Nostalgia are the circular rose-colored glasses that smooth out the graphics and exorcise the flaws. The phrase “never meet your heroes” can also be applied to old video games that you love dearly. Many should be best kept in the velvet lined box in the back of your head to be cherished but never experienced again. DuckTales was a legendary title for the NES which many of us regard as one of the best games of the generation. With the release of DuckTales Remastered, there is one question on everyone’s mind: Should you leave DuckTales in the warm gooey nostalgia of your memory never to be played again, or give DuckTales Remastered a go at living up to those rosy memories?
I have to admit that I love it when older games are given a nip/tuck. If done right, it gives you the rare opportunity to experience a game exactly the way your brain remembers it. Because of some quirk in our neurons, we remember old video games with vastly better graphics than they ever had. Maybe it is just our brain interpolating the pixels into a higher resolution memory. Also, updates give you a chance to catch up on the gems of a previous generation that you missed, Only this time, they’re in their ultimate form and looking better than ever.
DuckTales Remastered is the story of Scrooge McDuck chasing after ancient treasure scattered across the world. With the help of the entire cast of the DuckTales cartoon, he makes it from the Amazon to the inner surface of the Moon. But, a lust for treasure isn’t just what drive’s Scrooge’s adventure. There is something a bit more worthy of his time and courage.
That is the first thing that you’ll notice about DuckTales Remastered. It looks better than it ever did in your memory. Now, it looks like everything is hand drawn and ripped straight from the Disney cartoon. Each level is lovingly detailed and there isn’t a jagged pixel in sight. It looks simply stunning.
The controls are as simple as you remember. One stick to move, one button to jump, and another you can hold to pogo Scrooge McDuck around the level on his cane. With the exception of one nagging issue, the controls are as tight and responsive as you could want. They make it a joy to tackle the sometimes daunting platforming challenges. The only problem I ran into was that the pogo occasionally wouldn’t activate if the jump button wasn’t used. Basically the pogo wouldn’t activate if you just walked off of a ledge. This usually spell disaster since the only way to take out enemies is with the pogo cane.
All the levels in DuckTales Remastered are laid out like the original. The enemy placements and movements are much the same as well. It is a faithful revamping of the original game and that is a very good thing. If too much was changed the feeling of the original would be lost. It wouldn’t be DuckTales Remastered, it would just be another lifeless sequel.
While exploring each level in this reborn NES classic is a lot of fun, there are a few problems to disrupt your good time. The most prevalent problem is the story. More dialogue, exposition, and cutscenes have been shoehorned in to really slow down the pace of Scrooge’s adventure. It would have been much better to slim down the story to its most basic and pithy. Too many clever lines fell flat on my ears and there were too many interruptions to the gameplay. One offender would be the Amazon level where Scrooge feels the need to call Launchpad every time he picks up an important piece of the puzzle. It feels overburdened and bloated.
But any quibbles are really only minor for this delightfully beautiful title that will make you brain swim in nostalgic chemicals. If you’re a fan of the original, then you have to play DuckTales Remastered. If anything, it will make you smile and hum along to that theme song you know by heart.
A retail copy of DuckTales Remastered was purchased for the Playstation 3 for this review.