Full Throttle Remastered (iOS)

Bad Ports and The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance

Oh nice! Full Throttle Remastered is on sale for 99p on iOS. I’ve always wanted to play this!
I’m a sucker for the old Lucas Art point and click adventures. The Secret and Curse of Monkey Island Remastered releases were fabulous on iOS (before they were pulled from the App Store, never to be seen again).

The Remastered versions introduced the concept of switching between the original game’s crunchy pixels and a modern painterly update for HD screens.
Not to mention the Quality of Life improvements. Don’t want to pixel hunt? Hold down two fingers on the screen and all the interactive items will glow. You know, Full Throttle is a very dark game… I would never have noticed all of these items and doors without the glow shtick.
There’s a nice video on Double Fine’s YouTube channel where creator Tim Schafer describes his approach to designing the puzzles in Full Throttle. In a caption: No combining items, optical illusion/lateral thinking puzzles are the way to go.
But man these puzzles really missed the mark for me. What’s the deal? The setting is cool but all the rock vibe was done to bigger and better in his future Brutal Legend game.
Well that’s mighty unfair of me to compare Full Throttle to Brutal Legend but that’s my perspective here.
Now on to the main show: Full Throttle Remastered (iOS) is unplayable. Let the hellish journey to Old Mine Road begin…
There’s a lengthy chunk of the game where you have to drive your bike along Old Mine Road, a long and winding loop of blurry canyon rock, and fight enemy bikers a la Road Rash style (kicking and punching while staying on the road)
Apparently Old Mine Road was murderous in the original release and has been made easier in Remastered. There’s an additional rock/paper/scissor strategic layer where you need to fight the (randomly spawning) enemies in a certain sequence in order to collect the “paper” weapon for the next “rock” enemy.
But on iOS with touch controls on my iPhone SE it was ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT. There was a dead zone that stretched around the border of the image where I needed to clock (poke) but it would never register correctly.
Combine the precision, time-based actions with the randomly spawning enemies that need to effectively be beaten in a Boss Rush style and forget fighting on Old Mine Road, I was ready to fight anyone on the same bus as me.
One month. I was stuck on Old Mine Road for one, whole month.
No Exit in sight. No way to skip the section. The Old Mine Road destroyed the middling experience I was having with Full Throttle Remastered (iOS).
So many spills. So many punches to the face. So many restarts. So many hushed “for fuck sakes” on my commute to and from work.
Finally though I succeeded. The Old Mine Road is now up there in my Hall of Shame for terrible levels alongside the boss on Super Meat Boy I’ve been stuck on for about a year.
There was charm within the nightmare though. This Gift Shop section was probably my highlight.
Dealing with an old, daft shopkeeper, tricking them so I could steal toy bunnies, enjoying the carnival jokes: it hit all the marks for LucasArts-style magic.
But I’d be lying to you if I didn’t mention I used a walkthrough in almost the entirety of the second half of the game. Some puzzle solutions involve combining yet more movement and timing using point and click mechanics. Unforgivable.
There was a story. It was cute and short. The cutscenes were a bit lame though.
Mark Hamill voices the bad guy though and you get to blow him up at the end.
Oh, spoiler warning, I guess.
But if you haven’t played Full Throttle before then avoid the iOS port by any means necessary.