Friday, January 4, 2013

Demo Friday: Everything that is old is still old

Just finished The Walking Dead. Chapter 5 was a definite let down, but I don't know how to talk about it without spoiling the shit out if things. So I will stew about it for a while and spoil the ending in a day or two. You have been warned.

Demo Friday returns!

Retro City Rampage moved in the opposite direction of the usual digital release: it came out on XBLA last. I am sure that there are reasons for this, all of which involve money or licensing or something else not very interesting. That hub bub, if it exists at all, has no effect on if the game is actually any good or not.

It's not. Not to play, anyway. Retro City Rampage is the kind of game that is more fun to watch someone else play than it is to actually engage in yourself. In the short demo I spotted parodies of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario Bros, Mega Man, The Dark Knight, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Back to the Future and Inception. There may have been a little bit of the NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles there as well. This isn't just packed with references to other forms of media, it is comprised of nothing else. It is as if the late night message board arguments between neck beards were condensed and fed to other nerds who think that games have gone downhill since the advent of 16 bit systems.

That is meant as a compliment, by the way.

Once I was done looking at the game and had to play it my opinion changed. 'Top down 2D open world game' is not something that I can enjoy in the era of 3D open world games. Retro City Rampage exists for the sake of nostalgia alone, and nostalgia is not enough to hold my interest. Do I think back fondly to playing Starmaster on my Atari 2600 or Metroid on my NES? Of course. Do I long for those days to point of trolling Ebay for old consoles? Hell no. Who has time for that when new games are constantly coming out. I'd say that this game belongs in a museum if all the games it references weren't already there.

It does occur to me that I have missed the entire point of this game, that it is a love letter to a bygone time. If so, good on them, I have new games to play.

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