Things X 5 – February 17, 2014

by Francois Joron

As I mentioned last week, this week’s x5 is all about Retro City Rampage DX for the 3DS. The game has already graced multiple platforms, but the 3DS version sports a “DX” subtitle which brings with it a few upgrades including streamlined missions, a zoomed in camera, a bottom screen map, plus quite a few others.

Apart from a brief moment with the PS3 version, this is my first time playing the game and I will tell you right away, I had tons of fun with it. Since its release on the eShop, it has become my most played game. But because the game has already been reviewed numerous times, even here on 4CR for the WiiWare release, I think dedicating a x5 to it much more fitting than describing what most of you might already know about Retro City Rampage.  If you haven’t played the game and have a 3DS, you definitely should consider picking up the game and here’s a few reasons why.


Pixelated people living in a pixelated world


Retro City Rampage’s highly fictitious and hopefully improbable Theftropolis strikingly feels alive for a pixelated world. From its comically named stores to the cars that resemble iconic vehicles, the city is joy to explore and proves to be a perfect playground for mayhem and quests for jokes. But it’s those little pixelated characters populating the streets of Theftropolis that I’ve found the most charming. It’s pretty impressive how much detail has been put into these citizens with just a few pixels. There’s a mariachi, some might be wearing a beer can hat or others sporting an hi-top fade while, on the next corner, you’ll pass a cool kid doing some breakdance moves. Oh, and there all pretty much fun to run over, shoot at, or simply squash with a well-timed ground pound.


A pop culture demake


In Retro City Rampage, almost every bit of pop culture from the 80s, 90s, and beyond have been distilled and crammed into the game. At every turn, on each of the city’s street corners, in every single line of dialogue there’s a joke or reference, and it never stops. The game literally overwhelms the player with these references. I initially feared I would grow tired of it, but the game puts so much heart into parodying everything that you cannot help it but admire the dedication as it even builds whole missions solely based on jokes and homages. More importantly, it is more often than not terribly funny. This the closest videogame equivalent to The Naked Gun or Airplane! flicks you can get and as a man who grew up on these movies, this is the highest compliment.


Socially acceptable and laughable 

Miiverse has been a great place for players to share every strange and funny encounter they have in games. With so many jokes and references scattered around the game, Retro City Rampage DX just feels like the perfect fit for the social platform. Plus, you are likely to miss quite a few of them, so Miiverse is a great place to catch up on a few missed laughs.

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It can’t be all good… well, almost. 

Retro City Rampage is all about mayhem but the amount of action on screen can sometimes feel overwhelming. As your character is jumping around, shooting pixelated thugs while trying to survive wave after wave of bullets, the balance between chaotic fun and mere anarchy is sometimes questionable. It becomes especially true in some of the tougher missions or cramped areas. The fast, almost bombastic, gameplay is one of the game’s best signatures but sometimes, if only rarely, it is also a frustrating aspect.


It is also at times when the game distances itself from its core gameplay that it can become a bit more problematic.For example, I came across a portion of a mission based on stealth that felt too strict for its own good. It’s not a flawless experience, but when issues arise, the game is quick to get back on track with more rampaging and goofy destruction.


Commander Video is in it

There are quite a few cameos in the game including Super Meat Boy and Minecraft and you can even swap your character for one of the developer’s likenesses. Even better, there is a fully playable BIT.TRIP Runner mini-game that is not too shabby and since anything with Commander Video is gold to me, this specific feature had to be highlighted. But, it is only one of the many secrets and bonuses that makes Retro City Rampage such a rewarding experience.


This feature has been made based on a Nintendo eShop code provided by VBlank. Retro City Rampage DX is available to download on the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS for $9.99. 

Don’t forget, you can drop me hints on my Twitter account. Also, you are welcome to send me a friend request on my Wii U, my Nintendo Network ID is Jorf-Jorf. My 3DS Friend Code is 5069-3920-3758. If you want to snoop at what I’m playing on PS3 my PSN ID is l_am_error. Have a great week!

Want to win a copy of Retro City Rampage: DX? Follow @4colorrebellion and @RetroCR and leave a comment below with your Twitter handle for a chance at getting a free copy!

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