Building (Critical) Consensus: DuckTales: Remastered

ducktales-remastered-box-artHow far can nostalgia carry a game? Perhaps more importantly, what matters more when evaluating an updated version of a classic game: How it stacks up by today’s standards or how it stacks up to the original game?

I feel as though that’s the problem that faced many reviewers when they evaluated DuckTales: Remastered. Some evaluated it on its own merits by today’s standards and some compared it to the NES classic. When I first checked MetaCritic, it was literally split down the middle with half evaluating the game compared to the original and the remainder evaluating the game on modern platformer standards.

I’m kind of glad that I haven’t received a copy from Capcom because I’m not sure how to best critique an HD remake of a favourite of everyone who grew up with an NES. From the looks of it, the critics can’t agree how to rate DuckTales: Remastered either.

The Escapist (90%): DuckTales: Remastered doesn’t try to do anything new. What it does, however, it does with a sense of style that doesn’t spoil your childhood memories. Likewise, the updated graphics and interface don’t detract from the retro feel of the game. It still feels like you’re playing an NES game, but the easy pogo option, the character voices – some of the original voice actors from the animated series were actually tapped for this re-release – and the saved game system genuinely enhance the experience.

Game Informer (80%): DuckTales: Remastered blends the cartoon and the NES game together beautifully. Fans of modern platformers can expect a simple lighthearted romp, but gamers who grew up in Duckburg are the ones who shouldn’t miss out on this endearing homage.

Official PlayStation Magazine UK (70%): Based on the dexterity of your digits, difficulty is a subjective matter. What’s not up for discussion is the care that has gone into this remake. Although Scrooge’s pogo-stick jump is a tad unresponsive, this is a handsome, crisp platformer that occasionally makes me happier than a duck doing backstroke in a giant bin full of bullion.

Eurogamer (60%): The impact of WayForward’s high-purity dose of old-fashioned platforming has been diluted by the new wrapping. Even those new backgrounds, as lovely as they are, pull the eye away from the parts of the level that have actually been recreated. For the Pixar generation, meanwhile, there’s just a quaint, old-school platformer here, starring a character of whom they’ve never heard.

Edge Magazine (50%): It’s easy to admire the developer’s evident love for the NES game – it’s clearly been handled with the kind of care only a genuine fan would provide – but after a few repetitive hours bouncing around DuckTales’ pretty but unremarkable worlds you’ll begin to realise that some treasures aren’t worth the effort of unearthing.

About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on August 13, 2013, in Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A more interesting question; why can’t Capcom do anything NEW with it’s intellectual property?

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    • Same reason so many other publisher don’t try anything new with their IPs: It’s easier and cheaper to maintain the status quo and especially if the status quo worked in the past. Of course, gamers tend to be fickle. We buy the same old every year (sports games and spunkgargleweewee) but tend not to do that with new IP unless we completely trust the dev. Little reward for the risk so why not carry on with the same old?

      I will give Capcom some credit, though. Remember Me was a fresh idea. It was lacking in execution but they gave it a try.

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