Review: ‘DuckTales Remastered’
Is Mr. McD in HD all it’s quacked up to be?on August 22, 2013 at 8:00 am
Here are the questions you’re probably looking for coming into this article:
“Is ‘DuckTales Remastered’ better than the original?”
“Is ‘DuckTales Remastered’ worth buying if you’re not wistfully nostalgic about the original?”
“Is ‘DuckTales Remastered’ a good value?”
The answer to all of those is, “Yes and no.”
What do you mean, that didn’t help? I need to write more?
“DuckTales Remastered” is aiming for a very specific crowd. One that grew up playing NES, played the classic game, and enjoyed the television series (or comic the game was based on). Of course, that crowd isn’t exactly small, and WayForward isn’t new to making games for this exact audience.
So, the remaster is in good hands. That absolutely shows. The amount of love and care WayForward has for the game and its source material couldn’t be any more obvious than a dog humping your leg. WayForward is also just as excited as that tiny terrier making friction with your denim.
But, WayForward had so much love and respect for the original game, that they didn’t change a whole lot about it. For some people, that’s going to be a good thing. For others, it might be not so good.
That’s always the problem with projects like these. You never know exactly how your reimagining of a beloved classic is going to sit with potential buyers.
Now, the last time WayForward brought something back from the dead, was last year’s “Double Dragon Neon”. I reviewed it and I thought it was fantastic. It had this perfect blend of feeling insanely nostalgic and invoking those same feelings you got from the original, but it had a TON of fresh new content. A delightful mix of old and new.
“Remastered” doesn’t have that. If you’ve played the original game to death, this isn’t going to throw a whole lot of new stuff your way. Yes, Wayforward expanded the levels, but the new areas are slim and aren’t going to offer up a lot of additional game. There are two new levels added, but one is merely a tutorial stage. The other is a proper final stage, instead of just forcing you to replay Transylvania. It’s fine and provides a reasonable challenge, but one moderately well put together new stage isn’t going to open many wallets.
Of course, in the original, once you knew the correct route through the level, you could easily beat the entire game in under twenty minutes. “Remastered” adds a collection aspect to counter that. This forces you to explore the entire stage, and I like that. It makes the game feel more alive the first time you play it. You’ll be invested in sussing out every hidden jewel and taking in the game’s rich new look.
This is what hurts the game on subsequent playthroughs, however. Even if you know the correct route to take to get straight to the boss, you’ll have to engage in a stage-wide fetch quest to get there. One of the joys of the original was its brevity once you had it down. It was a unique game you could pick up and play for a very short period of time and actually finish.
They also added voice acting to the game and they got all of the original voice actors from the show on board. That’s wonderful. Each stage now has its own little story and they all feel like individual episodes of the show. The first time through, it’s an absolute treat listening to all this.
Of course, you’re only going to care the very first time you see these. Luckily, they can be skipped but you have to do it manually from the pause screen. Simply pressing a single button or having the option to turn them off completely would’ve been a lot better.