Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 09/30/02 | Updated: 09/30/02

Beautiful game though a bit dated.

Flashback is a game that you have to enjoy under the assumption that you like a good puzzle game that will rack your brain while giving you just enough combat to satisfy your need. As with most straight-forward action games, you’ll find this game to be extremely close to the Abe’s Odyssey and Blackthorne games in which you have to complete one puzzle before you can move onto the next stage. You’ll also find that the action is only determined on your ability to duck, dodge and complete the various puzzles throughout the game. This is not a game that you can complete in one day and with the rich environments, you have to work carefully lest you are transported back to the beginning of the stage.

As the story goes, you play as Conrad, a man who is dumped in the middle of nowhere after a run in with security guards at a major event. Due to your prying eyes, you have uncovered a plot that involves aliens overtaking the major political rings of your world and you attempt to stop them. However, you’ve been caught, your memory wiped, and now set out of the way so that you have no chance to stop the apparent invasion. Armed with little more than your wits and a small cube, you must travel through several stages and find your identity and your purpose before time runs out.

-The Game Play-

Most of what you do during the game is just explore and attempt to find your way around different traps and barriers. Something that you will come across are aliens that get in your way and try to kill you at any given moment. For the most part, you’ll know where the aliens are and all you need to do is be quick on the gun and take out your opponent without getting hit in the process. The biggest part of the difficulty that you face here in Flashback is the fact that if you take one hit, you’re finished and you have to return to the beginning of the stage. This means that save points are crucial and you have to use them whenever you can find them.

Conrad can move in several different directions and you’ll have to learn how to use objects to work with the different doorways and otherwise that you encounter. Climbing and otherwise is easy enough to work with once you’ve found your way around the different platforms, but you’ll have to know when and where to avoid incoming enemies. For the most part, you have to work with a touchy control that requires patience to use and if you’re simply blazing through the different stages, then you’ll find yourself falling off of a cliff and dying because you didn’t take your time. This proves the theory that slow and cautious wins the race and rushing will get you nothing but killed.

-The Visuals-

Flashback has some pretty intensive stages and the amount of detail that you find in them is simply amazing. What you’ll find is that the game just has enough detail and environments to keep your eyes glued to the screen although the smaller details such as your character and the enemies seem to be a little muted. The cut-scenes that you come across though have plenty going for them and really do bring the entire game to life. Other various details that you work with come in the form of objects being thrown and explosions as well as the occasional death sequence when you do happen to screw up. All in all, you’ll find that Flashback offers enough detail to keep any action junkie satisfied.

-The Audio-

The audio that you find is event intensive only, in which certain events bring the music forward so that you can hear it. Though the music really isn’t all that pulse pounding, you’ll find that it highlights the events at just the right points and that it doesn’t interfere with what’s happening in the game. However, you’ll find that the game is sound intensive which means that you cannot turn the television off and you cannot listen to something else. In certain areas, you need to listen to what is going on and you’ll find that this will save you a long trip across a stage and having to deal with different traps all over again because you can hear just what is going on!

-The Verdict-

Flashback is a wonderful adventure if you’re patient with the slow moving pace that the game offers. With lush and huge environments and well as several puzzles that you have to solve, you’ll find that this title has everything that an adventure gamer could want in one tidy package. However, the lack of constant action is something that you won’t be able to deal with if you’re into the games that keep on the constant theme. The story is great and even the way that you have to go about doing things is first rate. If you like the games that require more thinking and caution instead of all out war, then Flashback should be in your collection.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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