Life is like a hurricane! Or is it? Ducktales: Remastered from Capcom is a remake of the original Ducktales game on the NES console but almost completely redone, save for the gameplay. Ducktales for those of you that don't know was only one of the coolest cartoons around in the late 80s with reruns continuing on into the early 90s... not to mention one of my favourite movies growing up DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp. The movie and show starred Donald Duck's uncle, Scrooge McDuck, a super rich duck that will do anything for more money (you may remember Scrooge from Disney's Christmas Carol where he played himself). Also starring in Ducktales were Huey, Louie and Dewie, Scrooge's grandnephews and their female duckling pal Webby. There is a whole slew of other characters, but I'm here to tell you about the game not the show.
The game follows the exploits of Scrooge as he attempts to get richer after finding a treasure map behind a painting in his office. He brings his friends and family along, usually putting them in great danger, but that's just the kind of character Scrooge is and you'll love him for it by the end of the game/show/movie/etc. The game sends you to remote locations around the globe: African Mines, The Amazon, The Himalayas, Transylvania and The Moon. The levels all have major story elements added to them from the original explaining why you're there and the new objectives that you must complete. The original game was just a platformer set in different regions and Capcom and Co. have done an amazing job of adding in elements that breathe life into the game while maintaining the feel of the original. The levels all have their own objectives and enemies making it fresh and new every time you switch locations. It's not just a straight shot from one point in the level to the next, there are small puzzles and things that Scrooge must accomplish before he reaches the final boss of the level.
Along with almost unchanged gameplay comes almost unchanged difficultly. The game can be tough, and on anything other than easy you only have so many lives to complete the levels. The unlimited lives on easy mode is a feature new to the Remastered game an allows players of all ages to just enjoy the story without the threat of an untimely demise setting them all the way back to the beginning of the level if they Game Over. Gameplay is a pretty basic platformer where you traverse the level by jumping around, but Scrooge does have a handy secret weapon, his pogo-cane... yeah... don't ask about old game mechanics just go with it. The pogo-cane can launch Scrooge to new heights and of course take out his enemies. Scrooge is no Mario and needs his cane to take down the bad guys. This is one of the lower points of the game because if you don't hit the floor where the game wants you to it will sometimes cancel out your pogo and end up getting you hurt. It's not game breaking but it can be a frustration.
New to the game as well is a map screen and concept art for the new game (I'll get to visuals in a moment) as well as a new intro level and epilogue level leading to the final boss. The coolest addition to this game is the voice acting though. The NES obviously didn't have this feature back in the day but that didn't stop them now. Ducktales: Remastered features most of the original cast including (this is amazing and so cool to me) Alan Young, the original Scrooge McDuck who is 93 years old! Most of the original cast returned for this game as well and none of these amazing voice actors has missed a beat with all their characters sounds just like they did 20some years ago.
Lastly the visuals; amazing. The character sprites were all replaced with hand-drawn sprites to replace the pixel ones of old. The new sprites are amazing to look and and if you want a glance at the originals you can purchase the art in the museum and have a look and the new vs. the old. A lot of hard work went into these new visuals and it doesn't end with the sprites. The backgrounds of the old games were like most at the time, a lot of the same. In the remastered version all the backgrounds have been redone to match reference material from the cartoon and all new made up stuff to fit the world of Ducktales. Like the sprites the new backgrounds breathe a breath of fresh air into this platformer.
It doesn't quite end their though along with the visuals the soundtrack has also been redone again using the old midi music as reference material. It's beautifully composed and I've been writing this entire review to the sound of Scrooge's office music as the game sits idle (every once in a while Scrooge keeps trying to get my attention too).
There is a lot of game here for $15, a lot. I honestly don't know how they can charge so little for all the work they've done. Get this game if you're in the market for a pretty solid, gorgeous looking platformer that depending on your age will hit you like a watermelon to the face with nostalgic goodness.
Oh and I can't forget my most favourite thing in the entire game... you actually get to dive into Scrooge's money pit and go for a swim. If that idea doesn't excited you I don't know what will in this world (or you're too young to get it).