Back to the Future is an early Telltale title, back before the modern “Telltale formula” was established, and you can really see why no one really talks about these older games of theirs anymore. The good news is that this game follows more of a standard point and click adventure formula, a pretty well written plot, and has relatively high production quality for its time. The bad news is that it has an unhealthy amount of some of the worst qualities of point and click adventures, which stand out even more with some pretty awful controls.
This game was clearly not meant to be played with a controller and the conversion of its original mouse controls did not turn out well at all. Using a thumbstick to manually navigate a point and click character through awkward camera angles and mazes of invisible walls is about as much fun as navigating through the piles and piles of mostly pointless dialogue trees that make up the majority of the gameplay. The story and dialogue are good at their core, but they’re padded with sooooo much filler dialogue and backtracking in the worst point and click adventure kind of way that it all gets a bit old by the time you’re about halfway through.
This is one of those adventures where you’ll be stuck with nowhere to go and nothing to do and it will turn out that you missed a single line of dialogue in a character’s dialogue tree that’s necessary to make a new dialogue line appear in another character’s dialogue tree that in turn activates the event needed to proceed and blah blah blah and that’s basically the whole game. There are very few puzzles and they’re too basic and/or generic to be very enjoyable. I suffered through the rest of it anyway because I’m a huge fan of Back to the Future and it at least did a good job of capturing that Back to the Future feel, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else who didn’t feel the same way.
The Walking Dead – Michonne is a Telltale “miniseries”. So this apparently means that it’s not only a few episodes shorter than the usual Telltale game, but each episode also feels a bit shorter and smaller than usual. I’m not sure why they went this route with this game instead of just doing a little more and making it a full “season”. I guess they were just experimenting with a possible new format, but I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it.
Now, this game is not bad by any means, but it definitely suffers from the compressed format. All that same Telltale formula gameplay and storytelling is there, but with all the characters and plot being so much more rushed than usual, nothing really packs the usual punch of other modern Telltale games. No one, on either the friend or enemy side, was developed enough that I was surprised or felt that I cared at all when they suddenly died, and the brief plot was too simple for any of your timed choices to really feel like they mattered, and what good is the Telltale formula without the usual twists and tensions? Again, it wasn’t an outright unpleasant experience, there are much worse ways to spend three hours, but it wasn’t particularly memorable and I definitely wouldn’t classify it as a “must play” like the full Walking Dead games.
This game has been getting pretty underwhelming reviews it seems, though I’m not exactly sure why. It’s a typical Telltale experience, more of an interactive movie than a real game, but so well written that that really isn’t a downside.
It’s all just story, quicktime events, and dialogue choices, like usual. I can only guess that people are upset because some liberties were taken with some major characters. Most noticeably, the fact that Bruce Wayne’s dad was supposedly a secret mobster-lord back in the day. I kept waiting for it to turn out that this was all an elaborate hoax, the kind I’ve seen more than once in the comics, but no, I guess this is what they’re sticking with (at least for this season). I find it hard to really care about this change. I mean liberties have to be taken when you’re switching media formats. I don’t see any angry mobs about the stories in the Arkham games or the Nolan movies not being 100% accurate to the comics, but what do I know?
Also consider the fact that the alternative is making everything the same, which means everything would be mind-numbingly predictable. “Oh wow, someone’s left a bunch of riddles at crime scenes or gassed people to death with laughing gas? WHAT A MYSTERY! WHO COULD IT BE”? This is a different version of Batman and things aren’t the same, which means the story takes some crazy twists and turns that you will never see coming, and I don’t think anyone should be worried about anyone who’s incapable of enjoying such a story, because they’ll probably be sucked into the singularities within their own anal canals momentarily.
Anyway, great game. Loved it. Played the shit out of it needing to know what was going to happen next. Can’t wait to see what the next Season brings.
Wizorb is basically Arkanoid, except everything looks almost exactly like Link to the Past. The promotional material for the game tries to make it look kind of semi-RPG like a Zelda game, but it’s really not. There are shops where you can buy power-ups that you lose when you die, and you, being a “wizorb”, do have spells, but only a few, and you never get any new ones. No, this is just a game about hitting balls to break blocks. One that has bizarrely large chunks of levels between checkpoints. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as it looked from the trailers, but it was ok.