Preview of Telltale’s Back to the Future and Jurassic Park Video Games

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Video games based on movies typically suck. To make the most money possible, video game developers release games around the same time that the movie hits theaters. Which results in a poorly designed game rushed to the market without concern for quality like Iron Man 2, for example.

However, there have been a few rare instances where movie tie-in games turned out to be quite good. Most notably are the first two games based on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Spider-Man 2, and the Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, all of which put many movie-based games to shame.Still, often the best games based on movies are the ones that come out after the film. For instance, the Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye benefited from a longer development time and went on to become one of the most successful video games ever.

Telltale, a development team, best known for their point and click style episodic adventure games like Sam and Max, are taking a similar approach with their first movie-based titles. So far they’ve been successful.Their current project, a five-part episodic game based on Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future Trilogy, has received critical acclaim and is their most profitable game to date.

The developers at Telltale partnered with Bob Gale, the co-creator and co-writer of the Back to the Future Trilogy, to craft a story that takes place after the third film. Players control Marty McFly (voiced by A.J.LoCascio, who sounds remarkably similar to Michael J. Fox) on an adventure to find Doctor Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown(Christopher Lloyd is back).

In addition to stellar voice acting, the game’s captivating music, cartoonish graphics, and cinematic presentation make players feel like they are part of the film’s universe.During your adventure, you explore the film’s iconic Hill Valley setting and use the tricked-out DeLorean DMC 12 to travel to new locations not seen in the film.

Gameplay consists of talking to characters through dialogue trees and solving puzzles by interacting with objects in the environment. Although replay value is limited, you can go back and choose new dialogue choices that impact the story in small ways. The Back to the Future episodes are available for PC, Mac, PS3, and the iPad. (Xbox 360 owners don’t get any love.) So far, the first two episodes are available now with the remaining three sets to be released before June. You can purchase the episodes individually or own the whole season for $24.99.

Telltale’s other big movie based episodic game is Jurassic Park. Like Back to the Future, Jurassic Park is very cinematic, and it complements the film’s universe nicely. The graphics are photo realistic, a departure from the cartoonish art style seen in many Telltale games.The plot takes place during the original 1993 Jurassic Park film and shortly after. You play as Gerry Harding, the veterinarian who treated the injured triceratops in the first film.

Other characters confirmed so far are Harding’s daughter Ness and a mysterious woman named Nima. Unlike Telltale’s previous adventure games, Jurassic Park changes up the typical adventure game format. For the first time in a Telltale game, your character can die. The death scenes are both gruesome and comical; you may find yourself purposely killing your characters rover and over again just to see a T-Rex devour him limb by limb. To avoid death, you must quickly press buttons on the screen when prompted (think Heavy Rain or Resident Evil 4 quick time events).

The other big new change is how you play the game. You don’t control your onscreen character; instead, you control the camera to interact with characters and the environment. For many players, it will make the game feel like a roller coaster which may make the game too linear for some. (It’s too early to tell if the whole game will be like this though.)Jurassic Park releases this April for PC, Mac, 360, and PS3. An iPad version will likely follow. The cost to own all five episodes is $29.99, and like Back to the Future, the episodes come out on a monthly or bimonthly basis.

Check out the original article from the UWM Post here. http://issuu.com/theuwmpost/docs/post3-14-2011

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