Remasters are a wonderful thing. Not only do they allow younger gamers to enjoy classics on a modern system, but they also serve to remind me how unreliable memory can be. Full Throttle Remastered once again sees Double Fine Studios resurrect a LucasArts point n click adventure, by giving it a new lick of paint and a director’s commentary. At any time players can switch from the new hand-drawn graphics to the game’s original pixel art. The contrast between the two styles is quite the eye opener. Just like watching a cartoon from my youth, it’s shocking to see how garish the blocky 1995 visuals are. The artists of the 2017 backgrounds and character models have somehow managed to make the game appear like how my brain mistakenly recalls it looking.
Full Throttle Remastered stars Ben Throttle, the no nonsense leader of the Polecats biker gang. Players guide Ben on a quest to clear his name after he is framed for the murder of Corley Motors’ chairman Malcolm Corley. The real culprit is the company’s vice-president Adrian Ripburger, who is plotting to take over the business. If Ripburger gets his way Corley Motors will abandon production of Ben’s favourite choppers and will instead manufacture lame minivans. What a fiend! The game is the brainchild of Tim Schafer, the talented designer whose other works include Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Costume Quest and um… Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. I can’t say that I have ever played that last title. Cookie Monster may be cool, but I cannot stand Elmo.
Unlike some earlier LucasArts titles interacting with the environment does not involve clicking on a menu’s assortment of text commands. Full Throttle instead uses a skull shaped ability wheel. By selecting the eyes, fist, boot or mouth it’s possible to examine objects, pick up items, kick ass and chat with the game’s cast of colourful characters. Speaking of conversing, Full Throttle has a great voice cast. The legendary Mark Hamill for example plays the role of Adrian Ripburger. If it weren’t for the end credits I wouldn’t have known because Ripburger doesn’t sound anything like Luke Skywalker or the Joker, which is a testament to the versatility of Hamill’s vocals. Roy Conrad’s gravelly speech also deserves a mention, as it is perfect for delivering Ben’s gruff dialogue.
My rating for Full Throttle Remastered is a three out of five. The game isn’t quite as good as I remembered it, but overall is still worth a purchase if you happen to be a fan of the point n click genre. Back in the day I loved Full Throttle because, when compared to its contemporaries, the puzzles on offer are easy to suss out. I could actually solve some of the brainteasers without resorting to a guide, which can’t be said of some other LucasArts releases. During my four-hour playthrough I couldn’t help comparing the game to the fairly recent Day of the Tentacle remaster. Out of those two remakes I would have to say that Day of the Tentacle is better. The gags are funnier and the conundrums you are pitted against are more cleverly designed.
In some ways Full Throttle is a bit like a Telltale game, because it is more concerned with delivering a good story rather than stumping players with head scratchers. That’s a design choice I can get behind, but the same cannot be said of the tedious highway combat segments that occur around the game’s midway point. During those battles players have to guess what weapon is effective against their randomly selected opponent and press the attack button at the appropriate time. It’s somewhat similar to Monkey Island’s swordfights, but less enjoyable because instead of selecting humorous jibes all you do is pick an object from Ben’s inventory. In the words of Guybrush, the biker duels “are a pain in the backside sir.” To which I would counter “your haemorrhoids are flaring up again eh?”