XBLA Review: Flashback

Flashback or Flashforward?

In Flashback, you take on the role of Conrad B. Hart of the G.B.I. and uncover a vast and deadly alien conspiracy that threatens everything it means to be human. But before you can save the human race you must rediscover who you are, as you desperately search for the missing data files containing your memory to piece the puzzle together. 20 years after the original game’s launch, Conrad is enlisted back to active service for the triumphant return of one of the best adventure-action games ever created. It’s Flashback re-imagined by its creators.
I never played the original Flashback 20 years ago, so it’s hard for me to judge this XBLA game as a remake and compare it to the original, but what I do know is that I found the controls to be clunky and from watching YouTube videos of the original, I can see they’ve made quite a number of questionable changes to the overall game and fans have voiced their dismay online already.
Essentially, Flashback is a side-scrolling action-adventure game in the vein of something like Shadow Complex, except Shadow Complex was fun from beginning to end. Flashback on the other hand is marred with clunky controls, a weak story and cheesy voice-acting. I can’t say I enjoyed it, its average at best…which is a shame as I know many loved the original, but I personally can’t see what the fuss is all about in this remake. Maybe something got too lost in translation during the remake process, but I just can’t see anything that can redeem it.

The Verdict

Flashback is an average side-scroller and one that can’t live up to the original; I can gather that just from the reaction online. Maybe it hasn’t aged well in 20 years or maybe the changes were just too drastic, but I found it to be clunky and just not that fun to play.