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Review: Full Throttle Remastered


Harrison Lee

Developer: Double Fine Productions,

Shiny Shoe

Publisher: Double Fine Productions

Platform: PC, PS4, PS Vita

Release Date: April 18, 2017

ESRB: T for Teen

 

Note: This review is based on the PC version of the game

 

 

A few years ago, I was at a yard sale digging through a box of old PC games when I hit upon a floppy disk copy of Day of the Tentacle. I was born in the mid-90’s and had missed out on this LucasArts gem of point-and-click adventure mayhem. To be honest, I still haven’t popped the game in. No one uses floppy disks anymore and I don’t have the hardware to run it. Funny, right? Someone at Double Fine must have heard my groans over not getting to experience the classics because we’ve been graced with Full Throttle Remastered, a spruced-up version of Tim Schafer’s darkly-comedic bikerthon. Does the updated version do the original game justice, or is this remaster out of gas?

 

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Above: Original Release

Below: Remastered Version

 

I didn’t get to play the original Full Throttle, but Double Fine has included the unedited version of the game alongside the remaster. At any point, you can toggle between the gorgeous original pixel art and the new hand-drawn look. The audio has also been given a proper makeover, with voice-overs sounding crystal clear and the rockin’ soundtrack popping in the background. While the remaster does a good job updating the look and feel of the game, I prefer the original pixel art to the remastered version. The new art just doesn’t feel quite right, though it’s definitely respectful of the original game. The remixed audio, however, is blissfully pleasant to listen to.

 

Full Throttle follows the exploits of the rough-and-tumble Ben and his biker-gang, the Polecats, in a dystopic post-apocalypse world. Only one company builds road hogs in this desolate era, and the Polecats are front and center in a plot to reconfigure the company to build… mini-vans. Ben becomes the fall-guy in a murder conspiracy and has to battle numerous obstacles to save the company, the Polecats, and the spirit of motorcycling. Along the way, he befriends a well-characterized supporting cast and solves a host of entertaining puzzles. Few challenges stand in Ben’s way for more than a few minutes, and the ride is over before you know it. But what a ride Full Throttle is.

 

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Tim Schafer’s ode to biker gangs won’t last you more than the average Call of Duty game, but it’s a well-paced, entertaining dramedy all the same. That said, there are a few speed-bumps in the experience. Some noticeably unsmooth transitions rear their heads in cut-scenes, and audio occasionally drops out completely as a new scene is loaded. The bike combat, maligned when the game originally came out, also hasn’t aged well. It’s a bit clunky, but is mercifully over in short order. An object-highlighting feature has also been added to help you find solutions to the puzzles faster. I noticed it rarely highlighted the objects I needed to pick up and use, so I’m not sure how much time it really saved me. Not that Full Throttle needs to go any faster, mind you.

 

I’m a bit ashamed to admit Full Throttle occasionally tested my wits. I don’t often play point-and-click adventures (barring the Sherlock Holmes series), and there were a few moments where the puzzle solutions had me a little baffled. In the context of the scenario, the solutions made sense. I just didn’t pick up on them in time. It’s refreshing to see a game that moves at a brisk pace, yet isn’t afraid to apply the brakes and force you to think. Full Throttle isn’t terribly difficult, but there are a few puzzles that might have you consulting a walkthrough.

 

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Full Throttle is LucasArts’s often-overlooked adventuring gem. While I missed it the first time, I’m happy to report it’s absolutely worth playing, even in this day age. The quippy one-liners, entertaining plot, well-defined character archetypes, and occasionally challenging puzzles all add up to a fun ride. Full Throttle never overstays its welcome and is a little shorter than I’d like, but you’ll enjoy the rush while it’s there. Don’t miss this great update to a classic.

 


Pros

+ A unique sense of humor and place

+ Entertaining, well-written plot

+ The original pixel art is as beautiful as ever

+ The remastered audio is excellent

 

Cons

- The combat sequences are still rough

- A few awkward scene transitions here and there

 


Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10)

Great

 

Full Throttle is a fast-paced, enjoyable point-and-click adventure that will inspire nostalgia in the most devoted LucasArts fans, while welcoming genre newcomers with beefy, grease-covered arms.

 

Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher.

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