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Gamer Tuesday

January 14, 2014

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Capcom and WayForward SHOULD Remaster Darkwing Duck Next!

Over the holiday season, I had the extreme pleasure of finally experiencing DuckTales: Remastered on the Wii U. Believe the hype; Remastered delivers on every aspect, while keeping the original gameplay of the NES DuckTales game intact. What truly shines about Remastered is how passionate the developers were in bringing this game into existence. It really shows that WayForward saw the original title as being in a class of its own, and decided to polish it even further to both re-introduce new gamers to the delights of Scrooge McDuck and friends, and re-ignite the passion older gamers had towards both the game and the fabled Disney Afternoon series. Such was the magnitude of Remastered's polish and high quality presentation that as I played it, I started to think about other classic Disney games that should receive the Remastered treatment.

Ducktales remastered

Now if you were to ask gamers what other games should they remake next, the more obvious titles will likely pop-up, like Chip N' Dale: Rescue Rangers and Goof Troop. Those games are excellent, and would make solid candidates for the remake treatment. But in my honest opinion, out of all those games, the one that should receive the Remastered makeover is Darkwing Duck. The original Darkwing Duck on the NES was slightly well received, but its legacy pales in comparison to the DuckTales NES classic. That is because, as Who's Who Wednesdays writer Erik Anderson stated in his original article for the game, Darkwing Duck is a very challenging game. This is because of two main reasons; the first being that the game was indeed designed with the idea that players would have to carefully master the game and achieve victory through their skills. The second is that the gameplay is not completely polished to the same sheen as DuckTales. Some of the controls take some getting used to. It's not as bad as in other horrible NES titles, but it is that element that keeps it from being one of the better, more beloved Disney Capcom titles.

Darkwing Duck

With that established, here are some of the reasons why WayForward should remaster Darkwing Duck...

The series is a Disney Afternoon staple: If you were a kid, and watched the Disney Afternoon religiously when it was on TV, you were likely in one of these three camps: the DuckTales camp, the Rescue Rangers camp, or the Darkwing Duck camp. That's not to dismiss the quality of the other series that debuted on the Disney Afternoon, like TaleSpin and Gummi Bears. But the legacy of the aforementioned series is so strong that when the Disney Afternoon is mentioned, one of those three will likely pop-up (that, and there is a good chance their amazing theme songs had something to do with it). So if WayFoward wants to remaster another Disney Afternoon game, Darkwing Duck should be it.

Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck is an extremely imaginative series: One of the reasons I adored Darkwing Duck as a kid was because its stories and characters were extremely inventive and imaginative. If DuckTales was Disney's Indiana Jones, Darkwing Duck was Disney's Batman. And with Disney being one of the major innovators when it comes to concepts and presentations, Darkwing Duck took the idea of a vigilante dark hero and turned into something that was both very comedic and very cool. Darkwing/Drake Mallard is a great parody of the classic Batman tropes, presenting us with all of the cool gadgets and theatrics without all of the drama. That would be fantastic to see again in a high definition presentation. And speaking of presentation...

Darkwing Duck

It would sound great: DuckTales: Remastered is a musical and audio delight. The music in the original NES title was magnificent as is, but the remastered treatment has made it even more memorable. Darkwing Duck on the NES didn't exactly have music that would stick to you till the end of times, but a remix of the tunes could help it stand out better than it originally did. And speaking of audio, DuckTales: Remastered's greatest successes is that the developers were able to obtain the original voice cast of DuckTales, including Alan Young as Scrooge. The cutscenes, even if cynics and die hard gamers shrugged them off as being too long and too many in number, helped many a gamer reconnect with their childhoods, and gave the original missions a reason of being in the grand aspect of gameplay. In other words, it explained why certain characters and situations happened in the original game. Darkwing Duck: Remastered could give Jim Cummings the opportunity to once again spout the famous cheesy catchphrases that made Darkwing Duck so endearing, as well as give the game an original story that pays homage to the show and serve a purpose in the enjoyment of the game.

It would look great: DuckTales: Remastered, in addition to being a delight to the ears, it is also a feast for the eyes. The entire game features hand drawn character sprites that are mood, expressive and filled with life. The cute/chibi style may have turned off some fans, but the look helps give the game an aesthetic design that is both unique to this remake and true to the visual fidelity of the original game. Now imagine that with Darkwing Duck, which has already been established as being an imaginative TV show. Darkwing would animate beautifully, and the boss battles with the bad guys from the show would look spectacular.

The gameplay can finally be polished: All the kinks and issues that plagued the original release can finally be gotten rid of in a remastered version of Darkwing Duck. While the original DuckTales on the NES hardly presented any flaws, the Remastered does manage to further polish everything from the difficulty to how you can control Scrooge's pogo jump. The addition of difficulty levels, various control methods, and a save feature made DuckTales a game that is more accessible to everyone. A Darkwing Duck: Remastered release could finally bring an end to those issues, keep the challenge while still giving us many ways to play.

Darkwing Duck

It could give people the opportunity to discover Darkwing Duck for the first time: When DuckTales: Remastered was announced, it was both met with great excitement, as well as genuine confusion. Why you ask? Because many gamers felt that for all its passion, DuckTales was a game that didn't need to get remade, and in the most cynical way, shrugged it off as being a cheap nostalgia fueled cash in. To an extent... they are right! I won't certainly agree to the idea that this was a cash in, but considering how well polished and well remembered the original NES games, well it is kind of redundant to remake what was already an excellent game to begin with. With Darkwing Duck: Remastered, though, there wouldn't be that much cynicism involved, because the original game is almost obscure, and barely remembered. This would give the game the opportunity to re-introduce itself to the gaming populace, and do it in a better style than before.

Darkwing Duck

Truth to be told, if WayFoward decides to do Chip N' Dale: Rescue Rangers Remastered instead, I would be very happy. But Darkwing Duck really needs the remastered treatment for the reasons I stated above. If an already great game can become a fantastic game, a solid game like Darkwing Duck could receive the polish that can turn it into a great game. Plus we need to get dangerous already, am I right?

Darkwing Duck

 

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