We're just a few weeks away from the arrival of DuckTales Remastered, Capcom's high-definition take on the NES classic. WayForward has been doing a stunning job with the game's transition thus far, and, this past week, the publisher invited us to take another go-around, this time with another classic level – the Himalayas.
Here, Scrooge and Launchpad find themselves crashed on a snowy mountainside, and due to his pilot's clumsiness, the millionaire finds himself in search of three engine parts. As he proceeds through the stage, he'll collect treasures out of chests – either by hopping on them with his cane or swinging at them golf club-style — while taking out enemies, ranging from goats that are hopping mad to bothersome snow bunnies.
What I really enjoy about Remastered is how much it plays like the original DuckTales. The cane-hopping mechanic remains right about where it needs to be, and can also be useful defensively if you need to get across spiked floors or seek upper areas after bouncing off an enemy's head. The golf club mechanic works very well too, though you'll want to hit a wall every once in a while, just to see Scrooge's dazed expression upon striking into it. It's hilarious. (NOTE: Make sure there aren't any enemies around, though.)
The Himalayas level also looks fantastic. WayForward worked on a great new 3D engine for the game so that the backgrounds move right along with the action, rather than just "sitting there" like they did in the NES original. However, the game is still 2D platforming at its best. The animation is also impressive, with Scrooge and the gang resembling just how they look from the TV show. Fans will definitely want to get a nice big-screen TV for this one, just to see all the detail.
As for audio, it's top-notch. Jake Kaufman's remix of the classic Himalayas theme hits the spot, right down to the familiar melodies from the original NES release. The voicework is fantastic as well, with Alan Young – a 94-year old man, by the way – being pitch-perfect as Scrooge, and Launchpad sounding like his old clumsy self.
There is one new element that's worth mentioning in this stage – a boss fight. As you finally get to the treasure that Scrooge was originally looking for in the mountains, the Lost Crown of Genghis Khan, he comes across a rather large yeti that wants to stomp him flat. You'll need to figure out his – or rather, her – pattern, which has her jumping around like crazy, then bonk her on the head a few times. What follows is an actually interesting take on a post-boss fight, where Scrooge's niece Webby manages to intervene. It's kind of cool, actually.
We still have yet to see other levels from the game – namely my personal favorite, the Moon – but thus far, DuckTales Remastered is shaping up to be one of the better digital releases of the year. We'll see how it fares when it releases on PC, Wii U and PlayStation Network on August 13th, and Xbox Live Arcade on September 11th.