Xbox 360: Capcom bringing Dungeons & Dragons and Ducktales to XBLA

 It’s been a while since we brought you Xbox Live Arcade news, other than announcing the Ascend: New Gods closed beta signups and that fun little Zombie Driver HD interview and contest we held last month. But XBLA games remain a passion of mine, and our Xbox 360-owning readers who have embraced digital downloads likely feel much the same.

Okay, GDC starts on Monday but a little consumer gaming event called PAX East is taking place right now. And on the first day of the show, a little publisher called Capcom made a couple of announcements that had pretty much the whole console gaming world abuzz. This summer, Capcom will release both a remake of NES platforming favorite Ducktales as well as a collection of the Dungeons & Dragons arcade games, both for XBLA and other digital platforms.

Read onto find out why folks in the know are so stoked for these titles!

A little Ducktales history

Ducktales Remastered comparison

Games based on children’s shows or licensed properties in general tend to be subpar at best – with a few exceptions. Back in the NES days, one of those exceptions was Capcom’s Ducktales platformer, based on the Disney cartoon series of the same name. The game made use of the Mega Man engine (a very strong foundation) but really played like its own thing.

Players took on the role of Scrooge McDuck, the richest duck in the world, as he battled the Beagle Boys and scoured the Earth and beyond for treasure. Instead of just jumping on enemies to defeat them as in other genre entries, players could both attack and reach new heights by using Scrooge’s cane as a pogo stick.

From a technical standpoint, Ducktales impressed with colorful and detailed graphics that easily captured the charm of the show. And the soundtrack is commonly regarded as one of the most memorable in the entire NES library.

Ducktales Remastered

Ducktales Remastered

In all the XBLA lineup, I can’t think of one title that is strictly a remake of an NES game (as opposed to an arcade game). Nobody expected Ducktales would be getting the remake treatment for current consoles, especially since the property belongs to Disney and would need to be relicensed. And yet Capcom has done just that, hiring Wayforward – makers of last year’s fantastic brawler Double Dragon: Neon – to update the game for modern audiences.

Ducktales Remastered is the same basic game that fans remember, but with a lovely new coat of paint. The environments are now rendered in 3D (while retaining a 2D perspective) while the characters have been beautifully redrawn. The soundtrack will be remixed by Jake Kaufman, who did a bang-up job on the Double Dragon: Neon soundtrack. The original cartoon voice actors (even Scrooge’s!) will provide all-new voice overs. There will be new areas to explore such as Scrooge’s Money Bin, and updated controls to boot.

In short, Ducktales Remastered looks like an amazing take on a beloved classic. The XBLA version is due sometime this summer for the price of 1200 MS Points ($15).

Arcades and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

Only slightly less surprising than Ducktales Remastered is this collection of two classic Capcom arcade games: Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom and its sequel Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, dating back to 1994 and 1996. The sole previous console release was a good but less-than-perfect collection for the Sega Saturn that never made it out of Japan. I’ve long regretted failing to import that one!

Now my frown has turned upside down because Capcom is packing both games in a new XBLA collection called Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara. This deluxe collection comes from Iron Galaxy, the studio who ported the upcoming Ms. Splosion Man for Windows Phone as well as XBLA games Street Fighter III, Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, and Darkstalkers Resurrection for Capcom.

Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom is a 4-player fantasy-themed beat-em-up which can be viewed as the precursor to Castle Crashers, Dungeon Fighter Live, and many other similar games. It offers played four authentic D & D classes to choose from: Fighter, Dwarf, Cleric, and Elf. The second game adds a Thief and Mage to the mix. All level up from gaining XP, have special moves suited to their classes, and can carry and use items in their inventory – fairly advanced stuff for arcade brawlers.

These two games remain sought-after classics for several reasons. The smattering of actual D & D rules and equipment created an unexpectedly authentic atmosphere. Lending to that atmosphere is some of Capcom’s best pixel art, with highly animated characters and gigantic boss monsters. Both games also capture a sense of exploration thanks to their numerous branching paths. These paths, combined with the different character classes, instilled replay value far beyond other beat-em-ups of the time.

Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

While Iron Galaxy hasn’t fully remade the Dungeons & Dragons arcade games in the same way as Ducktales Remastered, this new collection still boasts an impressive array of features. Most important is the cooperative multiplayer. The collection supports drop-in, drop-out co-op for up to four players (the Saturn version was only 2-player) both locally and online.

The online multiplayer makes use of GGPO netcode, widely regarded as the most lag-free way of networking fighting games. The new house rules options will allow for an especially customizable multiplayer experience. Taking on the forces of chaos with a team of friends over Xbox Live should be quite a treat!

Like Street Fighter III and Iron Galaxy’s subsequent Capcom ports, Chronicles of Mystara adds a Challenge system on top of the existing arcade games. These provide optional goals such as killing X number of enemies or collecting Y amount of gold – think of them as mini Achievements. Completing them rewards you with coins that can be spent on various unlockables, including some lovely concept art.

The new Character Visualizer feature promises to track of how often players pick each character, encouraging replay with seldom-used heroes. And naturally, the game will have several advanced viewing options to make the games look better on HD displays. You can even surround the display with the genuine arcade borders, which is too cool.

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara has a more concrete release date of June, which means it should come out right around E3 time. It will cost 1200 MS Points ($15) – far less than the rare Saturn game goes for on eBay. Fans of fantasy and beat-em-ups won’t want to miss it!

More Capcom news

Capcom revealed a few more choice bits of info at PAX East. First, they are working on a new Mega Man game! Mega Man (known as Rockman in Japan) is one of Capcom’s most enduring franchises. Unfortunately the company’s Japanese leadership has largely failed to capitalize on that in the years since Mega Man 10 released on XBLA, going so far as to cancel the extremely promising Mega Man Universe crossover game. We don’t know anything else about the new title other than it’s in development, but that’s still a step in the right direction for the once proud series.

Finally, Capcom will be releasing a new update for the popular Street Fighter IV fighting game. The update will definitely tweak character balance, but that’s all we know. Many fans are hoping it will also add the four new Street Fighter characters from Street Fighter vs. Tekken, but that could only amount to wishful thinking.

By the way, if you’re wondering about future Windows Phone support from Capcom… We’re still trying (and trying and trying) to pry the details out of Capcom’s PR team, but haven’t met with much success yet. Let’s hope KenKen won’t be their last Windows Phone release!

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Dwarf and elf are races, fighter and cleric are classes
  • You tell em, the ducktales games were awesome as a kid, beat both of them, btw they were pretty hard too. Had to be pretty accurate pogo jumping onto tiny platforms at times
  • Technically they are classes in these games. They are simply named the Elf and the Dwarf, and have different fighting styles and skill sets from the others.
  • In D&D 1st Edition, elf, dwarf, and hobbit are classes. Source: I played for many years and still have the 1st Edition books after 25 years. :)
  • They are referred to as halflings in D&D are they not?
  • You are right. I was thinking halflings but typed hobbits. Curse you, Tolkien! :-)
  • From Wikipedia:
    "The original Dungeons & Dragons included hobbits, but later the game began using the name "halfling" as an alternative to "hobbit" for legal reasons."
  • Elf and dwarf are classes in 1st ed D&D.
  • That Ducktales remake looks fantastic!
  • sure does :)
  • In agreement here. Nicely redone. That game was one of my all time favorites as a kid. Tough platformer.
  • I'm still waiting an announcement of Mega Man X series. If Capcom would be so nice to remake whole X-series for arcade, I'd probably be the first to buy 'em all. But that Ducktales is a must investment.
  • It's gonna be rather difficult to jump and wall jump, given the lack of physical buttons.
  • But the Xbox 360 does have physical buttons.
  • My bad. I thought it's for phone / tablet.
  • $15 for ducktales . R they crazy.
  • Pretty standard pricing for a remastered game, with new content.
    R u cheap.
  • Condescending much?
  • I think it's ridiculous how many of these gaming articles turn into a shitfest about the price point, when they are in fact most of the time priced relatively fairly compared to the current market.
  • Its an nes game. Its not worth 15 .
  • It is an NES game that someone has put time and money into updating and porting to a console it was not originally made for. It might not be worth it to you but to others it is. If you think people don't deserve to get paid for their work that's on you.
  • $15 for a game that was sold for $59.99 back in like 1989.  Except it looks and sounds a billion times better than before.  Yup, definitely sounds like a rip off.  
    Bring this stuff to WP!  Especially MEGAMAN series!
  • You mean $29.99 back in 1989, and even then I remember paying less.
  • 1989's $29.99 ≠ 2013's $29.99
    1989's $29.99 ≈ 2013's $56.15
    If this were The Price is Right, you'd've won, but, as it is, he'd be closer to correct than you.
  • That's a silly viewpoint, as Jonas, Lady Dias, and others have explained. Developers, artists, voice actors, et all deserve to be paid for their work, and Capcom has to make a profit too. $15 is quite reasonable given the scope of the game and the obvious level of gamer interest in it.
  • They also have to deal with Disney licensing fees. I do have fond memories of this game from my childhood NES days. Would love a WP version.
  • Yeah boy! Love me some duck tails. That is such a solid NES game. Strange and cool they are working on this.
  • The D&D game is great. Looking forward to this!
  • These are BIG news! I have been dying for these titles to become available.... hopefully they can get Aliens vs Predator and The Punisher arcade games out there too.
  • Holy crap a redone AvP would be a dream. They don't necessarily have to update the sprites, that game would still look good today from what I remember, poured countless quarters into the arcade back in the day, punished was pretty solid too
  • I'd love to see those too, along with arcade Willow and Cadillacs & Dinosaurs from Capcom, Aliens from Konami, Spider-man from SEGA, and Captain America & the Avengers from whoever could rescue the license.
  • anyone else read "dungeons & dragons and ducktales" as one title?
  • Ducktales wooo-oooo!!!
  • Dun duh duh daaa!
  • Not pony tails or cotton tails but ducktales, oo oo!
  • Glee!!!!!!
  • They should have fixed the screen proportion in the D&D games. They've always looked squashed to me. That's been my pet peeve about those games.
  • That was common in Capcom games of the time, especially their home console ports. This one might allow for stretching the screen vertically, which could help.
  • HOLY ****! DUCK TALES!
  • My thoughts exactly.
  • Love the Duck tales.
  • One of the very best cartoons!!!!
  • This.
  • I fondly recall playing Ducktales after school in my youth. Could be fun again...
  • Sweet! Am i the only one with the Duck Tales theme song stuck in my head now? Can't believe some of the useless things I remember. I have fond memories of the Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers and Tale Spin NES games, too. Wouldn't mind seeing those as well. :-)
  • You aren't the only one. I miss the old Disney channel.
  • Ducktales wasn't specifically an NES game. I, for instance, played the far superior Amiga version at the time. The remake looks like a decent update even compared to that, though. Really looking forward to it.
  • Capcom's Ducktales only came to NES and GameBoy. Here's an article on its history: HardcoreGaming101 According to Wikipedia and other sources, the Amiga game is completely different from Capcom's game.
  • Oh wow, I remember playing that Ducktales game on my NES when I was like eight or something! I'll have to consider getting that one.
  • I'd love to see a Secret of Mana remastered version. Best game I probably played, console wise, save the Elder Scrolls series.
  • I remember quackshot for sega
  • I WANT SPACE HARRIER! Gridrunner Girl on windows phone is not enough lol.
  • Bring D&D to WP8, RT, xbla, and W8 like SotS and you got a winner!!!
  • Thats a fucking sexy revamp
  • Does it work on windows phone 8?
  • For asking that question, you have to go to the back of the line.
  • Ducktales was a solid platformer. I sunk hours of my young life into that game. Great to see it getting remastered. Now if Square-Enix could do that to FF, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger and Secret of Evermore then I would wet myself.
  • Yes, especially to SoM, as I commented before amazing game, especially for its time.
  • I have SNES 8X and am currently on my third runthru on New Game+ . I have both the SNES and PSX copies of FFIV, CT and FF Chronicles respectively. But would definitely pay for up scaled graphics of both with optimized mobile controls.
  • Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara looks like a big game with many monsters.
  • lol Lots of Ducktales fans! I thought I was going to be the only one to talk about it when I went to the comments section.
    ♫ Life is like a hurricane...
    Here in Duckburg... ♪
  • :up:
  • Wanna see Duck Tales on my windows phone
  • No if we can get Rescue Rangers I'll be all set
  • Looks like donald duck or mr.scrooge duck.
  • Ducktales (the game and the series) stars Scrooge McDuck.
  • Before Lara Croft and Nathan Drake there were Huey, Dewey and Louie. I never had Nintendo and never played the game, but relating games and television, Duck Tales held my interest as a kid due to the excellent adventures. No DVR back then. Home from school fast to not miss the intro. Cartoons since around 2000 have been nothing but kids spazzing out. Lame.
  • So true. I really dislike most of the new cartoons.
  • I hope since Disney gave the approval to go ahead with a DUCKTALES REMASTERED, they will finally release the final DVD set of the animated series.
  • Ducktales! I remember playing that one.
  • Boy does this bring back memories! I played this when I was a wee lad! :D
  • I was a big fan of the NES game Duck Tales.... If the price is right, I'll buy it...
  • We do mention the price in the article...
  • Ducktales is awesome, had this on my Mega Drive