It should come as no surprise that my next review is another LucasArts game, a Full Throttle Remastered review.
With my current barrage on adventure games, notably the point and click variety, it only seemed logical to buy this off the PlayStation Store. A steal at only £11.99 and well worth it, in my opinion.
Full Throttle propelled on IBM PCs and compatibles in the splendid year of 1995. Nothing memorable happened, I just liked the 90s. I was swift in purchasing it on CD ROM as, by that time, floppy disks were redundant, and they couldn’t fit the talkies on their 1.44MB racks anyway.
Full Throttle follows the standard formula of solving somewhat absurd puzzles, witty dialogue, a gorgeous art style – and best of all, you can’t die in it. What differs, only slightly, is that Full Throttle is quite a brief game and features a few more action sequences compared to others from the same stable.
Full Throttle Remastered Review
It was also the first game Tim Schafer to take the helm in designing, writing and singing the theme tune. Not the latter. I seldom talk about individuals, but his name is synonymous with awesome games.
His company, Double Fine, successfully remastered other titles such as The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle Remastered and Grim Fandango Remastered, yet they still bring out other titles such as the recent RAD, Knights and Bikes and a favourite of mine, Brütal Legend.
I’m just a little gutted that his company has sworn allegiance to Microsoft as it’s unlikely we’ll be getting anything new for the PS4 or Switch. Or will we? Cuphead came out on the Switch, and that was a Microsoft exclusive. Fingers and other stuff firmly crossed.
In Full Throttle Remastered, you play Ben, the leader of a biker gang named the Polecats and an aficionado of kicking stuff to make it work. You wouldn’t mess with him, and you wouldn’t see him taking selfies on Instagram – he’s your old school alpha male, yet highly likeable.
Unlike other LucasArts characters such as Guybrush, Bernard, or Zak, Ben is no-nonsense and not afraid of anyone or anything. Not even snakes. When I grow up, I want to be like Ben.
As with your typical point and click adventure, Ben is a fish out of water and interacts with characters and objects with a tickle of the pixelated cursor. Ben’s dilemma is that he’s being framed for murder. As a result, he loses touch with his gang and must pick up the pieces to clear his good, or badass, name.
The remastered version is either welcome or not for fans of the original. I don’t think there’s any middle ground. Characters and animations have been redrawn in super-sharp HD, the 3D modelling improved and the audio – including the rawk soundtrack, all redone for our eyeballs and earholes. Those who don’t welcome it could argue that the original looked great as it was. They wouldn’t be wrong.
What with all the trending pixel-art these days, Full Throttle could have stayed as it was, visually. I’m in the first camp, however. I love the remastered edition. I’m playing it on a console, and it’s a digital copy – I don’t care for honouring the original as I’m unlikely to be able to find a PC copy first of all.
Secondly, most PCs wouldn’t be able to play it, that I know of. Unless I fashioned it out of a biscuit tin, two pieces of celery and a paperclip. If MacGyver could do it, so can I. Prick. Whether you like the revamped variant or not, you can opt for the original graphics and sound by pressing the touch-pad in-game.
One thing prevails, however, is the interface. With Day of the Tentacle Remastered, pressing the touch-pad would switch to the pixelated graphics and verb list. When Full Throttle came out, it used the verb wheel by default. Bonzer.
Highlight a point of interest and you can either talk/lick it, pick it up/interact or kick it. That’s how I function every day, licking random objects or kicking them. Like Day of the Tentacle Remastered, you can also press up on the d-pad to highlight areas you can interact with. This is definitely a plus as I remember playing the original, getting stuck on an area where you have to kick a crack in the wall. Highly infuriating, but simple now.
Approximating a 25-year vintage, Full Throttle Remastered does have its issues. The action sequences where you fight other bikers and the general travel on the bike is very choppy framerate-wise. You’ll know I don’t get technical often, but even I noticed the slowdown. To be honest, I encountered this when I had the original game as my PC wasn’t beefy enough to cope, so from my perspective, it’s normal.
Besides, Full Throttle Remastered is a tribute to some extent, isn’t it? There’s still a lot of love for these titles. Posting a LucasArts game on Instagram results in declarations of love of “I used to play this as a kid…” or “They based Ben on me”. No one said that, only me.
Ear Of The Jackal
As a metalhead, I loved the soundtrack to the first game – the score too. The opening sequence featured The Gone Jackals, and the piece sounds as good now as it did over 20 years ago. Full Throttle opened my shell-likes in more ways than one. This was quite possibly the first game I played that had full spoken dialogue. Without a doubt, Roy Conrad, who voiced Ben, sounds terrific, and the original recordings remain as he passed in 2002.
But it was Mark Hamill who stood out as Ripburger. It wasn’t until a replay back in the mid-90s that I realised that Mark Hamill was indeed Luke Skywalker. I mean, it makes sense what with the George Lucas connection (they were lovers), but I had no idea he was a voice actor too. This was before the internet. Wow – before the internet.
In those days, you had word of mouth and sliced bits of trees for information. Later on, I learned that he was the Joker in Batman: The Killing Joke and just yesterday I finished Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, where he showcased the voice of the Scientist. In my humble, yes – humble, opinion, he continues to be one of the best voice actors around.
Like most Full Throttle fans, I was pleased to hear that there was a sequel in the pipeline, but regrettably, it never materialised. Sometimes these things are for the best as the game can remain on a pedestal without anyone saying the sequel ruined it. Still, I would have liked to have the opportunity at least, but I assume they also didn’t want to proceed without Roy.
The Voice Of GOG
About halfway through writing this, I acquired a spot of procrastination and found out about GOG. Without looking into it any further than I already have, it’s similar to Steam, only you get to keep the games and don’t need to be online or something along those lines. It’s only been an hour, and I haven’t delved into the small print.
What I have noticed is that there are several LucasArts games in their library and they warrant a purchase. Soon my site will be multi-platform. Emphasis on my. If you don’t want to read about adventure games, you don’t have to, but if you want more, let me know, and I’ll look into them. Unfortunately, neither Beneath a Steel Sky or Lure of the Temptress worked on my iMac. They were free, so can’t complain.
I’ve just bought Sam & Max Hit the Road. Keep your eyes gingerly peeled until that review.
Anyhoo… Don’t expect to be playing Full Throttle Remastered long. Not because it’s an inferior game, but because it’s so short. Depending on your schedule, you could finish this in half a day or a weekend if juggling children. Don’t juggle children. It’s frowned upon in western society.
For me, it took a few nights to complete as I now have a thing for unlocking trophies on the PS4. It’s the little things. I’ve also switched my PS4 theme from Grim Fandango Remastered to Full Throttle Remastered and just love the ambience it creates. I’m fickle like that.
Approximately 12 times I’ve been on a motorbike, which is equal to the times I’ve fallen off or crashed on one. I am the Jonah of the motorcycle world, so using a mouse and now a controller is the safest way to interact with these machines.
Based on that experience, I’ve always wanted to be a biker. Despite that fundamental flaw. It’s like Clint Eastwood being allergic to horses. Whatever.