Platform: Xbox 360, Steam (Greenlight)
Genre: 2D Platformer
Developer: TRUFUN Entertainment
Publisher: TRUFUN Entertainment
I think as gamers, we’re blessed to currently be in the seventh generation of gaming with the eighth generation swiftly approaching the horizon. Having recently finished the campaign, Naughty Dog’s recent outing, The Last of Us, comes to mind when contemplating just one of many prime examples showcasing how far video games have journeyed in terms of narrative, gameplay and visuals.
Despite such a far leap in gaming technology since I was just another ’90s kid hypnotized by his first console – the almighty Nintendo 64 – there’s a strange pattern I’ve noticed in gaming in this generation. Even with all of these new possibilities gaming holds, we have often ventured back to the past. From HD collections to overhauls to reboots of classic franchises, we still love visiting our ghosts of gaming past on occasion whether it’s sniffing that used cartridge smell or purchasing the latest HD collection of our favorite titles from yesteryear.
TRUFUN Entertainment’s Xbox 360 indie title Rad Raygun pays homage to the portable gray brick, the Gameboy.
The game revolves around Rad Raygun, the most advance robot ever built in the year 198X. When Dr. Medved and his robotic Russian communist forces begin their invasion on the world, Rad Raygun is tasked with defeating Dr Medved and his army.
As a game mimicking Gameboy titles – and replicating the titles well I might add – everything from the visuals, green tint, gameplay and the stellar retro soundtrack commendably mirror a portable 8-bit title.
Rad Raygun is everything you would expect from both a Gameboy game and while clearly drawing inspiration from a franchise starring a similarly advanced robotic protagonist; Mega Man.
Much like Mega Man, Rad Raygun is a 2D platformer that involves shooting enemies with a Mega Buster-like weapon. Although you don’t acquire new powers by defeating bosses, several upgrades are snagged along the way that prove relevant and fun to use for Rad Raygun when fighting enemies. The jumping also feels a little stiff compared to Mega Man or 2D Mario games, but it doesn’t make the experience unbearable.
Also akin to Mega Man are the variety of random enemy types, all of which have their own short bios at the start menu. You’ll face everything from Bomb-omb- like foes wearing ushankas to Russian soldiers twice the size of Raygun, and a girl boss dressed in zany ‘80s attire with even wackier, flexible movements.
However, the element separating Rad Raygun from Mega Man is the games’ overall difficulty, which is incredibly easy. I was able to blow through the story within a 45 to 50 minute time frame while only dying a few times near the beginning. By the time you reach the games’ fifth and final level, not only do you become harder to kill and enemies are reduced to mere target practice from the plethora of upgrades you acquire – which don’t take much exploration to find – but you also get plenty of lives and tanks that can fully recover your health.
Easiness aside, the game has a good variety of stage designs within its five-level length. Of course you can’t have a game fighting Russians and honoring the Gameboy without an awesome Tetris easter egg, too.
Oddly enough though, you can choose to play any of the five levels from the start of the game, so if you want to claim you beat the game within a 10-minute period, the choice is essentially there.
Even with its short run time and breezy difficulty, I was entertained by my time with Rad Raygun. The game does an excellent job at honoring the classic games sprung from the Gameboy in its visuals, gameplay, character designs and awesome soundtrack by Fantomenk, which is well worth its five-dollar minimum requesting price if you are interested in purchasing it. If you have an extra 80 Microsoft points (rather $1 now) in your virtual wallet and feel like visiting nostalgia valley, but want something new at the same time, you’ll enjoy your time with Rad Raygun.
- Replicates classic Gameboy games
- Great retro soundtrack
- Hey, it’s only $1!
- Takes less than an hour to complete
- On the easy side
- Raygun’s stiff jump
Robbie Key is a reviews & news editor for Analog Addiction, entertainment editor for the Pine Log newspaper at Stephen F. Austin State University, news editor for Worlds Factory and blogger for IGN. Follow his completely relevant Twitter updates, watch his awesomtacular YouTube videos, and view his LinkedIn profile.