Retro City Rampage, combining the best of the best


I’ve been waiting a long time to play Retro City Rampage and thankfully it was well worth the wait.

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. Everything “back then” was better, right? Remember when the NES was the best thing in the world? Remember the first time you played a Playstation game? Each time it was like you opened a door to the best place on Earth. Gaming could get no better…but it always did. And now we often sit around with friends talking about those “awesome” games we used to play and wish they would come back, and unfortunately sometimes they do.

With the advent of digital downloads and online marketplaces being easily accessible on our consoles, game publishers are all too happy to re-release a classic in hopes of squeezing a few more dollars out of us. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. There’s no shame in it but how many times have you gone back to play these landmark games and they’re just not the same? I’d wager to say that’s true in almost every case. We all want to relive our gaming prime but how do you do that without rehashing an old game that just doesn’t hold up? Thankfully there is now a simple solution: Retro City Rampage.

Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage has been on the mind of old school and arcade gamers for what seems like forever. I remember seeing screenshots and hearing the chiptune music and just drooling over them. But then I’d see release dates come and go. The game has seemingly been in development for years but now it’s out there and available on just about every platform. And thankfully for the developers, Retro City Rampage is pretty awesome so I’ll forgive their tardiness.

Retro City Rampage lets you do everything you never got to in an NES game.

Retro City Rampage lets you do everything you never got to in an NES game.

Retro City Rampage is easily the ultimate NES game that you always wanted when you were a kid. I had dozens of NES games and each had their pros and cons but somewhere deep inside I always wished they would take aspects from all the games and mix it into one super game. Retro City Rampage does this beautifully.

Boot up the game and you’re treated to an intro cut scene and music you’re all too familiar with. It’s all original so you’ve never really heard it but it captures the essence of the 8-bit error like no other non-8-bit era game you’ve ever played. In Retro City you’re introduced to the main character, “Player”, a greaser-style anti-hero that helps rob some banks, shoot some cops and steals cars. What a minute! What? What, don’t remember doing that in any of your NES games? You’re right, you don’t but you can’t say that wouldn’t have been awesome.

Yes, Retro City Rampage takes the style and limitations of the NES days and combines them with nearly every gaming cliches from the past 30 years. From dialog to game play to mini-games to visuals, it’s all there and it’s all hilarious. You might be tempted to skip all the dialog (as I did at first) but to appreciate all the hard work that went into this game you should just read along and enjoy because Retro City Rampage doesn’t stop at video game references, oh no, it dives into pop culture of the 1980s from movies to music.

  • Back to the Future? Check.
  • Punch-Out? Check.
  • Jackyl? Check.
  • Paperboy? Check.
  • Bill & Ted? Check.
  • Metal Gear? Check.
  • Megaman? Check.
  • Ninja Turtles? Check.
  • A-Team? Check.

And those are just a few of the ones I’ve noticed so far. After an hour of playing and enjoying what the game has to offer, it’s easy to see why this game took so long to release. It’s clear that Retro City Rampage was made by true video game and pop culture fans. This isn’t just some rehash of a classic updated for high-definition. This is a brand new game that is so wonderful that you feel like you’ve played it already.

Retro City combines fun from all eras

You might think rampaging around an 8-bit town avoiding the cops would get boring pretty fast but you’d be wrong. Personally, the Grand Theft Auto games wore thin on me. The game was fun but only for a while as I got tired of driving halfway across the world only to learn I need to go all the way back just to steal a car. Retro City Rampage takes the concept of a modern GTA but throws a whole lot of charm in to save the day. And thanks to the old school graphics, you’ll be stopping at every street corner to analyze the scene and play a Where’s Waldo? of video game references and characters. Just don’t forget to stop at the arcade and play some cool mini-games featuring some of today’s most popular indie games.

Retro City Rampage is easily the best game of 2013 but I know that’s easy to say right now. It was most definitely worth the wait and well worth the $10 price tag. Whether you get it on Steam or Xbox Arcade, if you have any memories of gaming and pop culture prior to 1990 then you owe it to yourself to play Retro City Rampage. It will remind just how much fun gaming used to be before it got ridiculous.

Stop by the Retro City Rampage web site for all the links and even some freebie downloads.


About Author

Brian is a staff writer at TMA. He races Hot Wheels at while watching cartoons with his kid. You can follow @morningtoast on Twitter.

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