Retro City Rampage Review
Retro City Rampage (“RCR”) is fucking fantastic. Imagine a cross between the irreverent humor of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Grand Theft Auto 2, set in a pixelated 8-bit universe. That’s what RCR is.
During your trek through Theftopolois circa 1985 you’ll meet caricatures of Bill and Ted, Doc Brown, Mega Man, and Solid Snake–all within the first fifteen minutes of gameplay. You’ll face off against classic 8-bit icons like Contra’s burly protagonists and Bionic Commando (“BionicCop”). Parody isn’t limited to video game references, either; all of pop culture is fair game. RCR is basically the past 30 years condensed into an isometric (and pixelated) perspective. The missions range from infiltrating a base to get a faux flux capacitor to arming bombs in an underwater Mario Bros. (or TMNT) parody. Or you can basically cause wanton destruction in lieu of completing the missions.
The one problem I have with this game is that you don’t feel like your shots are connecting, your punches hit, or your jumping on enemies make sense. The combat feels detached, and I found myself completing missions more for the sake of experiencing the next parody than for the gameplay. That’s not to say that the gameplay isn’t engaging–it just doesn’t feel tight, which might be another parody of 8-bit errors now that I think of it.
For those that love a good laugh while mowing down 8-bit pixels in a faux arcade cabinet, RCR is for you. I highly recommend picking it up. I bought it on Xbox Live for 800 Microsoft Points.