A trip down memory lane, but not much more
Ever since Wayforward and Capcom announced they were bringing back DuckTales, a lot of people cried out "I love that game!" and "I used to play the hell out of that game!" I was one of them, having played the original game on my cousin's Nintendo all the time. Like most games from the 1990s, the premise was pretty straightforward: guide Scrooge McDuck through a series of levels to seek out fabled treasures. DuckTales: Remastered does a really good job of recreating the experience - to a fault. While the game comes with a wonderful new coat of paint, the gameplay is woefully archaic by today's standards.
Back in the day, the plot for video games were relegated to a few pages in the instruction manual. DuckTales was no different (if I recall correctly. I mean, it HAS been 23 years). In the remastered version, Scrooge's quest gets the cutscene treatment featuring the original voice cast from the television cartoon series, this itself a pretty big boon for fans. After a short tutorial-esque level set inside Scrooge's money bin, he sets off on an adventure to hunt down special artifacts for no other reason than to secure his reign as the world's richest duck.
With six levels to play through, DuckTales: Remastered won't take longer than a day to finish for the average player. Each stage is not particularly long, although WayForward shamelessly pads the length of certain stages by forcing the player to backtrack in order to collect pieces of a special MacGuffin that will help Scrooge to clear an obstruction. Along the way, Scrooge will use his cane to pogo-stomp level-specific creatures as well as with the Beagle Boys, Flintheart Glomgold and Magica de Spell. Getting past these enemies and roadblocks will take Scrooge further into the level where he will encounter an end boss. These fights are frustrating not for their difficulty, but because of how excruciatingly long they tend to be. Rather than the standard "Rule of Three," bosses usually take about five hits to defeat and you can't get in more than one hit at a time.
Speaking to gameplay, the game gets old fast. Levels can be replayed in order to earn more money to be spent on unlocking concept art, music and trailers but why would you? Playing through them once was more than enough for me. If there's one aspect of the game worthy of praise, it is the visual design. WayForward has brought a twenty year old game into present day, replacing the pixelated 8-bit visuals with beautiful character sprites modeled (and voiced!) after their animated counterparts. The levels these sprites play in are of 2.5D style that doesn't quite mesh well with the 2D sprites. I would have like it better if the stages were given the same love and care as the characters instead of the sometimes bland 3D renderings.
DuckTales: Remastered is a halfway decent piece of nostalgia that will appeal to those who have memories of the original game. The generation of gamers who picked up a controller after the 1990s probably wouldn't be interested in something so dated. I really appreciate what WayForward and Capcom were trying to accomplish and I am grateful for both companies breathing life into one of my childhood favorites. But beyond that, maybe it would have been better if they just released the original version.