October 11, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome
After having a coffee at Sixbucks Coffee, enjoying a short stroll around the Secret Park of Primate Peninsula and telling a decidedly pixelated person that "Ken sent me", I ended up in Retro City's arcade. A lovely place I had robbed only a few days ago, and one that offered some excellent games indeed. Apparently the owner was too afraid of me to interfere with my enjoyment of brilliant indie inspired arcade games, that went as far as including a Virtual Boy 3D take on Meat Boy. Maybe my new tattoo by Toadstool scared him. Well, it was either that or the rocket launcher.
And all that dear readers after merely spending a couple of hours in Retro City Rampage; the 8-bit-styled nostalgia-fest that parodies the original Grand Theft Auto and tries to cram as many 80s and 90s references into one game as humanly possible and, well, succeeds.
The game, originally a proper, full-blown NES homebrew project that evolved in one of the most anticipated indie games on modern game machines, you see, really goes overboard with its references. Every building, every character, every line of dialogue, every quest, every mini-game, every melody and every other tiny detail reference or spoof something. From Batman, Indiana Jones and Back To The Future to Mario, Pitfall and Monkey Island, everything you care to remember from the geek culture of the 80s and early 90s has made it into RCR, turning it into a glorified spot-the-mention GTA-clone.
Mind you, if you've stumbled upon even the slightest bit of publicity on the thing, then you should already be aware that we are talking about an incredibly faithful take on the Grand Theft Auto formula here.
This is of course great. Well, at least for me and, I suppose, for people that have been into video games for quite some time now. The rest of you will only get to enjoy an impressively detailed and really well made game featuring tons of content.
Granted, Retro City Rampage is way more contemporary in its game design than what I'd expected and manages to successfully capture the open-world feel many mainstream offerings seem to find elusive, but its retro-stuff is what makes it glorious. That, and the fact that Smash TV, Metal Gear Solid, Ikari Warriors, Paperboy and countless more games have been reworked and fitted into RCR's mission structure.
Oh, dear, who am I kidding? I love this game.
Yes, despite a few boring bits here and there and certain minor control issues I had after my gamepad died, this is a joyful love letter to classic gaming. A celebration of today's indie vibrancy. A bundle of digital joy with too many options and a myriad of details that make me happy.
Also, it's the first game in ages to properly simulate EGA graphics and for that I love it even more. Oh, and here's my verdict: grab it!
[You can buy Retro City Rampage for the PC via the dev's site, GOG and Steam, and can search for its consolized version for the PS3 and PS Vita on Sony's online selling thingy. Apparently Xbox Live and WiiWare versions will also be made available soon.]