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SummaryFull Throttle is a masterpiece, and one of my all time favourite games.
The GoodGamers come in many varieties, and every gamer who has ever said "I want a game that will puzzle my brain" has likely played and enjoyed a good ol' point and click adventure game, and there was no better era for point and click adventure titles than the golden era of Lucas Arts. Everything their brilliant team came out with was a golden, seemingly flawless gem. From Maniac Mansion to Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (Arguably the best and only good Indiana Jones game) this truly was the greatest era for adventure games. Although I pretty much love 'em all, there are two that standout and rank on my top 5 games of all time list: Sam & Max Hit The Road (Review coming soon, along with reviews of the new 1s) and Full Throttle. If you haven't already guessed, we are talking about the latter game today.
Full Throttle comes from the mind of Tim Schafer, one of the most brilliant game designers ever. It tells the story of Ben, the leader of a motorcycle gang known as The Polecats, in a time when motorbikes are being outdated due to the revolution of the hover car and the fact that wheels are no longer needed. Only one corporation still makes motorbikes: Corley motors, owned by the old and dying Malcolm Corley, who loves the thrills and danger of the wild life, and wants to pass the torch to someone young and exciting and it just so happens that Ben catches his eye. However, Malcolm's partner, Adrian Ripburger isn't too pleased with Malcolm's decision as he desperately wants the throne.
The story is very well written, a trademark of adventure games and especially Lucas Arts adventure games. The cast in the game is top notch, every voice actor gives a convincing performance and brings their characters to life. Mark Hamill appears in the game, and provides a standout performance as the villain, Adrian Ripburger, really making him a creepy and genuinely intimidating villain. The only fault I have with the voice acting is that sometimes Roy Conrad (Ben) is a little deadpan at times, but he still does a good job overall. The music is also great, coming from a kickass metal band known as The Gone Jackals; specifically their album "Bone to Pick." Its sad they didn't really go anywhere, they were quite good.
The graphics are great, while they do suffer from pixelization at times, the animation is top notch and stylish, and the CG used also looks very good for the time and looks great. I would love to see this digitally enhanced, with no more pixelation. The animation is great, almost movie quality.
The puzzles are all well thought out, but at the same time they aren't too complex and they can make the game easy to play for newcomers to the genre, while still providing a challenge.
The game also has a good sense of humour, the game isn't meant to be a comedy, but there's a fair amount of humour and charm put into the game coming straight from Tim Schafer's twisted brilliance. One can't help but laugh when sending an army of robotic pink bunnies to their doom in a minefield, as "Ride of the Valkyries" plays in the background.
The BadAs good as the sound design is when regarding the music and voice acting, the sample quality is low, and it can sound tinny and sometimes muffled playing on modern speakers. This is another part that I would love to see remastered, as the sample quality just hasn't aged well, although the overall effort and quality of the actual sounds themselves are great.
There's also a section later in the game that relies on combat, and the combat isn't really that good. It plays out something like Road Rash, but the controls seem delayed and its often frustrating how if you tilt the mouse just one inch towards the end of the screen, Ben burns out and crashes, even if he didn't touch the wall. It also seems that you can hit someone forever and they won't die, yet you can be downed in one or two hits, unless you have the chainsaw.
Sadly, the game is also somewhat short, but that doesn't really end up being too big a problem since either way, the game is very satisfying.
The Bottom LineWhen it comes to adventure games, "Full Throttle" is as good as they come. It's accessible to newbies and features a great interface, but it will still provide a challenge for veterans of the genre. Full Throttle is full of wit and charm, while telling a great story in every respect. You don't even have to like motorbikes or heavy metal to enjoy the story because of its overall quality, although if you do have a fondness for motorbikes, the open road, and metal as I do, then it will only make it more entertaining.
Full Throttle may not be a game that is immediately replayable, but it does have a great replay value, its much like your favourite movie, every so often you get the urge to watch it again and you will always cherish it.
If you have not played Full Throttle and enjoy point and click games, then what are you waiting for? Go out and find a copy of this wonderful, timeless classic. You will thank me for it. Rock on, Tim.