Have you ever used the ‘you had to be there’ expression when you complete a narrative and you only draw blank expressions from your audience? This is the case with Full Throttle, the remastered edition.
It’s hard to explain how and why Full Throttle was important back in 1995. Maybe it was because it had style, personality and snappy one liners. Maybe because you played a wrongfully accused bad-ass biker that had to clear his name and maybe because you occasionally solved riddles by kicking and punching things. It’s hard to understand this today: you see, in Full Throttle Remastered you only have to press F1 to switch between the old and the remastered version, thus travelling back and forth 23 whole years at the push of the button. You truly wonder. ‘My God, was Sam’s face actually this splatter of pixels?’. ‘Did we really worship this game?’. Yes, we did.
Graphically, the remastered version is gorgeous. It’s actually unfair to call it a remastered version- the visuals are completely redrawn, not just filtered over with a jag-smudging gimmick. Furthermore, it’s refreshing to enjoy the remixed audio, especially the magnificent Roy Conrad (sadly no longer with us) and those sick guitar riffs in crystal-clear fidelity.
So what you see and hear in the remastered widescreen version of Full Throttle is definitely worth it. The engine underneath, however, still uses the old, eccentric laws of 90’s adventures, even if Full Throttle was insanely streamlined and simplified compared to the standards of that period. So basically you just highlight all hotspots of interaction (a courtesy to the console crowd), pick up what’s not nailed on the ground and click stuff until something works. This leads to a game that runs 4 to 6 hours long and if you add a weird bike-combat sequence that feels like an awkward mini-game, some of you might be perplexed by the shortness of it all (especially if you skip some of the dialogue options). If you really want to rush it (please don’t) you can complete Full Throttle in less than an hour.
So it’s very simple, basically. Like it or not, you all fall into two different age groups right now. As a remaster, Full Throttle is worth it and is far from a cheap cash-in (the last remastered game I played was Grim Fandango and its technical make-over was disappointing). So, group A and old guys: you can definitely spare 15 bucks for some hard rock nostalgia, especially for the developer commentary. Group B and new guys? Not so sure you’ll feel that you’ll get your money’s worth; and trust me, this is by no means a patronizing comment. Considering the new cartoon art style, some of you might mistake this for a Flash quickie you can play for free in a game-hosting site. It’s okay though. You kinda had to be there.