DuckTales was and still is one of my favorite games from my childhood. It might be in the top 25 games of all time for me. This is one of the only games that was every stolen from me and it is something that I have nothing but fond memories about. The sprite work, the music, the controls, everything about the original was tight and damn near perfect. It was one of the only instances in gaming history that a tie-in from a popular show or movie turned into a great game.
So how does the HD Version of this game hold up? In many ways it does what the original did just as well and possibly in some ways it does certain things better. I’m just going to run through each facet of the game really quick and give you my opinion on the Remastered HD edition of DuckTales.
Visually the game is stunning. The backgrounds are stunning, the character art is perfect, the color and depth are all lush and inviting. This is one of the most gorgeous remasterings of an old game that I’ve ever seen. Visually it is as close to exactly what I want as humanly possible. In fact from the very second I started watching the cutscenes to the first few seconds of the game I was hooked on just how overwhelmingly beautiful this game is.
One of the features in the game that you can use involves spending your in game cash to buy HD wallpapers, sketches, and music from the game. These items really highlight just how amazing their work is. I literally plan to use the HD wallpapers listed in game for my own computer. Which is saying something as we move along in this review.
The sound in the game is stellar. You can switch between the 8 bit originals or the new remastered music. I do not know which one I like better and frankly I don’t think I (or you) needs to choose. These are all handled exceptionally well and help to establish a level of perfection that is not often seen in these kind of projects.
Level design is great as well. They mostly took the original levels and just gave them touchups which I don’t mind. I originally played it on hard which meant I didn’t know there was a minimap. The collectables were perfectly fine for me but did upset some folks who remember the original. If you have never played the original before you will probably not find this annoying. What you will find annoying is that you can’t quickly skip through the scenes. This means that if you are playing on hard like I was you will likely be learning some quick button commands to skip. I was playing with an Xbox 360 controller so I was pressing start and X in one swift motion to nearly instantly skip scenes after many playthroughs.
Why was I playing the levels over and over you might ask? Well this gets down to the weakest part of this game. The controls are atrocious. The original game (to this day) has tight controls and you would expect it to because it is running on the megaman engine (TIL eh?). Almost 90% of my life loss and indeed most of my deaths were caused by me pressing the button for Pogo and Scrooge just-not-doing-it. This is a big deal and by that I mean a really really big deal.
There is literally nothing more important in a game than the controls. The most beautiful game in the world means shit if you can’t interact with it in any meaningful way. This game is nearly perfect and would so quickly end up on my great titles list if the controls were as tight as the original. It needs those tight controls to be the real DuckTales experience. A few times during my twitch stream of this game I found myself bordering on infuriated because I was teabagging villains instead of Pogo staffing them.
This game borders on average to good because of this problem. That might sound like a really incredible response to a single problem when the rest of the game is basically perfect but it is extremely serious. If they patch out this problem I will gladly change this review to be a great. For now it will be under good but only barely so. I do think you should play this but I think even more so you should play the original. It’s a piece of brilliance that really proves that some games are exceptionally good regardless of generation.
In the end I do plan to get all the achievements for this game and I love the updates that came with the remastered edition. Whoever handled the controls for this game deserves a reprimand however. This sort of unresponsiveness is unacceptable. (I think Super Meat Boy has broken me in terms of expectations.)