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Gargoyles Remastered
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Empty Clip Studios
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Released: October 19, 2023
MSRP: $14.99US
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Description: Relive the legend of Goliath and save the world from destruction. Gargoyles Remastered is an artfully crafted revival of the ‘90s classic 16-bit side-scrolling platform adventure. Relive the epic journey of Goliath and the Gargoyles featuring enhanced visuals, animations, and SFX, all inspired by the acclaimed animated series. The world of Gargoyles comes to life with a level of detail that will thrill fans of the animated series and retro gaming enthusiasts alike. Experience classic gameplay that stays authentic to its predecessor while including new features such as achievements, gameplay rewind, and more!

Key Features:
-Play as Goliath, leader of the Gargoyles: Use stone-crushing strength, scale stone towers and buildings with razor-sharp claws, and glide through the air as you master mid-air attacks and hand-to-hand combat in non-stop action to save the world from destruction.
-Immersive Graphics Experience: Seamlessly toggle in real-time between graphics inspired by the animated series and classic 16-bit mode true to the original game.
-Authentic Gargoyles Experience: Relive the story of Goliath and the Gargoyles' battle against the evil Eye of Odin with new animations and sound effects inspired by the Gargoyles animated series.
-Customize Your Experience: tailor your gameplay with modern features including instant rewind, wide-screen presentation, and achievements!
-Remastered Soundtrack: Experience the original soundtrack, remastered and optimized for a more immersive adventure.

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Gargoyles Remastered Review
by James Harvey

Even with the Gargoyles' recent and welcome resurgence in pop culture, sparked by audiences discovering and rediscovering the beloved animated series on the Disney+ streaming service, it was still a surprise to see a remaster issued for the 1995 Sega Genesis video game inspired by this fantastic cartoon. While reviews for the Gargoyles game at the time of its original release were mixed and sales not the strongest, it still garnered a following of fans and become somewhat of a cult favorite. And now, players and fans everywhere now have the opportunity to experience (or revisit) this stone-cold platformer with the release of Gargoyles Remastered, both for good and for ill.

Gargoyles Remastered follows Goliath as he battles his way through armies of Viking Warriors in ancient Scotland to smashing relentless hordes of menacing robots in modern-day Manhattan as he quests to find and destroy the Eye of Odin before it obliterates the world. On top of including enhanced visuals and the ability to toggle between graphics inspired by the animated series and classic 16-bit mode in real-time, Gargoyles Remasterd also features achievements, a wide-screen presentation, and an instant rewind feature (which, trust me, you're probably going to need to finish this game). A mighty challenge awaits for those who are game to take flight with the Manhattan Clan!

With nifty additions like a rewind feature and updated art and music, Gargoyles Remastered makes for a fine showing for the nearly 30-year-old game, but it also showcases this title really hasn't aged all that well. With tricky controls and confusing platforming, in addition to a story loosely based on the series that isn't well explained or presented, it lacks that needed hook beyond being just a game based off a great series. Without an interesting story or enjoyable controls, this game can feel more like a chore at times.

When it comes to gameplay, Gargoyles Remastered follows the template of your basic mid-tier sidescrolling action platformer. Playing as Goliath, players can swipe, grapple, double-jump and charge through weak walls through five levels that are occasionally confusing and usually anti-climactic. Depending on how many restarts and rewinds one has to do, Gargoyles Remastered should only take a few hours to beat at most.

A lot of what'll determine how long it'll take to beat this game boils down to how lucky you are actually striking a foe, or even landing on a platform. Collision detection is iffy at best, regardless of how close you are to a foe or how good your landing looks. Enemies, both the waves of assorted thugs and big bosses, can also end up taking huge chunks of health with just one hit, with any health pickups restoring barely even a smidge of health. Gargoyles Remastered definitely stacks the odds against you almost immediately, and offers little to no relief throughout. One wrong step, one wrong move, one stray hit, and it could be game over just like that.

Thankfully, the rewind button can help when the game refuses to play fair and, for most players, it'll be a crucial crutch to get Goliath over that finish line. It shouldn't be, but when it's diffcult to tell when lands hit or if a surface is safe to land on, it becomes incredibly useful in avoiding cheap deaths (especialy when it's your final life). It's somewhat confounding that we get a rewind feature with Gargoyles Remastered, but there's no fixes in place to tackle any of the problems that've been in the game since it first hit shelves back in 1995.

While Gargoyles Remastered does have more than a few issues hampering enjoyment, at least the presentation looks really good, if a little simplistic. Being able to toggle between the original 16-bit graphics and the remastered version is a nice touch, with both looking really sharp. The 16-bit version is dark, moody and features some great music, while the remastered version's fairly gorgeous widescreen presentation looks cleaner and brighter. The remastered soundtrack is nice, but feels a shade lacking compared to the original, and the original 16-bit looks adds a nice dose of atmosphere the remaster lacks thanks to its more polished look.

It's also worth noting that the playing the remastered version can occasionally make Gargoyles that much more difficult to play. It's often difficult to distinguish between which items are interactable and which are just part of the background. Areas of the stage that Goliath has to break through are much clearer in the 16-bit version, and occasional toggling between both versions seems almost required to find some hidden passageways. Thankfully, the graphics don't impact gameplay when it comes to taking down foes, be it bosses or the interchangeable henchmen Goliath rips his way through.

Outside of the main game itself, there's no additional features here. No concept art gallery, images, or anything else. One players finish the game, all there's left to do is, well, go back and start it again. It's disappointing as other classic Disney Games re-releases included extra material but here, for Gargoyles, there's nothing of the sort.

When adding it all up, Gargoyles Remaster is an adequate re-release of an alright game, but it also seems to be a missed opportunity. Fixing some gameplay issues and adding some bonus material would've definitely bumped up this ultimately middle-of-the-road title, though what we get here is fine enough for its $15 price tag. If anything, this release feels more like a simple port than a true remaster.

Gargoyles fans looking to revisit their youth likely won't regret scooping up this re-release, but newbies might find it tricky to crack. Even though it can be a frustrating experience, it does make for a memorable one, though not always for the right reasons. Gargoyles Remastered manages to still entertain despite its many shortcomings, and those looking to play this game for the first time likely won't be too disappointed in what they find as long as they remember that, well, this wasn't the best game to begin with. Proceed at your own risk.

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