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DuckTales Remastered Hands-On: Exploring The Amazon Stage


DuckTales Remastered was all over the place at E3. One could find its presence at Capcom’s own booth, as well as Nintendo’s booth, and even at Sony’s booth tucked in with other third-party titles.


The Transylvania stage that ushered in the game’s debut was available once more, along with a second stage, The Amazon, which generally speaking is the first level that most players began the original game with. And like the other environment, it helped to illustrate the changes to the HD revamp, although in a slightly different manner.


Transylvania mostly highlighted the brand new story, including far more interactions with both your friends (your nephews, the Beagle Boys), as well as brand new mini boss encounters. The overall layout of the castle remains largely the same as before, save for some extra breathing space, plus the added mine-cart riding segment.


Like Transylvania, The Amazon stage, too, has extra bits of story but in a slightly different manner. And it also has changes to the environment, but in a far more dramatic fashion.


Connected to both points are additional bits of treasure, large coins, which Scrooge comes across, strewn among the normal assortment of loot. Encountering one initiates a monologue of sorts, plus some chatter with Launchpad McQuack, and while it still cool to hear Alan Young do what he does best, at the ripe young age of 93, it did grind the proceedings to a total halt.


At least the asides in Transylvania were interactions with a wide variety of characters. The Amazon, instead, featured Scrooge simply waxing philosophical about hidden treasure. Then again, perhaps I was just in a rush, given that I was in the middle of a busy E3 show floor, eager to move along, so I could play something else, and the person behind me could get his taste of DuckTales. Thus, I began to avoid treasure, lest the game slowed down again.


Bad move. Diehard fans might remember a part of the level in which, after going up a couple of screens via some vine climbing, you proceed left by jumping across the tops of some stone totems. In Ducktales Remastered, however, you’re supposed to go to the right, where you find… nothing. Instead, you see a circular wheel in which one is supposed to have those large coins I had been purposefully avoiding. Drat.


I then had to backtrack, which made sense in Transylvania, since there’s the magic mirror system that is designed to throw the player all over the place, but in The Amazon, it was a bit of an annoyance. This coupled with the somewhat extensive dialogue meant a game that is far slower-paced than one might be used to.


It’s obvious that this is a means to help slow things down and maximize one’s dollar; given the size of the game, which remains relatively the same as the original, and how much the game will cost, WayForward might be trying other tricks to help pad out its length. It is what it is, and it’s worth pointing out that the dollar amount (or Microsoft Points) that Ducktales Remastered with be asking for will ultimately be cheaper than the original NES cart’s retail price.


The Amazon also brings to the forefront another issue that some people had with their first taste of Ducktales Remastered, and that’s the control. Jumping, primarily with the pogo stick, and especially when dealing with the enemy, just felt off before, but here it felt even more awkward. The problem wasn’t as noticeable when at the castle, since the number of enemies was fairly limited on that end—plus their movement was on the slower side.


But here, in The Amazon, you have those apes that move a fair bit faster on the ground, bees that come at you in the air at the most inopportune times, and piranha plants that are placed right where next to where you need to jump. The enemy placement largely resembles where they were before and it still makes total sense, but jumping on or around them is a bit of a pain.


It’s especially worse when you have the part in which the ground is nothing but thorns, so one must pogo jump across and also avoid enemies. I figured my skills might be rusty, but I found myself dying over and over and over again. This was with the Xbox 360 controller, and I wondered if it might feel different on something else, like the Wii U’s GamePad, so I decided to give that a go.


The verdict? Better. The controls still feel different… jumping is still ever so slightly flighty and delayed, but I found myself not struggling as much as I did on the Microsoft’s controller.


At this point, diehard fans of the original might want to take note that Ducktales Remastered is yet another one of those modern remakes in which a lot of additional content has been added that might not appeal to those who are too old to care about additional story and puzzles (or, to be more exact, have the time). Also, the jury is still out on the controller, although I will more than likely not be getting the 360 version.


At the end of the day, the game is still exceptionally pretty, and if you thought Jake Kaufman did an amazing job with his remix of Transylvania, then you haven’t heard anything yet. His take on The Amazon them must be heard to be believed, making the anticipation for the eventual reveal of The Moon’s music all the greater.

Matt Hawkins