Review: DuckTales Remastered
From the get go I think one thing is clear about DuckTales Remastered. There’s a lot of fans at WarForward and their love of DuckTales comes through in the game. Somewhere between getting the voice cast to do voice overs in the game and the numerous cutscenes spread throughout each level; you start to feel like you’re watching a DuckTales cartoon. From the moment you start up the game and the theme song starts playing you’re presented with a faithful recreation of a world many of us grew up on.
In addition to the five original stages from the NES game DuckTales Remastered features a prologue and finale stage that sets the stage for a cohesive story throughout the game. With that comes the addition of cut-scenes that appear a handful of times in every stage of the game. This is likely something many will become annoyed with as the cut-scenes interrupt the action and tend to drag on a bit. As a fan of the show I enjoyed these short interactions between various characters but there needed to be an option to completely turn them off. (There’s a skip option if you pause the game to be fair but an option to disable them altogether would have been preferred.)
DuckTales plays just as you remember. There’s an option to toggle the hard-pogo which means you can not simply hold the pogo button rather than being forced to hold the button and down on the d-pad. It’s a good option to have and is something that can be toggled on and off whenever you want. With the exception of the two new levels each stage is created to reward exploration. You’ll find heart containers to boost the number of hits you can take as well as extra lives throughout each stage. You’ll also need to find a set number of a specific items that are spread throughout various locations making each stage open to allow you to go wherever you want. Some parts of the level are completely optional as well. You’ll take out enemies by pogo-ing on top of them or swinging your cane like a golf club to hit a stone upwards towards spiders or bats. If you played the NES version you’ll feel right at home. That said I had trouble getting the pogo move to trigger on numerous occasions. Often times I’d find myself getting ready to pogo onto an enemy only for it to not trigger at all resulting in me taking damage or sometimes even losing a life. This wasn’t a rare occurrence either. Numerous times throughout every level I’d find that the pogo just wouldn’t respond. Which sucks because when it works DuckTales is an absolute blast, but when I’m losing health because the controls aren’t responding correctly? Then it’s just an exercise in frustration.
Control issues aside DuckTales Remastered is a great game. WayForward did a great job creating a game that looks and sounds like DuckTales. The updated music faithful to the original and the new art, in my opinion, looks fantastic. I wasn’t sure about the 3D background with 2D characters but seeing it in person really sold me on the look. Every boss is fun to fight, level structure is fine and, as long as the controls are working, the game is fair in its difficulty. That is of course until the very last few moments of the game.
Without spoiling anything the end of the game run on a timer and certain sections are hard to pull off in a way that’s made extra frustrating when you know you have a very short amount of time to do those specific things. It’s probably the one moment of the game that I felt was unfair and left me wishing that it just wasn’t included. (It was only made worse when at key moments in that final section my pogo stopped responding.)
The end of DuckTales Remastered honestly left me a little sour. However this was due to just one poorly designed section of a stage and issues with the controls that will work fine most of the time. I really enjoyed just about every moment of DuckTales Remastered. As a fan of the show I loved the cut-scenes and while there should be an option to toggle them on or off it’s not a major detriment to the game in any way. The unresponsive pogo on the other hand flat out sucks. The controls do work most of the time but I ran into this issue enough throughout my time with the game that I feel it’s important to mention. I’ve seen a few others playing the PS3 version of the game mention having similar issues and I don’t know if it’s something that’ll be fixed. Even with the issue I still really liked the game. I could however understand if something like that prevented people from finishing the game.
DuckTales Remastered is a faithfully updated of the NES game. The game offers tons of unlockables (concept art, music, etc.) and even lets you swim around in Scrooge’s money bin. Its not perfect and at times I was a little frustrated but this is something for fans of DuckTales and if you fall into that category then you really should pick this up.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- The presentation makes me feel like I'm in the world of DuckTales
- Rewards exploration
- Hard-pogo Toggle
- Original voice actors
- Great animation and soundtrack
What I Dislike:
- No way to turn off cutscenes after you've seen them once
- Pogo periodically not responding leading to unfair deaths/loss of health
- Last couple minutes of the game left me feeling sour