Is it possible to have a game called “underrated” by so many people, that it comes to the point where it’s not really anymore? With the internet mixing in with nostalgia, people are able to go back and explain why games they used to like were good, even though not many other people talked about it. This causes other people to experience it, making them say its underrated because they never heard of it before. And because people want to hype it up so much (because it’s underrated) they may overlook some flaws, and with enough people doing that, wouldn’t it cause a game to actually be overrated? If that were possible, today’s game might be the best example: Duck Tales for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
I HAVE to start by taking about the flaws, because I don’t think some people address them enough. Also, I do still think this is a good game, and want to leave you with a good impression.
One thing I don’t see a lot of people mention are some of the sounds that really annoy me. For example, the level selection theme gets old quickly *plays a sample*. There’s also the fact that, when you complete a level, you hear music that sounds like beating a level in a Mega Man game; here’s the sound from Duck Tales *plays sound* and here’s Mega man *Plays sound* Seems lazy... Finally, the sound of an enemy dying drives me crazy *plays sound* Ugh… It may just be me, but that sound is at the right frequency to make me prefer scratching a chalkboard. Plus you hear it over *plays sound* and over *plays sound* and over… *plays sound*
You can argue that all that is just subjective and a matter of my person taste, but that’s not my only complaint. My biggest complaint is actually the controls. One of the actions you’ll have to use the most in this game is using your cane as a pogo. How do you activate this? Jump, then while you’re in the air, press down and B. Now, lets think about that. Let’s say you’re a 5 to 10 year old kid when this game first came out and you rented it. Your friends never played (cause it’s underrated), there’s no internet and you weren’t given the instruction manual. HOW were you supposed to figure this out? In Mario you just jump on the enemy, but here that kills you. In other games like Zelda, you just press B, but here that doesn’t do anything. In the sequel, you just have to press B in the air, which is so much better (you can even hold B THEN jump to activate it). This just really could have been better planned out, especially considering the target audience. It’s a good (and fun) gameplay mechanic otherwise.
Now, at this point, some of the fans of the game are expecting that I mention that the game is too short as a flaw. Honestly though, I think that it’s the right size, considering you can’t save or have any continues, and I’m about to explain why. The only thing I don’t like about the small number of levels is that you have to visit Transylvania 3 times.
As I’ve already said, I like this game, and the one thing I like most about it is how big the levels are. Your main goal in this game is to find the 5 treasures and become rich. Or, “richer” in Scrooge’s case. To do this, you can follow the natural flow of the level and just rush to the bosses. However, if you do this, you probably miss a good 40% of the game. Adventuring off, you get to see a lot more and find a lot of secrets. Also, you pick up various diamonds along the way, which also add to your total, so if you adventure a little, you might be able to significantly add to that total. While I’m talking about the diamonds, I suggest covering the whole area, because there are tons of invisible items to find. Also, each enemy you beat has a chance of leaving a diamond behind (I don’t want to know where the gem is coming from though). So this game is all about exploring and getting money, just like the show was at its base.
Duck Tales is a really fun NES game, and it’s easy to understand why so many people keep suggesting more people play it. It has multiple endings and big levels to explore for a platforming game, so it feels ahead of its time. I also can’t forget to mention the great look of the game (which is on par with Dr. Mario) even if Scrooge is a wearing his coat from the comics instead of TV show and Dewey decided to wear Louie’s clothes on the level select screen. And of course, this game is praised for its music (especially “The Moon” theme), which isn’t surprising since this review has been another *Capcom Time*. Now, we can look back at it and say that it was a lot of fun, but with the odd controls and big maps, making it a little difficult to figure out, it’s easy to see why this game wasn’t as big a success when it was new. Still, very recommended though. I give Duck Tales for the NES 8.5 Levels out of 10.