By Joe Sigadel / August 6th, 2015
|Title||No Time To Explain: Remastered|
|Release Date||July 17, 2015|
Imagine waking up one day to encounter your future self showing up in a portal in your living room, trying to warn you that something terrible is about to happen. All of a sudden, a giant crab demolishes your home’s wall and takes him — uh, I mean, you, away and leaving you with a laser cannon that packs quite a kick. You’d probably feel dumbfounded and wanting to know how the hell this all happened, and so you go off in pursuit of your older self to find out just what in blazes caused all this to be. That’s how No Time To Explain Remastered begins, and it only gets more insane from there. The original No Time To Explain had a rather troubled, yet fascinating history just trying to get the game finished and on Steam. It was submitted to Greenlight in 2012, and was a big mess of frame drops, bugs, crashes, no controller support and no full screen. Yeesh. Much of this has been fixed thanks to its Unity engine recoding, including the controller support, and the result is a much better, far more playable game.
No Time To Explain is best described as a trial-and-error platformer, where any damage you take at all causes you to die. Your objective is to traverse each stage with your gun, using it to propel yourself around and get to the next portal. I found most of the stages to be pretty easy to get through, although the difficulty does steadily ramp up over time. There are maybe one or two stages that were truly aggravating and had me cursing quite a bit. One of them had me crawling the walls and floors in a spike filled room as some sort of alien baby, and I had to snap myself around like an elastic band to reach the portal without touching a single spike. As new mechanics are introduced — such as changing into a football outfit and using a shotgun rather than your default laser beam — you’ll have to learn new ways of getting around, and you will most likely die doing so. But No Time To Explain is more forgiving than other games of its ilk, such as Electronic Super Joy or even Wings of Vi. You have infinite lives, so you have little to lose as you try again and again to get your flight paths just right.
The only time this is not the case is with boss battles, and there are some tough fights to be had in No Time To Explain. The shark boss gave me quite a bit of trouble. He usually pursues you, and, if you jet too far in the wrong direction, you’ll die from the spikes on both sides of the screen if you don’t die from touching him or his bombs (yes, bombs!) first. With each boss fight, you have four tries to get them down, and, if you use them all up, you have to start the sequence all over! This game likes throwing some really weird curveballs at you, too. There was a great boss sequence where you’re riding on top of one of your alternate selves on a jetpack, flying through a dinosaur-filled future and you have to shoot them down much like a shmup game. There’s another where you need to shoot a sun-like orb, but the nearby screw-like objects bend your laser like in Raiden II, making it more difficult to hit.
I really enjoyed the sense of humor coming from this game. At no point does it take itself seriously, and you can hear some pretty funny lines coming from your future self as you chase after him. They do get a tad repetitive if you’re dying a lot, though. Close to the end of the game, there’s a series of stages where one of your selves is a pretentious indie game creator, with some not-so-subtle jabs at the state of that scene. If there’s one thing I like, it’s satire. Comedy isn’t always done well in games that go all-in on it, but I think this game succeeds by focusing on these absurd situations and taking them all the way up to eleven. The hand-drawn art style and silly cutscenes you get between universes truly emphasize the wacky, cartoony premise of the game. For the most part, the music is a nice blend of electronica, chiptunes and real instruments, with the exception of the aforementioned indie designer stages, which opts for classical music to really push the point of snobbery.
No Time To Explain Remastered isn’t a very long game. With diligence and patience you can normally beat the story in just under two hours. There are a few extra stages to check out afterwards once you’re done with the main game. You can also spend time trying to get the hats on each of the stages if you want to up the challenge a little bit. I think the price tag is a little high at $14.99 on Steam, but it’s good silly fun, and I got a kick out of it. If you’re the sort of person who likes trial-and-error platformers like Wings of Vi, Super Meat Boy, or anything similar, No Time To Explain Remastered just might be up your alley. There’s even local multiplayer, so, if you have a friend over, be sure to bring them along for double the time travel madness.
Review copy provided by the publisher
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