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DuckTales: Remastered is a Reminder of How Difficult Games Used to Be

They just don’t make ‘em like they used to.


Capcom and WayForward recently released their HD remake of DuckTales, and it’s taught some modern gamers a valuable lesson in classic gaming difficulty.

Our own Mike White just reviewed DuckTales: Remastered, and I’m certainly not aiming to go against his efforts. He cited the odd hitboxes around the sprites and the environment as causes for concern, and I think he’s totally right.

But, leading up to his review, Mike and I talked a little bit about the difficulty itself. We both agreed on one thing in particular: in a way, it was really cool that WayForward and Capcom elected to keep the difficulty from the original game in place.

Something, something, “get off my lawn!”

Ducktales-Remastered-2This is the part where I start to yell about having to walk to school barefoot and in 12 inches of snow, going uphill both ways. Here goes…

They really, really don’t make games quite like they used to.

Amidst the review buzz surrounding DuckTales: Remastered, some critics knocked the game for being too darn difficult. Folks, if you grew up gaming on the NES, you know that games have gotten a whole heck of a lot easier since way back then. In today’s games, we’re lead into each experience by a chain of obnoxious tutorials.

I can remember renting games from Blockbuster or the local Video Scene as a little kid, getting home and being absolutely destroyed over and over again within the first level alone. My first thought was never “this game is too hard;” no, it was that I needed to learn how to beat it.

Think about the games you grew up playing if you find yourself in your 20s. Mega Man, Super Ghouls and Ghosts, Vectorman, Contra, Battletoads… the list could go on for days. The simple fact is that tough games like those simply aren’t created at the same rate that they used to be.

The market just doesn’t seem willing to embrace difficulty like it once was.

WayForward and Capcom deserve a little praise.

The argument has been made that WayForward simply didn’t change enough in DuckTales: Remastered in order to warrant a full re-release. Folks suggest that the developers should have modernized the game’s mechanics, added checkpoints and created more cushion for failure.

I wholeheartedly disagree. DuckTales was a tough game. The remake should be just as tough. We grew up on games like this, and I have a feeling the developers at WayForward would say the exact same thing. They decided to capture that classic feeling and toss a fresh coat of paint on it. I applaud them for that.

Games were once damn hard, and we loved it.