I've finally had a moment to play FT:R. It's luscious! Lots of work has clearly gone into this, and tons of attention to detail (the fact that they recreated the screensaver!) and I have no idea how they did all that 3D stuff. It's seamless and looks beautiful. How they did the old mine road, I don't know. The new lighting effects are great. The faint dust drifting outside the Kickstand. All lovely. The Juke Box is a feature I wish all the Remasters had had.
As usual the only times I felt irked was when something was changed for a reason I couldn't understand. The way I see it, you shouldn't be changing something without having a good reason. Why take Peter Chan's/Larry Ahern's incredible artwork... and change it? Peter Chan is a master. A genuine talent. I honestly put his work (and Steve Purcell's) up against (the hugely popular) Josh Agle or Mark Ryden. I don't understand why alterations to his work would be done? Same goes for the incredible close-up character work of Larry Ahern (unless that was Chan, too -- I'm not sure).
When the remaster is faithful to their artwork, it looks incredible. Absolutely incredible. In its best moments it's probably the best Remaster DF have done so far in my opinion, but when it drifts... things look off. The worst example is poor Darrel.
In the opening sequence Darrel (Ben's second in command) is beautifully rendered, and deliberately against type: Rather than an oversized, incoherent white guy with a scraggly beard and a bandana (the stereotypical biker), he's a thin, smart, intense black guy. The remastered artist, however, seems to have decided to alter Chan's/Ahern's design and move him toward the dull stereotypical biker, expanding his chest into something closer to the barrel chested cliche, and making his posture inhuman in the process.
To be fair, this is the worst example in the entire game, in my opinion, and other times they've simply followed the clear lines of the artwork they were given. (Always looking better as a result.)
The same goes for the changes to the beautiful, stark Monument Valley style backgrounds. They've been replaced in all places by unusual looking cyan hills, and they irk me every time I see them because they're so far from the Mignola style of the rest of the artwork. (Possibly a decision by Tim to try and make the game look less post-apocalyptic.)
Also, the game used to follow the narrative trope of the weather reflecting the protagonist's struggles. The skies become dark and gloomy when everything turns against Ben... or they used to. Now the Old Mine Road has very bright, sunny clouds hanging over them. Again, I don't know why this would be done, although I assume there was some reason.
Of course, a new fan isn't going to notice this stuff, and there's no question the new Old Mine Road itself is a million times better than the original. In fact, all the new FMV sequences are absolutely stunning. The ending in particular is incredible, and the new renders really elevate Full Throttle back into being the stunning experience it was in 1995. The differences are incredible at times. (When Ripburger slams into the back of Ben and Maureen, it was amazing on my big TV.)
The most egregious problems for new players are the few inconsistencies and bugs (many of which have already been mentioned in the Nitpicker's thread and elsewhere): The removal of the nut from the fuel line at the back of Ripburger's truck is at least on par for being the worst oversight. How is a new player supposed to know what to do?
Visually the end credits now drift out of the middle of the road, too, instead of from behind the horizon. And they reach the top of the screen and disappear instead of rising out of view. Stuff like that is a shame, and I hope they might have some budget left to fix them, but on the whole they're pretty minor.
In all the Remaster is a wonderful experience. Possibly the best of the Remasters, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As usual I just wish DF had the budget for an extra month of polish passes. Still, most people are going to have a great experience I think!