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Game Review #163: Rad Rodgers Radical Edition (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: Slipgate Studios

Publisher: HandyGames

Category: Platformer, Action

Release Date: 02.26.2019

Price (at time of review): $29.99 (Digital & Physical)

Buy Rad Rodgers Radical Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.

Buy Rad Rodgers Radical Edition from Amazon here.

Knock Knock.... The 90’s Are Here

Maybe I’m biased, but I loved gaming in the 90’s and early 00’s. I think it was the golden age, even though I also think we are entering another golden era soon with the Nintendo Switch and the PS5 on the horizon. Back in the 90’s I had two of my all-time favorite consoles with the SNES and the N64. There were some games that left quite an impression, one being Rare’s Conker’s Bad Fur Day. I didn’t know Nintendo had it in them to even publish a Mature rated game as it definitely went against the grain and the wholesome family gaming that is the bedrock of their business. But either way I had a blast playing the platformer with a little raunchy crude humor sprinkled in. But it’s a whole new world as Nintendo has kicked open the doors and it seems as though they’re finally allowing the gap to be filled with the Switch as premium console for kids and adults alike. 

The devs over at Slipgate Studios (formerly known as Interceptor Entertainment) decided to throw their hat into the ring and create an action platformer called Rad Rodgers, which has an edge of crude humor with a lot of 90’s nostalgia; it pays homage to games like Conker, Commander Keen, Ruff & Tumble and Jazz Jackrabbit. To get Rad Rodgers made, Slipgate turned to crowdfunding through Kickstarter, asking for $50K. They exceeded that goal, hitting $81K over the course of the campaign.

Big Guns + Shit Talking = VICTORY

You play as Rad, a rambunctious but spirited young boy who maybe plays too many video games (or at least his mom thinks so). Rad awakens from a deep sleep after a long night of gaming to find his dusty old console has turned itself back on. Suddenly a vortex emerges and he's sucked into his TV, where he finds himself the star in his very own video game adventure. Dusty is Rad's good-hearted but foul-mouthed, now-sentient game console. He may not be the new console he used to be but over the years he’s gained experience and a lot of attitude. Rad and Dusty journey into the video game that has trapped them, as they fight monsters and platform around to find crest pieces in order to move forward in each level and find out how to escape their virtual prison. 

In Trouble In My Own Game

They throw you into all kinds of different stages with broken-down jungles and dungeons. The platforming was easy for the most part but when it became difficult I felt it was more so because of the platforming itself. It felt kinda wonky in places as the controls are very straight forward with movement shooting, jumping, and a special that uses Dusty’s power glove smash that’s like a mini Hulk smash. Now the jumping is what I want to talk about as it’s pressure sensitive, so if you tap he just does a tiny skip jump and if you press hard he launches himself. There is no double jump but if you barely make it and just hit the side of a ledge Dusty’s arm will extend and pull you up which was a nice touch. So the overall mechanics of jumping and platforming are simplistic, but can feel a little wonky. 

I had fun as I just realized what it was trying to do. It wanted to put you in a time machine and give you that old school gaming experience with a fresh paint job. The enemies felt as if they were just clones over and over as the character design left quite a bit to be desired. But they serve their purpose and that’s to be cannon fodder and you blow them to hell leaving red pools of blood behind. You collect green gems like coins to earn more lives. You have a gun and can change ammo to rapid fire, eagle blasts, rockets, and more. You can tone down the experience if it’s too tough by choosing easy as there are three different difficulty settings. 

Fun Factor - Audio & Visuals

I forgot how much fun I could have just mindlessly blasting monsters away while I break the fourth wall all while yelling and listening to my sidekick talk a lot of crap to the enemies. I was a little sad upon booting the game up that I thought I couldn’t play it with my son (7 year old), but to my pleasant surprise there are two content modes. Adult mode lets you hear the swearing and see the blood and kiddie mode removes those things so young ones can play. There were a lot of fun Easter eggs and characters to play as. I loved jumping in as Duke Nukem and Lo Wang from Shadow Warrior, both games I loved as they were foul-mouthed characters. So it was fun giving them a go in this world.

Between levels there are mini games like pinball, a memory game, and more. These were a fun distraction that broke up the levels, because as the levels go on they become longer and a little tough to navigate, so breaking things up in between was smart and added to the fun. During the levels you find glitches and breaks in the game where there is a small vortex that Dusty has to jump into and fix the level so you can move forward. This was a miss for me as it took me out of the game and slowed it down to a crawl. I know the idea was to throw in some fun puzzles and show a different side, but it really took me out of the game. Luckily they are short for the most part and can be beaten rather easily so you can get back to the fun. 

There is also local couch co-op which was a great idea as it was a hell of a time playing with a friend. There is a battle mode where you can fight each other which is nice but I didn’t play it that often as the main campaign was where I had the most fun. 

The game takes advantage of the Unreal Engine 4 and looks nice docked, but even better in handheld mode. The main characters are well designed even though I wasn’t in love with the bad guy or level designs, though some parts of the levels would surprise me. The soundtrack is expertly done by composer Andrew Hulshult. He uses his musical experience to give the game the perfect retro-style feel with MIDI-inspired music and synthesizers. 

It’s A Wrap!!!

What Slipgate was going for was a throwback to the old school action platformers of the 90’s where you just got lost in mindless action and platforming. They succeeded in that and added in a few things that really made it a fun experience. Unfortunately, there were a few moments where the game stumbled for me (Dusty’s Pixelverse missions) as well as the wonky jumping, but both of those could totally be my preference. In saying all that I think a lot of people will like this and have a lot of fun and it’s nice to know you can let the kiddos play it too. So ignore your mom’s rules, jump in, break the fourth wall, get loud with the insults, and blow some stuff up. 

Score: 7.5/10

Buy Rad Rodgers Radical Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.

Buy Rad Rodgers Radical Edition from Amazon here.

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