DuckTales – Woo-oo! It’s a theme song that’s been stuck in my head for the better part of my life. Having grown up watching Disney’s brilliant afternoon cartoon starring Scrooge McDuck and other feathered friends, I was beyond excited when Capcom and WayForward first announced they were remaking the classic 1989 Nintendo game as “DuckTales: Remastered.” And with its recent release, this remade video game lives up to every sky-high expectation I had.
Full disclosure: If it isn’t clear already, I am a huge fan of “DuckTales” and particularly Scrooge – my favorite Disney character. But don’t think for an instant that this glowing review is biased because my passion for all things Duckburg also makes me this game’s toughest critic. If the WayForward team didn’t get any element of this beloved Disney world correct, I would certainly call them out on it. But the good news is that from the visuals to the voices to the music to the memories, DuckTales: Remastered simply gets it right.
Any fan of the original “DuckTales” TV show will be overjoyed by the return of the voice talents of Alan Young, June Foray, and much of the rest of the show, reprising their famous roles. Though Young and Foray are both in their 90s, they barely sound a day older than they did while recording those roles nearly 25 years ago. The dialogue written for the game’s many cutscenes is entertaining, quirky, and amusing, just like the show was. It’s a wonderful reunion with a few long lost friends, practically forming a whole new episode of “DuckTales.” Anyone who wasn’t a fan of the show might find these scenes a bit long – but anyone who wasn’t a fan of the show probably shouldn’t be playing the game in the first place.
The game’s hand-drawn visuals evoke the style of the original TV show, but also offer a new take on the character styles. With slightly altered proportions, WayForward has created a unique look inspired not only by the show, but also the art of Carl Barks and Don Rosa, Scrooge’s forefathers, as well as the low-detail pixel sprites of the Nintendo era. The HD graphics flow smoothly with a surprising amount of in-betweened animations. Though character mouths don’t move to match the supplied dialogue, they do emote through motions, with Scrooge flailing wildly while upset or smiling wide while swimming through his money bin – a new playable feature in this version of the game.
The music and sound effects of “DuckTales: Remastered” borrow just enough from the classic Nintendo game to sound particularly familiar, from the sound of Scrooge’s pogo stick to the 8-bit synthesized instruments mixed into the soundtrack. But musician Jake Kaufman has enhanced all of the songs, adding extra toe-tapping elements to the instrumental title track, subtly adding modern instruments the iconic Moon theme without losing its luster, and even working in a bit of dubstep into the Transylvania level’s music while still keeping the classic beat. It’s a soundtrack I could listen to on loop for hours. With these songs, Kaufman was given the opportunity to “rewrite history,” as the theme song goes, and succeeded in every respect.
There’s no question that the gameplay of “DuckTales: Remastered” is tough – but it should be. Classic Nintendo games were often frustrating, especially when requiring players to restart long levels after losing just a handful of lives with no continues or save points in sight. WayForward and Capcom have accurately retained these mechanisms, with game saves only taking place when completing entire levels. But this isn’t a fault by any means. Anyone who feels it is unnecessary to require gamers to repeatedly replay levels to beat them never played the original game – and probably shouldn’t bother with this one. It’s meant to be a faithful recreation and serves exactly as that. Fortunately, a little leeway is given with easy, medium, and hard difficulty options offered as well as a new “easy pogo” control scheme that removes the constant down-pressing to achieve this necessary maneuver.
For game that only took me around 3-4 hours to beat, “DuckTales: Remastered” offers the most fulfilling gaming experience I’ve had in a long time. Granted I was already thrilled by the notion of spending new time with my favorite Disney characters, but even with my own fanboy sensibilities aside, it’s still a solid game, producing a delightful modern take on one of the most fun 2D platformers in Nintendo history. And with plenty of concept art, pencil sketches, character drawings, background paintings, music tracks, and original TV artwork to unlock, I will be playing through “DuckTales: Remastered” many more times in the near future, adding even more riches to the richest duck in Duckburg, happily diving into the money bin on a regular basis.
“DuckTales: Remastered” is available now on PC / Steam, PS3 / PlayStation Network, and Wii U / Nintendo eShop, with an Xbox 360 / Xbox Live version slated for release on September 11.
Leading up to the release of “DuckTales: Remastered,” Capcom created several inventive and exciting promotions, offering fans and press alike a nostalgic trip into the past.
At the iam8bit gallery and subsequently San Diego Comic-Con, fans had a chance to step into Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, filled with oversized plush coins, ready for an unforgettable photo opportunity.
More recently, Capcom sent out a limited edition of 150 “DuckTales: Remastered” press kits, individually numbered with some particularly unique collectibles crafted just for this game’s release. Mine arrived earlier this week, first emerging from its packaging as a shiny silver lunchbox featuring the game’s box art.
When opened, shreds of money hid some very interesting prizes inside.
A shiny gold classic Nintendo cartridge emerged from underneath all that cash, again featuring the new “DuckTales: Remastered” artwork but with the rest resembling an original. On the back, a special message is written straight from the “DuckTales” theme song.
And yes, the cartridge works – or so I’m told. Sadly, my old Nintendo has seen better days and not even the old blow-on-the-cartridge trick will fix it. But with a working NES, this gilded cartridge contains the original 8-bit “DuckTales” game.
Accompanying the cartridge is a set of rather amusing paperwork, featuring advertisements for a never-produced soundtrack with artists like Snoop Ducky Duck and 2QUAC, a coupon for 50 cents of the Green Cheese of Longevity (valid at Duckburg grocery stores), and an advertisement for some of Capacom’s finest 8-bit games.
Though I am definitely not parting with my prized press kit possession, Capcom has provided several “DuckTales: Remastered” items to give away to our readers.
Up for grabs here are three heavy-stock posters featuring the “DuckTales: Remastered” concept art and one download code for the PC / Steam version of the game – a total of four prizes.
Three (3) winners will be chosen to each receive:
One (1) winner will be chosen to receive:
How to Enter
There are two methods to enter for a chance to win this giveaway:
ENTRY METHOD 1: Comment at the bottom of this post with the classic 8-bit Nintendo game you’d most like to see remade in high-definition for today’s modern systems. (When commenting, be sure to completely fill out the form, including your name and e-mail address so we can contact you if you’re chosen to win.)
ENTRY METHOD 2: On Twitter, follow @InsideTheMagic and post the following phrase in its entirety:
Woo-oo! Follow @InsideTheMagic & RT for a chance to win DuckTales: Remastered prizes! Contest details: http://bit.ly/183EhYS
You must be following us to have a chance to win via this method.
The contest period begins with the publishing date and time of this article and ends August 25, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Four (4) winners will be randomly selected from all entries. Entry Method 1 may be used once per person for the duration of the contest. Entry Method 2 may be used once per day, per person, for a total of six (6) possible entries per person. The winners will be contacted on or around August 26, 2013 either via e-mail or direct message on Twitter, depending on method of entry. Any attempt at duplicate or fraudulent entries by the same person using multiple email addresses or names will immediately disqualify that person from the contest.
Prizes will be randomly assigned. If a prize is forfeited, another winner will be chosen until the prize is accepted. Winners may not choose which prize (game or poster) they receive.