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Download Flashback (CD)

Flashback (CD)
 
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Following the 1992 release of Flashback: The Quest for Identity, the year 1995 saw the release of an enhanced CD version featuring new cinematics with better music and digitized speech.

Unfortunately the "enhancements" are something of a mixed blessing, by and far constituting of replacing the subtitled cartoon-style cutscenes of the floppy version with pre-rendered 3D videos with digitized speech and new background music.
The 3d graphics are hardly exceptional by modern standards (but still look acceptable), and the music has been re-recorded so that it will sound exactly the same on any real or emulated audio hardware (in the floppy version, different sound hardware caused slight changes in playback).

While the digitized speech is decent, removing the subtitles was not a good idea: some players might find it difficult to understand spoken English, and consequently - what events are they witnessing.

Many designs were changed and a few parts of the script slightly altered, so if you expected the exact same scene just with improved graphics you might find yourself surprised.

Unfortunately, the changes make the cinematics feel "off" compared with the style of the game itself, and the new music doesn't help either (the floppy version outro was my favorite cutscene - the one in CD version just doesn't come anywhere near close to it).

Gameplay-wise, the almost complete lack of enhancements is somewhat disappointing: a particular glitch that allowed the player to pass through the walls has been removed, and... there's no "and" - it's the only change that was made, and everything else is exactly the same. One would think that an "Enhanced CD-ROM" version could add an extra level or expand the existing ones somehow, replace the sounds effects with higher bitrate samples or add digitized voices into the in-game conversations just as it was done with the remade cutscenes - why nothing like this was done for the re-release escapes me.

The floppy original has maximum score in my book, but the CD version just doesn't live up to being called "Enhanced". Delphine could (and should) have done more then just revamping the cinematics. For that reason (and for destroying the outro sequence), I can't help but drop the score by a point.

Despite the re-release's misgivings, it is still the same game, and those who have enjoyed Flashback will also enjoy replaying it for the new cinematics.

1. Copy protection from the original is nonexistent in this version - neither copy protection codes or a crack are required.

2. The level codes from the floppy version will not work - this version uses completely new ones.

In DosBox, the graphics will glitch in the cinematics the output mode is set to "surface". Changing the "output" setting in dosbox.conf to "overlay" or "ddraw" solves the problem.


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Reviewed by: The Fifth Horseman / Screenshots by: The Fifth Horseman / Uploaded by: The Fifth Horseman / share on facebook
 

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