Title : Back to the Future
Publisher : LJN
Genre : Action Adventure
Players : 1
Release Date : 1989
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $3-$5
Back to the Future easily remains in my top five favorite movies of all time. I've bought the movies at least a half a dozen times in DVD, VHS, Blu-Ray, and collector boxes. You name it. I have movie posters, models, legos, and I even shelled out the money for the MATTEL release of the special edition hoverboard. That's right. I'm a Back to the Future junkie.
But when it comes to video games, I wish I didn't own these. Besides one BTTF game that came out in Japan for the Super Famicom, all of these games are by far some of the worst that consoles had to offer. (I'm not going to talk about the telltale games for the PC / consoles, because those are way beyond my time frame for reviews).
Lo and behold, look who the publisher is. LJN. So what sort of crap fest can we expect from Back to the Future for the NES? I'm sure you know by now, but this game is a contender for the worst LJN game ever conceived.
So join me as I suffer through this skateboarding, pie flinging mess.
When you think BTTF, you think Doc Brown and his DeLorean, Biff Tannen and his oldies car, and Marty McFly rushing around on a skateboard. So you would think you would see some of these in the game, right? Nope you just run down a street. Fun, right? No, not at all. At least sometimes you get to ride a skateboard. Only sometimes though.
You control McFly as you race him down the streets of Hill Valley avoiding all the characters from the Paperboy series. People holding glass frames, pot holes, oil slicks, people with hula hoops throwing things at you. And who knew Killer bees were so rampant in Hill Valley. I don't remember any of that from the movie. But I do remember the bowling bowl you use to destroy enemies! I lied. I don't remember that either.
Oh, and your goal? Collect a bunch of clocks. Because, you're running out of time. GET IT. You need clocks to make sure that your picture doesn't fade away. No clocks + No Picture = YOU DON'T EXIST. I'm assuming LJN took advantage of their artistic license.
Since when did Marty McFly wear a black wife beater?
So after you beat a slew of these glorious running stages, you get to the next type of stage in this game. And these aren't any better. The first one takes place in the diner, where you have to throw pies at I'm assuming to be Biff Tannen's minions.
Well at least it looks colorful? Too bad if one of them gets close to the table, you lose. They grab you and fling you into the door and you turn into a pile pixelated crap. Good luck aiming the pies, you can barely tell what your line of sight is.
OH, and you thought that was bad? If you don't beat this stage on the first shot, you have to go BACK to that stage where you're running down the street and do it all over again. It was enough to make me want to set my Nintendo on fire. If you manage to hit enough with them with pies, you move on to the next portion of running.
Survive that, and you're heading into the high school where you have to break Lorraine's heart. I don't know what you're doing, but Lorraine is flinging hearts at you and you have to catch them? I don't know. You're holding up something and the hearts splatter against you. I have no idea...just catch them. It's the opposite of what you were doing in the diner.
So after another bout of street running you hit one of the best parts of the game. And that's saying a lot coming from this epic fail. We've got the enchantment under the sea dance, where the game gets an awesome chip tunes rendition of Johnny Be Good. You basically just have to play the guitar by collecting notes as the song continues and you end up filling the heart meter on the right. Go figure. The only good part about this section is the music. BECAUSE IT'S DIFFERENT FROM THE SAME CRAP YOU HAVE BEEN HEARING!
Alright, this is it - the last running portion before the grand finale. And it's what you've all been waiting for. A RIDE IN THE DELOREAN! Too bad it's an absolute cluster. It's just another running stage, but this time in a car and you're trying to hit 88 mph. But guess what. If you fail to hit 88 mph, you just don't die. THE GAME IS OVER! It doesn't matter how many lives you have. If you die here, this is it. SO DON'T SCREW IT UP MARTY!
If you managed to beat this game when you were a kid, all the power to you. I for one, could never even get past the first section. This game for me is easily in the top ten worst NES games of all time. It is an absolute plague upon the NES library that needs to be exiled for all eternity.
Someone should have sent this game back to the past and buried it. Good riddance. And thanks LJN for ruining one of my favorite movies.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time. Keep on gaming!