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Back to the Future (NES)

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Developed by
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  ETJB (447)
Written on  :  Feb 25, 2010
Rating  :  2.17 Stars2.17 Stars2.17 Stars2.17 Stars2.17 Stars
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Back to the Paperboy

The Good

The Back to The Future film trilogy is one of the best Hollywood film trilogies around. As such, it was only natural that each entry in the trilogy was adapted into a video game. Sadly, the NES game was handled by the folks at LJN,

The Bad

Back to The Future (1989) is less of a video game and more like a handful of poorly designed, arcade action based mini-games. Most of the time, the game play is similar to "Paperboy" with young Marty McFly riding on his trusty skateboard, avoiding various objects, in 1955. At the end of each of these levels, you have a mini game where you must expel Biff and his bullies from the cafe, prevent Lorraine from kissing you, play the proper notes to a song and finally drive your time machine back to 1985. The game's graphics, music and sound effects are are below average, but what is probably the most distasteful about this game is its absurdly high degree of difficulty.

During the skateboarding levels you must constantly collect clock icons in order to stay alive, not unlike the requirement in "Adventure Island" to keep collecting fruit. One hit from pretty much anything will cause you to lose a life and your only projectiles are, if you can find them, bowling balls.

The mini game levels are equally difficult. For example, no extra lives are allowed for the mini game involving the DeLorean time machine. Even if you do everything perfectly and manage to beat the game, the ending is a letdown.

The Bottom Line

Back to The Future (1989) is amazingly uninspired given the amount of creativity seen in the film. It is another, in a long library, of bad games made by LJN based on a popular franchise. Too often when a film, television series, cartoon or comic book character makes the leap into the gaming world, companies give into the temptation to produce an inferior product and hope that the popular name sells the game. To be fair, Back to the Future is not a film that has many sequences that can be successfully translated into an action based video game. However, LJN did not do much better with the more action packed Back to The Future II and III.