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Review: Ducktales (NES)

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dt_nes_boxConsole: NES
Released: 1989
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $14.05 (used, cart only), $48.98 (used, complete), $167.61 (new) – Please note: This is a recent spike in value with the release of Ducktales Remastered, approximately 45 percent, and may soon drop.
Digital Release? No, although a re-creation of the original, Ducktales Remastered, is now available on Xbox 360, PS3, WiiU, and PC

dt1Ducktales is one of those rare titles on the NES that has a universal love from anyone who talks about it.  That’s because it is a perfect example of what most of us who grew up with Nintendo’s 8-bit console loved about gaming, and all with a Disney license to boot.  Granted the developer was Capcom, who at the time was responsible for Mega Man and several other gems on the same console, but Ducktales proved that you could experiment and still get a game right.  It was fun, it was addictive, it looked good, it sounded great (one of the signature soundtracks of that era), and of course sought after thanks to licensing deals that will surely prevent a re-release.

At face value it was a standard side-scrolling platformer where you control Scrooge McDuck as he journeys the world looking for treasure.  Where it diverges from this classic formula is that of the five levels you explore (Amazon, Mines, Transylvania, Himalayas, and the Moon) you are given the option what order to complete them in.  It doesn’t really matter, although from a difficulty standpoint there can be a given order, but I know plenty of fans that have played it enough to do whatever order you choose.  I also think due to the various hidden items throughout each level there is a need to complete certain levels in an order if you want to collect a million dollars and get the true ending.  This is all before you even start the game, where you learn about the other great mechanic: the pogo cane.  Probably one of the most notable gameplay mechanics of the console, Scrooge’s pogo cane allowed him to take out enemies Mario style but also get through hazards like spike pits untouched.  Later in the game it will also be the only way to traverse large pits by jumping on the heads of attacking enemies or proper placement of an enemy to reach a seemingly untouchable spot.  Once you master the cane, this title is a cinch.

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Written by Fred Rojas

August 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

Posted in NES, Reviews

Tagged with , , , ,