Put on your New Kids on the Block CD and grip your console controller for a button mashing retro romp.
Developers Slipgate Studios and 3D Realms have released the kickstarter funded remaster of the old Apogee 90’s game Rad Rogers. A side scrolling platformer that video gaming was built on during the cartridge days of gaming.
Completely overhauled with 2.5D and in some environmental aspects, 3D, Rad Rogers sees a young kid, yes, called Rad Rogers, team up with his home console called Dusty (voiced by Jon St. John who also does the voice for Duke Nukem) after a waking dream where he is sucked in to the a video game world.
Rogers must find a way out, and with Dusty strapped to his back, the duo run, jump and gun Level by Level, avoiding traps, hazards and the cliche floating platforms, while collecting up weapon boosts and gems. Oh and then there’s 18 Hats to be found aswell.
The Hats do not actually do anything to the gameplay significantly – but Roger can wear them. So yeah… it’s a throwback I guess.
Slotted throughout your dominance of this gaming world there are what I liken to Bonus Levels, where Rogers is on a Pogo Stick and must jump from platform to platform, rising to the top, collecting Gems and other goodies, avoiding the ever increasing water level. Totally fun, and addictive. Then there’s a couple of predictable Bosses Levels too.
Each of the 8 Levels (10 if you include the Final Pogo Level and the games’ Final Boss) is presented by way of a mini-map within World 1. No, there is no further Worlds after the first one. Sadly.
Rad Rogers does not take itself seriously. There is no way it really could.
The game has been designed with the reflection that it is a remaster of an old cartridge game and so there are many quips and remarks from Dusty and other NPC’s that either hearken back to games of the 90’s or just do a complete piss-take of the old but still enjoyable 2D platformers.
An option at the start of the game is to select whether you’re an Adult or a Child. This naturally tones down the euphemisms, course language and gore for the younger gamers. But I can see kids opting for the Adult selection right away.
Gameplay is super simple.
Jump, Shoot and Run. I found that Rad Rogers is best played with the D-Pad, and when needing to shoot in any direction use the Right Trigger to fire and the Right Analogue stick to aim.
Your arsenal of weapons are not a wide variety. Your normal gun, a laser gun, grenade launcher and flame thrower. Your normal gun can receive timed Rapid Fire upgrades if you find them hidden in each Level.
There’s also a Spiked Bat which is hidden on each Level. This gives a small timed amount of invincibility coupled with Bat wielding melee combat.
Enemies are not varied either and come in three classes.
The normal sized ones aimlessly run from one end of a platform to another. One that sits still but fires projectiles at you and giant sized hammer wielding creatures, all derived from the same species it seems. Then there’s the armoured and exploding Jellyfish / Squids and of course a lot of environmental hazards. Water is deadly.
Throughout each Level you will encounter a myriad of puzzles to solve to make your way through. It most definitely is not all run and gun. There are also hidden areas, mini-game Glitch zones where you play as Dusty and secret rooms where NPCs await with in-game goodness.
To complete each Level and to exit you need to find four pieces of a jeweled disc.
The duration of your gameplay in each Level is timed and points are either rewarded or removed accordingly. Much like the old skool games that would do a Points tally at the end of your adventures.
Rad Rogers is a must play. A modern take on 16BIT soundtrack the game is expectedly short and repetitive. It’s a classic rework that gamers of the 90’s will appreciate how it used to be and new comers will find a quick and tasty adventure, retro styled .
Beautifully animated with equally detailed and vividly coloured environments, each individual Level will boast around 15 to 20 minutes of play. If you wanted to rip through the entire game you could do so in just a couple of hours. I’d hoped for better longevity and I’m currently hoping for a World 2 DLC in future.
Still, Rad Rogers is a totally radical adventure.
Released: February 2018
Platforms: PlayStation 4, (also available on Xbox One, PC)
Genre: Platformer, Adventure
Developer: Slipgate Studios, 3D Realms
Publisher: THQ Nordic