Duck Tales – Revisited Before Remastered

Feature PicHey, did you hear?  Duck Tales on the NES is being remastered for eShop, PSN, and XBLA!  They’re calling it Duck Tales: Remastered!  And the trailer is boner-efic!  And Holy shit!  WayForward is developing this!  This is a dream come true!  There’s nothing about this trailer that doesn’t make me want to jump up and down like a kid on Christmas… except the release date.  Summer 2013?  GAWD!!!!!!!!!!!!  I guess as long as they don’t pull a Rayman Legends like Ubisoft I’ll be okay, but I still have to do something with my nostalgia boner.  You know, because nobody like nostalgia blue balls.  So, in order to quench my sentimental libido, I dug out the original Duck Tales to relive the glory days of Duckburg.

Duck Tales Box ArtGame: Duck Tales

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Release Year: 1989

Duck Tales was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid, so when my local Blockbuster was selling their used copy you know I begged my parents to buy it for me.  And all that whining and threatening was worth it.  Duck Tales ended up being one of my favorite games on the system.  I loved it so much that it was the first game I bought when I decided to start collecting video games again.  I hunted it down specifically.  That may not seem like much now, but, back in the days before eBay and the internet, finding the game you wanted was a son of bitch.

Just booting up the game brought back so many memories, especially because it took me like four or five tries to start it up  (I kept getting those flashing screens.  Sigh, I miss having to work for my entertainment).  But once I did get it up and running, I was greeted by the theme song from the cartoon.  Man, this is going to be great!  I hope it’s as good as I remember it.

And……………………… It totally is!  Duck Tales on the NES is still freaking great to this day!  Why?  Simple:

uhn-tissTeach me how to McDuck!

On top of that, the game does so many other things right, too.  The most impressive is that it does the source material it’s based on justice.  The best two examples are the 8-bit cartoon theme and the fact that Launchpad still sucks as a pilot.

Launch Pad - Thanks

Right into the bee?  Thanks, Launchshit McAss!

Duck Tales also has incredibly fun and brilliantly well-executed mechanics, such as the pogo stick attack Scrooge does with his cane.  It not only lets you murder efficiently, but it’s a great alternative to dying on spikes, which was pretty avant-garde for an era where spikes meant instant death.

Bounce on Spikes

Vines are for poor people!

Another great – and, in this writer’s opinion, underused – mechanic is Scrooge’s golf swing.  Nothing says I’m a member of the Scottish bourgeoisie like a beautiful slice.


Scrooge doesn’t give a shit about PETA!

But the game doesn’t stop there.  Capcom really wanted to blow our minds with this game’s greatness, so they decided to make it a collect-a-thon teeming with secrets.  There’s gems that only appear if you physically occupy a specific area, permanent power ups, illusion walls (as described by Huey), Super Mario Bros.-esque over-the-wall areas, and hidden treasures.  There’s actually a hidden treasure in the game I found as a kid that, having found it, turned me into a man!  It’s where there’s a cliff that can’t be jumped, but, it you jump anyway, enemies will pop up.  If you bounce off their heads, you’ll reach the other side, get the hidden treasure, and go right to the stage boss, skipping about 90% of the level.  As a kid, it made me fell like I was the shit!



Now, having seen the pogo stick mechanic at its best, you can imagine how disappointed I was during the snow level.  Trying to execute it then results in Scrooge getting stuck in the snow.  It adds variety to the game, but sucks nonetheless.  It’s like adding a water level; nobody likes the water level in a game!  They’re always slow and grossly different than the rest of the game, often ignoring the skills you’ve honed and grown to love.  Though, getting trapped in the snow isn’t that bad, really; in fact, it’s actually kind of hilarious.


The elderly in distress is pretty amusing.

You know what’s not hilarious?  This game’s music!  Most of the tracks are pretty good, but – my god – then there’s the Moon Theme:

It’s so majestic.  My buddy actually got married to that song.  That song has been my wife’s ring tone since I first met her ten years ago.  That song has been remixed about a billion times.  Brentalfloss gave this song lyrics (and I sing it every time I hear this song).  Everyone and their fat ugly mamas knows this song, and for good reason.  It’s just that amazing.

Duck Tales holds a special place in my heart, as I’m sure it does for everyone.  Firstly, it’s a brilliant game.  Secondly, it’s challenging and short (about 45 minutes if you don’t suck).  And lastly, it’s a licensed game that used its license to great effect.  Even after all these years, the game is still pretty damn fun. If you’re like me and can’t wait for the upcoming remastered version, I suggest busting this bad boy out if you can.


Considering the median household income for a duck is… duck’s don’t own houses.  You win this round, McDuck.

WayForward’s remake has a lot to live up to, though I’ve no doubt they’ll deliver.  Their 2D sprite work is always top notch, and they’re apparently going all out to recapture the old magic.  They hired Scrooge’s original voice actor, stating that he “is now 94 years old but he still came into the studio and did his thing like a pro.”  That’s awesome!

I will say that WayForward can’t rely solely on Duck Tales‘s nostalgia alone.  They need to modernize the experience for current gamers.  I’m sure they’ll add trophies and achievements, and I know they’re adding more areas, creating an option to make the game harder, and adding more plot, but Capcom has also stated that there will be no multiplayer. Admittedly, that doesn’t affect me.  However, I feel there will be some gamers that will be disappointed.

Anyway, Thanks for your Playing!  What do you guys think could make or break this remake?  Let me know in the comments below!


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