6th-Gen, gaming, NES

Tokyochuchu on: Duck Tales Remastered

Duck3

Duck Tales on the NES was one of my favorite platform games of all time. It’s still a game that I go back to and play periodically. Thus, the remastered version was a huge deal for me and one of my most anticipated titles of 2013. That said, my love of the original is so fierce that I was also worried that it would soil my memories. After all, we all witnessed the dreadful mess that was the Turtles in Time: Reshelled game. However, my fears were quickly sidelined because Duck Tales Remastered is awesome! The graphics are unbelievably charming, the soundtrack is one of the best ever written (but then it always was) and the controls are tighter than the draw strings on Scrooge McDuck’s money purse.

Those fucking goats! They just don't quit!

Those fucking goats! They just don’t quit!

There are a lot of great new additions to the game, too. First up, there is the new story component. This is a lot of fun, especially as it’s voiced by the animation’s original cast. It’s just great to hear the likes of Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and Gyro back in their full glory again! Then there are the reworked boss battles. The original game’s encounters were fun but incredibly simple. This time around, they all have more than one attack routine and come at you much harder. And they’re a lot more fun as a result. There are one or two minor problems that prevent this game from being perfect, however.

Boingboingboingboingboingboing... Love that sound.

Boingboingboingboingboingboing… Love that sound. Reminds me of being 10 years old!

First up is the new system of having to collect items that are strewn around the maps before you can proceed to the boss. I can see that it’s done to lengthen the overall playtime, but it also limits exploration. In the original, finding secrets and little hidden nooks and crannies was a real pleasure. But in this version, the game forces you to go to all of those places anyway and it’s not really exploring if you’re directly sent there on an errand, is it? Then there is the huge difficulty spike that represents the last section of the game. The final escape sequence really feels unbalanced compared to the rest of the game (expect to drop some serious lives on that sum’bitch).

Overall, however, Duck Tales Remastered is a gorgeous, funny and nostalgic old-school plaformer with high playability and charm galore. So… Justice has been done to a true classic, I would say. And bless me bagpipes for that!

Standard
8-Bit, gaming, NES

Tokyochuchu on: Duck Tales (NES)

Does anyone remember Duck Tales on the NES? Of course you do, especially with the remastered version on the way this summer. What better time to step back and have a nostalgic reminiscence about one of the best titles for Nintendo’s 8-bit box.

Developed by Capcom, Duck Tales had a magical spark to it. The graphics were cute, crisp and clean. The controls were precise, the concept uncluttered and the music unforgettable. Lest we forget that ‘The Moon’ theme has become a standard for any gamer in a metal band.

Duck Tales is split up into five stages; the Moon, the Amazon, Transylvania, the African Mines and the Himalayas. Each stage has it’s own graphical style, enemies and gimmicks. This creates a decent bit of variety in a pretty simple game.

Adding to the variety and replayabillity is the fact that the levels aren’t linear. You are free to explore, with multiple paths leading off to hidden goodies, secrets and bosses. Not only that, but the stages could even be tackled in any order! I know that seems like nothing these days but back then it was a pretty awesome feature.

The bosses were pretty memorable, too. They (and the entire game in general) had just the right balance of difficulty. They weren’t too challenging but were tricky enough not to be a total cakewalk. And you had to be somewhat careful because you only had a small amount of lives to finish the game with. With no save function or continue option (unless earned), ‘game over’ meant that it was back to the title screen to start over again.

Duck Tales was truly one of the best games on the NES. In fact, it was actually my personal favorite and a game I still boot up the old grey box to play from time to time (when I can get the bloody thing to work). Success inevitably brings sequels and towards the end of the NES’s lifespan, Duck Tales 2 was delivered. And was played by… absolutely no-one. Why was Duck Tales 2 such an abysmal flop? I don’t know. The game was a very solid platformer that expanded nicely upon the ideas of the original. Sure, it was more difficult and lacked the defining X element that made it’s predecessor a timeless classic, but it was in no way a bad game. It’s definitely worth checking out if you didn’t know about it and are hungry for a bit more 8-bit pogo action.

Now, the remastered edition… Hmmmm. As a real fan of the original, this is one of the most anticipated titles of the year for me. That said, I am a bit cautious. I was a huge fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtle in Time on the SNES… And the ‘Reshelled’ version of that was fucking horrendous! Disturbingly, the new Duck Tales remaster features the same type of graphical overhaul. Yes, yes, I know. They’re not the same game and nor are they from the same developer… But it still puts a knot in my stomach.

Especially dangerous is the fact that the original Duck Tales is, as I’ve said before, utterly timeless. It still looks great, has fantastic charm and plays tight as a drum. So the new remastered version had better be good, because to be outplayed by a game that’s around twenty years old would be really embarrassing… And a very distinct possibility. If I was the devs, I would be pissing in my pants!

So, kudos to the new developer for having the balls to tackle such a classic. We’re all waiting with baited breath. Please don’t cock it up. And for all those of you who haven’t tried the original… Go do that immediately. Seriously, it’s more than worth the price of a used NES.

Standard