If you’re into video games at all, it’s very important that you go and buy yourself some DuckTales Remastered as soon as possible. It’s currently available on something you own (Wii U, PC, PS3), so you’ve got no excuses. Do it.
Okay, so you need a little more convincing? Let’s start with the first thing you’ll notice: the spectacular soundtrack. I’m not even exaggerating here; the DuckTales R soundtrack needs to be on iTunes yesterday so that I can be listening to it at all time. Made up mostly of remixes of the original game’s soundtrack, DuckTales R’s music puts pretty much every other retro release’s tunes to shame. It certainly helps that the original soundtrack was pretty damn amazing to begin with, but the arrangements take it to a whole new level.
The title screen music, an instrumental arrangement of the DuckTales theme, is so good that I left the game sitting on the title screen, plugged my headphones into the Wii U gamepad, and just listened to it over and over while I played Animal Crossing: New Leaf for a while. Sound crazy? You won’t think so once you’ve listened to it. Don’t even get me started on the Moon remix. Ducktales R’s soundtrack goes all the way past “memorable” into “infectious.”
The visual style is interesting, and the best thing I can say about it is that it features Wayforward’s beautiful spritework galore. Unfortunately, those sprites live in a 3D world, which is a mish-mash that I’ve never really cared for. I’d much prefer 2D stages as well, but whatever. It looks good, and that’s all that matters.
It’s probably important for me to note that the game is kinda tough. Like, not unbearably tough, but probably enough that you’re going to see the game over screen a few times. Of course, you could always just do like me and play on the Easy Mode For Babies difficulty, and just soak up all the goodness that the game has to offer. I’ll move up to tougher levels eventually, but on my first run, the goal was just to experience the game.
I also chose easy because I’ve never really played the original games on the NES, so I was going in more or less blind. I knew what the game would be like, because I’ve watched at least one video LP of the original, but that was ages ago and this is a pretty different game. The core mechanics of using Scrooge’s cane as a pogo-stick and golf club are the exact same and super fun, but I’m,fairly sure that the levels have been slightly reorganized, with new “modern video game” events speckled throughout each one. Like a fight atop a biplane, and a treasure hunt for a bunch of coins that function as an overcomplicated key. They’re all pretty well in the spirit of the game, so none of the additions feel clumsily shoehorned in. They’re integrated so well, in fact, that if I hadn’t done any research I wouldn’t know which parts are new.
Ducktales Remastered is not universally praised, however. It’s kind of a shame, but I think a lot of people were just expecting too much, or something completely different. There is a pretty vocal group of critics complaining that it’s too hard, but those people are just Stupid Whiny Babies. And then there are the people who are complaining about the cutscenes.
Yes, Ducktales Remastered has cutscenes. And they are glorious. They are fully-voiced by the original actors from DuckTales, and they are pretty darn funny. They make each level of the game seem more like an episode of the cartoon. Yet people are dercying them, and how hard it is to skip them. Wait, what? Yeah. You need to press two buttons to skip cutscenes, and this is a real thing that real people are complaining about. I love the interent as a tool for information and communication, but damn has it made people into whiny, entitled… well, tools. Or maybe they were like that before and you just didn’t ahve to hear ’em.
Anyway, DuckTales Remastered = Good Times, and is totally worth the slightly-higher-than-I-had-expected price tag. Honestly though, $15 is pretty good. If they’d put this in a box you know it’d be double that at least. I’d call that a bargain. Maybe not the best I ever had though.