There's been a trend in recent years to cash in on nostalgia in a big way. Take an old game, give it a little bit of polish, release it again and rake in the dough. Sometimes it's welcomed because its handled respectfully, while other times it's a shallow cash grab. I am very happy to say that this is NOT a cash grab. If anything, DuckTales: Remastered is an example of how a updated re-release should be done... mostly.
So, as per the usual formula, let's talk about the good to start. First and foremost, the core of the original NES game, what made that game a beloved masterpiece, is still there and fully intact. Scrooge still has his bizarre pogo stick ability that is as inexplicable as it is fun, and the levels still stick to the same general layout, even having the same locations for pickups. The game's tunes are also the same, save for being performed by real instruments rather than an 8-bit chiptune processor. If you thought the Moon theme was catchy in chiptune, wait till you hear it now.
Of course, that's not to say the game is just a graphical update without any other changes. DuckTales: Remastered adds some new content to the game, most of it welcome. While the levels are mostly the same, there have been some minor alterations and changes, most for the better in terms of level flow. Bosses in particular have been changed up so that they have more than the same single attack pattern to work with, making them far more challenging (though not unfairly so) than their pushover NES incarnations. There are even two additional levels: an intro training level and a final boss level, both with new soundtracks that fit in quite nicely with the rest of the tunes. The final level in particular was a surprising addition, and is far more satisfying than the original game's "go through this level you already beat" concept of a final level, albeit with a caveat I'll talk about later.
Probably the best thing DuckTales: Remastered brings to the game are the fully voiced characters. Rather than just relying on canned sound effects and clips from the show, the game actually uses newly recorded lines from the original voice cast (minus the ones who, tragically, are no longer with us). Yes, this includes Alan Young as Scrooge, sounding surprisingly good for being 92 years old. Scrooge obviously has plenty of time to say a variety of things, what with all the pogoing and gathering treasure and whatnot, but the other characters get plenty of time to speak, too. Mostly this happens during cutscenes that occur between and sometimes in the middle of the levels. These cutscenes are true to the original series, and do a great job of explaining some of the more inexplicable parts of the original NES game; why was Bubba Duck frozen in ice, for example.
Cutscenes aren't without downsides though, which brings me to the next part of the review: the bad. As I said, cutscenes can happen in the middle of levels, which can get very tiring on repeated playthroughs of the game. You can skip them, but it does take a few seconds to do so, and quite a few are placed such that even that can be a noticeable interruption. The game also has some serious issues with recognizing all but the most common monitor resolutions, and really didn't like my 16:10 monitor at all. I was able to get around it by manually altering the game's ini file to use my specific resolution, but it's still something that could have been handled better. The most maddening thing for me though is that in keeping true to the core of the original game, much of its buggy movement behavior was kept in as well, especially the random things that could cause Scrooge to stop pogoing for no easily apparent reason. Any fan of the original NES title won't be surprised, but the movement quirks could have been ironed out without angering most people, or at the very least with an optional toggle as was done for the requirement to hold the pogo button while bouncing, a.k.a. "Hard Pogo Mode".
The only other thing I can add about this game is only arguably a downside, but I found it somewhat negative all the same, that being the significantly increased difficulty of the final boss fight (and beyond) compared to the original game. It's not impossible by any means, but it's still quite the jump in challenge. I'll freely admit it had me frustrated for a little bit.
Despite the few bad things in this remake, there's clearly far more good things to say about it. Ultimately though, DuckTales: Remastered is a bit of a victim of time, with its gameplay style not nearly as popular by today's standards, not to mention the waning popularity of the DuckTales franchise. That said, it's still a solid platformer with a lot going for it, and very little going against it. Fans of the original game will love this update, and people who have never played either can get quite a bit out of it, too, but you might want to watch a few episodes of the original show first.