Review #035: Rage in Peace (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewed By: Chad M.
Developed By: Rolling Glory Jam
Published By: Toge Productions
Category: Action, Platformer, Adventure
Release Date: 11.08.2018
Download Rage in Peace from the Nintendo eShop here.
We’re All On The Same Ride
When I was six years old, my parents bought me a hamster. His name was Wally. As far as hamsters go, Wally was a good pet, and I’d place him in his little clear plastic ball and take him all over the house with me. One day, I came home and noticed he had passed away. This was when I first learned about death. Since then, just like many other people, I from time to time ponder the aspects of mortality, and what it all means. To think I’d play a game that made me not only sit and ponder, as I have before, but scream and cuss like no other at my television, it was quite cathartic. That game is Rage In Peace, and it hit all those notes and more. The game is an action platformer with memorization elements mixed in. It is intended for you to die a lot, and that is what you will do.
Time To Pay The Piper
The story starts off with our protagonist, Timmy Malinu. He’s a normal, boring, everyday schmo that’s just going through the motions of life. He doesn’t put any more into life than what’s required, and just slinks along in a mundane way, until one day he is greeted at work by an unexpected guest—the Grim Reaper. The Reaper lets Timmy know that he is going to die today—unfortunately, by decapitation—and that there’s nothing that can be done about it. Timmy’s only concern is to get home, put on his pajamas, and die in his bed peacefully. So, knowing he has the day, he embarks on a journey to get back to his home to die a nice, boring death.
Things don’t seem to wanna go Timmy’s way though, and the powers that be do everything possible to kill Timmy and stop him from reaching his home. Along the way, you meet new, interesting characters that talk and interact with Timmy, leaving bread crumbs as to what this all may mean—and maybe a bigger story than Timmy realizes! There are also cutscenes when you get through a main stage that show flashes of Timmy’s life, including a female character who plays a pivotal role later on in the story, wrapping it all together nicely. I also enjoyed the funny conversations he has with random characters like the brother bandit zombies, the mummy he calls grandpa, and many more. The story was one of the richest parts of this game. I’ll leave it at that and be vague as to not spoil it.
Gameplay & Fun Factor
There’s really nothing to the controls, as you only move forward, backwards, jump, and double jump. Just because the controls are simple doesn’t mean the game is, by any means. I remember the first time I played Limbo, and I was constantly looking around the environment for things that could possibly kill me, and being on pins and needles, grinding my teeth just trying not to die. Yeah... that concept goes out the window here. You can sometimes see things in the environment that intend to harm you, but most of the time you don’t until it’s too late. Luckily, it’s not random, so you can log that into your memory bank and try again. I’d say 90% of the time it was trial and error, with me just learning everything that’d kill me until I worked it all out and made it through.
Of course, the developers put a tiny kill counter in top left to rub your nose in just how many times you’ve died. Each main stage is made up of five or more levels, and thankfully, each level has check points spread out quite generously throughout. The developers knew you’d need those check points, or they’d have to send you out new controllers from you raging out! At the end of each main stage, you have to face off against a boss, and same as for the traps in the levels, you just have to find out what makes them tick, and memorize it to take them down.
When I very first started off, I was getting very annoyed and thinking this was cheap, until I learned that this was the game. It’s not always about avoiding death, but more so, it’s about finding death, so it can then be avoided. Once I got that down, it was a glorious mixture of me laughing uncontrollably and screaming curse words that would make Quentin Tarantino blush. This is where the game shines, with its mixture of challenging gameplay and excellent story that makes it so fun. I wouldn’t call it a party game, as it’s only one-player, but I couldn’t help but drag my buddies in to watch me play and die, over and over. They’d be laughing and then say, “Okay, my turn now!”—and that’s when I knew it was going to be fun, as the controller began to circle the room for the next hour. I was sometimes so worried about a death that was fifteen moves away, that I’d start and die instantly because I forgot that Death surrounds you everywhere!
Audio & Visuals
The soundtrack in Rage In Peace was great, with upbeat music that changed as the game went on, and even had some really good tracks from indie artists in the cutscenes. I was very impressed by not only the soundtrack, but the game’s sound effects. Everything from the snakes hissing, to the air cutting as a huge axe falls from the sky was perfect, and added so much to the overall experience. It was all done so well, but as there is no voice acting, the dialogue between characters was all done in subtitles. The visuals were very strong, and I immediately got a feel of games I played years ago like Castle Crashers from Behemoth. The visuals were cartoony and cute, which allowed it to be funny and not be pulled down by the subject matter. There are items you can collect throughout each main stage, which adds some replay value to the game, as does a speed run mode in the game.
This game was so much more than I anticipated it to be. It hit several notes in the storyline that I wasn’t expecting, and the gameplay was so much fun that I couldn’t help but share it with friends. If you can let go and understand that you’re going to die a lot, then you’ll find out what I did as I played Rage In Peace—that it’s damn near a perfect game!
Final Score: 9.5/10
Download Rage in Peace from the Nintendo eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by Plan of Attack