Back to the Distant Future

Anybody alive during the time it was released remembers Back to the Future, and for good reason. The movie and it’s two sequels (though I honestly didn’t care for the third) went on to become sensations for Universal Pictures. The original and Part II are masterpieces of cinema. In fact, the script for Part I is actually studied in some schools as an example of outstanding screenwriting. Around the time it was made the only game adaptations we got were two horrible NES titles, an unplayable SEGA release, and a good one for the Japan only Super Famicon. Even in a language I cannot understand for nearly twenty years the Japanese version of Back to the Future was the best you could play. That has changed.

I knew about the Telltale games version but had been holding off on adding it to the pile because the last thing I needed quite frankly was another entry in an otherwise endless list. But because I am a sucker for the Humble Bundle and have been wanting to play Telltale’s Welcome to the Borderlands as well as their foray into the Game of Thrones universe I got this packaged in. I don’t know why I decided to give it a go before the other two I just mentioned but here’s what I took from it all.

Is it the best Back to the Future you can buy? Yes. Without question. Did I finish it? No. No I did not.

Back to the Future is the oldest Telltale game I’ve attempted to play and the first without their timed decision engine. I played on PC, obviously, and there was not any support for my controller. It’s unusual that I would crave it in the first place but dragging the mouse around was a chore and made me wish I had the recent PS4 re-release of the game. The writing is excellent as to be expected, the voice acting superb as many of the cast lent their voices to it.

So, why didn’t it evoke the memories of seeing Marty McFly for the first time? The same reason all time-travel media is invariably flawed: you can just go back. This takes much of the drama out of the experience – handicapping the effect of the fantastic storytelling the studio is famous for. All of this could be easily ignored if the player is obsessed over the franchise, I admit. I guess it just wasn’t for me. The respect and care for the intellectual property they were working with is it’s best asset and it’s biggest hindrance.

Time Played: 2.5 hours

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