Sarah’s Rating: 7/10
Platforms: Playstation 3, XBox 360, Wii U, PC, Steam, IOS, Android, Windows Phone
Genre: 2D Platformer
Yesterday was an exciting day in Player 3’s life. He got to complete his first video game with Mom and Dad; we completed DuckTales Remastered on the Playstation 3. DuckTales has recently been a staple in our household. With the recent reboot of the series, my dad watched the first episode with us and we all loved it. We were also given two volumes of the original series on DVD by one of Matt’s coworkers, so we have been watching the original show together as well. So when Matt was able to get a pre-owned copy of the remaster of the classic NES game at GameStop as a freebie in a special with some other games he wanted, it felt like a good choice as a game to play through with the boys.
We’ve been looking for games that we can play more with kids, since player 3 has been wanting to join us, and we’ve recently started building a small collection of family games in the last year or so. Gaming with a toddler is very different than us gaming together or on our own; we’ve been looking for easy to follow, simple stories, easy to divide up, and short. DuckTales fit all these guidelines beautifully, with a cast of characters that we were all familiar with to boot.
The original DuckTales video game was released by Capcom on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1989 to critical acclaim. The remaster was released by Wayforward Technologies in 2013 for the Playstation 3, XBox 360, Wii U and PC, and there are even ports to Steam and mobile devices. I’ve never played the original game, but the remaster was so much fun as a family game. The story follows the same lines as the show: Scrooge McDuck is travelling the world having adventures, searching for treasure and making money, lots of it. Most of the main characters make appearances, such as Launchpad, Huey, Dewey and Louie, and Webby, as well as classic villians from the show, the Beagle Boys, Magica De Spell, and Flinty Glomgold, and everyone looks and sounds amazing.
The artwork in this game was my favorite part; all the sprites had a beautiful, hand drawn look that looked like they came right out of the show, and the backgrounds of each level were beautiful. Every character, enemy and set was given a thoughtful animated look with comical actions. To complete the classic Disney feel, the game includes voice overs by most of the original cast, which usually elevated the experience, but on occasion could be a tad long-winded. One major frustration of mine was that the music often overpowered the voice acting making it hard to follow at times.
I’m awful at 2D Platformers, so Matt played the majority of the game; but I did play a few levels and the controls we solid, the game was responsive and easy to play. Scrooge could walk, jump, use his cane to break up certain obstacles and launch them at things, and he can perform his famous pogo cane jump, the most well known mechanic of the game. Matt breezed through the levels on normal mode without much challenge, and said he thought the game was too easy for more experienced players, but there are multiple difficulty levels. As a game for a younger player, or a less experienced player (like me), there is a good challenge to be had.
From the parenting standpoint this was a great experience, we all had fun, the violence in the game was lower than many others, and with the recent reboot of the television show, the characters were accessible and familiar. It’s very short and simple, with easy to navigate stages. Unlike some other classic platformers, such as Mario, it doesn’t have an auto-scroll mechanic forcing you to keep moving, and there are very few areas where you have to move quickly. Without the time crunch, we were able to stop and give Player 3 some opportunities to work out where to go and what to do. This gave him an opportunity to actively participate in the game and solve some problems, telling his daddy where to go or what to do.
From the more grown up perspective, this was a nostalgia game, and that was fun for me and Matt. However the short length, while great for playing with kids, was something that Matt and I agreed we wouldn’t have liked if we played the game alone. We’re both used to games that can easily take over 20 hours to play through, and if we had bought this game new and paid full price for it, we wouldn’t have considered it worth the cost, compared to the amount of time it took us to complete (about 6 hours total). However, the pre-owned copy’s price tag, as well as the Steam version, were in a price we would consider paying.
If you’re looking for a fun game to play with your kids, or really loved the TV show, then this is a great experience.