|Oh look, there's a screw loose.|
- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: Double Fine/Lucasarts/Shiny Shoe
- Publisher: Double Fine
- Release Date: 18 April 2017
- Time played: 5.6 hours
The past few years has been point 'n' click adventure gaming bliss thanks to Double Fine securing the rights to remaster some of my favourite games ever developed by Lucasarts; In 2015, Grim Fandango Remastered was released followed by Day of the Tentacle Remastered the year after; It shouldn't be a surprise that I own both of these games. Now, in 2017, I get to replay another classic Lucasarts adventure: a game that introduced me to the rock band Gone Jackals; a game that is frequently quoted by me and my friends; a game that was a cool, cinematic experience; a game known as Full Throttle.
Originally released in 1995, Full Throttle is a point 'n' click adventure game where you play the role of a guy called Ben Throttle who just happens to be the leader of a bikie gang called “the Polecats". It doesn't take very long before things go from bad to worse for you and your gang, and the whole game is about clearing your name, even if it means having to kick some butt on the way.
Full Throttle was developed during a time where Lucasarts was starting to move away from the SCUMM verb-object interface of the late 80s and early 90s; consequently, Full Throttle has a slightly different means for you to explore the world. It's still point 'n' click, you still have an inventory and you still interact with the environment by combining verbs to objects, except the verbs are now represented in a visual sense and they may have multiple meanings such as the mouth icon which doesn't only represent the typical “Talk to" verb. There's also the ability to kick things because, well, how else are you going to kick butt on this adventure without it?
What I like:
StoryTim Schafer always manages to create games that are extraordinary, in the sense that they tend to break the mould and stand out as truly unique experiences you can't find anywhere else; Grim Fandango allows you to play a skeleton living in a Mexican inspired afterlife, Psychonauts is a game about kids exploring people's minds and their “emotional baggage" (quite literally) and Brütal Legend is a hybrid RTS/action-adventure where a roadie becomes a hero in a fantasy world inspired by heavy metal album covers. Full Throttle is probably mundane when compared to the likes of those games but I'm pretty sure there aren't many bikie point 'n' click adventures out there – in fact, Full Throttle might be the only one.
Awesome soundtrackThe soundtrack is definitely one of the highlights and it's all thanks to Peter McConnell and The Gone Jackals. The music is all higher resolution now so not only do you get hi-fi Gone Jackals now, you also get to hear all of Peter McConnell's background music (BGM) done with higher quality samples: the acoustic guitars on some tracks are a nice touch. There's even a Jukebox in the main menu where you can listen to BGM from the game (the lo-fi and hi-fi versions).
Voice ActingYou've got a whole bunch of great voice actors here such as Mark Hamill who voices the villain, Adrian Ripberger, Kath Soucie as Mo, Tress MacNeille as Suzi and Maurice LaMarche as Nestor… even Steve Blum is in there (but then again, what game doesn't have Steve Blum as a voice actor, am I right?). Roy Conrad as the main character Ben must obviously get a mention too (may he R.I.P.) - he truly was perfect for the role.
CharactersThe game has many likeable and memorable characters such as Ben, Mo and Malcolm Corley. Oh and Ben's got a whole bunch of funny one-liners that would give Arnold Schwarzenegger a run for his money.
Straight-forward puzzlesUnlike previous Lucasarts games where you can sometimes come across some very convoluted puzzles, the puzzles in Full Throttle tend to be more straight-forward and this was done intentionally in order to define characters through puzzle design. As Tim Schafer puts it, if Bernard Bernoulli from Day of the Tentacle had to get through a locked door, he would find some convoluted way using multiple items in order to get the key, whereas Ben from Full Throttle would just use his strength to kick the door down.
Steam Trading Cards and AchievementsThe game's got Steam Achievements (which are quite easy to acquire for veterans of the game; I think I managed to get almost all of them save a few during my first platthrough) and finally Steam Trading Cards too (which have only just been introduced as I type up this review).
What I dislike:
Audio commentary subtitlesThe audio commentary subtitles aren't in sync with what's actually being said meaning you have to either read the subtitles and ignore the audio or listen to the audio and not read the subtitles (or else, you'll get quite confused).
ShortOne playthrough takes under 3 hours to complete, so it's not exactly a long game (and Tim Schafer even knows of the game's reputation for being so).
Music cuts out sometimesI can't recall what the original Full Throttle was like but this remastered version has several instances during scene changes where the music cuts out instead of fading out. It's quite jarring and while it's only a minor complaint, little things like this are important in a cinematic-heavy adventure game like Full Throttle.
Keeps forgetting I want classic controlsIt's hard to change old habits and I prefer the classic controls instead of the remastered ones (although the remastered controls are probably more intuitive for a player using the mouse). With the remastered controls, you have to click once on an object to bring up the “verb skull" and click again on the action or “verb" you want to use. With the classic controls, you have to click and hold on an object to bring up the “verb skull" and then release the button over the action or “verb" you want to use. Despite the ability to choose between using remastered controls and classic controls, the setting isn't saved for the next time you boot up the game.
Score – 8/10 (Pretty Good)Full Throttle is still as short a point 'n' click adventure now as it was back in 1995 and the remastered version isn't quite as polished as recent efforts by Double Fine such as Day of the Tentacle Remastered, however this is still the same awesome bikie adventure that many gamers fell in love with back in the 90s, with an excellent soundtrack by Peter McConnell and the Gone Jackals, a great cast of characters voiced by some talented voice actors, and an appealing comic book art style – the only difference is it's all in higher definition now so that a younger generation can enjoy it too without needing to experience grainy animation and audio.
Is the game worth $14.99 USD?: Yes. That's under $20 AUD for playing one of the greatest point 'n' click adventures of all time.
If you like this game, you might like…
- The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (2009)
- Broken Age (2015)
- Day of the Tentacle Remastered (2016)
[ LINK: Official Full Throttle Remastered Website ]