(PlayStation Network)

DuckTales: Remastered (PlayStation Network)

Game Review

DuckTales: Remastered Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Simon Thornton

A-woo-hoo

The original DuckTales waddled onto the NES in 1989, and for over twenty years, it has been remembered fondly by those that played it. But it isn’t just the game that has lingered in the darkest recesses of a generation’s memories, as so too has the television show. From the infectious theme song to the original voice actors, WayForward’s endearing DuckTales: Remastered is bursting with more nostalgic gold than Scrooge McDuck’s iconic vault. This re-release fuses the original game’s classic platforming gameplay with the style and storytelling of the aforementioned cartoon. Unfortunately, while a valiant effort, it isn’t a perfect retro reproduction.

When the original release first quacked onto store shelves, it – like many other NES games – had little in the way of narrative exposition, aside from the brief block of text that sat in the accompanying instruction manual. This updated edition, on the other hand, is peppered with cutscenes, which sadly break the flow of the gameplay.

Indeed, every few minutes, the platforming action is put on hold while the feathered protagonists jabber line after line of forgettable dialogue. You can skip these sequences, but doing so demands two button presses, rather than one. It sounds like a small complaint, but the irritation is accentuated by the nature of the game itself. You’ll have to replay levels over and over, and dashing through the cut-scenes takes time. As such, it’s a shame that these story sequences can’t be turned off entirely.

To be fair to the developer, it’s put a fair amount of work into the obtrusive clips. As mentioned, the original cast of the DuckTales television show has been assembled to breathe life into the adventure, but the dialogue is so dull that it will make you question the effort. A few jokes would have been nice – or anything to justify the narrative at all.

Fortunately, the refreshed art style is much more successful. Characters pop with Disney-esque polish, and painted backdrops combine to create the most immersive DuckTales experience yet. Sadly, the three-dimensional environmental layers look cheap and out of place, and will leave you pondering why the same slick two-dimensional visuals weren’t employed throughout the entire experience.

At the very least, the music is fantastic, boasting reworked versions of the original NES hits. These tunes will certainly leave you twerking like a duck in a disco, but it’s a shame that the original 8-bit tracks weren’t included, too. Unlockable content includes an array of concept art, sketches, and more, but sadly none of the classic audio.

Importantly, the gameplay is still fun, though. Pogoing around the colourful environments is as enjoyable as ever, and just as tricky – especially if you opt for the classic controls. There is a more streamlined option if you didn’t graduate from the school of Battletoads and Mega Man III, but the authentic mechanics are available if you want to relive your younger years.

There are some instances where the protagonist will refuse to descend from his pogo like the stubborn old bird that he is, resulting in cheap deaths that are made all the more infuriating when you’re forced to replay an entire level – and flip through the abovementioned cutscenes all over again. You can play on easy if you want to make the experience a little less maddening, but normal and hard options are available if you actively want to be roasted like a Thanksgiving dinner.

It will rekindle your love affair with the classic, but once the nostalgia fades, you’ll perhaps find your rose-tinted glasses removed. Twenty years is a long time, and the industry has moved on since the original release. It’s great that DuckTales: Remastered adheres to its roots, but it’s hard not to feel a little letdown by the manner in which the game has aged. Don’t go in expecting an experience on par with modern platformers, because this is not that.

To be fair, the developer has made some tweaks to the original – primarily to the boss fights. These have been expanded, and offer a fresh change of pace from the core gameplay loop. Unfortunately, there’s a section towards the end of the release that sees you racing against the clock, which is not only bugged – we had to hard reset our system to retry – but totally cheap, and a real dampener on the whole adventure.

Conclusion

The original release may not be as good as you remember it, but DuckTales: Remastered is an affectionate rendition that will be sure to pluck at your nostalgic heart strings. For those without a reference point, this may feel like a pretty but archaic platformer, but if you can get past the obtrusive cut-scenes, fans of the NES classic shouldn’t think twice about giving this a quack.

More Stories

Game Trailer

User Comments (14)

Splat

#2

Splat said:

It's a solid 7 in my book. I think people are making way to big of a deal out of the cut-scenes. They are easily skipped and didn't effect me in a negative way whatsoever.

SuperconsoleAdmin

#3

Superconsole said:

Never going to get that theme song out of my head...
As Ben said, it's a shame the remaster isn't as great as we expected, but still hoping to get my pogo stick out soon.

Woo-hoo.

Ristar42

#6

Ristar42 said:

Being a SEGA rather that Nintendo owner back in the 80s and 90s, I'd never played the NES version and only recently the Gameboy. I got this though and it was a fun game, not quite up to QuackShot in my opinion though.

I’ve already pre-ordered Castle of Illusion so hoping that will be good, plus it has the cool bonus of the Megadrive version as a download.

Also, you do get the 8-bit music, though the review says otherwise, its in the options once you complete the game?

Tasuki

#7

Tasuki said:

I think this is the lowest score I have seen this game get, which is awesome. I like to see a difference of opinion. I got this game on Wii U and I have to say I am really enjoying it. But some of the flaws that was pointed out in the review are the same for me.

Madmanonfire

#8

Madmanonfire said:

People are making too big of a deal of having to push TWO buttons to start pogoing. Really, any competent gamer should be able to do that without trouble. There's no need to have played Battletoads or MM3.

Likewise, pushing two buttons to skip a cutscene takes, what, half a second longer? Oh, the humanity!

Finally, the 3D graphic layers look fine. It's what to be expected from a remade NES game.

A 7 is more appropriate. While the end section is pretty darn tricky with the ropes, the rest of the game isn't that hard, thanks to the large amount of health you'll get throughout the game and the relatively simple bosses. The gameplay and music are pretty great, in my book.

odd69

#9

odd69 said:

i dont agree . it is doubtfull ill take reviews seriously here anymore, because I used to. But reviewer this is totally YOUR opinion, I disagree this game is not just a plain old platformer it is fun and still is unique and a 6? really? why don't you go back and replay this game , the guys at Nintendo life gave it an 8 because they actually game a fair review. this review whinned just like the rest of em on the net. im surprised with pushsquare though

Confused_DudeStaff

#10

Confused_Dude said:

@odd69 to be fair, as you said, it is entirely the opinion of the reviewer, as are ALL the reviews on this website.

You're bound to disagree with some reviews, but don't discount every other review because one of them wasn't to your liking.

odd69

#12

odd69 said:

@Confused_Dude

yes true that, there is just so much controversy and mixed reviews i just dont understand the ones that whinned about it.

the voice acting is superb sounded just like the cartoon with the some of the same actors for the series, why would anyone complain about such good production values

Ristar42

#14

Ristar42 said:

I think the bit about the 8-bit audio in the review could be ammended, as the old tunes are present?

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...