There weren’t a whole load of Back to the Future games released during the movies heyday if you can believe that. A strange one considering the popularity of them. Those that were released are infamous for one of three things…being terrible, using the licence poorly or being incredibly difficult to play.
How about a Back to the Future game that didn’t just have one of these issues? Or two? How about one that had all three?! Enter Back to the Future: Part III. A Sega Mega Drive/Genesis game based off the movie of the same name.
From the moment the title screen arrives, you know you’re in for a rough one as the Back to the Future theme rings out in the most horrid way possible. It’s ear-bleedingly bad.
Then we get the first level and be prepared to throw your controller around. You take control of Doc Brown as he races to stop Clara going over the ravine. Jump over obstacles, shoot birds and the occasional varmint at an astonishingly difficult speed. As opening levels go, they took the piss here as the obstacles come at you thick and fast. Reactions have to be perfect, jump or shoot too early or late, it’s a life lost. Die too many times and it’s game over.
The only way to get through this level is to effectively memorise patterns and even then it’s so long, all of that will be forgotten when you have to restart over and over again.
In contrast, the second level is so easy a baby could do it. Shoot the targets and get a high enough score to progress. This then leads to the third and penultimate level, where Marty must take down enemies and eventually Mad Dog Tannen using plates. This is another practice makes perfect level as you need to lineup yourself up with enemy positions to hit them all while dodging their gunfire.
Once Tannen is down, it’s the final level where Marty must make his way to the front of the train collecting fuel while fighting off Tannen’s goons. Another tough level as the controls make dodging gunfire extremely difficult. If that wasn’t bad enough, you’re also on a timer here. Meaning hanging back and taking out enemies at you’re own speed just isn’t possible.
Beat this level and you beat the game. Congratulations you finished one of the worst movie licence games ever. Four levels long, two of which are hair-pullingly difficult and all are about as much fun as getting manure dumped on you.
It’s ugly to look at with a horrible use of colour making everything look flat. However, the worst thing is the lack of Back to the Future music.
I don’t get it, it’s an officially licensed game and it uses the theme at the start. So why the hell do we have the likes of ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’ on a loop during the first level?! You’ll grow to hate that song by how often you’ll hear it as you replay the level over and over again.
Awful. Just awful.
Back to the Future: Part III