Back to the Future: Episode 1 (PS3): COMPLETED!

Expect a small flurry of these over the next few days, as they’re not very long episodes and I have three of them (with a fourth downloading, and a fifth out soon).

I had hoped to get Back to the Future on the Wii, like all the other Telltale Games I’ve bought (Monkey Island, Sam & Max, Strong Bad), but sadly they’ve axed that version. They’ve also gone all quiet on the XBLA version, with the Xbox logo now missing from the game series on the website. Of course, I could play them on the Mac, but I don’t play games on my Mac, and I’m not sure I’d bother if I got the iPad version either – I don’t play iPad games – so the PS3 version it had to be.

Firstly, some issues. There are glitches, stuttering, and out-of-sequence conversation problems galore. At one stage in the game you’re asked your name and you choose one of three false names, yet later on I’m referred to at least twice by a name I didn’t choose. The controls, due in part to being a PS3 game and in part due to being a point-and-click game on a joypad, are horrific. You sometimes walk off the screen pressing, say, right, then in the next scene right now makes you walk up. Rubbish. Choosing which object or person to interact with using the right stick is inconsistant (pressing right doesn’t cycle left-to-right, for example – items are selected seemingly randomly) and sometime you have to move away from an object before you can select it. In addition, pressing Square brings up your inventory, and you select an object. Then, the onscreen prompt suggests you press Square again to use it, but no – it’s X or Circle or some other ridiculous¬†hieroglyph.

But thankfully, due to the nature of the game (nothing is timed, you don’t need to be quick at any point, and there’s no penalty for doing the wrong thing), it doesn’t actually matter too much. The joy is in the story and the puzzles; the former being amazing and the latter being clever and not obtuse (like many of those in Sam & Max). The episode was about 4 hours long, and certainly left me wanting to play more!

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