Back In 1995
Reviewed by: Senpavo
Developed by: Throw the warped code out
Published by: Ratalaika Games
Category: Arcade, Horror, Thriller
Release Date: May 24 2019
It’s the year 1995 and we are starting to see new games, such as Chrono Trigger, Rayman and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. But Back In 1995 comes directly from…2016? Let’s explore what this game has to offer to us, Nintendo Switch players, directly from 2019.
As the game suggests, Back In 1995 takes inspiration from the games of that year (even if the survival horror genre really didn’t start until 1996, with the release of the original Resident Evil). So expect retro graphics, horrible controls and even worse voice acting.
In Back in 1995 you play as Kent Randall, a man who’s looking for his daughter in a city that has been overrun by weird interdimensional demons. Armed with a wrench, a gun and a shotgun, it’s up to him to discover what happened to his daughter.
There isn’t much to say other than that: you’ll meet a few characters, such as the mysterious G.P., that will give you quests so that you can go on further with the story. You’ll find notes here and there that will slowly explain what happened to the city.
Aside from the graphics, that truly make the player feel they are playing an older game, and the (few) monsters models that are somewhat original, there isn’t anything else to praise. The very first thing that a player will notice is the terrible, slow movement. You’ll use the left stick to move around, but changing the general direction is more of a task than beating the game itself. Also, you can’t run: you can only walk. Eternally.
The gameplay is simple. Walk around, do quests, kill demons with your weapons, read notes that are scattered around the building and collect items to help you throughout the journey. Aside from the key items, you’ll only find painkillers and ammo, but it’s impossible to run out of them. A wider selection of weapons would have been nice, more healing items such as a medkit would have worked better and adjustable difficulty settings could have made the game more interesting
Graphics wise, while the low-poly models work very well for the aesthetics of the game, the floor and the walls might glitch and “move” with the player. The camera follows the players and it’s just plain terrible. It makes movement harder and dizzier. The sound compartment is also ugly. Everything sounds “basic”, the sound of the steps never change, the music is just two distorted tracks that go on forever and the voice acting is just boring. The voice actors are either bored or their pay is so low that it doesn’t matter.
The story…is just confusing. I didn’t understand much. I won’t spoil it, but be warned: it doesn’t make sense, you will question it for a few minutes after finishing it and forget about it. It’s a big let down because towards the end it seems like it’s going somewhere, but it really isn’t. The characters you meet truly don’t matter since they disappear once you are done with their quest, and Kent really isn’t all of that.
To truly finish the game though, you must play it a second time, and while it may clear some things up, it doesn’t fix any of its problems.
I truly believe that this game had potential: with enough fixes, the developers could have created an engaging story with enough mystery and nice characters, but instead, it seems like they just used the bad stuff from videogames of that area and removed all the good. While I get that it’s trying to replicate that era, it’s truly badly done, and the standards weren’t even that high. It should have tried to be more like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, or even Phantasmagoria, that came out in the same year.
In conclusion, Back in 1995 isn’t worth your money, even if you are a fan of the genre. The game had a lot of potential and wasted it, and it’s truly sad since the developers had good intentions, but didn’t manage the game properly.
Buy Back In 1905
Check out Throw the warped code out
Check out Ratalaika Games too!