by Delphine Software / USGold
In Flashback you are Conrad B. Hart, an agent of the Galactic Bureau of Investigation. During the course of a simple investigation you stumble upon a sinister secret: several high-status people in society are actually Morphs, a dastardly cunning race of aliens in disguise! But it seems as though the Morphs will have the last laugh after spotting you and erasing your memory. Now it is up to you to save your mind and your planet from the Morphs.
Throughout the Flashback game you will visit and interact with plenty of great places ranging from lush alien jungles, an underground city, Earth, alien prisons, and alien home worlds. Every level is wonderfully depicted with acute detail. The levels have a realistic gritty feel to them. But what are pretty environments if you can't interact with them? Conrad can talk to people, use terminals, switches, elevators, as well as perform more intricate tasks. In the second level for example Conrad must work jobs to gather enough money to compete in a life-or-death game show in order to win tickets for Earth. An extensive inventory also plays an important role in the game. You will collect anything from rocks, to shields, to money, to personal teleporters in your quest and each is very useful.
Puzzles are present in every task you must accomplish in the game. The puzzles can be difficult but are logical and a joy to solve especially since you begin to identify with Conrad and his situation. Conrad is not here to save the universe but instead wants to regain his stolen memory, his identity, only to find out he is a pawn in a more universe-encompassing plot. Puzzles can range from simple things like throwing rocks to distract motion-sensitive cannons to more difficult things like preventing a reactor from blowing up a city or figuring out how to get enough money for a fake ID.
Graphics and animation are superb. The characters in Flashback were motion-captured and move very fluently. Every action from walking, to drawing weapons, to hanging from ledges is nicely done. The graphics are very imaginative and realistic even despite the weak color palette of the Genesis. Sound is nothing to write home about. Each level has its own set of ambient background noises with add to the eerie atmosphere.
Flashback: The Quest for Identity proves that you don't need the latest hardware to have a fun and memorable time.
FLASHBACK is a unique game, in that it is considered an interactive movie. If one were to glance at the game, they might think they were watching an animated film, not playing a game. The opening scene is of a young man being shot down over a jungle, who is on the run after stealing a ship. After regaining consciousness, you (as the aforementioned thief) don't know who you are, why you are there, or where you came from. As you venture through seven levels on six different worlds, asking questions of others as well as of yourself, you realize that you're also on the run from someone who wants you dead. The story, which is told with the help of 75 cinematic sequences, is a tale shrouded in mystery and suspense, and one that you will hardly believe!
Yet the story is just one of the elements that make Flashback the classic that it is. The game itself is something so different and unique that only the most open-minded gamers on the planet (any planet) would be able to draw true admiration out of it. Here is a game that, while not having the fast paced action that's become so synonymous with video games, represented everything that video games have the potential to be, as well as what the Sega Genesis was capable of. Flashback, like Ico on the PlayStation 2, gave gamers the kind of escapism and brilliant gameplay that one would feel a true sense of accomplishment upon beating it.
Flashback is chock full of slick animations, superb sounds and tons of atmosphere. It's a near perfect blend of action and adventure, leaving almost nothing to be desired.
Flashback system requirements:P-200.
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP.
Game modes: Single game mode .
2005-06-05 Flashback is a unique game, in that it is considered an interactive movie.
2006-04-27 Flashback description updated.