Review by Maxx

Reviewed: 10/04/06

Am I the only one who bought this?

I used to play this game like everyday when it came out in 1994. It used to be my favorite game for a long time. Every level was cool, so there was no level where I was like, "aw damn" when I got to it. I played through all of them. If anybody played this game it was probably in 1993 when it was out on the Genesis or Super Nintendo. The keyword here is "if," because I really don't think anybody played this.

I had it later on the Sega CD. Early in the Sega CD's life most of the titles were either slightly updated ports of existing Genesis games (i.e. Ecco, Spider-Man vs. Kingpin, Flashback, etc.) or FMV games, which Sega apparently insisted would have a big place in gaming's future (by the way, they sucked).

Since this game is basically the same as it was on the Genesis and Super Nintendo, there are only a few changes to note. But since I have to get this to 400 words I'll just assume that you never played the earlier versions and know nothing about the game. So I'll start from the beginning,

Flashback: The Quest for Identity, or just Flashback in some countries, is a action-adventure/platform game that was released on the PC, Mac, Acorn, Archimedes, 3DO, Amiga, Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega CD, Super Nintendo, and Atari Jaguar. Pretty big list huh? It was made by a French company called Delphine Software who, as of 2004, are no longer in business.

When you first play it you'll probably compare it to earlier Prince of Persia titles. Both games feature detailed backdrops and fluid rotoscoped animation. I think the similarities were only coincidental though, since Flashback's animation was created through a much harder method. Besides, in Prince of Persia you only got a sword. You get a gun in this one...

There's about six or seven levels in total. They all get longer and harder as you go on, so don't think you'll just blow through them. Along the way you'll get a number of sci-fi themed items to help you on your adventure. The adventure itself is about a guy named Conrad Hart, who works for the Galaxia Bureau of Investigation. During the course of his investigations he finds out that there is a group of aliens called Morphs that plan on taking over Earth by disguising themselves as government officials. He has a special pair of glasses that allow him to see which people are in fact aliens (kind of like in that movie with Roddy Piper, They Live).

With this knowledge he goes and records a backup of his memory onto a holocube, just in case he should be discovered. That's basically exactly what happens, as he is captured and his memory erased. He eventually escapes from his Morph captors but gets stranded in the jungles of Titan. This is where you take control of him and the game starts. From there you must regain your memory and stop the invasion. I won't tell you how it ends, so you can play through it and join the ranks of the ten other people who may have completed this game.

Like I said before, the Sega CD version is a port of the Genesis version. It's upgrades include FMV cut scenes for storyline progression and when you pick up items, actual voice acting, and a CD quality soundtrack. That's basically it. The graphics are about the same. Except I think in the Super Nintendo version Conrad had on a red shirt, in this one he has a white shirt. Don't know what that was about.

The game was received pretty well, and I think it's in the Guiness Book of World Records as the best selling French game. A sequel was made but that one wasn't very good. There was also going to be a Game Boy Advance game called Flashback Legends, I think it was supposed to come out sometime in 2002 but it never surfaced. Something else that is interesting about this game, is that it started out as a licensed adaption of the Godfather. Now how the hell it went from that to the futuristic cyberpunk game it was released as I have no idea, but I read that on Wikipedia so take that for what you will.

If you have a working Sega CD (that's a stretch there) I would recommend you try to find this game. Good luck with that, though. You'd probably have better luck tracking down a copy of the Genesis or Super Nintendo version.

Sound: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Replay Value: 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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