Sunday, March 24, 2013

Scrooge McDuck will make a cane-wielding comeback in DuckTales Remastered

There were many, many fine titles on the Nintendo Entertainment System, but no list of the console’s best games would be complete without a mention of the 1990 platformer, DuckTales. The game, based on the Disney series, had you play as the wealthy Scrooge McDuck whose miraculous cane did not help with any leg ailments, but rather served as a pogostick and golf club. The duck does not get the sort of attention that we still lavish upon Mario and MegaMan, or even at times the Rescue Rangers, but DuckTales was the NES at its finest.
Today Capcom announced that Scrooge McDuck — the world’s richest duck — will return to gaming with DuckTales Remastered. The game, which is scheduled for Summer 2013, will be published by Capcom and developed by WayForward Technologies. It is slated for the Wii U, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
The 2-minute reveal trailer starts off with with an industry-mandated Tim Schafer reference, as well as Indiana Jones-type music that is befitting McDuck’s adventures in the Amazon, Transylvania, and the Moon, but then cuts to in-game footage. The pixelated 8-bit graphics have been replaced with silky HD animation. The art seems in keeping with the franchise’s rich history, and the sprite animation (after a bad guy gets killed for instance) looks particularly good.
Perhaps somewhat controversial — at least insofar as a DuckTales game can get — will be the use of 2.5D graphics. This is certainly preferable to the trainwreck that a full-on 3D DuckTales game would be, but this is a 2D classic — the pinnacle of the artform — so any modern techniques will be highly scrutinized leading up to, and after, the title’s release.
The game also seems to include some 3D art. If you focus closely on the treasure chests they don’t have a hand-drawn style, rather they look like they are straight out of Donkey Kong Country. Hopefully we’ll learn more about the games techniques and assets soon, but DuckTales purists may take issue with any steps that take the game away from its original video game style or, in lieu of that, Disney-inspired art. For now, the chests, gems, and health-restoring ice creams cones look completely of out place next to McDuck.
Hopefully we’ll get another trailer as well as more information from Capcom soon. I, for one, am looking forward to Summer 2013.

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