Flashback 2: The Unfortunate Sequel
Flashback 2, released in 1992 for the Commodore Amiga with later releases on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, was initially sold as a “CD-ROM game on a cartridge” due to its groundbreaking and cinematic nature. Unfortunately, its long-awaited sequel, Flashback 2, fails to live up to the original, marred by poor presentation, sloppy execution, and numerous bugs.
Failing to Break New Ground
It’s been 31 years since the original Flashback, but Flashback 2’s story runs concurrently with the first game. However, despite featuring a similar alien-posing-as-humans plot, Flashback 2 seems to ignore advancements in game design over the past three decades. From basic collision detection to responsive controls, Flashback 2 feels inferior to its groundbreaking predecessor in every way.
Combat in Flashback 2 is theoretically more robust due to 2.5D level design, but fussy thumbstick-based targeting and defective stealth mechanics make it unenjoyable. Additionally, technical issues like lengthy loading times and weapon failures hinder the overall gameplay experience.
Design Flaws and Technical Issues
Clumsy level design often leads to players getting stuck on edges and falling through the floor into out of bounds areas, forcing restarts. Technical glitches like black screens during gameplay and gun malfunctions further detract from the game’s immersion and enjoyment.
Unusual Design Choices
Flashback 2’s “Game Over” screen features an unusual option for players to “resume” their game with full health, effectively nullifying any challenge the game presents. This odd choice makes combat feel unimpactful and removes any sense of risk.
Disappointing Progress and Quests
The rehashed story sections and uninspired replacements for iconic locations and events from the original game lead to a lackluster and underwhelming gameplay experience. Players often find themselves mired in situations with no clear resolution and blocked progression through levels.
Despite its numerous difficulties, the game received a post-release patch to address some of the bugs and glitches. However, the overall experience still falls short of player expectations and the legacy of its original predecessor.