If you grew up in the age of the NES, you no doubt either played the original Duck Tales game, watched the cartoon, or even played a game similar to it. Sadly, games like this come far and few between now a days. From the very title screen, the memories flow back completely, and with lots of nostalgia. Thankfully, this game doesn’t rely on nostalgia along to get by.
You play as super billionaire Scrooge McDuck, trying to find treasure and riches throughout six different worlds, with five of them being able to be played in the order that you see fit. While this sounds like boatloads of fun, inane amounts of it even, This game feels a little aged. The developers have added a few touches to modernize the game, with some quips by Scrooge throughout the game, though most seem forceful and are very repetitive.
Not all of the game feels aged however, the visuals are clean and crisp and do a wonderful job of representing the original NES game in a modern world. Characters in the game have plenty of animations to go along with this update, my biggest beef with the animations was during the cut scenes. While the cut scenes do seem to go on forever, none of the characters mouths ever really move. So, the whole time that you are watching the interactions between characters, you hear the voice and just see a stationary head. This really made watching the cut scenes seem cheap.
The five main stages in the game can be completed in any order, and are pretty free-flowing in nature. While there is a set beginning, and end to each level, there are no invisible walls saying you must go this way or that. Each world is full of paths to explore, and plenty of hidden areas to find secret treasures, and extra hearts. If you ever get lost, simply pause the game and you have a handy in-game map of your current world, with your location and the location of your main objectives clearly marked. A little short at only 3 1/2 hours to beat start to finish, there are multiple difficulty levels to play on to bring the replay value up a bit.
While the game play is very smooth, and easy to handle, the enemy AI is very predictable and easily learned. You easily defeat enemies by either pogo bouncing on their heads, or knocking a nearby object into them. Sadly, and what makes the game much easier, the boss fights are very similar to this, and to one another. Most bosses you simply pounce their head a set number of times, and they do some other easily avoided attacks, and you’re done.
The story to the game is there, and the game takes a good bit to show you some wonderfully made cinematic, though as I stated before watching the cut scenes just seems tedious and unneeded, which I guess is why they added the “Skip Cinematic” option on the pause menu.
Wayforward Technologies, the developer that was tasked with bringing Duck Tales to the current generation of gamer did a very nice job for the most part. They brought back the original voice actors for the cartoon, which made the cut scenes that you will watch enjoyable(though with no mouth movement). They nailed the controls, which is always a fear when dealing with NES platformer games. Very few elements were really added to make the game more than what it was the begin with, which is fine, what they did add make the game a bit better.
Overall, if you were a fan of the original for the NES, then you will no doubt love this version. I do feel this could have been a $10 downloadable title for consoles, it’s not overly priced for what it is, It’s faithful to the classic, while be updated enough that new comers could like it.