App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Some classic point-and-click adventure games hold up better than others. In the case of Full Throttle: Remastered, Double Fine presents a visually overhauled version of everyone's favorite adventure game featuring bikers in the post-apocalypse. If you have some previous affinity for Full Throttle, this remastered version is probably the best way to play it, but for anyone approaching it for the first time, it might be hard to see how Full Throttle was deemed a classic in the first place.
In Full Throttle, you play as Ben, the road-hardened leader of a biker gang named the Polecats. At the start of the game, the Polecats are approached by the last motorcycle manufacturer in existence, Corley Motors, to do a job. Ben initially turns said job down, but doing so sets into motion a series of events that has you, the player, uncovering information about Corley Motors and its legacy as you play through the game.
Playing Full Throttle: Remastered is a lot like most other classic point-and-click adventure games, particularly ones like The Secret of Monkey Island. You tap to move your character around an environment, and you can pull up a menu to interact with objects or people you come across. Every section of the game requires some amount of puzzle-solving, which usually requires you to talk to the right people, use the right items, or some combination of the two to complete an objective and push the story further along.
Remaster the road
Full Throttle initially released in 1995, but you wouldn't necessarily know that by looking at the screenshots of the remastered version. The graphics here have been smoothed over from a pixel art style to more of an animated cartoon look. These updated visuals also have the added benefit of making certain objects that may be key to puzzles a little bit easier to see.
If you're a purist, Full Throttle: Remastered allows players to switch to the game's old graphical style at any point while playing. While this is certainly a neat trick, it also highlights some issues with the remastered version's new look and feel. For some reason when playing Full Throttle: Remastered, certain sections of the game just felt easier when playing in the game's non-updated version. Action sequences in particular felt a little smoother to control when not using the game's updated look.
Although Full Throttle: Remastered may have some issues with its new graphical style, I'm not sure that's its biggest problem. Instead, the simple act of playing Full Throttle in this day and age often feels like a chore thanks to the large amount of action sequences and timing-based puzzle-solving in the game.
There are several times throughout Full Throttle, where players take direct control of Ben during an action sequence, which doesn't feel particularly good or satisfying at all. Punching other bikers, steering vehicles, and even having to complete puzzle under time pressure is a bizarre thing for adventure games of that era to demand, and Full Throttle highlights exactly why that is. The game just doesn't feel built for these sequences, which makes them both clunky and frustrating.
The bottom line
From a distance, I can see why Full Throttle is a revered adventure game. It did some incredibly ambitious things from an audio/visual standpoint and its got a memorable cast and setting. That said, its not a particularly great-feeling adventure game, and a lot of the tricks it pulled back in the day aren't really highlighted in the remaster. If you're looking to simply revisit Full Throttle, this remaster is definitely your best bet, but I wouldn't pick this up if you're looking for anything other than that.