Game Review: Retro/Grade
The latest side scrolling action shooter for the PS3 is the exclusive Retro/Grade and can be simply summarized as a superb and is a very innovative title. Developed and published by 24 Carat Games on August 21st, Retro/Grade brings a whole new level of creativity and fun to the PSN exclusive list. The game itself is a hybrid, and very innovating title using both rhythm games, along with many shooter games to attract both type of gamers.
You play as Rick Rocket, the man who saved the world. Well, sort of. At the end of the final battle, an anomaly is formed causing the universe flow of time to be in reverse. Instead of fighting your way to the final boss, you prevent your attacks from hitting each and every enemy in order to prevent any sort of rifts and time continuation problems within the universe. Retro/Grade’s main focus is not the story, but does give you background knowledge in order to give you a motive to play the campaign. And to add to why the story is pretty interesting is the fact that it draws you in with its atmosphere. The protagonist’s name is pretty fitting- Rick Rocket, who of course sounds like a stellar out of this world type of name, and the idea of preventing anomalies makes it even better because it gives players like me to ponder upon why and how this could happen. Or the fact that after ever mission or so, the developers add a little background summary of where you are, and what you are doing to sort of give you comedic relief. For example, mission nine states: “Rick was trying to find the nearest Glorg’s Best Coffee… there are no coffee shops in sight (where he was), so Rick decided to take his anger out on the Exnorians.”
As you play, you start out with campaign, and challenge, along with practice mode. Keep in mind; I suggest you start out with practice mode. I personally thought this game was a shooter until I played it on the hardest difficult right off the bat, which made me realize that I personally don’t know what a shooter is when I see one. However, beside the point, the practice mode is well designed and gives you the tutorial on the basic mechanics, and does a fair job of helping you understand how the game works. Of course, it won’t help you get used to the rhythm, or every nook and cranny that the game has to offer, or else there wouldn’t be a real challenge, and to be honest is super easy to complete.
However, on the other hand campaign and challenge mode, not so much. Campaign mode consists of ten or so levels and of course adding the difficulties makes it about 60 levels or so of entertainment. The bad part to this is the fact that all of these levels will obliterate you past the normal regarding difficulty.
So, let’s get into what campaign mode is. Campaign mode of course tells the story of you playing as Rick Rocket, however, unlike you going from mission one to mission ten, you do it backwards, you go from mission ten to mission one. Each and every mission has you needing to press the x button right when you see a flash of light coming at you on the right side of Rick, while on the left side, you avoid the enemies shots. Of course just like in every other game, failing to hit a target, or getting hit by something results in losing health, and there is no such difference in this game either. But, unlike other games, this game has a meter that tells the player how much of a mess the universe has become, and once the bar goes completely the down the game is over. Well, no, I was lying, it isn’t. You get another bar in the game that allows you to reverse the flow of time, which allows you to re-hit and re-miss all of those things that you either failed to hit, or you failed to miss the first time.
Keep in mind tough, the more targets you miss or hit will net you points, which in turn will net you big bonus points that will be posted up on the leader boards. However, a little concept that was without a doubt very irritating was the factor that reversing time doesn’t give you a chance to get your bonus back.
Challenge mode is somewhat the same as campaign mode, except that it comes in a various game modes and there are copious amounts of challenges. You start out of course in challenge number one, which is basically you just playing the second mission of campaign mode. However, in order to proceed you have to get a certain amount of points, along with a certain alphabetical letter for each ranking, and those will then put you on the leader boards. Even better is that there are a wide array of different game modes. Some have you play in reverse, some make sure that you can’t reverse time, and others have you not get hit a single time. This is what makes the game very difficult. However, a minor thing when you of course get a chance to unlock amazing features such as cheats, or using a Minecraft rocket. There are about a total of around 100 or more challenges that are available, but getting to one side of the challenge mode is a lot easier then actually completing them all.
Each of these features are enticing, and speaking of something being enticing, the game itself looks spectacular. It uses a wide array of color, and different lightings to get you in to the game. It helps set the atmosphere, and the use of only three or four different colors for each targets really helped set the gameplay to be hard, but not so hard that it was impossible to beat. There are over “10 dazzling worlds with unique enemies” in full HD by the way, and no slowdowns whatsoever.
Furthermore, without a doubt the reason to play this game or more like hear the game is the unbelievable use of the sound track. There is about a total of 50 minutes of creative and fun filled music that can easily be summarized as very disco, and basically very retro. And to further prove that this was an incredible future is because of how well the developers implanted the sound tracks. Each and every sound has you matching to its beat in order to hit or avoid the bullets that come at you from both side. Missing one results in the song slightly changing, but goes back on queue once you start perfecting everything
Overall without a single doubt in my mind, or without a single hesitation, I can easily tell you to go out (or technically go on PSN), and buy this game. It cost 9.99$ alone, or you can purchase it with a bundle that includes the sound track that is about 15$, or simply just buy the sound track which cost about 8$, which I personally highly recommend.