#284 Full Throttle

Posted: 1st May 2019 by Jeroen in Games
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780th played so far

Genre: Adventure
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1995
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts

I’m still excited to see all these LucasArts games. I’ve played a bunch of them once, but never got Full Throttle. When I was younger, I think the theming put me off a bit, but it’s been cited as one of the best since then and I really should be trying it now.

After Monkey Island‘s insult sword fighting, this introduces some bike fights. I’m not sure how that will work, but we’ll see soon enough.

Our Thoughts

It felt like Loom was a big surprise for us with how effective it was and how far it drew us in. It had some great world building and writing with decent puzzles that felt quite doable. We were compelled to finish it in one sitting. Full Throttle wasn’t quite in a single sitting (dinner intervened) but it created its own world and was mostly as effective. Sure, a rough biker’s world isn’t the same as Loom’s musical magic, but it had its own grounded world. The other thing these two have in common that you don’t get as much in, say, Monkey Island 2 or some acts of Grim Fandango is that it’s set in smaller chunks, a handful of screens at a time, which means that you both get a more focused story to follow and puzzles that have to be solved with everything near you. It avoids the “try everything on everything” problem these games can have and it’s less likely you miss some details. The puzzles in these locations can still be tricky, but usually you know there aren’t too many other variables.

The bike fights are probably the least liked of the options. It feels a bit like button mashing and I don’t think I was that strategic about it. I don’t think the engine is really set up for it and I believe the remake might have excised the worst of it. There are a bunch of other timed sections as well that I think didn’t work as well – it feels like it moves away from the puzzles and change to think, although the end of the game mostly suffered from that and it is quite narratively justified.

The story is probably the most attractive part. There’s some twists and changes that make it less predictable than it could be (although I was getting savvy enough that I saw some of them coming). The characters are well written and have become more three dimensional than the characters in the earlier games are. Most of all, it’s funny and entertaining. which is what I wanted out of the game most.

Final Thoughts

The setting of Full Throttle feels quite different from the other LucuasArts adventures, including style and all. When playing, however, it works well and makes for an effective game – mostly challenging, but not too much so, and with a rich world that works well. I’m not sure it will be my favourite, but it deserves to be in the pantheon of great adventure games.