Friday, 12 April 2013

Flashback Remake: Should VectorCell Let Sleeping Dogs Lie?

It must be a dream come true. Not only does the world get to play a tremendously gorgeous update of Eric Chahi's Mega Drive classic in Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition, we now have confirmation of a remake of what many people consider to be Another World's spiritual successor, Flashback.

In what almost seems to be an answer to the two games' constant comparison, the developers of the Flashback remake are taking a different approach with the new game, which is set for release later this year for XBLA and PSN.

But has the recently released trailer given enough away to give a good taste of what's to come? And is Flashback a game that really needs remaking?

I've watched the trailer few times now and each of the three environments shown are instantly recognisable as Flashback's first three levels; Titan Jungle, New Washington and Death Tower. So far it seems as though this Flashback remake will be along the same lines as Oddworld Inhabitant's upcoming Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee New 'N' Tasty, with the whole game being rendered in 3D, but keeping the 2D gameplay.

There are of course numerous little details shown that are new additions to Flashback. The game will have nice new, expanded cutscenes with full voice acting, which also looks as though it will allow for better developed characters, and for better storytelling.

Gameplay wise, the trailer shows the use of explosive grenades as well as cleary showing a hover-bike section. One part of the trailer shows the main character Conard B. Hart throwing a grenade down a chute, which suggests that the levels will be redesigned or possibly expanded to accommodate the new gameplay mechanics.

I always get a bit apprehensive of remakes where new gameplay elements are added in as, if they're not handled properly, they can often break a game or unintentionally alter it's difficulty; as was the case with Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for the Nintendo GameCube.

Although I'm relieved to hear that Flashback's original creator Paul Cuisset and his French development team VectorCell are working on the remake, I can't help but think back to the myriad negative reviews for their previous game AMY. Of course, Flashback is a farcry from AMY in almost every respect, but you'll have to excuse me if I hold back the waves of nostalgia until more details surface.


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