Review by knucklez
"Back to Back to the Future! Marty and Doc finally return!"
Back to the Future is arguably one of the greatest trilogies filmed during the 80s. For many, growing up with the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown opened up our minds to the fun concepts and ideas of time travel adventuring fiction. Unfortunately, the Back to the Future series has a strung together assembly of very poor quality video games.
"Great Scott! What could it be?!"
"Back to the Future: The Game - Episode I: It's About Time" is an adventure game sequel to the Back to the Future trilogy and the first movie-to-game adaptation by the major contemporary adventure game studio Telltale Games. It is the first of five episodes that form the complete episodic season.
"You got a real attitude problem, McFly.
Any Back to the Future fan will tell you that setting, storyline and characters are the most important part of the series, and let me tell you, this game does not disappoint! The game opens months after the last movie. Doc has been missing for months, and after a fantastic return of the DeLorean time machine and Doc's trusty dog Einstein, it's up to Marty to return to the 1920's prohibition era and save the day.
The game touches on many things that made the Back to the Future series great. Marty is fighting an uphill battle and all odds seem against him, but with the player's help he can prevail! There are also references to the films as well as a plot about Marty's grandfather, creating even more backstory to the Back to the Future universe.
Players who have never seen the films need not fear, the game stands up on it's two legs without the backstory from the films. In fact, they are hardly mentioned directly! Being co-written with one of the original writers of the Back to the Future Trilogy, this game is a great way for younger gamers to dive into the Back to the Future universe.
"Ah! What did I tell you? 88 miles per hour!"
The gameplay in Back to the Future is set up in typical Telltale Games fashion. Unlike older point and click adventure games, it blends a combination of free movement along with a mouse pointer to interact with menus and the environment. This results in a much smoother experience than the sluggish adventure games of the past. There are light-puzzles as well as a hint/goal system if the player gets stuck. As an experienced player of adventure games, I found the game to be very easy. It's very accessible to newer gamers, but the game will have to rely more on it's characters and storyline than actual gameplay to win experienced gamers over. This is the first of five episodes, so it is safe to assume it's sort of an "Introduction" to the series. Perhaps later episodes will feature more challenging puzzles.
"Whoa... they really cleaned this place up. Looks brand-new."
The graphics in Back to the Future: The Game are very sharp with a cartoon-like charming style. With a decent computer it can look very, very smooth. The environments are packed full of little details and knick-knacks that make it feel less static than it really is. A lot of love and care went into the graphical design of this game. The likenesses of both Christopher Lloyd and Marty McFly are used in this game to great effect. The two main characters look just like they appeared in the films... if you put them in a cartoon blender, that is.
"Jesus I'm starting to sound like my old man."
The sound in this game is fantastic, and will really take you back to the 80s! The classic Back to the Future theme by Alan Silvestri is here in full force, and even remixed to fit different moods of the game.
The special effect sounds in the game are not abundant, but do sound great when they are used. The DeLorean crackles through time as it explodes into the past, right between a cop and mobster car chase! It's definitely a treat.
Another outstanding achievement is the voice actors used for the main characters. Michael J Fox was unable to reprise his role as Marty McFly, but his replacement does well. Doc Brown, however, is voiced by the original actor Christopher Lloyd. While there are definitely signs of age in his voice, the 72 year old does a great job with just as much charisma and humor as he provided in the films. The rest of the voice actors in the game range from very good to adequate, but none will leave you unsatisfied.
"Doc, you don't just walk into a store and-and buy plutonium."
You are probably wondering if this game is worth it. Are you a Back to the Future fan? If so, then definitely. Are you an adventure game fan? Well, maybe. The game has one major flaw: It's far too easy. Hopefully future episodes will provide more of a challenge. Still, if you want to experience the first part of a thrilling trip back to one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, this game is a must play. The pricing structure is designed so that you pay full price now, but get each episode as they're released. If this first game is any indication, it's a great purchase.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/20/11
Game Release: Back to the Future: The Game - Episode I: It's About Time (US, 12/22/10)
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