Surprise! Retro City Rampage, Vblank Entertainment’s hilarious homage to ’80s pop culture by way of Grand Theft Auto, is launching on the 3DS eShop in North America tomorrow, February 6th as Retro City Rampage DX, and from what Vblank founder Brian Provinciano told me in a conversation last week, it looks to be substantially improved over the original version.
When I reviewed the original release of the game back in 2012, I found it to be a heartfelt but flawed tribute to everything I loved as a child: “a shapeless mélange of Mario, Sonic, Contra, Skate or Die, Ninja Turtles and Mega Man, mixed with an equally gaseous helping of Back to the Future, Bill and Ted, Batman, ThunderCats, Ghost Busters and Saved By the Bell.” My issues with the game didn’t stem from the near-endless assault of flashbacks I had while playing it, but more from the fact that Provinciano seemed so slavishly dedicated to re-creating the ’80s within RCR’s universe that he failed to take into account the fact that today’s players want to experience a game from beginning to end without having to deal with unreasonable difficulty spikes.
From our discussion last week, it sounds like Provinciano took the criticism of the original release to heart: there’ve been a whole host of improvements to the game, from a more balanced difficulty level, to graphical improvements, new gameplay modes, and more! I’ve only gotten to spend a few minutes with Retro City Rampage DX so far, but rest assured, I’ll be putting the game through its paces before posting a complete review some time in the next couple of weeks.