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Last weekend, Capcom shocked the gaming world at PAX East when they announced that the much beloved DuckTales was getting an HD facelift for Wii U eShop, Xbox Live Arcade, and Playstation Network.
Developed by WayForward, the guys behind other great 2D games like Shantae, Aliens Infestation, Contra 4, and Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d you Steal Our Garbage?!!, DuckTales Remastered uses the familiar NES game as a base to not just remake it visually, but extends it while remixing some of the original level design. This new version also adds voice-acted cutscenes, by many of the original voice actors, to tell a story of why they are in these particular levels. The Capcom representative at the booth said that WayForward used episodes of the cartoon as inspiration to setup the narrative and aesthetic design in this new version. What was even better was that Capcom did more than just announce DuckTales Remastered at PAX East, they had the game running at their booth. Fans lined up for hours just to play five measly minutes on the game and you can’t blame them. Once I gripped the controller, I felt as if 23 years reversed in a blink of an eye. It was a feeling that no other remake has done before, and that’s one heck of a statement.
The demo took place in the Transylvania level, which has been renamed the Draculesti Manor. Once the cutscene ended, the first thing I realized that many might not know or remember is that the control scheme is actually ripped from the less known NES/Game Boy sequel DuckTales 2. The subtle difference with the sequel is that Capcom eased up on the pogo cane maneuver by having the player only press the attack button in the air instead of having to press down.
Continuing my adventure confirmed my suspicion of why Capcom reps were repeatedly correcting people who said the word “remake” by interrupting the word “remastered.” The level, while keeping very true to the original, was not the same. Corridors were added, levels were tweaked slightly and a boss fight with a Beagle Boy in a ghost outfit was added. WayForward is editing how the game flows, and while that may worry some, these edits have been minor to the point that many may never realize.
After playing DuckTales Remastered, I can say that I have faith in WayForward since I have been a big fan of their work in the past. As a big DuckTales fan (and a mega-dork of its successor, Darkwing Duck), I am just as excited for the game as I am for Disney acknowledging that the late 80’s-early 90’s syndication era, and its fanbase, still exists. It may not be the same as the NES game, but I know that I’ll be downloading this on day one.
DuckTales Remastered will hit the Wii U eShop, Xbox Live Arcade, and the PlayStation Network this summer. Capcom has also hinted of a PC release, though nothing is confirmed yet.