Thursday, March 3, 2011

Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 2: Get Tannen!

From what I had played in the previous episode of Telltale's Back to the Future Game, I had some expectations for the now available Episode 2. The first one had some rather easy puzzles, but was faithful to the spirit of the original Back to the Future movies, including a great score and talented voice acting. Did this episode improve on the first? Well, I would love to say it did, but in the end I don't have much to say.

“Get Tannen!” begins immediately where “It's About Time” left off. Marty is in danger of disappearing from the timeline and has to make a necessary alteration to ensure his existence, at the same time avoiding his other self and 1931 Emmett Brown. He succeeds and returns to 1986 Hill Valley, only to find that things aren't the same from when he left them. To undo the Tannen family reigning over the town, Doc Brown and Marty return to 1931 Hill Valley, 2 months after Episode1, to restore 1986 to its original state. The new events of the story take over from here.

The story is still written extremely well, and it was still interesting to me how it explores the prohibition era. This time in American history is portrayed excellently, as far as I can tell, and influences a good majority of the puzzles. While we get a couple of new characters to take into account for the entire episode, they are handled in a way that doesn't make them annoying or otherwise unlikable. On the note of voice acting in the game, the quality of it is consistent with the previous entry, but there was a scene with Kid Tannen and Edna Strickland near the end that seemed to have an underwhelming delivery. Other than that, they did a terrific job.

I can't say anything about the graphics, but I can remark that the gameplay hasn't changed. The puzzles are still simple as ever and the episode still only took about 2 to 2-and-a-half hours to beat. While it may have been a little longer, I can't help but think of how the puzzles in Sam & Max, another Telltale series, got more elaborate over time. Even so, I enjoyed the puzzles as a way of seeing what would happen next in the story, which is actually the whole point, really. I commend Telltale for playing it safe, but it would be nice to have more of a challenge come Episode 3.

Overall, the game is more of the same, but in doing so it sticks true to the charm of Back to the Future and should be enough to satisfy any continuing player. I have my expectations again for the third episode, but I am mostly looking forward to the team at Telltale expanding on the big twist at the end of the episode. For those who have purchased the full season already, I don't really think you'll be disappointed with this entry. If you are still on the fence about it, I suggest that this is a good time to purchase the season now. It's simply hard to not like this game.

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