The last few years have been littered with remakes of classic games, including the recently released Ducktales: Remastered. When I first heard about Flashback, I didn’t even realize it was a remake of an old game for an assortment of systems, as I hadn’t heard of the original. The original Flashback featured platforming gameplay mixed in with a variety of puzzles. The remake even has the original game designer, Paul Cuissett, and his studio VectorCell in charge of the game, while published by Ubisoft. Was bringing back the original designer a good idea to remake this game for present time?
Let’s find out as we look at the HOTs and NOTs for Flashback.
From the very start of the game, you will notice that the level design is very well detailed and standout. The foreground is often just a bunch of platforms that you will move between. Therefore, most of the time your eyes will wander to the other areas, such as the background. Some stages have particular deep backgrounds, that it is almost disappointing you can’t explore them further due to the 2.5D gameplay. You will likely be on a straight line between tasks, so you likely won’t fully appreciate every part of the beautiful backgrounds, which is a shame. You will visit a variety of differing locations throughout the game such as jungles, the inside of buildings, and even the rooftops of the futuristic city. In fact, some of the inside locations remind me a bit of the style of the Mass Effect franchise.
Prince of Persia-esque Gameplay
After first turning on the game, the first think I could think of was the classic Prince of Persia games. The platforming style seen in this game, that was also in the original, was done best in the original Prince of Persia games. A good portion of the game involves you jumping to and jumping from platforms that are resting in midair. If you are on the platform, you hold down to grab onto the ledge to allow for a smoother drop. Sometimes you have to take a gamble as you don’t know for sure how much of a drop it is. I know I died a few times due to this. You can also stand under a platform and hold up to jump to an above platform. This works pretty well as you advance through the game. Sometimes you must try to do it in a quicker manner with enemies approaching, but isn’t too troublesome.
Inclusion of Original Game
A cool addition to this release is the inclusion of the original game that this remakes. You can access it from the very beginning of the game; however, that might not have been a good idea. Sometimes working for an unlockable makes the game itself more worth it, and it allows people to more easily compare the new version to the original right away. The original is definitely dated with some of the controls not reacting very well. There were times I’d press the jump button and he wouldn’t jump until 2-3 seconds later. However, this was not the most unexpected of things in older games from that time, so I didn’t think too much of it. While it in some ways makes you realize more flaws of the remake, I had to include this is a good feature of the game since it’s always a good thing to get a game and get another one inside it for free.
The one that thing plagues both the original and remake is the controls. In the remake, the controls just became unresponsive a lot of the time when trying to accomplish something, especially when trying to fire your gun in a specific direction. They seemingly improved on the original by allowing you to aim your gun with the right analog stick, but it just didn’t work well enough a lot of the time. Sometimes you will be standing right in front of an item that says to press X in front of it, and once you press the button nothing happens due to it not registering for some reason. With a game like Flashback, controls must be on point when you are attempting to move between platforms and avoiding obstacles, and sadly they really were not.