Review: Back To The Future – Episode 1

BTTF The Game

Why wasn’t this game made in 1985? Maybe because TellTale’s DeLorean was short of plutonium. I seriously wish they would have spoken to some Libyans. Fast forward to the present year, 2011, and the BTTF game we all wished we played as kids is ready for us… as adults! And for those who were never fond of the movie, make like a tree and get out of here. Oh, you know this review will be packed to the top of the clock tower with movie quotes don’t you??? Let the aggressiveness commence…

So here we are Back To The Future made up of 5 episodes thanks to the same people that brought you Sam and Max and Tales of Monkey Island, TellTale Games.  Playing this game striaght through would be my preference but TellTale is all bout episodes.  I guess that keeps a buzz surrounding the game a tad bit longer.

Voice acting at it’s best. Both Michael J. Fox and Christopher Llyod have allowed their characters to be accurately portrayed but Llyod handled his own voice over. The part of Marty is acted out by A.J. LoCascio. Might I add, AJ performs as close as anyone can get to Fox. In the opening scene at the Twin Pines Mall, A.J. nails the voice perfectly when he asks Doc Brown “You built a time machine.. out of a DeLorean?” Goosebumps I tell ya. The rest of the cast does a great job for their respective character. Yes, even Biff!

Timeline Skewed. For those of you interested in how this game tied into the movie, it’s “somewhat” independent. The opening scene is dead on accurate. If you recall, Doc Brown and Marty are recording their time traveling experience at the Twin Pines Mall. TellTale captured the perfect blend of cut-scenes and in-game play especially to get you started in the game. The BTTF detail is all there. The game starts videotaped in black and white filmed by Marty. Doc Brown’s dog, Einstein, is placed inside the DeLorean and sent one minute into the future. But it’s not that easy. We know in Back to the Future 2, there is a timeline skew that causes an alternate 1985. Well, because the game and movie are loosely connected, you’re on a new mission. There’s an estate sale going on at Emmit’s Brown’s house where you’ll meet your father, George McFly for the first time. I found it interesting that they decided to go with “cool” George instead of “Woo, time to change that oil” George.

Your forgetting one thing… What the hell is that?
The detail for the hardcore Back To The Future fans is there. The Weird Science posters on Marty’s wall, that high pitch piano sounds, and Biff reference top out my list. But there are many other resemblances you will pick up during the first episode. There were certain scenes that I recalled from the movie and getting past them were very similar. Hint Hint, it involves that huge speaker in Doc’s house. So if you’ve seen BTTF, you’ll have an easier time and if you haven’t, Watch The Movie!!!

Control Issues. My only real issue with BTTF was in-game controls. I found that moving in between scenes caused the player to get stuck. For example, if you moved Marty to the right of the screen, the next scene might have him coming from a different angle, therefore causing Marty to walk back into the previous scene. I found that letting go of the analog stick “reset” Marty and allowed me to pick up his movement. It was like “taring” a scale.

Fun gameplay. TellTale games are always full of fun dialogue and entertaining out takes. The 3D graphics are cartoony but add plenty of eye pleasing scenes. The decision-based engine also allows you to interact with the customized feeling of selecting the best answer you’d like to choose. While the game is not a decision tree it can feel that you are directing the way the story is told.

Bottom Line: Fans of the Back To The Future Trilogy will easily find themselves in love with Back To The Future: The Game.  The absence of Michael J. Fox is overlooked thanks to A.J. LoCasio and of course Christopher Llyod lends his voice since no one can imitate a legend.  Adventure games have made a comeback and BTTF:The Game solidifies the genre.  Pick this game up.  It’s found treasure you’ll appreciate.  “They Found me.  I don’t know how but the found me… RUN FOR IT MARTY!  w#$%^@” (repeat 3 times)


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