Video games like DuckTales, Mickey Mouse and the Castle of Illusion, and Super Mario Bros are all games I grew up playing and aside from Super Mario Bros this year is an amazing year for both the aforementioned titles with HD re-boots coming to various platforms. We were lucky enough to get our hands on Duck Tales on the Wii U and I have to say I felt like a kid again!
This was the first time I’d ever used a Wii U as well as the first time seeing Duck Tales in action. I almost pushed everyone out the way when I saw that it wasn’t being played on and I immediately grabbed the Wii U gamepad and began to play one of the two levels available in the demo.
First off the games graphics were brilliant. The characters themselves were the simple Disney character styles you’ve come to expect but the level designs were incredible. Considering this game has been revived from the NES version there’s a major improvement, that’s pretty obvious, but the way the levels have been designed add a unique feel to the game.
The levels have been re-created with a 2.5D effect to them making them seem much more apparent than the simple 2D platform style we’ve become so used to, though somehow it still keeps that retro feel to it.
The gameplay is as hard as it’s ever been which I love, it’s not been made any easier and at times it’s frustrating, if anything it’s exactly like the original title in terms of difficulty. The controls are ridiculously simple too with one button for jump and another to make Scrooge use his walking stick as a pogo stick and use his cane to hit various objects. Immediately I discovered that there’s a knack to using the pogo jump at the right time or you’ll just end up bouncing into an enemy. It’s simple controls like this that let you get more involved with the gameplay and the story rather than stopping every few seconds to check you’re hitting the right button.
The particular level I attempted involved Scrooge McDuck navigating a haunted house to rescue his nephews who have been caught by ghosts. Much like most classic platform games I was required to navigate through the haunted mansion avoiding or pogo-ing on enemies and opening various chests located throughout the level, until I come to the ‘boss’ area where we met one of the Beagle Boys. There were three of these mini bosses that once defeated gave me something which lead up to the final boss – Magica De Spell.
Throughout the game I was told to utilise the map, this is a new feature in this remastered version of DuckTales which highlighted where I needed to end up. Personally I felt that this made the game a little bit too simple, but at times when I found myself entering a mirror which teleported me back to the beginning of the level I found the map to be quite helpful.
In similar Donkey Kong fashion there was also a minecart part to the level which involved you avoiding low ceilings, jumping for gems, and timing gaps just so, so you ended up in the minecart the other site. I spent around 10 minutes on this level because I just couldn’t get the freaking timing right.
The game translates really well on the Wii U. As we all know the gamepad can be used as a second screen and in this case it was being demonstrated so. I made a concious effort to use the gamepad occasionally to see how it played as a more handheld title and it worked really well, it didn’t lose quality compared to the larger screened counterpart.
I’m really really looking forward to this game. Even though the demo lasted a good 10-15 minutes (at the rate I was playing anyway) I wanted more and that’s definitely something you want to have from a demo for sure! If you’re familiar with TV show you’ll also be sent into a whirlwind of nostalgic feelings when you hear Alan Young speak as Scrooge McDuck and when you hear Huey, Dewey, and Louie call him “Unca Scrooge”. I just loved every minute I played this game.
DuckTales is scheduled for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC some time at the end of the year.