Retro City Rampage: Review
Retro City Rampage is the long awaited game from Brian Provinciano. The game is packed with video game, TV, and movie references from the 80's and 90's. It is currently available on PS3, PS Vita, and PC, and will eventually make its way to XBLA and even WiiWare.
In the game, you take control of the main character, simply known as PLAYER, and wreak havoc on Retro City. PLAYER is a small time crook who, after a botched bank robbery, ends up in a time machine that sends him back to sometime in 1980's. When he arrives, his time machine breaks down, but luckily he quickly meets a scientist who will help him get back to his time, if PLAYER can find the 9 parts he needs to repair the time machine. The game takes a top-down perspective, similar to Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2 on the original Playstation, and arms you with a variety of weapons and vehicles to get around.
The game has more than 60 missions and will take somewhere around 6-8 hours to complete the main storyline. The game also have about 40 or so challenge missions which, once unlocked, you can play from the main menu and earn either bronze, silver, or gold medals.
The story missions end up being a mixed bag. There are a good amount of fun, interesting missions that feature some funny references from a past time. However, there are plenty of missions that feel A LOT like a simple A to B fetch quest. Retro City has a few fun stops to check out, but constantly driving back and forth through the city during these missions will quickly start to feel monotonous.
The gameplay is equally mixed. The controls work fine, but the action is never particularly enthralling. Missions that require melee weapons are never fun, but shootouts can be entertaining at time. Although a lot of times it feels like a simple circle-strafe method can pretty much clear out any set of enemies. There are a few missions that are essentially horde-mode challenges, and these missions wear out their welcome pretty quickly.
The game looks perfectly fine for what it is, but sometimes it feels like the characters are a bit too small. Because of their size and lack of definition, it sometimes feels like you're moving around a blob of pixels and killing a bunch of other blobs of pixels.
The presentation and story seem to bounce all over the place. I'm not 100% sure what the final boss even did to cross my character. The fact that the game fires retro references at you from every possible angle doesn't help make things any less convoluted. I encourage interested gamers to check out the demo and see if they can follow what is going on.
Despite the references coming a mile a minute, they were still my favorite part about the game. Specifically there were extended references about
The game also features a few minigames with guest appearances from characters from other indie games (such as Super Meat Boy, Bit.Trip.Runner, and a 'Splosion Man-esque challenge area that didn't actually feature 'Splosion Man on PS3, I'm guessing due to the fact that creators Twisted Pixel are now owned by Microsoft). Though these little minigames and cameos don't add a ton to the game, they're always fun to see.
Overall, I had a decent time with Retro City Rampage, but it's hard to not be disappointed with the end result after all the lead-up and hype that the game received pre-release. The constant retro references were almost always enjoyable, but middling gameplay and presentation make it so I can't whole-heartedly endorse this game.
Review Score: 7/10
Recommended Buy Price: $7.50 - $10.00
Playtime: 8 hours
Trophies Earned: 9/14 (8 Bronze, 1 Silver)