Retro City Rampage (Vblank Entertainment Inc)
System: PC, PS3, PS Vita, Wiiware, Xbox 360 Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Suggested ESRB: T for Teen
OK so take a little over a decade of video game history, stir in a healthy amount of grand theft auto. Then dash it with a handful of successful game mechanics from the last few years and you get the wonderful indie Gem that is “Retro City Rampage”. Created by mostly one guy “Brian Provinciano” RCR is a unique blend of new and old that is both charming and a blast to play.
Focusing on the basic premise that your a henchman for hire, RCR sends you on a retro ride through pure pop culture gold. From the first mission robbing a bank with “the jester” to a pretty faithful recreation of “Paperboy” you’ll be doing errands and causing chaos with the best of them in this decidedly 8-bit wonderland.
The city you explore in the game is pretty big and full of references and fantastic 8bit details. Often I found myself wondering why someone hadn’t made a game like this before. It takes the formula from grand theft auto (stealing cars, shooting innocents, running from the cops) and then adds little things like a cover mechanic and power ups like sonic boots that make you move really fast. The controls are a pretty high point as you maneuver like a twin stick shooter, jumping over barricades and running down alleys as your chased by the police or any other thug that might want a piece of you, all of which is really smooth and responsive.
On to the little touches. Aside from the metric ton of references the game comes with several ‘filters’ and cases that sit around the screen. Each adds a vastly different look to the game. One might make everything pop like the old “virtual boy” while another renders everything in the classic gameboy green and grey. The edges of the screen get the same treatment and range from retro arcade cabinets to the aforementioned gameboy system. Add on the tunes mixed by three of the best faces in the chip-tune scene (Leonard “FreakyDNA” Paul, Jake “Virt” Kaufman and Matt “Norrin Radd” Creamer) and you’ve got yourself a shining example of what the term “Indie” should mean, classic, underground, nostalgic.
Generally I really enjoy Retro City Rampage. Its good to be a bad guy occasionally and this game makes it fun by having lots of content, plenty of missions, and tons of side challenges to work on. Add in the references and nostalgia and you’ve got yourself a gem worth plucking out of the bin. Plus it wouldn’t hurt to support good game design kupo?
[ + ] Story: while not original per say, retro city rampage bring you through a fun house of references that anyone from the 80s-today could appreciate. If for that alone its worth checking out, plus there is a port-a-potty tardus…just saying.
[ + ] Graphics: yes they are 8bit, but they are detailed! Billboards, shop fronts, even the cars all have a nice unique character to them that will leave 8bit enthusiasts pleased. While not for everyone I found the locals and graphics in this game to be charming.
[ + ] Gameplay: the game is really easy to control and I found myself enjoying the variety in missions and side quests, differently a lot of different things to do and the ease of which you control your character makes them a joy to do.
[ + ] Replayablity: if you’ve ever played a Grand Theft Auto game then you know the kind of replayablity RCR contains, be prepared for side missions and a free roam mode that’s made for just wrecking the city on any crime spree you desire.
[ + ] Opinion: I enjoyed this game and while I might not feel like its mind blowing its a real solid title that is worth taking a look at for anyone whose played video games in the last 20 years.
I rate Retro City Rampage 5/5 Kupo!