~~Life is like a hurricane/ Here in Duckburg
~~Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes/ It's a duck-blur
~~Might solve a mystery Or rewrite history
~~DuckTales! OOH OOH
--Whoa -- sorry, I got a bit carried away as I've been humming that song for the last few hours after having played a few minutes of the upcoming and HD-ified Capcom classic, "DuckTales." Now titled "DuckTales Remastered" Capcom celebrates their 30th anniversary with one of their most beloved games.
"DuckTales Remastered" is exactly what it sounds like -- a completely redone version of the NES game. I could just write it off at that and be done; but, WayForward, best known as the developer that makes magic a reality through fantastic animations and unbelievable sprite art, once again creates a world lifted straight out of the "DuckTales" cartoon. "DuckTales Remastered" has been lovingly recreated with beautifully new backgrounds referencing the cartoon and reimagining the old game in full HD graphics. Between the pogo jump, run cycles, and hop and bop action, the animations are so perfect that's it's like playing Disney in real life.
A Complete Overhaul
This isn't just an up-resed version with pixel smoothing and enhanced colors, instead, "DuckTales Remastered" is the real deal by recreating entire levels with completely new art. Additionally, the music has been entirely redone but still retains that hummable quality. Even the new tunes have been created by first using the limitations of the 8-bit era and then converting to full symphonic capailites of modern hardware. Fan favorite earworm, The Moon level theme, wasn't represented at the demo but aurally speaking, WayForward nailed the audio.
The section I played -- Draculesti Manor -- saw the nephews captured by the Beagle Boys and Magica De Spell while Scrooge braved the haunted mansion in search of them (and jewels). Mr. McDuck and the gang are now fully voiced with short in game cutscenes to drive along the plot. I'm not saying it'll be Shakespeare, but, it'll drum up extra nostalgia points by playing out as a cartoon episode. Throw in original talent and you've got a nice package for old fans and new.
It took a moment to get settled back into how games were made back in the day. There aren't any complicated combos or hand holding. There's only two buttons, jump and swing -- oh and of course the pogo move which I instantly remembered being the best thing ever. Neddless to say, the controls are very repsonsive and retain that tight old-school feel. There's an in game map you can call up, so it wasn't too difficult navigating the mansion and mid-boss fights proved be simple enough -- though the fight with Magica knocked me out a couple of times before I bested her. A bit of the challenge had been scaled back so you won't have so many accidental deaths but you'll have three difficulty modes to choose if you find yourself on autopilot.
All said, if you were ever in need of a trip down memory lane, but also want those memories to be in hi-res with updated graphics and sound, then "DuckTales Remastered" looks to be a winner.
Look for "DuckTales Remastered" this summer for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U.