follow us:

Latest News

Fly like a Mishima in Tekken inspired jets in Ace Combat Infinity
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Tekken series. To celebrate, Bandai Namco has special Tekken aircrafts and Emblems for Ace Combat Infinity players.... [read more]
Xbox One Nov. Update introduces fan-requested personalization features
Microsoft listened to fans of Xbox and making strides to continually improve Xbox One with the November update to include options for gamer profiles, a new way to watch TV and SmartGlass improvements. ... [read more]
Meet the Assassin's Creed Unity cast
As we edge closer to the release of Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft released a trailer that shows you the people providing the voices of the cast and gives some insight on the characters. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

An Open Letter to 2K Sports - How 'Bout Them Spurs?
I saw your latest trailer for NBA 2K15, and I had to simply shake my head. As an avid San Antonio Spurs fan, you know that team that won the NBA Championship last year, I was disappointed with their exclusion from the trailer. After re-watching trailer, I realized that they ... [read more]
gamescom 2014: Sony shows off more indie games and hidden Silent Hill game
Lots of games ranging from AAA to Indie along with some shocking surprises were revealed at this year’s Sony Press Conference at gamescom in Cologne, Germany.... [read more]
gamescom 2014: Microsoft comes out fighting
After falling behind Sony again and again, Microsoft finally put on a show for gamers at gamescom 2014 to remind everyone that they are still in the fight.... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Destiny Review
After creating one of the most iconic sci-fi first-person shooters with the Halo series, Bungie partnered with Activision to create their massive new IP, Destiny. Destiny is a multiplayer action shooter with heavier emphasis on RPG elements like character customization, prog... [read more]
The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 5 "No Going Back" Review
When Telltale Games announced the second season of The Walking Dead, fans of the first season were wondering where Telltale was going to take the series. By focusing on Clementine, the second season went in a different direction than the TV series or comics have gone. It was... [read more]
Gods Will Be Watching Review
Don't let the looks fool you, this is not a regular adventure game and it's definitely not for the squeamish. ... [read more]

Latest Videos

8-Bit Eric: Hyrule Warriors Review
8-Bit Eric reviews Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U, a new hack and slash game based on the Legend of Zelda that is a spinoff of the Dynasty Warriors series. How does this game hold up? ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Favorite Video Game Rentals
8-Bit Eric takes you back to his childhood to look at some of the games he loved to rent. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: NES Zapper Games
Remember the NES Zapper? That beautiful orange, or gray, gun that let you feel like a real gunslinger. 8-Bit Eric remembers, and he has some NES Zapper games you may not have played. ... [read more]
Retro City Rampge Review
Posted on January 03, 2013 by Drew Bergmark

In pixelated 4:3 ratio, Retro City Rampage is a game that adult gamers would reminisce about from the late 80’s. Making an impossible list of callbacks to classic pop culture objects throughout video games, movies & other media, RCR puts together a game that every twenty-something or thirty-something’s nostalgic feelings would tingle for.

GOTTA GET BACK IN TIME

80’s Pop Culture - Aspiring from the 8-bit era, Retro City Rampage is a mock-up of the early Grand Theft Auto games mixed in with 80's pop culture references, creating an experience that only the older gamer generations could truly enjoy. Featuring tributes to Contra, Metal Gear Solid, Mega Man, Saved By the Bell, Batman and so much more, any gamer would lived and breathed or loves 80’s culture needs to play this game.  Playing through RCR multiple times, I’m sure you’ll pick up on new things each play through creating a lot of replayability.

Nolan’s Arcade - For those of you who don’t know me that well, I’m a big fan of classic arcade cabinets and when I found out about Nolan’s Arcade (probable tribute to Nolan Bushnell), I freaked out. I would have loved to see at least a Pac-Man clone but the three games that were featured there were actually a lot of fun.  Featuring a mash-up between Nintendo’s first 3D console and Team Meat’s successful game, Virtual Meat Boy throws you back on a classic 8-bit racing track as Meat Boy tries get to Bandage Girl. In classic Virtual Boy fashion though, the game is completely red & black just as all games for the failed console were back in the day. The best part is if you have a 3D enabled TV, you can actually play the mini-game in 3D.

For those fans of the music indie scene, Bit.Trip: Retro City offers a mix-up of the simple Bit.Trip gameplay while also mixing in some of the Pitfall alligators. With the Epic Meal Time button masher, I was really impressed with the additional work put into the arcade, giving the game a bit of extra longevity.

Looks Like a Classic -  For everyone below the age of 10, there used to be TV's that used a classic projection screen technology that is shaped in a standard 4:3 ratio screen (square-like) than the widescreen 16:9 ratio (rectangular). In order to fit the game on the TV correctly, two side panels showing off the weapons and ways to score points fill up the adjacent edges of the screen that would have remained black on widescreen televisions if played by old consoles, calling back to the arcade era where such hints gave arcade goers an idea of what the game might be about.

From all of the buildings, weapons and cars, RCR is one of the best-looking retro style games on the current generation of consoles, but the graphical detailing of the world and all the characters created what would have made Retro City Rampage an amazingly, fun immersive experience if it were still the 80’s and if the game was actually fun to play longer that 15 minutes at a time.


KEEP THE PAST IN THE PAST

Not So “Fun” Factor - As much as I wanted to love the game for its basic mechanics, playing Retro City Rampage just isn’t much fun past the first few hours of nostalgic gameplay. From the always elusive Xbox 360 non-shooter controls to actual in-game functionality issues, I had a bit of fun going through the story bits and pop culture references stuck inside this 80’s time capsule but the game felt straight to the point making me think that the developer was also stuck in the capsule since the 80’s and was only allowed to create this game.

For instance, the shark tank puzzle caused me to take some pain meds after attempting the puzzle on both the analog stick and directional pad for the Xbox 360 controller. After playing it on the PS3 version, you realize that such a classic game is better to be played on either a keyboard or the Playstation 3 controller. Despite how systematically I would get the timing down for the ‘boss fight’, I never seemed to get the timing right. Some missions, you go through guns blazing having a great time but other missions all of a sudden slow down seeming to have been designed for later in the game.

Difficulty Spikes -  With starting at the beginning of the game, you feel that typical getting introduced into how the game mechanically works. It feels great and all but about 30 minutes in, you face the Bionic Commando boss that just seems to have no explanation of how to beat him. Maybe, that’s a part of the punishment that Vblank Entertainment intended for with Retro City Rampage as games during the 80’s are considered much tougher than contemporary ones. Unfortunately, you don’t really feel an accomplishment by beating that boss or any other; you just feel a need to get through the game to get to more 80’s references.

Non-Stop Tributes and References - If you haven’t gotten it yet by reading this far into the review, Retro City Rampage is a classic retro 8-bit 80’s experience. Despite how annoying it maybe for me to remind you time and time again, the way the story flows with the non-stop tributes and references you just feel like the writing is just trying to make you feel like you are back there in the 80’s playing this game.

That’s great and all but a balance needs to be made for actual interesting storytelling. I’m sure I’ll get a comment from someone saying you missed the point that the game is supposed to be straight to the point fun. Hearing about certain characters and certain icons that haven’t been heard of or seen since 30 years ago isn’t my idea of having a good gaming experience or even storytelling. While a break in the game with side missions broke up the main storyline enough, I just didn’t feel like it was completely balanced to create a desire to sit down and play the game through in just one sitting or even in half a dozen.




 

Gamers that love homages to their 80's childhood are going to eat Retro City Rampage up.  Despite looking like an appealing GTA clone for the 8-bit era, you may want to be wary with your purchase and try out the demo. With difficult controls and difficulty spikes between going from mission to mission, I can’t go out and recommend it to everyone

RCR will just seem to be some filling into what seemed to be a great year for indie games. Starting with development back in 2002 you can tell that the title had great potential, but after a decade-long development Vblank Entertainment didn’t polish the game enough to be just slightly above average.

*This review was based on the Xbox 360 version of the game with a review code provided by the publisher.*

Drew Bergmark - Staff Writer viggo (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What your favorite horror series?

Resident Evil
Silent Hill
Fatal Frame
Metro 2033
F.E.A.R.
Dead Space
Siren
Alan Wake
Amnesia
Alone in the Dark
Penumbra
Other (Let us know in the comments)
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


#Gamergate, Destiny, Spurs and more


Resident Evil Degeneration: A Blu-Ray Review

Resident Evil 4 Review

Retro City Rampage Review

Other Gaming News From The Web