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Duck Tales Remastered review

Reach into our chest and rip out our beating hearts, why don't you...

Nostalgia is a funny little human trait. Funny, but dangerously powerful. Whack a childhood tune on a mobile network advert and our souls are simultaneously tagged and accounted for. But videogames are a very different beast to music and, more often than not, we wish we hadn't given someone the opportunity to crush our dreams. Duck Tales Remastered might not devastate your dreams but it'll draw tears of despair under those rose-tinted glasses.

Based on the hugely successful, 100-episode-strong cartoon series, the 1990 NES platformer was, and is, widely regarded as one of the best NES games in existence. On the surface, at least, this modern day update should be a runaway (waddleaway?) success but, rather than the reimagining many were hoping for, publisher Capcom has instead opted for an HD remake... and so the problems begin.

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Screwed McDuck

I know what fans of the cartoon/game are thinking. How can this possibly have been screwed up? The raw materials are sat there begging to be propelled to hi-def glory. Turns out HD isn't the magic wand cash-strapped publishers so desperately want it to be.

The game itself is a straightforward, side-scrolling platformer in which Scrooge McDuck is on the search for money and treasure across five themed levels (African Mines, The Amazon, The Himalayas, Transylvania and The Moon). Scrooge can use his walking stick as a pogo (either to jump higher, or to nail enemies) or as a golf swing-style weapon.

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On the NES it was great. Five different levels! Cartoon-quality animation! OMG, it's Huey, Dewey and Louie... AND Launchpad!!! The remake triggers those very same feelings. You'll shiver with duckbumps at the retro Capcom sizzle. You'll have the neighbours bashing down the door after you've listened with maniacal glee to the theme music for the 20th time. You'll sigh like a lovesick teenager when you first see the glorious HD graphics and hear the voices of the super-cute duckling triplets. But a mere 10 minutes later that warmly glowing nostalgia will be replaced by mind-numbing boredom.

Waybackward

Put simply, the gameplay just doesn't stand up to the test of time. The platforming is solid enough but it's so boring and so short-lived. You rarely ever see more than three characters onscreen at once. At one point a level intro sequence throws up dozens of rampaging enemy goons and a tingle of excitement makes your hands shake until you're thrown back into tedium just a few seconds later.

The foundations are there for greatness, but as it is the game just feels soulless and empty. What this game needs is more... of everything. A reimagining of this game would see more goons on screen, more power-ups, more collectibles, more levels and, crucially, more surprises.

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If you manage to stave off the boredom you'll have seen everything inside of three hours. That the 'infinite' Cloudberry Kingdom sells for just £8 while this will set you back a whopping £13.50 speaks volumes.

Ironically the only gamers who will take to this are the 3-8 year olds, the very opposite audience to which this nostalgia-laden fan service was originally aimed at. A shame.

Comments

39 comments so far...
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  1. Tavex Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 10:47

    I remember enjoying the movie as a kid, never saw the show. Might pick this up when if it goes on sale within a few months time. So the main fault is the game stays too truthful to its NES roots is it? Hope that the higher difficulty options might make it more engaging :?

  2. ploiper Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 10:54

    i decided to download the ps3 version the other day and would honestly say, personally, this is one of the better downloadable games this year. i have had so much fun with it and would easily give it 85% - 90%. but thats just me personally. i dont really have any faults to say about it.

  3. JoeOdranDoran Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 10:59

    My thoughts exactly. So much of the game just feels so...basic. The pacing of the levels is already slow and cumbersome, and the cutscenes are so dragged out, they only hinder the flow.

    Nostalgia is so weird. If I had been playing the NES original, I would have felt it was fine, great even. Yet, take that exact same game, slap on some updated visuals, and it just doesn't work.

    Wayforward gave the fans exactly what they were asking for - a blow for blow HD remake of their favourite game. And yet, when the time came to play it, it wasn't what we wanted at all.

  4. 9 Times Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 11:59

    Oh.
    Now this...this was unexpected.I thought it would at least get 80% or something...but I guess it was really only nostalgia that really made the game seem remake-worthy...
    That's what made Ocarina of Time special, play it 14 years later and it's still just as fun! I mean if they remade Pokemon Snap nowadays, I'm sure it wouldn't get all the praise it did get back in the day...just because games no longer have such a limited standard. It wouldn't be BAD, but we expect so much more from games inn this day and age that it just wouldn't have the 'Wow-factor', something that made it so awesome way back then. I'm sure the same thing happened to Duck Tales.

  5. 5OUNDWAVE Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 12:04

    it's only 11.99 on the eshop ?

  6. toffeeman30 Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 12:05

    hopefully this is the start of successful remastered reboots

  7. irishmarcoos Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 12:27

    I think this is a slight over-reaction... i think that Wayforward have put a lot of effort into making this as close to the original as possible, and the new added cutscenes and features are brilliant. I have no idea why so many reviewers are giving this a bad score. It happens to be one of the best Wii U Downloadable titles available.

  8. bigterence Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 12:35

    General consensus on MiiVerse seems pretty positive...11.99 by the way.

  9. K-tet Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 14:48

    Yeah, a poor review from Chandra, very poor in fact. Mind you, general string of reviews from ONM are borderline poor anyway. Probably why I no longer buy the mags.

    Easily 80%, and that's without the nostalgia tugging at the strings. It's definitely worth the 11.99 no issue. It feels like a solid platform game which stays as true to the original as possible. WayForward haven't disappointed with this remaster. Hopefully more of the same with other titles in the near future.

    Pro-tip: It's not just about the nostalgia. As long as the remaster plays as true to its original roots as possible, that's how you keep it true. If it feels off (e.g. Sonic Genesis on the GBA), then it's a bad remaster. If it feels solid and true (e.g. Star Fox 64 3D), then it's a good remaster. It's not rocket science. Nostalgia plays no part in that analogy, but it helps if you can relate to the original to compare.

  10. Fidu Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 15:25

    I respectfully disagree.

  11. Chill2868 Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 15:57

    Another soulless developer destroys the magic of gaming

  12. ChandraONM Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 16:18

    For all the people commenting on price, the official price outlined in Nintendo and Capcom's press release is what has been used as the facts in this review.
    That will change and, over time, that may go up and down will special offers and general discounts.
    The review is written based on the facts available at the time of going to press, as always.

  13. ChandraONM Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 16:23

    Yeah, a poor review from Chandra, very poor in fact. Mind you, general string of reviews from ONM are borderline poor anyway. Probably why I no longer buy the mags.

    Easily 80%, and that's without the nostalgia tugging at the strings. It's definitely worth the 11.99 no issue. It feels like a solid platform game which stays as true to the original as possible. WayForward haven't disappointed with this remaster. Hopefully more of the same with other titles in the near future.

    Pro-tip: It's not just about the nostalgia. As long as the remaster plays as true to its original roots as possible, that's how you keep it true. If it feels off (e.g. Sonic Genesis on the GBA), then it's a bad remaster. If it feels solid and true (e.g. Star Fox 64 3D), then it's a good remaster. It's not rocket science. Nostalgia plays no part in that analogy, but it helps if you can relate to the original to compare.

    I don't give a damn if it's a good 'remaster' and whether the offering remains true to that definition.
    I review videogames. The question I ask is, is it a good videogame?
    In this instance, I think it's an average one.
    A difference of opinion doesn't make one opinion poor and another correct. You'd do well to consider that as a general rule of life.

  14. RainbowGazelle Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 17:03

    I had never played the original game, but found this Remaster to be a lot of fun. It's not quite worth 11.99 in my eyes, but I'd say the game score deserves to be in the high 70s at least.

    A difference of opinion doesn't make one opinion poor and another correct. You'd do well to consider that as a general rule of life.

    I completely agree with you here, Chandra. Therefore, I would like to ask that you please don't write 'you will think this', and 'you will feel that' in reviews. As opinions differ, there is good chance that many readers will not feel the same way.

    Back on the subject of the game: I respect your opinion, I just personally don't agree with it.

  15. wghtmf Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 17:13

    Oh. I'm a new gamer, so I don't have a NES, and therefore haven't played any version of this. I'm a bit disappointed this did quite badly, but I'll read some more reviews before completely ruling it out.

  16. Time-Bomb Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 17:33

    Yeah, a poor review from Chandra, very poor in fact. Mind you, general string of reviews from ONM are borderline poor anyway. Probably why I no longer buy the mags.

    Easily 80%, and that's without the nostalgia tugging at the strings. It's definitely worth the 11.99 no issue. It feels like a solid platform game which stays as true to the original as possible. WayForward haven't disappointed with this remaster. Hopefully more of the same with other titles in the near future.

    Pro-tip: It's not just about the nostalgia. As long as the remaster plays as true to its original roots as possible, that's how you keep it true. If it feels off (e.g. Sonic Genesis on the GBA), then it's a bad remaster. If it feels solid and true (e.g. Star Fox 64 3D), then it's a good remaster. It's not rocket science. Nostalgia plays no part in that analogy, but it helps if you can relate to the original to compare.

    What a childish thing to say. You've given no reason as to why this is a "poor review" other than the fact you disagree.

    I think this is a perfectly reasonable review. You don't even have to have played the original and take nostalgia into account to see that this is essentially a NES game being sold for a similar price to many second hand retail games, and thus it's only fair to compare it to something of equal cost. In this case, it simply falls short due to the massive lack of content. The fact it still scored in the 60's is a testament to the quality of game it used to be, because that's a good review score for such an old game!

  17. K-tet Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 17:35

    I don't give a damn if it's a good 'remaster' and whether the offering remains true to that definition.
    I review videogames. The question I ask is, is it a good videogame?
    In this instance, I think it's an average one.
    A difference of opinion doesn't make one opinion poor and another correct. You'd do well to consider that as a general rule of life.


    Your defensiveness is appalling. I'd suggest you learn to mellow out. You're paid to write an opinion, and I have every right to say whether I agree or not. You'd do well to consider that as a general rule of life yourself.

    The bottom line is I enjoyed the game, and don't agree with what you've written. That's where our opinions differ. Respectfully, I'm not here to neither agree nor disagree, nor am I here to win a popularity contest. I will spin my tuppence where I can. You should personally enjoy the fact that people are engaging with you, irrespective of how strong the opinions are.

    What a childish thing to say. You've given no reason as to why this is a "poor review" other than the fact you disagree.


    And disagreeing is all the reason I need. Childish you say? Perhaps baseless, but no, I'm entitled to disagree. If you don't like it, tough.

    Edit: If not beating about the bush offends people, then sure, be offended.

  18. Time-Bomb Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 17:43

    I don't give a damn if it's a good 'remaster' and whether the offering remains true to that definition.
    I review videogames. The question I ask is, is it a good videogame?
    In this instance, I think it's an average one.
    A difference of opinion doesn't make one opinion poor and another correct. You'd do well to consider that as a general rule of life.


    Your defensiveness is appalling. I'd suggest you learn to mellow out. You're paid to write an opinion, and I have every right to say whether I agree or not. You'd do well to consider that as a general rule of life yourself.

    The bottom line is I enjoyed the game, and don't agree with what you've written. That's where our opinions differ.

    What a childish thing to say. You've given no reason as to why this is a "poor review" other than the fact you disagree.


    And disagreeing is all the reason I need. Childish you say? Perhaps baseless, but no, I'm entitled to disagree. If you don't like it, tough.

    The fact that you disagree doesn't mean this review is "poor". A less childish way to show you disagree would be to say "I disagree", rather than criticising his review. At least his argument is perfectly justified, unlike yours.

  19. K-tet Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 17:52

    The fact that you disagree doesn't mean this review is "poor". A less childish way to show you disagree would be to say "I disagree", rather than criticising his review. At least his argument is perfectly justified, unlike yours.


    I've already given my reason, if you had bothered to read it.

    I know what the game is, a remaster. It stays true to being a remaster. That's what the game is. It isn't new, it's simply a remaster. The clue's in the game title. That's the crux of my argument. As long as it stays true to its roots (which it does, and that's also my opinion), then for the purpose it serves, it does so fine. That's where he disagrees, and that's our difference of opinion.

  20. Time-Bomb Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 18:00

    The fact that you disagree doesn't mean this review is "poor". A less childish way to show you disagree would be to say "I disagree", rather than criticising his review. At least his argument is perfectly justified, unlike yours.


    I've already given my reason, if you had bothered to read it.

    I know what the game is, a remaster. It stays true to being a remaster. That's what the game is. It isn't new, it's simply a remaster. The clue's in the game title. That's the crux of my argument. As long as it stays true to its roots (which it does, and that's also my opinion), then for the purpose it serves, it does so fine. That's where he disagrees, and that's our difference of opinion.

    See, was that really so hard? You've expressed your opinion without feeling the need to criticise and denounce other peoples'. I feel as though you've learnt a life lesson after all :)

  21. K-tet Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 18:04

    See, was that really so hard? You've expressed your opinion without feeling the need to criticise and denounce other peoples'. I feel as though you've learnt a life lesson after all :)


    Actually I made it clear before, just that you never bothered to read it. To repost:

    Pro-tip: It's not just about the nostalgia. As long as the remaster plays as true to its original roots as possible, that's how you keep it true. If it feels off (e.g. Sonic Genesis on the GBA), then it's a bad remaster. If it feels solid and true (e.g. Star Fox 64 3D), then it's a good remaster. It's not rocket science. Nostalgia plays no part in that analogy, but it helps if you can relate to the original to compare.


    It may have been bare bones, but that was the reason.

  22. Time-Bomb Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 18:16

    See, was that really so hard? You've expressed your opinion without feeling the need to criticise and denounce other peoples'. I feel as though you've learnt a life lesson after all :)


    Actually I made it clear before, just that you never bothered to read it. To repost:

    Pro-tip: It's not just about the nostalgia. As long as the remaster plays as true to its original roots as possible, that's how you keep it true. If it feels off (e.g. Sonic Genesis on the GBA), then it's a bad remaster. If it feels solid and true (e.g. Star Fox 64 3D), then it's a good remaster. It's not rocket science. Nostalgia plays no part in that analogy, but it helps if you can relate to the original to compare.


    It may have been bare bones, but that was the reason.

    My point was merely that you shouldn't be so harsh on other people's opinions by labelling them as "very poor", and instead simply state you disagree and explain why. You seem to have done that, so well done :)

  23. K-tet Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 18:22

    My point was merely that you shouldn't be so harsh on other people's opinions by labelling them as "very poor", and instead simply state you disagree and explain why. You seem to have done that, so well done :)


    >_>
    Jog on.

  24. TheVelvetRoom Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 18:34

    I have no idea why reviewers have been so harsh on this. It's a Remastering of a classic platformer. Whatever flaws it has are the original's flaws. The treatment given to it by Wayforward is top-notch: great remixed soundtrack, the cartoon's voice cast, and absolutely gorgeous animations.

  25. buddy1983 Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 18:47

    Why is this website always so late with reviews?

  26. James Doughty Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 19:12

    My first post on this site :O Anyway I'm currently going through this game and liking it more than I thought I would, I really enjoyed the NES game (which I still have) but it is nice to get an updated version. Btw I use to collect your mags way back in 1994 till 2000 but I've seem to have lost them all now :(

  27. Wyraachur Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 20:37

    In my own opinion, I enjoyed the game immensely. The added features are a nice touch (Come on, you can swim in the Money Bin, what's bad about that?), and having grown up with the cartoon and the original Game Boy game (which I still have alongside my Game Boy Color), I was looking forwards to it.

    It didn't disappoint me in the slightest bit, even if the last level did have a couple of BS elements XD

  28. MartinIsAwesome Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 22:06

    I'm a bit confused by this review. I think it might be down to the tone - it reads like this is a travesty of a game, but the half-decent score of 62% jars with that. Phrases like "Reach into our chest and rip out our beating hearts, why don't you..." and "tears of despair", and the question "How can this possibly have been screwed up?",make it sound like it should be more within the 20 to 40 pecentile.

    Another soulless developer destroys the magic of gaming


    Anyone who has played any of WayForward's games would know that a load of old cesium salami. WayForward Technologies and it's staff have produced some absolute gems which are essentially modern day retro classics, and if you have heard them talking about this game and read what they have said about the games they have made in the past you'd know that souless is the antithesis of WayForward.

  29. 9 Times Friday 16th Aug 2013 at 23:21

    Why is this website always so late with reviews?


    I don't think there's a great deal of people working at this site, so it may be hard to keep up with the latest news AND write a great big review. Still, it was a great review, nonetheless, dunno what people are complaining about :?

  30. Guybrush20X6 Saturday 17th Aug 2013 at 11:22

    It one of those review that seems like the review itself and the score were made by different people. I never played the original and I enjoy it so it can't all be nostalgia blindness for why the public seems to like it.

  31. RocketxKnighter Saturday 17th Aug 2013 at 15:41

    I did hear that the game is rather straight forward, removed the invisible hidden treasure and the completionist ending.

    This isn't a buy for me unless it goes on discount.

    Sorry but I love my games to have freedom to pick any level I want like the original game and I want to work appropriately hard for the good ending.

  32. IanC Saturday 17th Aug 2013 at 17:29

    Wow. I couldn't disagree more with this review. Was playing it earlier, yeah i completed most of the levels, but i enjoyed every moment of it. I think Wayforward have done a greatjob "remastering" the game.

    Hell my only real problems so far are the freezing when you access the leader boards (how that got through Nintendos QC I'll never know!) and the sound being out of a sync on the gamepad (i had to turn the volume on the gamepad down because it was really distracting).

    But the game itself? Fun all the way.

    Oh and the guy calling Wayforward soulless... what.

    Seriously, what? They are one of the best developers in the business. You can feel it in their games, they always give 100% whether its an original property (the Mighty series) or licensed.

    EA are soulless. Activsion are soulless. Capcom when they pull the DLC on disc BS are soulless. But Wayforward? No. Nowhere close.

  33. 5OUNDWAVE Saturday 17th Aug 2013 at 21:35

    I did hear that the game is rather straight forward, removed the invisible hidden treasure and the completionist ending.

    This isn't a buy for me unless it goes on discount.

    Sorry but I love my games to have freedom to pick any level I want like the original game and I want to work appropriately hard for the good ending.

    the invisible treasure is in it , you just have to play it on hard !

  34. PuAl Monday 19th Aug 2013 at 19:10

    They should've remade Quack Attack instead ;)

    Edit: I meant QuackShot. Brain fart, my bad.

  35. IanC Monday 19th Aug 2013 at 20:17

    Completed it today. Still stand by my comments. Loved the ending music (never heard that version of the Duck Tales theme before, with the other verse!) And the 8bit music option you unlock? Lush. 8bit Moon took me back to my childhood. You modern day kids, you don't know what gaming is like /oldman :lol:

  36. alexherreraz Tuesday 20th Aug 2013 at 19:08

    if you want to see the walkthrough you can check it here :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUicipdM ... JIC5aSGKfz

  37. kerr9000 Wednesday 28th Aug 2013 at 16:44

    I played the original as a boy, I have approximately 500 Nintendo games in my house and have been playing them since I was young and I personally really like this game.. I would give it 82%.. I think Chandra's response was a little bit rude. Given your position on this magazine and the fact that how you show your opinion on this forum reflects on how others feel they can talk to each other you should really show some manners to people who make up the fan base of your magazine and this forum.

  38. raindash44 Friday 30th Aug 2013 at 12:26

    Downloaded this game when it came out. I quite like it. Yeah it's limited in content but it's a remake of a old 8 Bit game. Also for a E Shop game for little over a tenner i say it's quite a good buy.

  39. raindash44 Friday 30th Aug 2013 at 12:29

    I use to collect your mags way back in 1994 till 2000 but I've seem to have lost them all now :(

    That was not ONM. That was NOM, the old Nintendo mag published by E-Map.

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