Developer: Slipgate Studios
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Platformer & Action
Release Date: February 26, 2019 (EU & NA)
Get ready to be sucked into a video game world with a potty mouth games console and blast merry hell out of anything that looks at you funny. It’s time for our Rad Rodgers Radical Edition review.
Rad Rodgers Radical Edition brings all the fun and humour of the original game on to the Nintendo Switch. Developed by Slipgate Studios, Rad Rodgers first saw release back in 2016 on Windows and was titled Rad Rodgers: World One.
Development was successfully funded via a Kickstarter campaign back in 2016. The original goal was for only $50,000 but the game sparked such an interest, that it helped generate $81,861 in just 30 days.
When THQ Nordic came onto the scene and picked up the publishing rights to the Rad Rodgers IP in 201, they dropped the “World One” subtitle and released Rad Rodgers on PS4 and Xbox One on February 21, 2018.
Now, just over a year later, Rad Rodgers is back again, this time on Nintendo Switch and for the first time, two players can play together simultaneously and there is a newly added battle mode to boot for competitive play.
Rad Rodgers is an ordinary young boy who has probably spent an obscene amount of time playing video games. Following an argument with his mother, Rad turns off his games console and goes to bed. Shortly after, the console turns itself back on and sucks Rad into a vortex.
Rad awakens to find himself in a strange world whose guardian has gone missing and dark creatures run amok. He also discovers that his games console has become sentient and is handed a gun by the console called Dusty.
Together, Rad and Dusty must make their way through each stage whilst shooting down baddies and jumping from platform to platform. They must find four parts of the lock in each level in order to open the path to the next stage.
Rad Rodgers Radical Edition is a 2D Side-Scrolling Platformer reminiscent of the classic precise platformers of the ‘90s. A lot of the humour and gameplay is inspired by the games of yesteryear, most notably the likes of Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Duke Nukem.
There are around 9 main levels with 8 mini-games between them. The mini-games include get to the top stages with a Pogo stick, “Dusty Says” and a Pinball-type mini-game. There is also a final boss level waiting at the very end.
Along the way, you can find huts that are inhabited by the friendly inhabitants of the game world. Most of them will give you some kind item like gems, power-ups or even hearts. Some huts also lead to other secret areas as well.
Before you start playing, you will be given the option to choose whether you want to play as a child or as an adult. The ‘Kiddie’ Mode censors bad words of which, there are a lot of and turns off blood splatters.
The adult mode on the other hand, lets you experience Rad Rodgers Radical Edition in its unfiltered state. After choosing between kiddie and adult mode, you will be able to choose the game difficulty to be easy, normal or hard.
A nice addition is the co-op mode, which allows two players to team up and play together. Another game mode that is available for two players is Battle mode. This mode pits two players against each other, in a best of three rounds. The winner is whoever kills the other player most.
Of course, players can’t play as the same character. However, there are other characters to choose from which you have to unlock first. These characters can be found in the homes of the inhabitants and include the likes of Shadow Ninja, Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison and The Duke himself, Duke Nukem.
Even if playing on your own, a second player can drop in at any time. You only have to go to the pause menu and you can choose to play two player. You both play on the same screen simultaneously but the screen will only scroll if both players are going in the same direction.
As regards to controls, there are two types of attack. The Y and ZR button fire your weapon. The A Button is your special attack, which differs between playable characters. The B button allows your character to jump. Movement is controlled with the left Joystick and the right Joystick controls the aiming.
Armed with your trusty gun, you can do some nasty damage with its unlimited ammo. Scattered on each level, there are a number of power-ups to be found. You are given a limited amount of ammo with each power-up but they are much more powerful than the standard bullets.
Rad Rodgers Radical Edition, like its original version, was developed with Unreal Engine. The visuals are bright and colourful and the cut-scenes look very nicely animated. I cannot help but notice that it sometimes suffers from pixelation in some parts of the game.
There are points in the game where this is intentional and Dusty has to enter the Pixelverse in order to fix parts of the game. There are parts of the game where the resolution just seems to drop though even when not close to “bug” infected areas.
The actual character models seem oddly familiar though I do not think it was the developers’ intention. The main character Rad bears a shocking resemblance to Dash from The Incredibles but it is not the same voice actor, though they do sound similar.
As regards to Dusty, he looks like a particular appliance from the film Sausage Party. Perhaps it’s just the look of creepy intent in his eyes and the long arms and even the way he talks. He may be every child’s favourite toy but he certainly does not speak like one.
Even though it has the appearance of a colourful 2D platform game, Rad Rodgers is not a game aimed at children. Sure, you could turn off the bad language and blood but for those that are old enough to listen to cuss words and see sprays of red, you would be missing out on the main intention of the game.
The music and sound effects are very upbeat and have a distinct “Rock feel to it. The voice work is very well done but then, what would you expect when the legendary Jon St. John is lending his voice. Not just for his recurring role as Duke Nukem but as Dusty the games console as well.
As good as the game sounds on paper and the success it had on Kickstarter, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed. Controls can be fiddly at times, especially when trying to aim and fire at the same time. This is harder on a single Joy-Con and the aim lock does not seem to work at all.
Enemies and hazards seem to be overly destructive. They can wipe your life out very quickly, even in normal mode and just a mere toe in the water is life threatening. I get that the devs wanted to make the game as challenging as possible but there are points where I struggled to overcome certain obstacles, mainly because the cooldown between turrets is far too short.
The humour of the game is also rather crass. I might have enjoyed it more when I was still in my teens but as a 30 something year old man it just comes off as crude. The overuse of certain jokes that apply to a certain rear cavity is more disturbing than funny, especially when most of the NPC’s of the game seem to be really into it.
Rad Rodgers Radical Edition is a welcome throwback to the 90’s platformers, with humour that would make even the foul mouth Conker blush. The visuals are pretty and the animation would make Pixar proud. The mini-games in between levels help to bulk out the game though they don’t really offer anything else to the experience.
I was looking forward to this game for a quite a while but now after playing it, I realised that my expectations were probably too high. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the gameplay and will surely pick it up again from time to time to play. However, I feel it is one of those games that it is a little too short to say “OMG! You have to play this game.”
Still, the two-player aspect does give it more enjoyability. I cannot say it is the best game in the world but it isn’t a complete waste of time either. I will leave it up to you decide whether you want to play Rad Rodgers Radical Edition or not.
THE VERDICT: 7/10
*Review Key Provided by THQ Nordic
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