REVIEW – Flashback XBLA

Finding Lost Memories –

Set as a reimagining of the 16-bit original cult classic, Flashback stays true to the Prince of Persia action-platforming style of gameplay but comes up a little short on the awesome-sauce.

Via the Unreal Engine, Flashback is a good looking 2.5D experience that blends the HD environments of Shadow Complex mixed with a generic Nathan Drake rip off main character. Each stage is packed with particle effects and detail in both the background and foreground which makes the entire experience easy to look at through and through. However, the same cannot be said for the cheesy dialog, terrible voice acting and the borrowed Total Recall story telling.

flashback-2
The game looks great thanks to the Unreal Engine

The visuals are the highlighting feature as the gameplay is clunky, combat is confined and tedious, and platforming is smooth and fluid but powered by simple fetch quests. For a game that looks so great, it is disappointing that the gameplay’s fluidity doesn’t match the visuals. Aiming has been mapped to the second analog stick so it is possible to aim in any direction but the often cramped quarters make combat feel like a chore especially when trying to use grenades or when encountering many enemies at once. Also, experience points can be spent to increase a few different character traits but do not make any noticeable difference to Conrad’s strength or speed; if the hit point indicator is turned off the player would have no clue regarding the amount of damage taken and received. Besides the light RPG features, gadgets also try to inspire more depth to the platforming, puzzle solving and combat but falls short of implementing anything truly engaging or noteworthy. Also, the voice acting is terrible and it is just a little strange that NCPs in the background do not even blink an eye when gun fighting in a crowding train station.

Get used to fighting flying orbs
Get used to fighting flying orbs

The original 1992 version of Flashback was a standout and memorable title but this HD remake is average at best. For $10, Flashback could still be worth a trip down memory lane for players of the SNES and Gensis era as the original pixel-based version is included and immediately accessible from the main menu. Just don’t expect this HD version to contain the same magic as it did 20 years ago.

 

3/5

 

Not As Good As: Prince of Persia (XBLA)

Also Try: Blackthorne (SNES/GBA)

Wait For It: a new 2D Metroid

 

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com

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