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Game Info:

Ducktales: Remastered
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Capcom
Released: August 13, 2013
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Available On: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U
Genre: Platformer
Number of Players:Single-player
Price: $14.99

Ah… I remember Ducktales. Even though it was admittedly before my time, I fondly remember catching reruns on Toon Disney when I was a kid. Not to mention, that theme song is so catchy I swear its lyrics are embedded in my brain. Ducktales: Remastered is  Wayforward’s reimaging of the classic 8-bit NES game, giving it a complete overhaul. New graphics, voice acting, and reworked music are just a few of the updates to the Capcom classic.  But the question is, is it worth playing other than for the “nostalgia factor?”

Well, sort of. You play as Scrooge McDuck, the richest duck in the world, and all of your money and treasures are stolen by the notorious Beagle Boys and it’s up to you to get it back. You travel across all 5 of the original levels- the Moon, the Himalayas, the African Mines, a Transylvanian Castle, and the Amazon- each given a modern facelift. On your way, you meet the classic characters from the show like Huey, Dewey, and Louie. As the story goes on, you uncover a plot by Magica DeSpell and it’s up to you to stop her from taking over the world. 

Ducktales: Remastered
Highlights:

Strong Points: Great graphics, iconic music, interesting take on level design 
Weak Points: Weak performances from aging voice actors, can be punishingly difficult unless changed to far too easy, really precise controls
Moral Warnings: Encourages greediness (at least in the beginning,) monsters and occult influence (used only by villain)

Wayforward added a few things to this HD remake other than the massive graphical upgrade, in order to keep it from simply being a rehash. The graphics are stunning; they managed to perfectly capture the look of the show. There is a small hub world you can explore, and you can go for a dive in Scrooge’s trademark “money bin.” There is an unlock system where you can buy concept art, film clips, and some of the game’s memorable music tracks with the money you earn in the game. But for some reason you don’t have access to every unlockable straight away, and are forced to buy a certain amount of concept art before you can buy any clips, and you can only buy music when you have bought so many clips. It’s just pointless padding, trying to wring out any replay value for completionists and achievement hunters.   

They add two new levels and cutscenes, in an attempt to explain why exactly you are going where you’re going and to explain things like how you can breathe in space. They are necessary if you like to pick apart plot holes, but this is a 2-D sidescroller not a Bioshock game. The plot is hardly an integral part of the game as a whole.  The cutscenes are very slow, and completely break the flow of gameplay. Each cutscene is fully voiced by members of the original voice cast, but some actors have definitely aged since 1989. In fact Scrooge McDuck and Magica DeSpell sound like they are on a day trip from the retirement home. I found myself skipping every single one of them.

Ducktales: Remastered
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 88%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 92%
Violence - 9/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

Each level is pretty much exactly like the original. The game mechanics are more or less transplanted. Unlike most sidescrollers, which are primarily “jump and shoot” games (like the Mega Man series), you primarily “pogo jump” and use your cane as a golf club on certain objects in the world. The game expects you to grasp both of these gameplay concepts very early on in the game, and if you falter it will leave you behind. This is great for older gamers, who would seem to see the challenge as worth it, but anyone who just wants to check out the game full of nostalgia for the show would get slapped in the face by the difficulty. The difficulty can be changed in the options menu, but then it becomes too easy. There's no middle ground. 

As for the morality stuff, there isn’t really that much. I mean, this is a Disney game after all.  Violence is cartoony at worst, (I distinctly recall people being hit over the head with a mallet) and not even the villains are really hurt in the end. There is some occult influence, one level taking place in a Transylvanian castle.  Enemies include bats and mummies, and a fight with a vampire. The main villain, Magica DeSpell, is a witch but nothing is really downright satanic. She has an evil plan to summon Count Dracula Duck, but you have to stop her and you end up stopping her without using magic yourself.  Your goal throughout the game is to get as much money as possible, which by extension is to be as greedy as possible. However, Scrooge is happy to be with his family.  I guess that’s a good enough message. 

The only thing I would really warn you about is if you are playing on PC this is one of those games that simply require a gamepad. Keyboard controls are a bit stiff to say the least. Die hard retro gamers may find it unnecessary and some may find it staggeringly hard on normal difficulty,  but I think it’s just fine. If you like the original game, you’d probably like this.   If you like the TV show, you’ll love this. Just about every character appears in the game, and there are plenty of goodies from the show to unlock. All in all, I recommend it. There are good graphics and decent controls, but what Wayforward does add to the original game is minimal and not all that impressive. 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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