Monday, October 15, 2012

Retro City Rampage Has a Lot of References, You Guys

If you were to ask me just how many references one can find within the 31 MB confines of Retro City Rampage, my answer would be a succinct "so many".  I'm sure you've heard as much from the rest of the internet, as it's been a -thing-, but to hammer in the point at just how -many- references there are, I decided to show a few of them off.  Now, anyone who has been playing games since the NES days (or before) -should- probably get -all- of the references, but there are a few that perhaps not everybody is in the know about, or just wouldn't think about it.  As well as one that's kind of hard to make out and requires you to really think about it for a moment before it just clicks as to what you've got on your hands.  Really, I'm just very excited about RCR still, even though I'm sitting at about 95% completion of it and there's probably not going to be anything for it after the fact, because it was and is just a really lovely little game for those of us who've been in this for a while.

So, having said all that, let me just start with possibly my favorite reference which isn't a video game reference whatsoever, directly counter to the whole set-up I laid down because shut up. I bring this one up because I assume it's in the game for the same reason that I noticed it, since it's from about the same era as everything else.  The building is clearly a reference to the late 80s/Early 90s sitcom "Married...With Children"  And that's....that's just awesome.  I'm not exactly sure just -how- popular the show was, or rather whether or not it reached "Household name" status, but I do know that I grew up watching the show.  I really probably shouldn't have, all things considered and it's weird to watch it now and know what's actually going on, but it was definitely a big thing for me at least.  So when I saw that and got that it was definitely a reference to the show, I couldn't help but let out a hearty chuckle, especially because of the signage.  "NO REFUNDS" is probably one of my favorite parts of the entire game.  Yes, just written on the walls of that building as it is.  That's how you do a friggin' good reference, folks.

This one is probably still a little obvious, but seeing as they haven't been relevant in years, I don't think, I think it's worthy enough to point out since there is a very off-chance that there's folks out there playing games that doesn't know what a Game Genie is.  I know, I know.  Relaaaax.  We don't speak of those people when we can help it.  I do like how the sign is modeled specifically after the NES model of the device, however, as it's a nice touch, certainly.  Appropriately enough, the Great Gamedini has a few signs in his building with some of the many, many cheat codes littered around the game, harkening back to ye olden days of gaming.  And just like the not-so-olden days, no good code goes unpunished - entering any single cheat code disables your ability to save until you re-launch the game.  I want you to read that again for me, very specifically.  Re-launch the game.  That doesn't mean quit to the main menu and then jump back in, that means quit to the main menu and get out of the game.  Tear it off the screen (if you're playing on the Vita, which you -should-) and then bring it back up to launch fresh again.  I'm certainly not warning you about this because I was an idiot and completed about 30% of the game after putting in a single code that ended up just giving me $100,000, rendering that all moot.  Certainly not.

This right here, however, this is -the- reference of the game that I anticipate some people just won't get.  Mostly because I almost didn't get it - I knew it was familiar, but why it was familiar was completely lost to me until I just thought about it for a moment.  That hanging refrigerator is the main clue of it, so I'll allow you a moment to read this sentence and try to get it before I spoil it for you.  If that hanging fridge in a dump reminded you of a certain part of Earthworm Jim then congratulations, you had a fantastic childhood.  Two things stand out here in particular though which just really speak of the detail that actually went into the game.  It's almost staggering when you think about it.  First off, driving a car onto the platform that features a car emblazoned on it will, perhaps unsurprisingly, cause someone to shoot the rope, dropping the fridge on the panel, launching the car off into the water just outside of the dump.  It's a pretty fantastic effect for something that is purely an easter egg, and just fits the whole 'love letter to gamers' theme that everyone has said the game carries.  (And rightly so)

The second thing is kind of hard to tell in this picture, so allow me to show you this which is a much clearer image and a bigger one at that.  When you pass by that little bit of yellow in the first picture, the results is what is shown off in the second.  Jim peaks out with his raygun and blasts little energy bullets at you for some real damage if you're not careful.  It's not a trap, it's not anything negative just because it can damage you, but it's's surprising.  The whole -game- is surprising, especially when you consider that these little touches?  The easter eggs I've pointed out?  That's the entire game.  A mishmash of theories and memorable sequences and quotes (from the hilarious mistranslations of years gone by) on the foundation of a pretty solid game regardless.  I could literally do a dozen of these posts, pointing out three references in each, and it would take a while before I covered everything.  It's really just kind of amazing that there's -that much- and borders on sensory overload.  In a good way.  With any luck, my brain will cooperate and I'll be able to write up a review tomorrow to tell you what I really think about the game.  (Because I haven't made that clear enough yet.)

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