Retro City Rampage – Review (Vita)

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Retro City Rampage is a homage to the games of my youth, those 80’s classics from the 8bit and 16bit era and I found myself smiling while noticing one game reference after another.

The game is viewed from a top-down perspective, barring a few specific sections, and does a great job of capturing the feel of those old titles we used to play on NES and Master System. It even has a fantatsic soundtrack in the ‘chiptune’ style.

You control the aptly named ‘The Player’ as he makes his way around the city of Theftropolis, causing trouble and joining up as a henchman for the city’s evil gang. After stumbling upon a time-travel device you are thrown into the future and need the help of Doc Choc (a parody of Christopher Lloyd’s wonderful Doc Brown from the Back To The Future films) to sort things out.

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The story leaves the city open for you to explore and there is plenty to do beyond the main missions – there are lots of arcade challenges and even different arcade game cabinets to play in the game world.

The game controls fairly well, although at times I did find the handling of the driving tough – especially frustrating when a mission depended on it. I enjoyed all the different weapons and vehicles at your disposal and you can tell a lot of love went into crafting the game.

Retro City Rampage is the work of Brian Provinciano who has almost single-handedly dragged the game through development. It seems apart from the music and some of the pixel art, it’s all down to him – which makes it even more impressive.

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This game is perfect for short bursts on the Vita and you’ll find yourself grabbing 20 minutes whenever you can when you get hooked into the gameplay. However this isn’t a game for everyone – some of the missions retain that old skool, punishing, difficulty so if that’s not your bag then maybe give it a miss.

Overall, Retro City Rampage is an enjoyable romp through the games and films of your childhood (if you’re over 25 or so) and the developer has done a super job of getting the feel just right. The question is do you want to play a game just like the ones from your youth for hours on end?

Rating: 8/10

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