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This game sucks: Back to the Future

Platform: MSX
Developer: Pony Canyon

Let's be honest, Back to the Future NEVER translated well to games. Why though? I think the easy answer is that the license to produce games are handed out to developers who clearly do not care to put out a quality product. But I think there is another underlying aspect that might not be recognized, the movies should not be made into games. Back to the Future is one of those movies where you go "Oh that scene would make a great game level", it works better for some movie based games (Batman Returns, Ghostbusters*the most recent game*, Aladdin). Lets break down what people want in a BttF game:


That is it! I mean, yeah, the better designed movie games are somewhat decent at ripping scenes that have no real action-intensive qualities and making it fun. Back to the Future really didn't have many scenes like that. I am reviewing Back to the Future for the MSX home computer. Developed by Pony Canyon, who released the bulk of their gaming library for the MSX, but also the NES. The only quality titles from them that I can recall would be Zanac and the Ultima series. Aside from those I really have no idea how good their other games are. How many people do you know that are intimately familiar the the MSX library of games? My point exactly.

The game is simple, you play as a very chubby Marty McFly and you have to avoid cops and birds in 1955. All the while avoid the police by jumping over them or on top of them, Mario style. Remember that in the movie? When Marty jumped onto the police. I don't recall Marty ever getting into a conflict with the police. Another trait of movie games is to insert new content that is unrelated to the film, such as the NES version where you have to avoid bees. Back to the Future is a very bee-friendly movie. No bees were harmed during it's production, therefore it has a wide fanbase amongst bees.

The goal of every level is also simple, get George and Lorraine to hook up at the dance. Every level. I have read that Biff appears; and that you have to avoid Lorraine so she can kiss George at the dance...or something. This game is stupid.

This game is awful. It is the equivalent of one of those Tiger LCD hand-held games. I had a few of those as a kid, Space Jam was terrible. Sonic 3 was terrible. They were all terrible. The sound consists of roughly one "doop" sound. The music of the game is set to some sort of mangled interpretation of Johnny be Good.

The gameplay is extremely repetitive, offering next to no incentive to continue playing, ever. It just isn't fun. It is ugly to look at, ugly to listen to, and ugly to play. I would go on a limb and say that the NES version is far FAR superior to this game. There is no car, no Doc Brown, no jiggawatts, no time traveling shenanigans. This is one of the worst movie games I have ever played, not E.T. bad, but my point is valid. It looks dated even by 1986 standards. Back to the Future has those few key scenes that would in fact make a great game, but those scenes aren't enough to carry it. I still don't understand the logic in making the game like this.

For fun, I give this game a 1/10. I enjoyed it when I stopped playing it.
For crap, I give it Manure/10. I HATE MANURE!!

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About Rider Chopone of us since 10:47 PM on 11.22.2007