Flashback

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
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JaySevenZero
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Flashback

Post by JaySevenZero » December 24th, 2016, 11:09 am

Here is where you can leave your thoughts regarding the Flashback for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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gallo_pinto
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Re: Flashback

Post by gallo_pinto » December 25th, 2016, 12:00 am

I've got to admit, I have never heard of this game before. But some Googling has left me intrigued and I would love to play it along with the podcast.

Quick question: I know that you all will go into all of the different versions, but is there one that is considered the definitive experience? On Wikipedia it seems that it came out for the Amiga first, but was intended for the Genesis (and then got plenty of other ports along the way). Would the Genesis/Mega Drive be the way to go with this one? Thanks!

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Re: Flashback

Post by ratsoalbion » December 25th, 2016, 12:18 am

Yes, Mega Drive and Amiga were both 'lead' I think.
MD has the advantage of coming on a single cart of course whereas the Amiga version came on 3 or 4 floppies.

For those asking (elsewhere), this podcast will focus almost exclusively on the original 1992 game, although we will talk a little about the 2013 downloadable 'remake'.

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Re: Flashback

Post by Alex79uk » December 25th, 2016, 8:52 am

There's always the SNES option, too, but I would say the Genesis version is probably the best out of all of them. If original hardware is unavailable the emulation on most devices these days is pretty flawless. I played it earlier in the year on PSP and it was perfect.

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Re: Flashback

Post by ratsoalbion » December 25th, 2016, 9:25 am

Yes and the original does come emulated as part of the 2013 re-release package (in an arcade machine, bizarrely enough), but there isn't the best place to play it imo.

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Re: Flashback

Post by Flabyo » December 25th, 2016, 10:27 am

The MD version is a little easier to play than the Amiga one, the three buttons on the pad make it much easier to do combinations of his abilities. (Mainly shooting at the same time as using another item).

I vaguely remember there being a mega cd version?

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Re: Flashback

Post by ratsoalbion » December 25th, 2016, 11:47 am

I think there was, with 'enhanced' music?

Good point about the MD pad Glen.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Flashback

Post by Alex79uk » December 25th, 2016, 3:23 pm

Yeah the Mega-CD version is identical to the MD version aside from some 'enhanced' music, and very grainy tiny screen video. I put enhanced in quotes because to me, the Megadrive score is flawless, one of the best game soundtracks ever (in my opinion).

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Re: Flashback

Post by Suits » December 25th, 2016, 11:42 pm

This is one of 'The' Mega Drive games for me.

A game that affective a ten year old me in a way that made me realise games were more than just jumping on enemy's heads.

I still have my Mega Drive and a copy of Flashback (not the one I managed to play in 1994 but a copy I've picked up since) and will happily go through the game again. Might have to get some proper S Video to RGB leads for this.

Personally, this is a milestone game for me in my history of video games.

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Re: Flashback

Post by macstat » December 26th, 2016, 8:36 pm

Ah this is game from my youth ;) I remember this along with Prince of Persia blew my mind with amazing animation. Sometimes i was just running back and forth just to do a running roll.
Based on some youtube videos i glanced through, PC and MD versions (not MD-CD) are mostly the same. One difference (as with most games then) was in sound department. While SFX sound roughly the same, music is completely different animal.
I definitely will have to replay it though, since i was 9 when i played it before. So i will get back to you with more thoughts on that one:)

ps. Its wierd that with all those games Flashback got most replies so far ;) I probably wouldn't believe it if someone told me that ;p

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Re: Flashback

Post by Jedeye Sniv » December 31st, 2016, 11:53 am

I first payed this on the SNES shortly after release at around 11 years old. I'd played Another World briefly before and found it mesmerising but utterly impenetrable, but thought I'd have more luck with this game. The graphics were amazing for the time, but I remember trying to come to grips with the controls for the first few hours and thinking that I'd made a big mistake in my semi-annual game purchase. I persevered because at the time I had no other choice, but also because the game was so beautiful and mysterious, I had to see where it went next.

I eventually beat the game with the help of a friend as we swapped the game and traded off levels and later went back to play through everything myself. The controls are obtuse but with training you can become something approaching fluid. My strongest memories of the game are the subway station which I thought was very advanced for the time, it made the place feel somewhat real in my child mind. The final level I remember as being a total slog with the real kicker being the escape from the level was an elevator that was hidden behind some slimey stuff. That took some working out!

In a way, these games like Flashback and Another World were a kind of developmental cul de sac, it's hard to see the influence of this on many games we play now. The intentionally sluggish and obtuse controls keep the game inaccessible to many and it feels the industry moved more towards fluidity and player agency in platforming games. I still have fond memories of it now but I don't know if I'd have the patience.

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Re: Flashback

Post by Alex79uk » January 1st, 2017, 12:02 pm

Flashback is a special game to me. I would have been around 15/16 the first time I played it round a friends house, and I remember going and getting my own copy as soon as possible afterwards. The game symbolises the exact point where I realised games were more than just toys to play with. First of all, it looked (and still does look) absolutely stunning. I think it's so heavily stylised that it's barely aged a day since release. The rotoscoped animation was the most realistic I'd ever seen. It really felt like you were directing Conrad, the protagonist, rather than a pixelated representation of what he was supposed to be. Running, jumping, rolling, pulling out the gun, it all felt so fluid.

The game hooked me in before it even started though. The soundtrack is amazing, and because it's not being constantly played in the background as you play through the game, can be used to wonderful dramatic effect. Slowly building as the action unfolds, the odd synthesised stab here and there to punctuate certain story beats. All brilliant stuff. The sound effects are ingrained in to my brain for good now, too. The click of the sensors, the grunts of the monsters, the whoosh of the lifts, the shots of the gun - love them all!

The gameplay itself isn't a million miles away from the Metroid / Castlevania format. Find x to open x, progress. But the game was something of a revelation to me. In particular, the level which sees you undertake various jobs to earn cash. Deliver a package, clear out this section of enemies. It felt like an RPG, at a point when I'd never really played one before. And using the subway trains to travel between different areas was again something I'd never encountered in a game before. So when I say it felt more than just a game, it's because I really felt like when I played it, I WAS Conrad. It was me that had to expose these aliens living amongst the population, and it was me that they were after, trying to silence for good.

There is so much to talk about in this game, but I've gone on long enough. I haven't mentioned the Running Man inspired game show you take part in to win passage back to Earth. Or how amazingly alien the aliens home world looks in the last level. Or how deep the combat could be with the shield, and rolling etc. I could talk about how much I adore this game all day. But just go and play it. I played it again last year, and it's not even a question of 'does it hold up to today's standards?' It does. A million times over, it does. It is a truly brilliant game.

Oh, one more thing, as for ports etc. I tried the short lived iOS version which handled as you'd expect on a touch screen - not good. There was an interesting version on the GBA many years ago, but I believe wasn't just a straight port, but something slightly different. I played a ROM of it ages ago and can't really remember, I just remember it being very colourful. As for the more recent reboot - no thanks. The Sega Megadrive version is definitive as far as I'm concerned!

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Re: Flashback

Post by ratsoalbion » January 1st, 2017, 12:45 pm

Flashback Legends (GBA) was never officially released, but yes, there is a ROM out there.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Flashback

Post by Alex79uk » January 1st, 2017, 1:39 pm

Ah yeah I should have said that, it's a prototype version I think and there's not really any completely legit was of playing it. Worth a look just out of curiosity if you're a fan of the original, though.

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Sean
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Re: Flashback

Post by Sean » January 3rd, 2017, 7:57 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:For those asking (elsewhere), this podcast will focus almost exclusively on the original 1992 game, although we will talk a little about the 2013 downloadable 'remake'.
Do we have to?

I mean, I know we have to.

But...do we have to?

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Flashback

Post by ratsoalbion » January 3rd, 2017, 8:06 pm

Sean wrote:
ratsoalbion wrote:For those asking (elsewhere), this podcast will focus almost exclusively on the original 1992 game, although we will talk a little about the 2013 downloadable 'remake'.
Do we have to?

I mean, I know we have to.

But...do we have to?
Sadly I've completed the remake but never the original.
Also sadly I'm not on this particular podcast anyway.

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Re: Flashback

Post by Marco » April 30th, 2017, 4:03 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
January 1st, 2017, 12:02 pm
Flashback is a special game to me. I would have been around 15/16 the first time
The is true for me too. When I saw it was being covered by Cane and Rinse, I was delighted. It evokes so many memories for me from that time. The wonderful rotoscope animation, the shameless Running Man and Total Recall plot moments and a pace and settings unlike the majority of the games I was playing. You can run and you have a gun and you will have to do both but my memory was that of it being almost an adventure game where the puzzles require forward planning and precise timing. As a youth, timing wasn't​ a problem. Thinking ahead and learning from my errors, more so; dying came fast and frequently but I didn't care. I had to see what came next and luckily, I was/am as stubborn as I was careless.

Coming back to Flashback today was surprising in several ways. Visually, it looks just as gorgeous as it did to me then. Conrad's movements are just plain cool. That said, it just isn't for me anymore. I can't place what it is about the game that I don't click with. All the niggles that annoy me now were present then. Pressing up to jump; not being able to shoot the guy I've snuck up on because our sprites overlap and starting at the beginning of the level after a poorly timed jump: none of these are game breakers for me and I suspect I relished this type of play at the time. I'm also keenly aware I've spent as much, if not more time, playing and dying in a multitude of modern games. At the risk of sounding like I'm saying, "It's not you, it's me," Flashback was important to me in my younger days and I think I'll always remember it fondly. It is probably still a great game, I'm glad I played it and no, from what I played again, it hasn't changed but I have.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (6.5.17): Flashback

Post by Skybluefaz » May 1st, 2017, 9:40 am

I came to play Flashback a few years after the initial release, it totally passed me by for some reason, but was recommended by a school friend and I picked it up for the Mega Drive and was blown away, I remember it being the first game that I felt was really set in a sort of living world and whilst I found the animations gave the controls an awkward feel to begin with it was undeniably cool looking. The shooting was great, it was refreshing not to see the bullet leaving the gun and crossing the screen, it made it more real. I remember being blown away that you could get a job in the game as well for some reason. Its also the first game I remember with proper cut scenes. Frustratingly I couldn't finish the game I got stuck at the end and lost the will to live with it. It was not perfect but felt groundbreaking at the time.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (6.5.17): Flashback

Post by Alex79uk » May 1st, 2017, 10:57 am

Forgot to put a 3 word review on my post: Timeless, beautiful excellence.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (6.5.17): Flashback

Post by DomsBeard » May 1st, 2017, 11:11 pm

One of my favourite games, most of you guys have already summed the game up perfectly so I won't add to it.

The remake was awful, I'm pretty sure it appeared on backwards compatibility recently.

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