As a kid I loved Ducktales the TV series, telling the tales of Scrooge McDuck, a super-rich penny-pincher & his 3 nephews, Huey, Dewey & Louie as they warded off the attacks of many varying enemies who wanted Scrooges money. It was clever, animated & voiced well & resulted in a pretty good movie.
I never played the really well-received NES game version so when the remake was announced last year I didn’t get particularly excited. In fact I never even considered buying it until it went on sale…I’m so glad I did.
A re-mastered version of the 1989 NES hit, the story sees Scrooge McDuck flying all over the world to find 5 hidden treasures with the help of his nephews & a number of classic characters such as Launchpad & Webby. Scrooge’s journey takes him from the Amazon jungle to Transylvania & eventually to the moon all the while battling enemies that include the Beagle boys, Magica De Spell & Flintheart Glomgold.
Played out in beautifully coloured 2-D players take on the role of Scrooge McDuck across a 7 levels (including a tutorial – original game only had 5) collecting treasure & battling enemies with his cane. The cane is used in 2 ways, the first like a pogo stick allowing Scrooge to defeat enemies by bouncing on their heads, reaching higher areas & traversing hazardous areas that might damage Scrooge if he was on foot. Scrooge can also swing the cane to knock stone blocks into enemies & destroy certain objects.
As well as constantly re-spawning enemies the terrain can be extremely hazardous so quick thinking is key. Thankfully the controls are excellent & easy to use; you won’t ever feel like bad controls killed you instead of your own mistakes.
Each level is unique starting with a short tutorial level based in Scrooges Money Bin as he attempts to stop a Beagle boy robbery & rescue his nephews. This is a brand new level for the re-mastered edition & serves to set up motivation for the rest of the story as Scrooge finds the Beagle boys were after a painting that shows the 5 treasures.
What follows are levels set in the Amazon, Transylvania, African Mines, Himalayas & the Moon. Once all treasures have been collected the other new level is revealed, Mount Vesuvius & a battle with a tough end boss.
Talking of bosses…each level ends with Scrooge having to defeat a boss to get the required treasure. The bosses are done such a way that they don’t feel like they were randomly inserted. For example…the Himalayas boss is an angry snow beast that when defeated turns out to have had the treasure Scrooge was after stuck in his foot like a thorn making him so angry. This we find out thanks to Webby who can talk to the beast. Other bosses include a giant rat & Magica De Spell…
What really surprised me is the number of characters that reprised their speaking roles from the original game & series, most notably Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad & Magica De Spell. The sound quality is excellent & backed up by an excellent soundtrack it makes Ducktales the kind of game you don’t want to mute.
If I have one criticism it is the cut-scenes…they are far too regular & break up the flow of gameplay far too much. Once you’ve completed the game you can skip them via the pause menu thankfully.
On Easy & Normal there isn’t much of a challenge to be had but it does allow you to see just how much fun the game is. Harder difficulties add lives, less heart containers, less health drops & tougher damage taken to really up the ante.
Treasure collected throughout is added together alongside bonuses at the end of the level, this money is then used to unlock gallery items such as concept art, music & stills from the shows. To get enough to buy everything will take a few play-throughs & with the game being fairly short you might find yourself getting bored before you’ve really made a big enough dent into the unlockables.
Fun, clever & stays true to the series that inspired it. It’s really easy on the eyes with gameplay that most can pick up without trouble. The added levels, boss patterns & story elements combine to make this feel like a complete game. Throw in voice-acting from original cast members & music that will make you smile & this is almost the complete re-mastering of a game.