The gaming community caught fire this weekend with the surprise – and very welcome indeed – announcement of Ducktales Remastered, a revitalization of the classic 1989 NES title in the same vein of ‘refreshers’ like Mega Man: Powered Up and Double Dragon Neon and slated for a Summer 2013 release on Xbox Live, PSN and Nintendo’s Wii U eShop.
A central element of discussion, after the gasps and happy dances, was a widespread desire for developer WayForward Technologies to stay true to the roots that made the original so great. A light touch to bring the charm of the Capcom original to new life is the only way to successfully mine the vast potential riches to be found in exploring Duckburg again.
As seen on a popular gaming message board, “pogo cane or gtfo”. Fortunately, the innovative mechanic that made the original instantly impressive from its very first moments of gameplay remains the key to Scrooge’s victory. Whether it’s pogoing off cloth-swaddled mummy ducks or thwacking a line drive right into a spider’s skull, his faithful unbreakable cane will ensure that the player survives enemies while enjoying acrobatic travel through spooky haunted houses or on the moon (inexplicably without a helmet – but it’s DuckTales, not hard sci-fi).
The new game will also feature the chance for every kid who ever dreamed of diving into Scrooge’s money bin and backstroking through gold coins to do so with a confirmed but undetailed ‘money bin mode’. This simple addition, sure to be a huge hit with Disney Afternoon nerds like me, shows that WayForward are true fans who will do it right.
Reboots and fresh takes on well-known stories and games are becoming more common and accepted, with the increasing resurrection of beloved but dormant story universes serving as a high-tech version of oral tradition – iconic games and characters passed down so that new generations can share in the feelings we have for the stories we love. Judging by the excited response to the game’s announcement among fans, those online and singing along with the theme song at the PAX East trailer reveal, WayForward may rewrite the emerging history of remastered classics by solving the mystery of how to envision nostalgia through new eyes.