Review: 'DuckTales Remastered' - A Shallow Dive Into The Moneybin


If you're looking for a faithful remake of the Capcom classic in "DuckTales Remastered," then developer Wayforward ("Hotel Transylvania," "Double Dragon Neon") delivers on that front. And that's the problem, really: it's so faithful to the antiquated design of the original, that the whole endeavor feels stale, like an act of soulless reproduction for a beloved but ultimately flawed old-school platformer.

Like the 1989 original, the painfully faithful "DuckTales Remastered" puts you in the spats of bajillionaire explorer Scrooge McDuck, who travels the world (and beyond) to find five treasures to make himself a wee bit richer. Here, the thin story is fleshed out marginally with the inclusion of cutscenes fully voiced by the surviving cast of the 80's Disney animated series, but these chatty sections really only serve to first, make explicit some of the simple mechanics that were relatively easy to figure out nearly 20 years ago and second, pad out the very short game (crank up the difficulty to "Hard" and maybe you'll get a couple of hours out of "Remastered").


WayForward Technologies put in the work to make "Remastered" a beautiful replica of the original without anyone pausing to consider whether the original was worth remaking: Scrooge McDuck has a voice now, the music is no longer chiptune, and he's even sporting the correct-color costume thanks to the talented artist at WayForward. But if we're being honest, Capcom was cranking out superior platformers around the time "DuckTales" entered the scene in 1989, a game with no room to evolve its core mechanics or how its hero interacts with the world. Even some small, off-the-beaten path points of exploration only serve to show how constricted and small the game's levels are, how little adventure beloved explorer Scrooge McDuck is actually allowed to discover thanks to the constraints of his own game. Pogoing onto slow-moving enemies or swinging Scrooge's cane like a golf club have been mythologized so much in the popular gaming consciousness that it's easy to forget that "DuckTales" (and now its remake) expand not at all on its hero's core abilities.

The developers made an attempt here to reproduce something beloved from years ago and unfortunately, that thing doesn't hold up well. Unlike "Double Dragon Neon," which used the classic brawlers as a loose template for some wild (if slightly clunky) action, "Remastered" is too faithful, a throwback to less imaginative platformers of years past. There's even an unlockable gallery of character images and a chance to swim around Scrooge's money vault, but neither of these extras in any way enhances the actual gameplay experience.

While visually impressive, featuring inventive remixes of the original's music, "DuckTales" is simply too much like its predecessor.

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