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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Adventure

 

Developer / Publisher

LucasArts

 

Year Released

1994

 

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Full Throttle

 

      

For me, game designer Tim Schafferís name will forever be linked to the classic LucasArts games Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and Full Throttle. Full Throttle is by far the shortest of the three but it probably has the most style.

Full Throttle puts you in the boots of Ben (voiced by Roy Conrad), leader of the nearly broke biker gang, the Pole Cats. The head of Corely motors asks Ben and his gang to act as escorts to the shareholders meeting. But the whole thing is a setup. Corely is murdered by his second-in-command, Adrian Ripburger (voiced by Mark Hamill) but the blame has been put on Ben and his gang. Itís up to you to clear your name whatever way you can and bring down Ripburger for what he did and halt his nefarious plans for Corely Motors Ė to produce mini-vans! Along the way youíll run around on fire, fight a number of bikers, jump a gorge, plunge across a minefield using pink bunnies to clear a path, and nearly get pulled apart by the Vulture gang.

Full Throttle (FT) has a style all its own. Peter Chanís vehicle designs are out of this world. Benís bike has enough exhaust pipes on it for five cars and feels a little reminiscent of Peter Fondaís bike in Easy Rider. There are flying police vehicles and cars that operate via hover lifts instead of wheels. The mix of traditional animation and CG was something new for the time and it looks great. (Itís a big jagged by todayís standards.) FT is also a perfect example of how music can make half the 

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experience. The Gone Jackals, a biker band, provided much of the music and itís situated so perfectly that itís almost as if it was written especially for FT. Add to that a very good cast of voice actors, some very funny lines, and youíve got a nearly flawless game.

 

But there are flaws. The first being the inane arcade sequence which has Ben riding around the Old Minig Road beating up other bikers in an attempt to get some specific weapons and 

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equipment. It takes forever and without it the length of the game would be even shorter. If you know what youíre doing you can blow through the game in just over an hour. For first timers, completion shouldnít take longer than a weekend. The puzzles, while integrated into the story, arenít too difficult to overcome Ė except one where you have to kick a certain piece of wall to open a secret door. FT has one of the best concluding sequences in memory Ė fighting off Ripburger while youíre on the hood of a semi-truck then winding up in the belly of the Vultures mobile HQ then trying to stop said HQ from plummeting into a gorge while dodging machine gun fire from Ripburger then teetering on the brink then dropping Ripburger into the gorge and riding to safety through a burst of flame! Itís a really great climax. But whatís a mystery to me is why we havenít seen a sequel. The way FT ends leaves it wide open for another game.

The interface is about as simple it can get. Instead of cycling through actions, the left mouse button is held down until the flaming action choices appear. Many of the situations can be overcome with brute force Ė Ben really likes kicking in doors. Inventory is brought up by hitting the right mouse button and is simple to use.

Full Throttle is a classic and it still runs like a dream on todayís machines.

- Omni

 

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