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.
The protagonist, simply called "The Player" is a minor henchman in the gang of a mad criminal called "The Jester" operating in said decade. After a bank robbery disastrously gone wrong and a subsequent run-in with Bill & Ted, the Player is transported forward in time, into our present (called the year "20XX"). Uprooted, he enlists the help of a certain "Doc Choc" who has built a time machine into a suspiciously DeLorean-looking sports car. Before the Player can travel back to his own time, he has to find various replacement parts so that the Doc, who is charmingly naive and ignorant about the Player's criminal activities, can fix the phone booth, though. In the process, the good-evil Player uncovers several big conspiracies and fights even badder guys than himself while, of course, permanently having the evil-good law enforcement agencies on his back.
The time has come. The night of all nights has arrived, where I will dive into darkness. Evil awakens and a nightmare comes true: Dracula rules our city of New York and the lord of darkness is also the head of the local corporation for cyber-genetics, cyber-space, cyber-surgery, cyber-technology, cyber-weapons and cyber-surveillance. Appropriately, it has been a very long time since the city has seen any light; we are in an apparently endless night.
Well met traveller! Come closer to the fire and warm your frozen bones a little before you continue the journey through those icy planes. While we are waiting for the clouds to clear up, let me tell you a story about a golden age… a golden age of role playing.
You know there was this game called Dungeons&Dragons, which was to many the epitome of pen&paper role playing. Don’t worry if it means nothing to you, the only thing you actually need to know right now is that it is a very nerdy yet strangely compelling way to waste a couple of hours with some friends while pretending, that is imagining, to crawl around the eponymous structures in search of the hoard of said lizards.