available.



Gameday said:

I just hear the duck tails theme when i seen this game come to life again. This version looks promising.



Dpullam said:

I am a big fan of the classic DuckTales tv show, and even though I played this game when I was younger, I can't remember too many details about it so I looking forward to buying this once I get a Wii U.



Urbanhispanic said:

Yet, another game that I will be purchasing for the Wii U...as soon as I can get the $$$ to buy it.



JustinH said:

Great game and I really dig it, but the review would do well to note the lack of Wii remote support and the leaderboard crashing issues.



Subie98 said:

I loved the original but not sure if its worth the cash. Might pick it up later in the consoles life.



Supergeoff said:

I would also like to see tinytoons or the flintstones getting a HD remake in the future.



WaveGhoul said:

shame they had to plunk in the in-game dialogue which completely destroys the pace of the game. It's the 'Power of Illusion' syndrome all over again, but not as sevre.

Little Inferno, DuckTales Remastered, Toki Tori 2 and the upcomming Shovel Knight are the only eShop titles i have my eye on.



andrea987 said:

Fantastic game. And, as others have stated, it's £11.99 in UK. Also, Nano Assault Neo is on sale too. Not mentioned in your weekly Eshop DL article, NL...



odd69 said:

So after I played this a while I can say,it is a good game worthy of a remake, and I finally realize that most reviewers opinions stink. So from now on if I like the art direction of a game, a good demo or even nostalgic im buying it. I've played so many great games shunned by the critics its laughable. This is a top notch platformer read all the comments from everyone else it is infact a likeable game.
This review is the best one the net and I just have to thank you guys for giving it a score worthy enough.

but its not the game I have a problem with, its Nintendo. So I paid 16.04 for a 14.99 game on the eshop right? well I could have paid 11.99 TAX FREE on psn. That's a saving six bucks. So I guess psn is still a better platform for me, the discounts are too hard to ignore. Oh and the sales are every single week on games, how can Nintendo possibly beat that? Oh and the discounts Nintendo gives us are laughable as well, try 50% off Nintendo that's a real discount.



ToxieDogg said:

On the one hand, I like the cutscenes and they make the game feel more like an actual Duck Tales cartoon than the original, but on the other hand I do find them a bit instrusive (lengthy conversations every time Scrooge finds anything interesting?) and in that regard I think the original NES/Game Boy game was a much better pure gameplay experience. This is still an excellent remake though, with some interesting changes that I've found surprising (the section in the Amazon where you hang off Launchpad's helicopter scrolls from right to left instead of left to right for instance, and is slightly expanded, and a secret room had Mrs. Beakley in it ) and the rejigged boss fights are a lot of fun. I've dived straight into playing it on Hard....no map that way. I don't need that kind of hand holding, the original version had no map either



XCWarrior said:

Amazing how up and down the scores are for the game. I'll be waiting for a sale, but probably will pick it up eventually.



Tetris911 said:

Great review! The only reasons why Ducktales Remastered is getting some negative reviews by other "Game Journalists" is because,
A: The game has no Violence
B: Not a Sports game
C: The game is "Too Hard"
D: Not a first person shooter game



Finntendo said:

I sometimes think that myself. Sometimes it feels the game sucks if it doesn't include blood and guts.

And people getting frustrated if they don't get everything on the first try.. so annoying.

I really like the game and atm my husband is playing it (he's the one that had original as a kid) now.



Laxeybobby said:

I never had the original, and I purchased this yesterday and its as fresh as if it was newly created idea. Absolutely love this game as do my kids for different reasons to me. The character animations, voices and background anims are brilliant and of the standard I have come to expect from Disney and Capcom.

Great game and I'm now looking forward to Dungeons & Dragons Remastered

We need more quality like this on e-shop and my money will soon leave my wallet.



Rensch said:

My only real gripes with this game are the amount of cutscenes and the fact that the levels were rendered in 3D. The cutscenes should have been restrained to the start and end of the levels and it would be fine, even if you would still have to bring up the pause screen to skip them. The 3D-rendered environments felt out of place in combination with the pretty 2D sprites and backgrounds. While I liked the colourful textures on the 3D elements, they should have done it like Wario Land: The Shake Dimension or Rayman Origins. The levels in those games were made pretty much completely with 2D art and looked all the better for it. While the graphics in Ducktales Remastered are great, this really is the difference between an 8 or a 9 for me when it comes to graphics.

Overall, great game, though. 8 out of 10.



TreesenHauser said:

Now that I have the game, I have no problem with it other than the problem I had with the original game; too short. Other than that, I love pretty much everything about DuckTales Remastered. Now they need to release the soundtrack!



Sondheimist said:

"DuckTales" was THE show of my childhood, so just listening to that theme song got me all nostalgic.

Suffice it to say, I'll be picking this up.



Gregor said:

Yeah... There is never much of a middle ground in these Nintendo life reviews. I wish they would think about their score more and gush about the games less.



Onion said:

Good review but I gotta call 'em on the whole bit about each level taking 30 minutes. There's no reason you can't clear a level in 10 minutes, even on your first time ever playing the game unless you're really bumbling around for treasure. The only lengthy level is the Moon, everything else can be cleared very quickly. Also, I have no idea how it can be classified as a "Metroidvania" clone as it has almost nothing in common with the genre.

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