Ducktales Remastered

ducktales-remastered-walkthrough

Let me get this straight, brain.  You wish to play a game that is a remake of one you’ve never previously played… on a system far older than you… based on a show that ended about four years before you were born.  Well Steam Sales are a nice thing that encourages my wallet to ejaculate money, and for $5 I figured the critically acclaimed, I think, Ducktales Remastered would be worth the price.  The quick verdict?  Well, yeah, I guess.

DuckTales: Remastered Review
Platforms: PC(Reviewed), PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U
Developer: Capcom & WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Capcom & Disney Interactive Studios

Having seen less footage than a single percentage of the show’s 100 episode run, I choose to describe Ducktales’ plot as a child like myself would view it.  A rich duck in a world full of ducks is disturbed one day to see a bunch of dogs break into his home, and instead of calling the police, he decides to take his pogo-cane and bust their heads while saving his nephews, who are all recolors of one another.  Afterwards, the rich old duck, brilliantly named Scrooge McDuck, uncovers a treasure map hidden behind an old painting and decides to pair up with a bunch of supporting ducks in order to travel the world to accumulate more money.  Also there is a duck with battle armor that shoots missiles, a duck with magical powers and can turn into a vulture, and another rich old duck, only he is twice as scottish.2014-06-21_00001

Oversimplification aside, what was shown in the form of newly added and recorded cinematics for the game was certainly a nice touch, as the justifications and writing for most scenarios where it was inserted didn’t feel forced, and had a handful of funny moments along with it.  That said, with many of the voice actors it was difficult to ignore how several of them have grown well past the point where they are used to making slightly racist silly voices, though their performances still struck me as authentic and accurate, but my opinion on that matter means rather little.  I would not say the same for how I feel about the manner in which cinematics are inserted into the game, as the characters more or less stand around and go through a series of recycled expression and idle animations as dialog plays over them.  However, I would assume that this, and several other visual aspect of the game, were compromised by a combination of deadlines and budget, and nothing about them looked particularly bad.2014-06-21_00005

A statement that is still sifting through my mouth as I go to describe the gameplay, primarily due to how I do have some problems with it, namely the design of the title’s seven stages.  I will begin by stating that I actually did enjoy the primary mechanic, which involved hopping around on a magical cane, jumping onto of enemies’ heads to be compelling and enjoyable, yet the fact that you are going through a perpetual pattern when doing so by bouncing off of the ground never really jived well with me.  Something about being unable to control the momentum left me feeling like I was either stuck in a perpetual cycle where the game anticipated I would either go about my every action with the utmost level of care, or just get good and hope that whatever sense of achievement I obtained doing that would prove to be fun.  Oh, but really it is maintained as it operated in a similar manner in the NES version, although it did have differences if an unselectable Hard Pogo option was any clue.2014-06-21_00014

That prior sentence should keen in anybody who played the game as to what difficulty I selected, as I had originally attempted to game on normal, but a mix of a rather relentless first stage I refused to exit, a utterly unnecessary life system, although I consider them all to be, and just difficult maneuvers that I lack the skills to do pushed me into the pee filled kiddie pool where a nimrod like myself objectively belonged.  After all, as long as I am enjoying myself the game is doing its job, yet even with double health, the game certainly did find ways to grind on my gears.  Namely, my gears that grind to the sound of collectibles hidden in stages, which Ducktales has loads of.  However, these items are merely currency that can be used to unlock bonus materials, yet still find the position to taunt players as they not only very often are hidden in invisible spots, only appear after the player should have already moved past them, they disappear rather quickly as well.  Effectively meaning that the obtainment of currency not only has minimal rewards, but also gives the game an unnecessary level of frustration that contrasts with how the game is very much laid out to encourage exploration.2014-06-22_00005

While I do very much enjoy the concept of exploration in games on its own, there was something about the visual components to DuckTales that I found to degrade as I played through it.  The 2D animation is fluid and greatly appealing, yet the concept of staying true to the original seemed to guide the decision in terms of how diverse and repetitious the animation is, as just about every character in the game quickly begins to loop their animation one way or another.  Although, my eyes could have been drawn to the animation far more than the oddly polygonal environment, which I can only fathom to being included for budget related reasons.  Thankfully, it is very easy to look past beyond what the environment is attempting to convey, at least in the majority of circumstances.  What stuck out more to me was in-game voice clips Scrooge spouted frequently enough to border double digits in terms of use during the title’s fairly short length.  Particularly due to how they were overlaying, and often lowering the volume of, the expected high quality work of Jake Kaufman, whose score injected quite a large deal of energy into a game that I can easily imagine being far more cynical to without.2014-06-21_00019

DuckTales Remastered is a game I had on my bucket list, cleared in two days with no problem, and forgot about partway while writing this review.  Or in other words, saying it is forgettable or did not leave much of an impact on me would be a rather apt way to put my thoughts on it.  While serviceable in just about every regard, I simply did not find much about the title to be alarmingly unique or enjoyable, and merely found it to be a fairly enjoyable platformer romp that likely did its license justice while repackaging a game aged 20+ years with some new styling threads.

Alright (6.0/10)
By no means something that must be played, but not entirely worth pushing aside forever.  The title is ultimately above average and keeps the good balanced with the bad by a noticeable enough margin to still be worth picking up.

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