The Present Of Back To The Future

By Alec Meer on December 23rd, 2010 at 10:16 am.

Great Scott! The first episode of what’s arguably Telltale’s most anticipated-ever adventure game has landed. TT have pulled their usual trick of only letting folk buy the entire series (5 episodes, $25) at launch, but I don’t need to consult a 1950-2000 sports almanac to be fairly sure they’ll distill it down to individual episodes and hopefully a few demos in the months to come.

I’m busily downloading a copy as we speak, but the early buzz seems to be incredibly positive. Have you played it? Is it a BTTF1 or a BTTF3? Is that dude pretending to be MJF any cop? Any incest gags in this one? Share’n’tell – thoughts from at least one of the Hivemind’s nodes will arrive soon. Launch trailer below, too: ooh, that chimey noise sends shivers down my 80s-grown spine.

BAH-BAAH-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAMMM

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40 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    My opinion is that BTTF3 is the best one and also that people who like BTTF2 are wrong.

    • Wulf says:

      It’s a shame though, innit? I mean, I kind of liked BTTF2, it’s sort of a twisted retro-future scenario that isn’t all that retro. Fallout does a retro-future thing, but that utilises 60’s culture mixed with high technology, but this is more 80’s culture mixed with high technology. I always found these retro-future scenarios incredibly cheesy but at least mildly entertaining.

    • Renzatic says:

      YOU ARE SO WRONG, SIR!. BttF 1 is the best, with 2 and 3 being roughly equal (I might give a slight nod to BttF 3, if I’m in the mood for it).

      Anyone who disagrees with me is stupid forever. >:(

  2. adonf says:

    “Is it a BTTF1 or a BTTF3?”

    Do you mean as in good or bad ? I don’t think you can say that one of the films is the best and one is the worst. BTTF3 is my favourite, and I even know people who think that BTTF2 is the best one (they’re clearly wrong)

    • adonf says:

      ninja’d by AndrewC

    • Wang Tang says:

      What? I thought there was a wide consensus that the second is _clearly_ the best. Or at least that’s my opinion :P

    • Jonathan says:

      I think they’re all the best one, and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong.

    • Xercies says:

      I thought number 2 was the best, i liked that it kind of went a little darker.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      Huh? The first is clearly the best by a fair margin. Two is just okay and three is a return to form. Either way, Alec’s statement doesn’t make much sense.

    • Evil Otto says:

      The one with the bar fight is clearly the best one.

    • westyfield says:

      Which is the one where the guy goes back in time? ‘Cause that was awesome.

    • adonf says:

      That’s 1&3, aka ‘The good ones’

      In #2 he goes forward in time, and frankly everyone can do that. I’m doing it right now.

    • Navagon says:

      Yeah, but not at 88 miles per hour you’re not.

    • adonf says:

      Don’t misunderestimate the power of Renault 5

    • Froibo says:

      Great Scott! Someone needs to go back in time to prevent Alec from starting this flame war!

  3. Ginger Yellow says:

    Gah. I signed up for the free first episode, only to get an email from Telltale the other day saying that the episode wouldn’t be unlocked until the second one was released. Which, given that I was going to be buying the whole season anyway unless it got bad reviews (I even liked the weaker Sam & Max episodes), made the exercise a bit redundant.

  4. Optimaximal says:

    Richard Cobbett tweeted that it’s a competent, but generic Telltale adventure with the BTTF license pasted on top.

    I felt the same about Tales – for all the help the license gave, it still felt like I was playing Sam & Max or Strong Bad with a MI skin.

    Horses for courses?

    • Wulf says:

      Wow, I really have to disagree with that. I won’t call it wrong because everyone has their own tastes, but being a long time Monkey Island fan I recognised that Tales was far, far closer to LeChuck’s Revenge than either the mediocre Curse or horrendous Escape could ever have been. So if Tales was barely Monkey Island despite being the damned closest thing to a spiritual successor one could get, what does that make Curse and Escape? Generic and completely unknown gaming entities pirated and sold by a Chinese super-pirate network, and given the name of a familiar IP to make them sell better?

      Some of these opinion things just baffle me, because I didn’t think that the game felt at all like either Sam & Max or Strongbad, the feel of it was entirely different. Sure, it has the same mechanics but that’s because it’s an ADVENTURE GAME (I can feel myself getting into the Ranting Gryphon mindset here, so I might need to step away to calm down), but the humour, the setting, the atmosphere, the location, the storyline, all of the things that matter in an adventure game were different from each IP, and true to the IP. So I don’t know what you or this other chap are on. And I’m not going to ask if I can have some because I don’t want any!

    • Xercies says:

      Also I felt the puzzles in it were very Monkey Island esque in there way so yeah I’m going to have to disagree with you there.

    • Richard Clayton says:

      Richard Cobbett has written up an article on it here: http://www.richardcobbett.com/codex/back-to-the-future/

    • BooleanBob says:

      Cheers for that link, always happy to read new stuff from the Cobbster.

  5. Ginger Yellow says:

    I felt the same about Tales – for all the help the license gave, it still felt like I was playing Sam & Max or Strong Bad with a MI skin.

    There’s certainly an element of that, although TOMI had more inventory object combining puzzles than most Telltale games. And I still reckon that the best TOMI episodes had writing/puzzling as good as the originals. The weaker ones, not so much.

    I don’t feel any particular love for the BTTF licence, though I do enjoy the films, so I’m quite happy for it to be a reskinned generic Telltale. As long as the writing’s good.

  6. MadTinkerer says:

    I do wish they would hurry up and let me buy it on Steam. That’s the only thing that’s keeping me from buying it right now.

  7. konrad_ha says:

    Ugh, after what I’ve seen so far Telltale should go back a few years and evaluate what great things they could have accomplished whit this license. I’m not impressed at all.

  8. jolson42 says:

    They’ve done a pretty fair job with it, except for one point.
    They’ve anticipated a lot of new players, adventure game novices who are just playing this because it’s BTTF, and they’ve dumbed down the gameplay considerably. They’ve even put in two in-game hint systems, and posted a walkthrough to their blog when the game was released. Surely with all of that extra help, the game could be somewhat more challenging?

  9. patricij says:

    NO DEMO = no sale for now… They had some terrible control schemes ideas as of late which pretty much worked as a deterrent from Wallace and Gromit and Tales of MI (I haven’t explored these series further past the free episodes I got)

    • Kaira- says:

      I have to disagree, I’ve never found the controls bad, even in ToMI they work just fine. In Sam & Max The Devil’s Playhouse they felt a bit iffy, but still they accomplished what they were meant for.

    • patricij says:

      *for me… I forgot to add, I’m not trying to impose any objective fact. It doesn’t work for me, simply put.

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      The controls in Telltale games are terrible if you use the mouse for movement, but if you use the keyboard it’s fine.

  10. Wulf says:

    …has RPS killed the Telltale site? Has it been RPS’d? Are we a plague akin to Slashdot now?

    Yep, the Telltale site seems to be down! It’s killed their DRM, too.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    What we all want to know is … does it have the 80s music like the movies?

    • Wulf says:

      It does! It’s very authentic. I’m quite enjoying that about it, as they’ve been exceedingly faithful to their source material.

  12. terry says:

    I watched a guy play this, it looked very true to the story, although the puzzles I saw weren’t up to much. Hopefully as the series progresses the gameplay will come.

  13. Wulf says:

    Sooo… how long until we have a Short Circuit game, Telltale?

  14. Xocrates says:

    Just finished the game. I wouldn’t call it telltale best, but it’s solid all around with plenty of nods to the movies and with the main characters well characterized.

    To be honest I think that the biggest issue was that the game felt short and lacking in scope, but given that the previous series by telltale tended to escalate nicely, I’m hoping this to be fixed by the next few episodes.

  15. Sivart13 says:

    I really wish Telltale would scale-up from this stupid “episodic” thing and make real games. Maybe it was a good idea when they didn’t have any money, but now they’ve got a whole bunch of “successful” games done and should be able to last the long push through a feature-length.

    The only benefit it’s giving them is in not having to develop long, complex plot/puzzle lines, which now seems like a straightjacket.

    • Xocrates says:

      There are people who like the “stupid episodic thing”. Frankly I like that it guarantees me a night’s entertainment (roughly) once a month for the duration of the season. Making several self-contained episodes contributing for a larger arc also means more variation and significantly less padding than most games. It also means that the end product is two to three times longer than an usual game.

      Also, I would argue that episodic gaming actually forces them do develop long and complex plots, and several puzzles are in fact fairly complex. Heck, each act in an episode usually consist of solving a major puzzle. Sam and Max 302 even took it further by requiring you to move back and forth through the whole game in order to solve it.

      In other words, your argument is a bit narrow minded. Episodic content works fine (although Telltale seems to be the only one to ever get it right) and the puzzles and plot lines in the games easily rival or surpass the ones from full-blown games.