Saturday, December 4, 2021

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PlayStation Network

If upon hearing the word, “DuckTales,” your first thought is, “woo-hoo,” then this game was made specifically for you. Such was the refrain from the theme song to the Disney Afternoon TV series that aired from 1987 to 1989. And though this game is a faithful remake of Capcom’s late-‘80s NES classic, it offers far more to fans of the show than fans of the game. Duckburg and its fowl citizens appear just as they were originally drawn, and most of the original voice cast has returned, including 93 year-old Alan Young as the richest duck in the world. Fans of the show will be filled with nostalgic glee every time Uncle Scrooge pauses for lengthy banter with accident-prone pilot Launchpad McQuack, but fans of the original game and its challenging “Mega Man”-esque plat-forming will likely be annoyed by the frequent breaks in the action.

In terms of gameplay, little has changed in the last quarter century. Scrooge still overcomes both obstacles and enemies with the pogo-jump of his trusty cane (which can be performed with a single button or the more complicated control scheme of the eight-bit era). Precious gems appear from thin air if you hop through the right spots, and skilled players can quest from the Amazon to the moon and back in just a few short hours. Boss battles are simple, pattern-based affairs that reward good memory and quick reflexes. Even the game’s level maps would require side-by-side comparisons with those of the original in order to point out the subtle differences. Indeed, the entire 1989 game is well represented here — only padded with technobabble reasons for why Scrooge can breath on the moon and opportunities for Huey, Dewey and Louie to reference the Junior Woodchuck’s Guidebook. It’s a nostalgic walk down memory lane for anyone who was born in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s, and at the budget price of $14.99, even Scrooge would approve the expense.


paydaybox‘PAYDAY 2’ (M)


505 Games

Xbox 360

A.I.-controlled characters make horrible accomplices. That’s the first lesson you’ll learn if you don’t find three flesh-and-blood buddies to watch your back in the four-player co-op heists of “Payday 2.” These first-person robbery simulations typically end in extended shootouts with the cops, and what law enforcement lacks in intelligence, they make up for with sheer numbers, so it pays to have competent larcenists backing you up. In fact, with a particularly effective team, it’s even possible to stealthily fill your pockets without alerting the boys in blue at all, which will have you and your colleagues feeling like master criminals.


ibbobbbox‘IBB AND OBB’ (E)



PlayStation Network

This cooperative 2-player puzzle plat-former takes many of the ideas from “Portal” and implements them on a two-dimensional plane. Bobbing between the side-scrolling level above and its reversed-gravity doppelganger below, you’ll frequently need to utilize the momentum from your fall on one level to catapult yourself to an otherwise unreachable ledge on the other side. All the while, you’ll need to coordinate your movements with the other player because if one of you dies, the other will promptly explode. So be prepared to experience frustration by way of extreme empathy. CV

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