Disney’s Gargoyles Remastered looks and sounds incredible but remains a bit stuck in the past

This has been an interesting week for platformers, hasn’t it?

Of course, Sonic and Mario are gathering all the headlines like it’s 1990 all over again, but there’s another name to add to that list, swooping in from out of nowhere and it’s Gargoyles Remastered.

Now, some of you would be forgiven for having absolutely no idea what this is. It might even surprise you to learn it’s a licensed Disney property, and based on a long-forgotten cartoon that aired around the same time as the Blue Hedgehog and the Red Plumber during their most tenacious battles.

Like many of the classic 16 Bit Disney Platformers, it follows a very similar trend and style with surprisingly challenging layers but unmistakeable mood and atmosphere, all with typical Disney charm. The original game made fantastic use of lighting and shadow effects to really capture the aesthetics of the popular Saturday Morning Cartoon and the glowup really does pay fantastic homage to that.

But it does pose a very interesting question, why now? Unlike recent Disney re-releases like The Lion King, Aladdin and Jungle Book, this one targets a very specific niche, calling upon fans of either the original game or the cartoon to come out of the woodwork and come back for another go-around. All while releasing in the same window as two of the biggest platformers of the year. It’s a tall order.

With this one being a dormant Disney property as well, it doesn’t even have much modern day recogntion or the traditional backing of the House of Mouse to push it to places other games can only dream of.

Basically, what I’m saying here is, this one is probably going to fly under the radar, get lost in the most competitive sea of gaming this month and perhaps not be the best indicator of the potential of the property for future spinoffs. And it deserves better than that.

There’s a reason this one got remade in the first place and it was a cult classic on the Genesis. It reviewed really well and it picked up quite a following, enough that it actually got people to tune into the cartoon. The distinct settings of each level provided enough variety to keep each playthrough interesting and the gothic horror music just wonderfully compliments the murky environments.

Even just the way the game seamlessly spans across time periods to give you a heightened connection to the story through cut scenes and boss battles, and the way the game just deviates from the standard norms of the genre by adding in rolling and flight.

It didn’t get here by accident and you can tell the remaster has been a proper labour of love. As with most games of a similar ilk, you can transition between styles at the tap of a button and really get a true understanding of how good this looks.

Where the original game made smart use of light and darkness to really capture its mood, the artists of Remastered have been able to recreate the cartoon to an incredible level of detail. Goliath literally looks like he’s been ripped out of an episode, fully animated and planted right in the middle of your screen.

The new music is also hauntingly composed, really getting that dramatic, classic essence across that encapsulated the TV show while finding nice melodies to really suit the level design. While the visuals are the thing that will catch most people’s eye, it’s the change in the music I was really impressed by, it sounds absolutely excellent.

But going back to the visuals, the environments come to life in completely new ways, now stripping away a mostly black screen and giving definition, outlined elements and activity to everything going on. No screen is wasted between enemies, enhanced textures, character movement, and new ways to get around like scaling walls, or climbing above enemies to drop down on them in an unsuspecting fashion.

In many respects, this game was doing things quite differently from others in the genre, really making use of environment and space by letting you roll through buildings, having you throw enemies to bypass blocking, perhaps even hinting a bit at stealth and that comes across a little bit while you’re playing.

But as mentioned, it falls into a trap that a lot of these Disney platformers did, in that it’s got a really rough difficulty curve. This is offset a little bit by introducing save states and letting you rewind the action, it definitely helps, but on Switch, I sometimes felt my button prompts weren’t quite getting registered in time and I felt my responses were quicker than the game would allow.

So we have a bit of a strange situation here where the game is a little too close to the source material. It looks stunning and better than ever, a true reflection of that cartoon I watched and loved as a kid, but it’s very much stuck in the past, unable to really get past some of the limitations of its mechanics and surprisingly hampered by some of the same issues that impacted the original release.

The bosses are still pretty underwhelming in comparison to the levels you race through, and as far as other features beyond the remastered aesthetics, there’s not much else to talk about. There’s no bonus features, additional levels, barely any options to speak of and much to think about outside of the original game.

I would absolutely recommend checking the game out if you have a craving for Disney platformers from this era, want to relive some nostalgia or want to try something a little bit different in the genre, even if it is a bit dated by design by today’s standards. But if the difficulty curve doesn’t put you off, it’s possible the sparse options or clunky controls just might.


Gargoyles Remastered is an absolutely incredible reinvention of 1995 aesthetics with a beautiful style that feels like it’s been ripped out of the original cartoon and a stunningly recomposed soundtrack that tugs at those nostalgia strings. Unfortunately, it does still feel like a game trapped in time with clunky controls, sharp difficulty spikes and underwhelming boss battles. It’s also a bit limited in new features for this remaster, but at a fairly attractive price, the mechanics offer something a bit different from other games of this era and the style and setting has an atmosphere most platformers can only dream of. 


+ Beautiful remastered visuals
+ Excellent soundtrack
+ Nice mix of mechanics that feel fresh for a 90s platformer and ahead of the curve compared to others
+ Lovely setting and atmosphere throughout, complimented by some great, flowing animation


– Controls can be a bit hit and miss, lacking in responsiveness
– Bosses are a tad underwhelming
– Really sharp difficulty spikes

Gargoyles Remastered is out now on PC, PS, Xbox and Switch

Code Kindly Provided by Disney Games for review purposes

Played on Switch

About the author

Sam Diglett

Sam grew up with a PS2, spending hours howling at the moon in Okami and giving students wedgies in Bully. Fortunately, she also likes Pokemon because otherwise life could have been quite annoying for her.
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