“Life is like a hurricane.”
Utter this phrase to anyone over the age of 20 and you’ll most likely illicit a smile and a new friend for life. Ducktales — the animated adventures of Scrooge McDuck and gang- is one of the most beloved animated shows of the last few decades and has become a go-to reference for anyone waxing nostalgically about a ’90s childhood (pog/slap bracelet/Boy Meets World references will also suffice). Ducktales was the feather-covered centerpiece at the heart of the Disney Afternoon empire, and like many of the other shows on the slate (Tailspin, Darkwing Duck, etc.), it was no stranger to the world of tie-in merchandise: toys, movies, dolls, and most importantly, one of the best side scrolling platform video games of the late ’80s/early ’90s.
Ducktales, originally released on the NES in 1989, was a colorful, fast paced romp through Duckburg and the world of Scrooge, and like all things DuckTales, it inspired a legion of loyal devotees (Duckotees?). Over the two decades since its release, it remained one of the better-received games released on the NES (and certainly one of the best licensed property games), and fans had been asking, if not begging, for more Tales ever since. The evil and awesome geniuses at Capcom have heard the pleas, and at the PAX East expo, they announced that an HD, remastered version of the much-loved game would see a release in the summer of 2013.
Not content with just making the game prettier (which it is), Capcom and developer Wayforward Technologies have added brand new levels to DuckTales Remastered, and have also changed the AI patterns on the boss battles, making for a brand new duck experience. The makers have also added new story elements to the game to more fully flesh out the whole piece.
I got a chance to play a bit of the game, and I can happily report that they’ve nailed it. All the fun of the original title (and NES sidescrollers in general), mixed in with sharp new graphics, a fun musical score and the above mentioned new elements, make for a delightful retro gaming experience that doesn’t require hunting down AV cables. Though it had been a long time since I’d played the game, I remembered the basics of it very quickly, and within minutes, I was having a blast pogo-sticking down memory lane. While it’s nowhere near what we’d expect from a modern video game, that’s a good thing; DuckTales has always been about one thing, fun (and I guess piles of gold AND talking ducks).
The game will be released sometime late summer, on Ps3, Xbox360, Wii U, and PCs, so you’ve really got no excuse to not go for a dive into the ol’ money bin one more time. You might solve a mystery, or re-write history. (I’m the worst)