Back to the Future: The Game - John Keefer

The Nintendo Switch is obviously a gaming device and that is its main purpose, but that doesn't stop people from doing some creative experiments. The latest creative endeavor is a short film from Russia that involves a Switch, a banana and, among other things, skydiving.

The video, created by Valera Boluchevsky and Richard Chirkin is straight out of a drug-induced hallucination, with the Switch being offered as an upgrade to an old SNES. From there, you get a variety of short adventures, from playing on an apartment roof, to playing while riding on a bike and a train. They then jump out of a plane, which is apprently the first time a Switch has been taken skydiving. The good news is that they apparently remembered to pull the ripcord.

And, all the while, the banana and a mysterious helmet-wearing man in yellow follows them around. A plunge into the water sans Switch breaks the supposed dream sequence.

It's whacky, crazy and off the wall, and probably an appropriate item to present as we approach hump day. Dissect and enjoy.

Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on Back to the Future: The Game!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer
Walking Dead thumb

The shambling Humble menace has claimed fresh victims. Not content with sucking the price out of assorted indie games for the excellently varied Humble Indie Bundle 8, they've also ambushed Telltale - creators of the brilliant The Walking Dead adaptation - in order to feed their Weekly Sale. Can they ever be stopped? Remember to aim for the wallet.

In addition to The Walking Dead - which is available to those who beat the average price - you can pay whatever you want to get:

Back to the Future: The Game
Sam & Max: Devil's Playhouse
Poker Night at the Inventory
Hector: Badge of Carnage
Puzzle Agent 1 & 2
Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventure

Which, combined, is a seriously large selection of adventure, both episodic and otherwise. Not all are great, admittedly, but there is fun to be had, even outside of the developer's masterful zombie tale.

The Humble Weekly Sale will run for the next six days.
PC Gamer

That's no moon. No, really, some of the games in the Indie Royale Lunar Bundle take place in space, but none of them appear to be set on - or are even about - the Moon. Still, nonsensical titles can be forgiven when the upshot is a four pack of pay-what-you-want indie games, including Back to the Future and the enjoyably tense zero gravity platformer Cargo Commander.

Here's a rundown of the bundle's lunacy:

Pid: A 2D puzzle-platformer in which you use gravity beams to explore a "peculiar planet". That's planet. Not moon. Review here.
Cargo Commander: A space-based roguelike-like about exploring randomly generated giant crates for weird loot. Still no moon. Review here.
Back to the Future: Telltale's five-part adventure update of the Back to the Future series. It's possible you can see the Moon during night scenes. Review here.
Dungeon Hearts: A fantasy match-three strategy game. Almost certainly no moon. No review either, I'm afraid.

A bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality, but I'd argue the inclusion of Cargo Commander more than justifies the cost. In addition, the three large question marks on the bundle page suggest some extra games will be announced at some point over the game's remaining few days.
PC Gamer
The Walking Dead
What other stories should Telltale turn into games?

The adventure veterans at Telltale Games are keeping themselves busy fashioning the second season of The Walking Dead (which earned our Best Writing of 2012 award), but they're making it clear that they want to develop a narrative-driven game for another major franchise. Telltale co-founder Dan Connors told Red Bull UK he'd like the studio to work on something larger in scale, citing Half-Life and Star Wars as examples.

"Coming from LucasArts, we always felt we could do a great Star Wars story game,” he said. “We also love the idea of building out a deeper story to a great game franchise—something like Half-Life stories or Halo stories."

Telltale Senior Vice President of Publishing Steve Allison later elaborated to VentureBeat that the examples Connors used didn't confirm any intention to contribute to those franchises. "Will we do this? Yes, we believe we will sometime very soon,” Allison explained. “But the franchises mentioned are totally speculative and used only as an example to frame the idea.”

Allison and Connors' words may not necessarily represent a new direction for Telltale as much as a reiteration of its strategy. Before The Walking Dead, of course, Telltale released Jurassic Park and Back to the Future adventure games, both of which were panned. It's also currently at work on an adaptation of the comic book series Fables.

What do you think Telltale should work on next? I'd love to see a Deus Ex adaptation benefit from the same quality of writing and characters as The Walking Dead did.
PC Gamer
Grand Theft Auto 4 DeLorean

Just when it seems the mod scene for Grand Theft Auto 4 lets off the gas from implausibly gorgeous visual upgrades and gravity-mocking hijinks, it surges back with an amazingly dedicated homage to Back to the Future's time-traveling DeLorean.

Crafted by YouTuber "seedyrom34," the mod mixes a custom cocktail ("There is no single download link," seedy states) of heavily altered files, sounds, and tweaks cobbled together to form the onslaught of awesome in the video below. Sure, other DeLorean mods existed long before this one, but seedy's extra dose of functionality and polish -- particularly with the spot-on fire trails and inventive randomization of street traffic and time-of-day after hitting that 88mph sweet spot -- definitely presents an exciting future for Grand Theft Auto 4 and 5's skilled mod community.

PC Gamer
Steam potato sack sale

Come with me, back into the distant past. Don't mind that wibbly blurry effect and that "WooOOoOOooOO" noise, that's just what happens when you go back in time. We're almost there. All you have to do is click this link and make the transition to April 4 2011!

I've always wanted to say that. If you just took the trip, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. You'll also have a good idea as to whether or not you'd like to purchase the games going in the return of the potato sack sale on Steam.
Announcement - Valve
Back to the Future: The Game is available at 60% off now through Thursday at 4pm Pacific Time.

Includes all 5 episodes of Back to the Future: The Game

Episode 1: It's About Time
Episode 2: Get Tannen!
Episode 3: Citizen Brown
Episode 4: Double Visions
Episode 5: OUTATIME - Finale!

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

[Update: 08:50] Telltale has also announced an agreement with Sony. This'll see Telltale publish retail PlayStation 3 versions of its PlayStation Network games, also starting with BTTF, also at $20.

Adventure game aficionado Telltale Games will be bringing its Back to the Future: The Game to Wii this October as a $20 retail release, after signing up as an official Nintendo publisher. Being on a disc should let Telltale avoid the problems that troubled its previous WiiWare releases.

"Securing a publishing agreement with Nintendo of America ensures that we can make our popular content available on every major console platform," Telltale CEO Dan Connors said in the announcement. "This signing is a significant milestone in our long-term growth strategy."

Telltale has released games for Wii before, but only as WiiWare downloads, where they had to deal with Nintendo's small size limit. WiiWare is hardly a high-profile sales channel, too.

"The voices and textures are the way they are because we're limited to 40 megs for WiiWare titles," one Telltale member said of Tales of Monkey Island Episode 1. "The PC versions of our games are usually 150+ megs, and most modern games range anywhere from 1-10 gigabytes or more. Talk to Nintendo about this one."

Being a retail disc, Back to the Future on Wii should hopefully look and sound a lot better. It was originally released in five episodes for PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, and iPad. The first episode launched in December 2010 on PC, with the last arriving this June.

Telltale is working on a tasty slate of big-named licensed adaptations that'd easily find homes in the Wiis found in almost every living room across the land. Along with Jurassic Park: The Game, it's working on games based upon Law & Order: Los Angeles, The Walking Dead, and comic book Fables.

PC Gamer
There are moments in Telltale’s latest episodic adventure series that will remind you exactly why you love Back to the Future. And you do. By law, you do. The little twinkling sound as the story starts. The sheer joy of seeing Marty and Doc reunited for one last adventure. The moment the DeLorean hits 88mph. Nostalgic hits like that fondle the old geek glands like nothing else, and just for a split second, a game that offers them can do no wrong.

Unfortunately, Back to the Future is five episodes long, and those warm fuzzies are a distant memory by the end of the first. For the rest of the game, you have to make do with Telltale at their least inspired, clearly focused more on hammering their latest licence around their standard adventure game template, rather than working out how best to turn Back to the Future into a game. There are no cool time-travel brain twisters like the ones back in Day of the Tentacle for instance. None.

Instead, you’re forced to stumble through lots and lots of very easy, uninspired, but worst of all, boring puzzles, based more on cartoon logic than the tropes of the films. Where those had romanticised but iconic time periods, Telltale fail miserably at making their own circa 1931 Hill Valley anything more than a studio lot. A studio lot full of comedy gangsters and slapstick that makes Bugsy Malone look like Goodfellas. Almost everything you bump into feels, if not bad, cheap, rushed and phoned-in.

The one exception is the main storyline linking all of the puzzles. This time, we get to see Doc’s past, back at the start of his scientific career, with the timeline first put at risk by one of Biff’s gangster ancestors, and then a love affair that risks turning Hill Valley into a Big Brother style state.

What makes it work is that despite some incredibly silly individual moments, there turns out to be an incredibly strong emotional core to the story. As with all decent spinoffs, the best bits are when it expands on the films’ philosophies and asks new questions. Without wanting to spoil anything, the big one here is precisely what gives Marty the right to choose the ‘correct’ timeline, just because it’s better for him and his loved ones. The game still often struggles to find that authentic Back to the Future feel, the final episode especially going off the rails several times, but at least it tries.

With the same story, better puzzles, and the licence taken more seriously, this could have been the Back to the Future game fans deserve. As it is, while its adventure chops make it more than one of those old side-scrolling platformers with a popular movie’s logo on the box, the exact same kind of production-line thinking is clearly, painfully, in full force here. Marty and Doc deserved better. So did we.

Search news
Apr   Mar   Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2018   2017   2016   2015   2014  
2013   2012   2011   2010   2009  
2008   2007   2006   2005   2004  
2003   2002