Date Completed : September 6th, 2013
I never owned the original NES game but I still have my copy of the Gameboy version. My Dad bought it back in the day and declared that it was ‘his’ game, in spite of him having never played a video game in his life. Being a parent now I understand that parents do weird and arbitrary things for reasons that make sense at the time but appear strange and bizarre to outside observers. Combine that with my Dad who does weird and arbitrary things even when he isn’t parenting, well, I’ve learned not to ask questions. My Dad never did play the game and he’s probably long forgotten his odd declaration but I’ve never sold it because it technically isn’t mine. None of that has anything to do with this title however.
The blitz of marketing “Duckumentary” videos released by the developer were completely unnecessary to convince me to purchase Duck Tales. I was ready to buy it as soon as I heard the project existed. On launch day I immediately downloaded a copy to the Wii U. A colleague from work purchased the PS3 version on the same day, but I still think there is something wrong about playing Duck Tales on non-nintendo hardware. He’s tried to claim that trophy support makes the PS3 version superior to the Wii U version but I can see his opinion for what it really is – an absurd rationalization.
My first impression of the game was WOW. The game isn’t just in HD, it’s fantastically in HD. The foreground is layered on top of extraordinarily detailed backgrounds. It’s not just graphics that look great, the sound has been upgraded as well. The combination of upgraded visuals and sound is almost overwhelming. My first attempt to play the game resulted in an early death because I could not focus on the important part (which is mainly where the enemies are in relation to Uncle Scrooge).
I had read a wildly negative review prior to playing the game and I was a bit worried going in, but game play was exactly as I remembered it. You play as Uncle Scrooge who apparently has a pogo stick built into his cane (This may be the only game ever to use pogo sticking 2D side-scrolling platforming as the primary game mechanic). I played the game on Hard and I didn’t have serious trouble with any of the stages. In fact, I had a much easier time with the game than my previously mentioned colleague who had chosen to play on Medium. Apparently on Hard all of the Cake items (which refill your health) have been replaced with 1-Ups, so while my colleague always found himself without enough lives, I always had lots.
I thought my boys would enjoy watching the game but they still preferred Pikmin 3. Every time I started up Duck Tales they’d ask if I would play Pikmin instead. When they heard me pull up the YouTube video for the Moon theme while writing this review they asked if I was going to play Pikmin. They seemed to enjoy Duck Tales enough once I got it started up but it definitely did not speak to them on the same level that Pikmin did. I’m not sure why. Duck Tales has beautiful graphics, voice-acted cut scenes, silly jokes, monsters and aliens. There is no predicting kids.
The Wii U game pad controller is only used to mirror the picture up on the big screen. The SD picture on the game pad looks a bit crappy compared to the big screen picture. It’s obvious they didn’t put much extra effort into the Wii U port (I’m happy they bothered to make one at all). The only time I used the screen mirroring was when I played through the final level and beat the game (My kids were watching Thomas at the time). The experience wasn’t bad but playing a game meant for HD on a SD screen sort of defeats the purpose.
Overall I enjoyed the game and I’d play through it again. It’s about the same length as the original title but it’s also just as fun as the original and well worth the price. If I spend the time indoctrinating my children with old Duck Tales cartoons maybe I’ll get them to love this game too. 🙂
- Remastered HD Graphics.
- Remastered HD Sound.
- New cut-scenes and.
- Short levels.