Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PS Vita) Review

By Sandy Wilson 13.11.2016

Review for Day of the Tentacle Remastered on PS Vita

LucasArts has a long history of PC adventure titles. In recent years, their more popular titles have been receiving the remaster treatment. First with the Monkey Island series, and now with Day of the Tentacle. These games get a lot of praise for their charm, full voice work, and interesting stories. Day of the Tentacle itself is a 'sequel' to an old, old title called Maniac Mansion and sees the return of one of the characters from it. How does it hold up when it's shrunk down onto the PlayStation Vita, then? Let's take a look.

This game follows a group of bizarre teenagers as they fight to save the world from a sentient, armed, talking purple tentacle. One day outside a lab there were two tentacles, one drinks the contaminated sludge being ejected into the water, and then grows arms and decides to conquer the world. The 'heroes' of the tale head over there, and a freak accident sends them through time - one to the future, one to the past, and the last in the present. The game takes place in the Maniac Mansion of its predecessor, but in three different time periods. It's a great setup and it certainly provides some good opportunities for some time based puzzles.

First off, Double Fine has done a fantastic job of redoing the art assets for this title. It's the best it's ever looked, and it has been programmed to retain the full original work as well. With a quick flick of the select button, the game can flick between various styles without needing to reload. The new art is incredibly smooth and detailed, animations are top notch, and even on the Vita there is no lag, not that this game would be affected by that as it's pacing is quite slow. The hand drawn look of the new art is amazing and it's clear as glass on the Vita screen.

The gameplay revolves around solving puzzles. These sometimes rely on using all three characters. Hoagie, is trapped in the past so anything he changes affects all time periods. Laverne, is trapped in the future, where the tentacles have seized control of earth and Bernard, who starred in the prequel, is trapped in the present. This means that changes made by Hoagie and Bernard have a knock on effect in Laverne's time - one example being the changing of the American flag. Sometimes these puzzles are logical and the game leads the player through the process subtly, but other times you are simply left to flounder with no pointers.

Screenshot for Day of the Tentacle Remastered on PS Vita

The controls are still point-and-click like the original, but these have a few problems on the Vita especially since both sticks are used to traverse the environment. The left gives free control to the player for looking around the room, the right does the same but snaps to interactive objects automatically, which can speed things up in certain complex rooms. Pressing X commands the character to walk to the object, and pressing square brings up the interact menu. The modern era interface maps well to this, as its minimal look makes it easier to see what's going on. The original layout however isn't so good for doing this with too much info on screen and a much smaller window. It wasn't ever game breaking but the controls can be finicky.

The remastered and rerecorded sound is fantastic and really helps the game stand out, but, unfortunately, the characters themselves haven't stood up to the test of time, with each of them fulfilling a stereotype that died in the '90s. Laverne in particular can be hard to stomach, her gormless facial expressions and references to dissection are cringy, and often undermine her funnier moments. The sound effects and music are great, and help pull the weird mood of the setting and happenings into an immersive experience. In fact, where this title stands out the most is during the dialogue scenes with people around the mansion. These are where the unique humour shines and the game is at its funniest.

A lot of the puzzles have funny punchlines and solutions, but sometimes Day of the Tentacle has too much going on with collecting objects, changing time, etc. and the puzzles just drag. This is particularly evident at the mid-point of the game, when picking up the wrong object can set a solution back by a good 20 minutes which pads the adventure and almost wrecks the experience altogether. However, when the punchline is actually good, it's really great.

Screenshot for Day of the Tentacle Remastered on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

It's easy to see why those who have a nostalgic link to Day of the Tentacle might enjoy this remaster a lot. It's full of character, the new visuals are like playing an interactive cartoon, and the voice-acting is pretty great. Unfortunately, the puzzles and characterisations might fail to gel with a modern audience despite the visual and audio representation. Far from a bad game, but it will definitely not be everyone's cup of tea.

Developer

Double Fine

Publisher

Double Fine

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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