Gargoyles Remastered review: Chipped stone

Gargoyles Remastered has been pulled out of the age of notoriously hard Disney games and given a new sheen of polish, but is it worth the revisit?

Image via Disney Games

When I heard we were getting Gargoyles Remastered for review, I jumped at the opportunity to pick this one up. For one, I love the Gargoyles and I remembered loving a lot of parts of this game when I played it on Sega Genesis in 1995. I also remembered it being ridiculously hard, a product of a certain era of tough-as-nails Disney games. Gargoyles Remastered reaffirmed these memories. It's a good-looking re-packaging of the original with a minty fresh art style, but it’s also a ridiculously difficult relic of a bygone gaming era. What's more, new features like a rewind button can't make up for the frustration, trip down memory lane or not.

Goliath origins

Gargoyles Remastered is, as it was with the Sega Genesis, an origin story of sorts for main character Goliath. Players join the leader of the Gargoyles in a platforming action-adventure that runs from medieval times against Vikings into modern times versus magical machines. Goliath is chasing after an artifact known as the Eye of Odin, which empowers both living and non-living things alike with evil energy, and he’ll use all of his strength and agility as a stone sentinel to destroy it for good.

One of the most easily noticeable features of this remastered version of the game is the new art style. Gargoyles Remastered is presented in a fresh, clean, and widescreen style that looks far more reminiscent of the Saturday morning cartoon series than the original art style was. I really liked seeing Goliath far closer to how I remember him in the show, and I also liked seeing much of the game’s original content revamped into that style, whether it was enemies or environments.

Gargolyles Remastered gameplay with Goliath fighting a viking woman.
Source: Disney Games

For those who are purists and just want to play the original as it was, the developers didn’t entirely do away with the original art style. In fact, you can switch to it at pretty much any point with a single button press dedicated to swapping back and forth between the modern and classic style. I will say I actually had some issues with certain levels in the modern art style. There are swinging points that you have to jump to in order to traverse long gaps and it was very difficult to see a few of them until I switched it back to the original art in which the handhold appeared very clearly.

The soundtrack, including music and sound effects, also have modern and classic versions. Honestly, I wish I could mix and match them, because I love the modern art style, but I also think the classic sound effects were punchier. Goliath’s death cry when you lost a life was spine-chilling in the original, and the characters also had more impact to them when you were slashing them to ribbons. I really like the modern music, but I think the sound effects lose out on that intensity.

Rewind, repeat

Gameplay in the Gargoyles was always a bit tough to handle and, for better or worse, that is entirely intact in Gargoyles Remastered. Of the ridiculously difficult Disney games that were coming out on Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo at the time, I think Gargoyles is just below The Lion King in its level of sheer soul-crushing difficulty. You can put the game on “Enhanced” versions of easy, medium, or hard, or take on its “Original” difficulty, but even putting the game on easy doesn’t keep certain platforming elements, enemy spawning, and collision detection in the game from being flaky at best and maddening at worst.

You’ll come up against an enemy where you have to mash the attack button, but also inch towards them to keep them from staggering backwards out of your mash fest and belting Goliath upside his noggin for widely varied damage. You’ll also have to do some complicated platforming that includes wall-climbing, handhold swinging, jumping, and flapping through the air. In many cases, just a single mistake could either kill Goliath or stagger your progress and leave you having to redo a lengthy section all over again.

Gargoyles Remastered gameplay in which Goliath fights an elevator boss.
Source: Disney Games

The developers must have been well-aware of how hard Gargoyles is too, because in addition to an art style button, there’s a rewind button. If you end up in a bad situation or feel you could overcome a tight spot with just a slightly different move, you can hold the rewind button to go back about five seconds. As fast as things can go wrong in this game, that’s a decent amount of time to fix your mistakes. That said, I also wish the limit wasn’t there and I could just rewind as I please, because the tail end of where you can rewind follows your progress. What I mean by that is that if you go the full length back, mess up again, and try to rewind more, it won’t let you, and the tail end keeps progressing to keep you from cheesing it too hard. There were actually a few occasions where I locked myself into a death with the limitations on the rewind.

We live/die again

Gargoyles Remastered gameplay in which Goliath faces mecha clones of himself
Source: Disney Games

I’m not really upset that I went back to Gargoyles to re-explore some fun childhood memories. This game was special to me as a huge fan of the cartoon series, and I really liked how they adapted the old graphics into a new art style that was so much closer to the animation. I also like that the old graphics and sounds are still here and you can switch back and forth between them as much as you wish. I find it hard to credit Gargoyles Remastered for having a rewind button, because I think it’s simply a necessity to alleviate the frustration of a ridiculously difficult game. It also doesn’t fully alleviate that frustration because of its limitations. Gargoyles Remastered is an interesting and pretty walk down memory lane, but you’d better be ready to have any rose-colored glasses shattered by its unforgiving gameplay if you take that walk.

This review is based on a PlayStation 4 digital copy supplied by the publisher. Gargoyles Remastered launches on October 19, 2023 on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

  • Modern art style is very good looking
  • Action is smooth & enjoyably varied
  • New music sounds very good
  • Original art and sounds are still included
  • Rewind button is a relief
  • Platforming & combat is spotty
  • New sound effects don't have as much impact
  • Rewind button has limitations
  • Ridiculously difficult, even with rewind
  • New art style obscures some environment interactions
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