Full Throttle Remastered is Double Fine's latest re-release of Tim Schafer's old properties from his LucasArts days. The classic point and clicks Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle have come before to relative success. So, how does their latest project stack up?
In Full Throttle Remastered, you play as square-jawed protagonist, Ben, leader of the motorbike gang, the Polecats. This point and click adventure starts when Ben is kidnapped and his Polecats are tricked into becoming goons for hire, with further intrigue unfolding from there. The story is one of Full Throttle's strongest attributes, which people have come to expect from a Tim Schafer game. It takes twists and turns without becoming too convoluted, and transports you to the world of biker gangs.
Schafer has often excelled in his writing and Full Throttle Remastered is no exception. The game seamlessly blends adventure portions into the point and click without them seeming forced. There is a great section where you fight rival gangs for weapons. The story seems tight and every transition between scenes has a purpose. Not only is the dialogue is Schafer's usual witty style but the story as a whole simply holds together. Some of the dialogue is overused though and can begin to grate. Characters are expertly written and complex. To add to this, their voice acting is impeccable with stars like Mark Hamil, who truly bring them to life.
The narrative here still stands up despite originally being told in 1995. Despite not adding to the story the remaster does make several changes. The biggest change to gameplay is the controls. You can see more clearly which objects are clickable, which is a huge improvement to player accessibility. Touchscreen controls on the Vita would have been nice, but here they do not entirely function.
There are quite a few aspects to gameplay which probably should have been changed but were not. A run button would have been really good for pacing, particularly in overworld sections. Every 90s point and click has that one puzzle which is purposefully obtuse to extend the game's length. Without spoilers, old school players will remember the bunny puzzle, yet Double Fine did not fix it in the remaster. The game is still essentially good, it just seems like a missed opportunity. There is so much that Double Fine could have done here to make Full Throttle Remastered an exceptional game, but it has settled here for great.
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Anyone who's a fan of the genre may find Full Throttle Remastered a little on the easier end of the scale, but that's not to say that its puzzles are not challenging or rewarding. The difficulty is somewhat light, and Full Throttle Remastered is not on the level of Broken Age nor Grim Fandango. There could also be complaints that Full Throttle Remastered is a little short. You'll get around eight hours of gameplay compared to Grim Fandango's 20-30 hours. However, it is an entire and complete story, and adding to it now would not do it justice. This is one instance where Double Fine made the right call in terms of remastering.
Double Fine has redrawn all the art for the remaster in a more painterly style. I found myself constantly switching back to the absolutely gorgeous old pixel art. While switching is easily done with the select button, the pixel art does not have the updated interface. This meant I was often choosing between gorgeous art and easy to use controls. Some will find the updated graphics charming though. Overall, they suit the game well but are perhaps not as impressive as the original. The updated sound, on the other hand, does a lot for Full Throttle and shows good use of modern techniques.
The remaster also adds a director's commentary with a few of the original developers including Schafer himself. This is a nice bonus and adds some insight, which is a bonus for old fans of the game. However, it plays over the in-game audio so only veterans of Full Throttle Remastered should attempt this, not benefiting new players. In addition, the commentary subtitles do not always match up with the audio, making it difficult to follow.
Despite the lack of polish on the remaster, at its core Full Throttle Remastered is a great game. The story is funny and intriguing. The gameplay mixes puzzles and fun action sequences well and the engaging story holds everything together. Full Throttle is a game everyone should have played at least once. If you still own a copy of the original Full Throttle then you probably do not need to buy the remaster. However, this being the first digital release makes this a worthy purchase. Full Throttle Remastered is still definitely worth your time.
Full Throttle is as great as it ever was, with a charming story and interesting puzzles. The remaster does little to add to this, but it's still very much worth your time.
- Interesting Puzzles
- Gripping Story That's Hard to Put Down
- Great Writing
- Remaster Adds Little to the Original
- Short Length for a Point and Click