Monday, September 2, 2013

Dimata Tales Woo Woo! Thoughts on DuckTales Remastered

 FallenAngel and I had a little fun with our Prehistoric Paradise tribute to Capcoms DuckTales, one of the best games of the NES, that just got a whole lot better! 

A couple weeks ago I got DuckTales Remastered for the PS3 and nothing will be the same again!  I was very skeptical about the game, not sure what to expect since it was being done by WayForward and not in house with Capcom themselves.  I have to say, that from the moment I saw Launchpad race across Duckburg and heard a remix of the original opening, my heart melted and all fears started to quickly fade away.  There is so much love and detail put into this remastering, it's impossible for any fan of Disney, or NES games not to fall instantly in love with it.  I can honestly say I have never been so emotionally charged by a video game in my life.  I smiled from cheek to cheek the entire time.  (Until that total bitch of a final level.  Do yourself a favor and don't play it on Normal!  Play the game on Easy, or hard the first time you play, to prepare for this level of old school hell!!!!  If you play on hard, play the game from start to finish each time, to acquire a a good amount of lives. I played the game on Normal God help me. I must have redone the final stage 7 times!!!)

The game reunites the the remaining members of the original cast to give Ducktales a final curtain call that will pull on your heart strings like nobodies business.  They put in so much dialog into the game, that I was still hearing Scrooge say new things a week into playing the game.  TAKE A LESSON WITH MARIO HERE NINTENDO.  Alan Young is in his early 90s, but he's still capable of fully providing the world with his wonderful version of Mr. McDuck.  The same can be said of the great June Foray, who at 95 is still more then willing to voice Magica De Spell and does a wonderful job of it.  It's funny how certain things in the game hit me, because the game can't be helped but looked at as a final DuckTales episode.  At one point, after Scrooge saves Bubba Duck from the ice, they have this little exchange were Bubba asks if he is going home with Scoooge.  Scrooge's reply felt like this is a very final event.  That yeah, they are going home together, where they will be a family forever. Sniff.. 

The game plays exactly the same as you remember it.  They made the Pogo Jump a little easier to do.  There's also something called the Hard Pogo, but like many others, I struggled to make this work properly at times.  Wayforward added a brand new opening level that sets the events of the game in motion and a special final level that ties all the events of the original stages together in an amazing way. I am sure the original creators of the game must be very proud of them.  No game from the 8 Bit era has ever been given so much love and devotion to it.  Final Fantasy 1 on PSP comes to mind, but even that game was spawned from a Game Boy edition. 

The game takes everything you love and remember about the original and expands on it.  As people have said it's a love letter to your childhood.  A remembrance of just how wonderful Disney used to be and how fun games were.  They have extended the levels, added new events and infused each stage with a story of it's own.  They don't try to be smart, or self hating towards the franchise either, like Scooby Doo does. No, they played the story telling straight.  If you didn't know better, you would swear this was a lost episode.  What kinds of things do they do?  Well take the Transylvania stage for example.  One of the MANY new elements expands upon how in the original one nephew is taken captive by a Beagle Boy. In Remastered, all three are taken and you have to fight not a regular Beagle Boy enemy, but three Beagle bosses to get them back!  Each has it's own dialogue and item that will help you progress through the stage.  The game constantly builds on everything that made it so great in the first place, with very little altering of what is already there. All the bosses have been supped up and are no push overs.  Prepare to do more then one level over again, because you didn't get that boss pattern right and you only had one man left! :P  There are cute in jokes and even an unexpected cameo in the Himalayas level!  The only thing that has really changed totally is the ending.  I was okay with that though.  The original game isn't going anywhere, so I can still enjoy that element when playing the original any time I want.  

 The game transported me back to the good old days of the late 80's and early 90's.  As it did, so  many memories flooded back.  It was hard not to get emotional while playing it.  (And on more then a few occasions when I wasn't playing it, but thinking about it.)  Ducktales came out when I was about 11 years old.  (God, remember the preview in the free issue of Nintendo Power?)  Dang..I rented the game first and beat it, loving every minuet.  My family was not too crazy about my love affair with video games, (or dinosaurs, or animation, or anything I liked for that matter.)  Unlike kids today, I had to wait till Christmas, or a birthday to ask for the game.  I remember counting the days for 2 months till my confirmation till I finally got the game.  LOL yeah that was my gift for that sacred event!!! That was a tough sell to convince my parents to purchase it. I used the excuse that it was way less expensive then what my Italian friends were getting.  I still remember turning it on with my mom beside me on the couch, bouncing to the Amazon theme in my Sunday best.  hee hee.

 I got it the summer when my puberty was in full swing.. I was in puppy love back then.  As I played the PS3 game, it wasn't hard to remember the faces of all my old friends, (some of which are no longer with us) and my first boyfriend, all sitting together playing Ducktales in the early summer afternoons, after school.  Sigh..I guess you could say Ducktales brought a whole flood of wonderful and not so wonderful memories back.  (I did weep more then a few tears while playing.)  I remember the summer the series was announced.  How excited the media covering it seemed.  There was the comic that came out before the show, the huge article in our local TV guide and all the merchandise.  I will never forget counting down the hours till the local channel would be playing it. And the horrible disappointment that some sports game was preempting it. FUCK.  Canadian TV sucked back then.  They had it playing on Sundays at 4:30 pm.  Ugh..That time slot was never consistent.  Thank God for Fox when they started to air the Disney afternoon.

Speaking of friends, all of mine are DuckTales crazy right now.  My one friend that never played the original, played it at my house.  He beat a level, asked how much it is, told me to turn it off and went home and purchased the game!  My other buddy made me play through it twice for him, (he has a hard time playing games)  He did so just so he could enjoy what he kept calling the last Disney Afternoon
A final note, about the music: you have nothing to fear there either.  The soundtrack has been remixed beautifully.  It's crazy good.  This soundtrack is just as bursting with style and enthusiasm as the rest of the game. Just check out the boss theme:


Love that 80s sax wailing away! :P

Ducktales is far and beyond my game of the decade so far! (Even if it is 24 years old!)  Here's hoping Ducktales 2, Darkwing Duck, Talespin, Aladdin and all the other Capcom Disney Classics get the same treatment in the future! 

As a little nostalgic bonus, here's the original article from Nintendo that made a generation of NES fans crazy with excitement! 


  1. I'm glad this game made you so happy <3

  2. This is exactly what that one girl was talking about when she made "Ultra Business Tycoon III" (which is really an interactive fiction game about how video games mesh with our childhoods or they form actual very real portions of who we are and who we were growing up. Each game forms some kind of link in that thread).

    It was based on a small essay - but everything you're saying? Yes.

    I recall having a new video game being like...exploring a world full of limitless possibilities. I'd devour the instruction guide to see what was being offered and what kind of adventure it would be.

    Video Games used to be so exciting. Some still are but...only few still have that "magic", ya know?

    1. Yep, I know exactly what you are saying. There are still games today that capture that magic, but not as many as before. I recently played Spelunky and felt something similar to that feeling again. Shame there was no book and the game was so punishing. I certainly felt this way when I played the new Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Galaxy.
      I have to check out Ultra Business Tycoon III now!



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