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Retro City Rampage (2012)

Posted at 10:59 on January 5th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Retro City Rampage calls itself a parody. Putting the likely legal reasons for this badge aside, there are (broadly speaking) two kinds of parodies: biting satires and warmly affectionate ones. RCR clearly falls into the latter category. It is a tour de force crammed full of references to (mainly) 1980s pop culture, both in style and contents.


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Posted at 17:48 on January 5th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Hey, don't be so hard on the CGA color mode! Judging from the screenshots it certainly looks a lot better than the other ones, closely followed by the Game Boy graphics. As a PC gamer you couldn't go any more retro... except perhaps with amber monochrome. ;)

Does sound like a great game, which spends a lot of attention to the details that made those old games so memorable.
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Dear Sir, I object strongly with the last thread, and the next post.
Posted at 18:21 on January 5th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Judging from the screenshots it certainly looks a lot better than the other ones, closely followed by the Game Boy graphics

Are you serious? And the Game Boy one – it's completely washed out! The monochrome mode is ok with me, on the other hand. It doesn't make my eyes bleed (garish CGA) and it still has enough contrast to be clear.

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As a PC gamer you couldn't go any more retro

Exactly that is the question: How important is nostalgia for such games? Hence my serious question: Would you actually play a game in CGA if you had other choices as well? I mean not just set it to CGA temporarily for novelty, but use it as the main setting.
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Posted at 19:28 on January 5th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 18:21 on January 5th, 2013:
Are you serious?

Well at least partially. Since a lot of the very first games I played used either CGA or EGA I kind of like this mint-pink mishmash. Especially countless hours of Sokoban and Kings Quest (back than I only had a CGA-version) come to my mind. So while artisitcally speaking CGA might not compare to the lastet "photo-realistic" graphics, for me it has an unbelievable nostalgic charm. Which leads us to:

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How important is nostalgia for such games? Hence my serious question: Would you actually play a game if CGA if you had other choices as well? I mean not just set it to CGA temporarily for novelty, but use it as the main setting.


I probably would play it in either CGA or Gameboy mode (allthough it would be kind of pointless without playing it on a handheld) , at least I would give it a try. I have played a lot of emulator games, that had worse graphics and didn't mind the limited palette. Why not go full nostalgia? Why stop at 16 colour graphics? Somehow this option to change the graphics mode might totally sell this game to me (as superficial as this might sound).

If I felt totally nostalgic I would even prefer some PC-speaker sounds. :)
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Dear Sir, I object strongly with the last thread, and the next post.
Posted at 20:04 on January 5th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Herr M. at 19:28 on January 5th, 2013:
I have played a lot of emulator games, that had worse graphics and didn't mind the limited palette.

Not minding it – OK. Although I only got my first IBM in the 1990s when CGA was already an anachronism, I have played a fair share of such games. I can still enjoy a game if it looks like this if it's otherwise fun. That's not the same as preferring it, though.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 19:28 on January 5th, 2013:
Why not go full nostalgia? Why stop at 16 colour graphics?

Because from an artistic standpoint, I don't see computer graphics as a linear progression upwards. There might still be an old thread here in this forum where I posted even a diagram showing my appreciation of graphics over the scale of years: While graphical standard did improve up until 1990 or so, its artistic quality (as opposed to technical quality which undoubtedly rose right through the roof) actually decreased from there on. It stopped being art (smart placement of pixels to achieve an effect) and started being pure maths (all this render shit made by machines). So for me it's not 'stopping' at some point, but trying to get close to what I consider the actual historical artistic high point. Which, as I said in the review, might just be an excuse for pure nostalgia, too, of course (since I have no nostalgic connotation with CGA).

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Somehow this option to change the graphics mode might totally sell this game to me (as superficial as this might sound).

Then you might be happy to hear that you can also put the actual game graphics into various static 'frames', for example, one modelled after the look of the original Game Boy, several TV sets etc. ;)
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 20:07 on January 5th, 2013
Posted at 20:26 on January 5th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete | Delete Attachment
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Here is a screenshot including one of the picture frames. There are more filters like scanlines, a dot matrix, making everything blurry etc. for your eye cancer pleasure which I didn't deem worth mentioning before ;)
Attachment: *****
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 22:04 on January 7th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 20:04 on January 5th, 2013:
Because from an artistic standpoint, I don't see computer graphics as a linear progression upwards.


Well this might slightly drift off-topic, but for me the artistic value is not tied to the technical details of monitor or graphics card (if any). I can think of both very old games (I really dig the graphical style of the old Sierra games) and newer games (like Machinarium, one almost recent game that was extremly artistical appealing to me) that show great creativity and care for details. There are even some Game Boy games that aren't limited by the green/brown palette, like Gargolye's Quest.

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Here is a screenshot including one of the picture frames. There are more filters like scanlines, a dot matrix, making everything blurry etc. for your eye cancer pleasure which I didn't deem worth mentioning before ;)

Looks neat, but as I said before: It's only half the fun if it isn't actually handheld. ;) But the CGA might just suffice. :)
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Dear Sir, I object strongly with the last thread, and the next post.
Posted at 23:19 on April 12th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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After playing it now and then for some weeks, I just finished the game and there is one thing I have to get of my mind right now: I absolutely HATED the final level! Probably because it took me almost 2 hours of frustrated level memorizing and repeatedly getting nuked by a single shot (though having three lives) to realize that you can shoot the onstacles in the final round. Though the tracks before weren't all that easy eiter. Not to mention the Death-Cam Level which is nigh to impossible if you don't use a very cheap trick. Actually it's quite fitting: Having an almost impossible last level is as retro as you can get.

But don't get me wrong: I think it's really a fantastic game, with some very nice features, that capture the spirit of those games from the old days exceptionally well (for the good and for the bad). Very much love for details and a plethora of somewhat useless but entertaining stuff. I think what I liked most was driving along the sidewalk, collecting money and raising the police alert level until the tanks showed up. :evil: And then losing all that money at donkey races again. Also the Iced tea had me laughing really hard. :D

And I did a lot of colour palette switching, which was as great a feature as I thought it to be. The graphics never got boring. :)

My final Score: 2082589 Lives: -265 (around -100 for the sweat bomber level alone)
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Dear Sir, I object strongly with the last thread, and the next post.
Posted at 08:31 on April 13th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Glad you enjoy the game as well :)

Originally posted by Herr M. at 23:19 on April 12th, 2013:
I absolutely HATED the final level! Probably because it took me almost 2 hours of frustrated level memorizing and repeatedly getting nuked by a single shot (though having three lives) to realize that you can shoot the onstacles in the final round. Though the tracks before weren't all that easy eiter. Not to mention the Death-Cam Level which is nigh to impossible if you don't use a very cheap trick.

Lives: -265 (around -100 for the sweat bomber level alone)

OK, the final level is definitely a tough one… but it is the final level/boss, so I found it appropriate. The sweat bomber I found very annoying, I actually skipped it. Timed tapping of a button? No, thanks! The Death Cam, on the other hand, I found quite playable. I certainly died there a couple of times as well, but not excessively.

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Very much love for details and a plethora of somewhat useless but entertaining stuff. I think what I liked most was driving along the sidewalk, collecting money and raising the police alert level until the tanks showed up. :evil: And then losing all that money at donkey races again.

That is the main draw for me as well. Those specific plot-related levels are nice and sometimes really well done, but the basic concept in the free roaming mode is much more fun on the long run! Simply doing silly things and enjoying the rich details of this small city is something I can get back to again and again. Often, I just grab the monster truck and run over random other cars driving around peacefully ;)
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 08:32 on April 13th, 2013
Posted at 22:07 on April 13th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 08:31 on April 13th, 2013:
OK, the final level is definitely a tough one… but it is the final level/boss, so I found it appropriate.

Don't get me wrong: I totally agree on that it is appropriate, but I still hated it. :P On the other hand it was quite satisfing to see the ending (though it uses a very cheap trick) and get a nice bonus.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 08:31 on April 13th, 2013:
The sweat bomber I found very annoying, I actually skipped it. Timed tapping of a button? No, thanks!

Almost gave up on this one too. Actually it was the first part of the game were I considered giving up, until I realized you could skip it. Still I finished it, out of stubbornness. Did you finsh any of the Nolan's Arcade games? I just managed to do the eating contest game, and that nearly broke my controller.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 08:31 on April 13th, 2013:
The Death Cam, on the other hand, I found quite playable. I certainly died there a couple of times as well, but not excessively.

Just out of curiosity, how did you beat the two sword fighters in the second room? I found that nigh to impossible until I noticed, that the gun guy in the first room respawns.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 08:31 on April 13th, 2013:
Simply doing silly things and enjoying the rich details of this small city is something I can get back to again and again.

So what's the most silly thing you have done? For me it has to be buying a skate board to get away from the police, driving to the paint shop, change the colour to orange... and install the cannon. :D
As for the nice details: I smiled at the crashed escape pod from Space Quest 3 at the junkyard.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 08:31 on April 13th, 2013:
Often, I just grab the monster truck and run over random other cars driving around peacefully ;)

An instant classic. ;) The funny thing is, that the monster truck is almost camouflaged with the brown colour on the bro
Or the Giant Ape, or the time machine with it's fire trail. Though my favorite car still has to be the taxi, since it has it's own mini game.

[edit: fixed last quote -Mr Creosote]
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 07:21 on April 14th, 2013
Posted at 12:37 on April 16th, 2013 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Herr M. at 22:07 on April 13th, 2013:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 08:31 on April 13th, 2013:
The sweat bomber I found very annoying, I actually skipped it. Timed tapping of a button? No, thanks!

Almost gave up on this one too. Actually it was the first part of the game were I considered giving up, until I realized you could skip it. Still I finished it, out of stubbornness. Did you finsh any of the Nolan's Arcade games? I just managed to do the eating contest game, and that nearly broke my controller.

Yes, I finished all of those, though non with perfect score. Of course, these are all one-off jokes; I doubt I'll ever play them again.

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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 08:31 on April 13th, 2013:
The Death Cam, on the other hand, I found quite playable. I certainly died there a couple of times as well, but not excessively.

Just out of curiosity, how did you beat the two sword fighters in the second room? I found that nigh to impossible until I noticed, that the gun guy in the first room respawns.

Phew... you're going into more detail than I really remember. I think most of those fights which involved close combat oriented enemies were basically timing affairs: 'hit and run' or 'hit repeatedly before the enemies can get back into defensive position' or (in cases of fighting many enemies at once) 'avoid being surrounded at all costs' .

I wonder if it will be possible to download additional city maps in the future. As I said, although the standard one has got many great secrets and very different corners, it is hardly a large one. I think the game would benefit greatly from additional variety in this respect.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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