The original announcement of a return to the understated Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) success story, Ducktales, was met with a near tangible sense of approval from the videogames community. This was a classic that seemed to be almost forgotten, and yet here was Capcom ready and willing to not only release the videogame for modern formats, but also hire an external studio to update it with new story sequences and voice acting.
Ducktales: Remastered is essentially the exact same videogame that you played over twenty years ago, just given a lick of paint and expanded in all the right places. The story is no longer a simple case of retrieving stolen money but now filled with greater attachment to its characters. The introduction to the videogame teaches you all of the important design, from basic platform gameplay to the infamous pogo mechanic, and also informs you that chasing down the bad guys isn’t going to be quite as simple as you hoped. A moment later you’ve rescued your nephews and are about to embark on a campaign that will take you across the globe; they don’t make ‘em like this any more.
The first level on the menu, Amazon, sees you collecting eight hidden coins in its first phase. A simple introduction that familiarises the player with the mechanics taught in the introduction, putting them into practice in more active platform levels. Following this fairly traditional arrangement the formula is a more unique design wherein the player has to traverse a level at speed alongside a helicopter. This microcosm of gameplay is a perfect example of Ducktales: Remastered as a whole: traditional platform action coupled with some variations on the expected ruleset. This is what made Ducktales: Remastered unique back in 1989, and this is what still makes Ducktales: Remastered unique in 2013.
Of course, as a videogame that’s over twenty years old there are issues that you would expect to have been overcome by now. There are a number of challenges that some would question the fairness of and a few too many leaps of faith, but these are minor issues with a videogame that was very inventive at the time of it’s initial release and is still unique to this day.
The visual quality of Ducktales: Remastered is of a reasonable standard, limited in that the original animations have been adhered to despite the redrawing of the entire videogame, leading to an outward appearance that resembles a modern version of an 8-bit videogame. Exactly what is it, then. The soundtrack and special effects follow the same pattern as the graphics, though the voice acting is notably superior; the original voice cast of the television show have reprised their roles to honour the success of Ducktales, and it was most certainly worth doing.
Ducktales: Remastered is a finely crafted videogame experience, and one that will be enjoyable for any platform videogame fan. Nostalgia helps to a degree, but in contrast gamers who favour the modern hand-holding over dexterity challenges will be unlikely to appreciate Ducktales: Remastered’s ethos. It’s a thoroughbred platform videogame that provides variation through action sequences, nothing more and nothing less.