An 8-bit style Grand Theft Auto, with characters and locations from all our favourite titles from that era. What is not to like? Through the opening sequence, there are references to Frogger, Super Mario, TMNT, Duck Hunt and others.
As Player, you are a henchman of a criminal ‘mastermind’ known as Jester. However, things soon go wrong, and you are left in a huge city filled with many story missions, side quests and challenege levels. Much like GTA, there is a large variety of weapons Player can handle, from baseball bat to rocket launcher. Additionally, you can hijack a number of cars and bikes, allowing you to zoom across town at quick speed. To get to other areas in town, you can take the subway to get there in no time.
The music in Retro City Rampage was composed by Leonard “FreakyDNA” Paul, Jake “Virt” Kaufman and Matt “Norrin Radd” Creamer, who each did an amazing job creating the 2 and a half hours worth of chiptune music. The music fits in masterfully with the game’s design, transporting you back into the oldschool world, while not having tracks that are too annoying or repetitive.
The sole developer, and later an experienced pixel artist, did all the art for the game. Like the music, the art brings back the nostalgia seasoned gamers crave about the retro titles. From the bikosaur (Yoshi turned into a motorbike) to the citizens, to the buildings, there is so much praise that could be given. You can tell how much work was put into every last pixel.
You can customise your character’s style, in fact there are over 200 that you can unlock and choose from. Little things like these really help out the enjoyment factor while playing. In the options menu, you can also make use of video filters. These filters alow you to change the colours of the graphics, making it seem like you are playing on the NES, or other classic consoles.
I would recommend anyone who plays the game on PC to use a controller, as otherwise your hands will be all over the keyboard, trying to remember which key does what. This can make it a bit frustrating while trying to move and shoot baddies (or, well, goodies), as sometimes you will not ‘lock on’ to an enemy and end up wasting ammo. Gunfights normally rely on you holding back in cover, hopping out to shoot the opposition, although you could always just run past, swinging your fists.
Overall, Retro City Rampage is a fantastic game, packed full of parodies, pop-culture and most importantly, fun. With line ups from absolute classics such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda, to ‘modern day retros’ like BIT.TRIP: Runner and Super Meat Boy, what more could you ask for. If you want to feel some nostalgia, or just want another enjoyable and hilarious game, then pick up Retro City Rampage.
+ Parodies of many old (and modern!) classics
+ Fantastic soundtrack
+ Multiple options for customisability
+ Huge Retro City to explore (and rampage in)
- Needs a controller for the PC for optimum enjoyment
- Probably not a game for those who will not understand the references