Attention all retro gamers and those who enjoy older games! What if I told you there was a game out there that had everything you loved about retro games and has references to 80’s and 90’s pop culture? I’m sure you’ve heard of the game before but now it’s better than ever on the 3DS. I’m talking about Retro City Rampage now available on the 3DS eshop! The game was released back in 2012 on various platforms including PSN,Xbox Live, and PC (Steam) but this version (DX) is the best yet. Trust me, if you have played it in the past, RCR DX is still worth your time and here’s why.
The whole game has been reworked from the ground up. Everything has been tweaked including the missions, the controls, weapons, vehicles, and AI. The whole time I was playing RCR DX I noticed that everything seemed to be a lot smoother than previous versions. The graphics are very crisp and vibrant. The controls are great and very responsive. Not once did I find the controls irritating. If something went wrong in the game it was because I messed up. Not because of controls or anything like that. A great experience all around!
For those unfamiliar with the game, think of it as an 8 bit Grand Theft Auto with pop culture references galore! The gameplay is top down view like the first Grand Theft Auto and has you stealing vehicles around Theftropolis. Of course there’s missions for you to do and all kinds of hidden goodies. For instance there’s 32 pay phones to find and 32 hidden packages as well. Arcade missions are scattered about the city that have you go on killing sprees. Some have set time limits and a specific weapon to use. An example would be kill so many people with a rocket launcher. Or see how many vehicles you can destroy in a set amount of time using grenades. The time limits have been changed to 30 seconds instead of 60 like in previous versions. I like this change as it makes for quick challenges and fun attempts at trying to beat your highscore.
The story itself is a take on Back to the Future but here you’re trying to go back to your time. You and Doc Choc have to retrieve different parts to complete the time machine. Within the first five minutes you are bombarded with nostalgia! If you were born in the 70’s or early 80’s you should have no problems spotting them all. You start off working for the Jester and he ends up giving you fast shoes that he got from the “Green Hills”. It’s little things like this that make me love this game so much! Even driving around the city will tug on your nostalgia strings. There’s a wedding chapel called Bundies Wedding Chapel, or the Fresh Prints clothing shop. The billboard for Fabby- O’s cereal was one of my favorites along with Bimmy and Jimmys. I actually laughed out loud at the Vanilla Ice Cream store next to the Ninja Wraps store. Like I said pop culture everywhere, both in the story and just driving around!
There are shops in the city where you can get your hair done and even change the way PLAYER looks. Oh yes, that’s your name by the way. A nod back to when some NES referred to us as Players. Hairstyles are old styles like the mullet and Rick James hair. All of which have hilarious names. You can even unlock different indie developers to make PLAYER resemble them. There are weapon stores to buy different guns, bats, and grenades. They even added weapon trucks in the city. You can try to kill the seller at these weapon trucks and get the key to take it but be warned, you’ll get an army after you!
The touch screen is what makes the game even more fantastic. You can tap the map to enlarge it. From there you can change the map key to track down what it is you’re looking for. You can change it to just show weapon shops, arcade challenges, etc. You can tap the weapon to bring up the weapon select screen or if you like you can use the R button to cycle through. Having the map on the bottom screen makes for much less clutter on the top screen and makes for a bigger map on the bottom. In the options you can change screen filters to make the game resemble different retro consoles. Some examples are Entertainment System (NES), Pocket Handheld (Gameboy) and Virtual Burn (Virtual Boy). Retro City Rampage DX sure does have a lot content that any retro gamer will love!
The music, oh man the music! It’s fantastic! As a fan of game music and chiptune music I was in heaven. You can feel the NES music love here that’s for sure. Be sure to plug in some headphones as the 3DS speakers do not have the best sound quality. You’ll soon find yourself headbanging to some rocking music! The soundtrack is seriously award worthy in my books. Heck, everything about the game is great! I can’t think of one bad thing to say about the game! Which is odd I know, no game is perfect but this game is darn close to perfect!
I could go on and about Retro City Rampage DX but I think it’s about time to wrap this up. I don’t want to spoil all the pop culture references. I tried not to talk about them too much. There’s probably well over 100 and that’s not even including the ones I talked about in this review. Retro gamers be sure not to pass this one up, Retro City Rampage DX is the definite version to own!