Retro City Rampage
|Retro City Rampage|
|Publisher(s)||D3 Publisher (XBLA)
Vblank Entertainment (all other platforms)
|Composer(s)||Leonard J. Paul, Jake Kaufman, Matthew Creamer|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 3 (PSN), PlayStation Vita
January 2, 2013
February 28, 2013
Nintendo 3DS (eShop)
February 6, 2014
Retro City Rampage is a downloadable action-adventure video game for WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and Microsoft Windows developed by Vblank Entertainment. It is a parody of retro games and 80s and 90s pop culture as well as the popular Grand Theft Auto series and the games that followed it. It was released on October 9, 2012 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, and on January 2, 2013 for Xbox Live Arcade, and on February 28, 2013 for WiiWare. Retro City Rampage was the last original game released for the WiiWare service globally until Deer Drive Legends was ported to the service the following November.
In the city of Theftropolis in 1985, "The Player", a thug for hire, decides to gain work as a henchman of a major crime syndicate led by the Jester. Three years later, during a bank heist gone wrong, The Player runs into a time-traveling telephone booth, which he decides to steal from its owners. The booth flings him forward an indeterminate amount of time to the year 20XX. Upon arrival, the booth breaks down and a man named Doc Choc (a parody of Dr. Emmett Brown from the Back to the Future films) arrives in his own time-traveling vehicle and rescues the Player, mistakenly believing him to be a time-traveling hero.
The Player must work with Doc Choc to gather the rare parts needed to repair the time booth, while avoiding law enforcement, his own former employer Jester, Bayside High School students, and Dr. Von Buttnik, Doc Choc's rival and the head of R&D at A.T. Corp, a tech corporation and The Player's former employer, whose CEO, Sweat Bomber, wishes to use the time machine to control the electronics market.
The game is inspired by Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto games, in that the player can complete a variety of missions within an enormous city that is open to explore. During development, around 50 story missions and 30 challenge levels were planned. Gameplay elements shared with GTA include the vast assortment of weaponry, the miscellaneous shops, the ability to hijack vehicles, and the ability to attract police attention with violence and destruction.
As a homage to numerous 8-bit video games, Retro City Rampage incorporates design elements from many different genres, and features 16 graphical filters that simulate various retro computers and game consoles. Although it is primarily played from a top-down bird's-eye viewpoint, in specific sections, it may switch to a strictly two-dimensional perspective in the style of a 2D platformer.
The game also includes a "Free Roaming Mode" that allows players to freely explore the city and cause as much chaos as they can. This mode can also be played with unlockable characters from other indie developed games: like Super Meat Boy, Commander Video from the Bit.Trip series, and Steve from Minecraft, among others.
On February 28, the same day as the Wii release, an update for PC became available, allowing users to access a version of the game's "prototype", called ROM City Rampage. ROM City Rampage is styled as if the game were produced for the NES console. PC users received the update for free, and it was included with the Wii version. The update was later released on PSN and Xbox Live.
The concept for Retro City Rampage originally came from a homebrew project that began in 2002. In his spare time, game programmer Brian Provinciano constructed his own Nintendo Entertainment System development kit and set about remaking one of his favourite titles, Grand Theft Auto III, with 8-bit sprite graphics, under the codename of Grand Theftendo. At the 2011 Game Developers Conference, he revealed his methods, showing how, over several years, he built advanced software tools to help him overcome the limitations of Nintendo Entertainment System hardware, before eventually shifting development to the PC.
At one point in the process, he started to add characters and locations from other games he enjoyed from his childhood. This ultimately inspired him to work on the project full-time, but instead of using scenarios from GTA III, he decided to create an entirely new game with original content in 2007, which would be released as a downloadable title for consoles. He used a real-time map editor to adjust and debug on the fly, and also integrated several suggestions from playtesters.
For most of the project, he had worked completely independently on the design, coding and art. Later in development, he hired a pixel artist to assist with the visual design of the game and went through revisions. He also brought in three renowned videogame composers, Leonard "FreakyDNA" Paul, Jake "Virt" Kaufman and Matt "Norrin Radd" Creamer, to create chiptune songs for the game's soundtrack. Provinciano stated that the game contains roughly two and a half hours of chiptune music. On February 22, 2012, the Retro City Rampage soundtrack was released on Bandcamp.
The game pays tribute to many titles through its storytelling, levels and character abilities, such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Contra, Bionic Commando, Metal Gear, Smash TV, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others. The game also pays tribute to "cheesy" one-liners, television shows and pop culture, as well as cameos including Phil Fish (creator of Fez), Billy Campbell, and Phil Guerrero (of YTV fame) with permission.
The game has received several updates since the original release polishing the game and adding features. The PC version specifically has been updated 15 times.
As of March 2013, the game sold around 100,000 copies. PS3 and PC versions made the most profit, 360 version the third most, and Wii came last with about 2500 units sold.
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- "Retro City Rampage is finally right around the corner after its legendary (and lengthy) development.". Develop. June 5, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
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- Whitehead, Thomas (2013-12-21). "Retro City Rampage Confirmed for Q1 2014 and a Discount Price on 3DS". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
- Wahlgren, Jon (September 21, 2010). "Interviews: Brian Provinciano - Retro City Rampage". Nintendo Life. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- Kaluszka, Aaron (May 21, 2011). "Brian Provinciano on Retro City Rampage - Feature". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- "Retro City Rampage Soundtrack". Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- "Retro City Rampage: NEWS December 14th, 2013".
- Holmes, Jonathan (30 March 2013). "Retro City Rampage sales, threshold hopes, XBLA regrets". Destructoid. Retrieved 3 June 2014.