Full Throttle Remastered (PS Vita) Review

By Nikola Suprak 16.07.2017 1

Review for Full Throttle Remastered on PS Vita

There was a time when LucasArts was essentially the bottom line in adventure games. Each and every game it put out was a classic, with many of its titles beloved to this day. It really helped defined the genre, and games like The Secret of Monkey Island or Grim Fandago routinely get references as some of the best adventure games of all time. There was a time from the early to mid '90s that it really could do little wrong, and there were few companies as consistent in the quality of their products as LucasArts. Many of its classic titles have received remastered editions in recent years, and its often forgotten title, Full Throttle, is now the latest to join that group.

Things aren't going so well for fearless hero, Ben, when the story starts out. His biker gang, the Polecats, gets recruited to help escort the president and vice president of a motorcycle manufacturing company to their annual shareholders meeting. Usually, this would just be dreadfully boring and the only risk here would be falling asleep on the way there. Unfortunately, "recruited to help" here is a euphemism for getting knocked out and dropped in a dumpster while the vice president cons the rest of Ben's gang into thinking he already agreed and went on ahead. When Ben comes to, he discovers the vice president isn't entirely on the up and up - shocking, obviously, from the guy that just knocked out the protagonist with a two by four. He gets into a wreck on his way to some sweet, sweet vengeance. Now, he must find a way to fix his bike and hurry to stop the Polecats from running into a trap.

Screenshot for Full Throttle Remastered on PS Vita

The story here is the most enjoyable part, and the old LucasArts titles always had charm for days. This is perhaps a bit more serious than some of the other titles, but there is plenty of silly humour to be found, particularly if you take your time and dig around in everything that can be clicked on. The writing here is good, and the overarching story is fairly entertaining from beginning to end. It is, unfortunately, not quite as entertaining as some of the other older titles, and this has sort of an ugly duckling of the family feel to it. There are jokes, but there aren't as many, and the ones that are here aren't as funny. There is also considerably less dialogue overall, and the story feels a little bit on the light side. There isn't a lot of world building, and this biker paradise isn't nearly as well developed as some of the other LucasArts worlds. It is still an enjoyable read for what there is, but people expecting another Monkey Island are going to be in for some disappointment.

Screenshot for Full Throttle Remastered on PS Vita

Full Throttle Remastered plays like any other adventure game from the era. Walk around, pick up items, and talk to every single character that pops up along the way - all the basic sort of ingredients to a classic adventure title. Along the way, there are a handful of different puzzles to solve. Ben will need to recover a welding torch from a guy that was "borrowing" it, find a way to avoid the cops on his journey down the road, and figure out a way into a secret hideout he can't even see. The variety is pleasing, but the puzzles are actually somewhat disappointing, which is surprising for LucasArts. Most of the time, the solution is almost immediately obvious, and especially at later sections when there are only a couple things you can interact with at a time, some puzzles sort of solve themselves. More robust or complex conundrums were sorely needed, because in total here there really are only one or two notable examples of smart design while everything else feels somewhat brainless. The "action" sections on the bike aren't much better, and typically they can be passed by just mashing on the attack button a couple of times with the right weapon until the rivals fall of their bikes or get bored.

Screenshot for Full Throttle Remastered on PS Vita

Part of the issue comes from the overall design. The best of these titles always give big, sprawling environments to explore, with a lot of things to find and plenty of people to interact with. Here, things feel much more cramped. Typically, the game gives a fairly well defined quest and lets Ben go about his business. Fix the bike by finding these three things or find your way over the cavern by finding these three things, common sort of adventure puzzles like that. The environments given Ben to explore are quite limited, though, and usually there are only a handful of screens available at a single time with a limited number of things to interact with and even fewer people to talk to. It makes the world feel somewhat sterile, and things here aren't nearly as alive or interesting as some of the other LucasArts titles. Due to this, it is all relatively easy and really short and there isn't a lot here to keep players busy.

In terms of being a remaster, though, Full Throttle Remastered does a nice job brining this classic title to newer systems. Swapping between original graphics and the new and improved visuals can be done with a touch of a button, and it is pleasing comparing the two side-by-side-sometimes. The new and improved visuals work well alongside the old school gameplay and classic tunes, and the production value is really impressive. Double Fine did a nice job enhancing the original title to the best of its ability, and the biggest issues comes from shortcomings of the original title, and nothing that Double Fine did specifically when bringing it over.

Screenshot for Full Throttle Remastered on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

There is obviously an enormously high bar for the LucasArts adventure game catalogue, and Full Throttled Remastered doesn't quite hit that standard. This is very likely the weakest of all the classic adventures, and probably the one that had the least reason to be remade. The characters aren't as charming, the story isn't as funny, and the puzzles are significantly less interesting. Still, even with all these negatives, it is hard to not give this at least a tentative recommendation for fans of the genre. There is still some LucasArts magic here, even if it is in smaller doses than its other releases. Jump in the sidecar, then, and gear up for Full Throttle's last ride.

Developer

Double Fine

Publisher

Double Fine

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 None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I started playing the PC version and it really came across as weak compared to past remasters (having never played the original). I'm thinking Double Fine picked this over other LA games purely because it was Tim Schafer's main solo effort after Day of the Tentacle...is that correct?

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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