[Review] Rad Rodgers Radical Edition – Nintendo Switch

Written by Brett Hill

Reviewed by @Brett_SevenDaze

  • Developer: Slipgate Studios
  • Publisher: Handy Games/ THQ Nordic
  • Release Date:  26/02/2019
  • Price: £26.99 / $29.99
  • Review code provided by THQ Nordic

Intro

Rad Rodgers Radical Edition is a suped-up version of the previously released world One back in 2016 which was successfully funded on Kickstarter. The Radical Edition sees the addition of 2 player Co-Op and battle mode, New playable characters like Duke Nukem, mini-games and lots more.

The graphics of Rad are modern, colourful and smooth with a retro feel to capture that 90’s era. The gaming style reminds me that of Heart of Darkness and Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, with the simple 2D platformer that dominates the forefront of the level and the detailed 3D backdrop. A formula that has worked for nearly 2 decades and personally still looks great.

Rad Rodgers oozes attitude with a soundtrack that will want you to rummage through your wardrobe to dust off your black shirt covered in flames, baggy jeans and wallet chain. The dialogue is hilarious but be warned it is full of profanities and trash talk ( unless you play it in Kiddie mode).

Welcome to the Pixelverse

The game starts with a cutscene of Rad playing his console with his mother shouting up the stairs telling him to go to bed as he has school in the morning (this probably rings true for most gamers around the world). After the argument gets heated Rad gets sucked into the TV where he will become the main protagonist of his own adventure.

When the cut scene has ended you will be taken to the over world, this is basically the map where you can select the level you want to play.

There are 9 levels in total for the radical edition, this has been increased from 7 in the original game. After each completed level there will be a new mini-game to access, these range from a classic pinball stage to a memory game; imagine Simon but you get to shoot your enemies in sequence.

Each level is filled with secret areas where you can find rare weapons, power-ups, hats and potentially new playable characters. I feel the characters could have been unlocked after the first play through as Rad, the reason I say this is because you’re able to unlock Duke Nukem very early on in the game and I ended up playing most of the game as the cigar toking, politically incorrect, testosterone-fuelled hero due to full on nostalgia. I felt the story lost its way a bit due to not playing the first run as Rad Rodgers.

The levels are pretty lengthy, with some of them taking 20+ minutes to complete and a little more if there is a boss at the end. The gameplay isn’t perfect and can be let down by the camera angles, due to the game being a 2D side scroller you are unable to change the view and it can cause for some pretty annoying and avoidable deaths, This is evident in level 5 – Whispering waterfall. The camera doesn’t move smoothly when you reach the waterfall filling the log section, This will lead to Rad walking off the screen and falling down the hole causing damage to your health.

You also get to play as Rad’s console Dusty who has gained a potty mouth and extra long arms with what seems to be Nintendo Power Gloves for hands after being sucked into the TV. There are sections of the level that have glitched out (Dusty blames it on lazy developers) causing for missing platforms and other items. It is Dusty’s job to enter the Pixelverse to retrieve the missing items and stop the glitch so Rad can carry on with the journey

I found the bosses at the end of the levels 4 and 7 to be unnecessary and a gruelling experience. Not only have you got to spend 20 minutes to reach the guy, you will die a hell of a lot due to your lives being so sparse and will end up in a quick and painful game over, inevitably making you play through the whole level again. The bosses are the same in both levels and felt they were rushed to just be in the game. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern or a weakness to workout and if you do succeed it is down to luck rather than strategy.

In the radical edition we have the addition of multiplayer, Co-Op mode which lets another character jump into the main game and help you through the story. Then there is battle mode which is a lot of fun even on the small Switch screen when in handheld mode. The game play reminds me of Mario Bros. arcade. I found this mode to be a lot of fun.

Conclusion

Rad Rodgers radical Edition is a strong platformer that has taken elements from past games of the same genre, sometimes asking yourself if it was inspired or stolen from other titles.
Boxes to break and gems to collect?
Super Mario Bros. and Crash Bandicoot?

The game is fun and will have you returning for many hours after the main run through due to collectables and a time trial style mechanic with a built in leader board system. The levels can be lengthy and can sometimes ruin the experience by making it feel like a chore to complete and progress through the game.

The graphics are colourful and smooth but due to the art style it can cause the game to look blurry in places but this is soon forgotten about as the gameplay will suck you in. The soundtrack makes the game enjoyable with a retro inspired sound but with a modern twist and filled with the uproar of distorted guitars.

I do find the price tag a little on the high side putting it nearly in the same league as some of the premium titles released. With only 9 levels and a handful of mini games the main story is a little on the short side, for the same price you can get a completely remastered trilogy of the same genre.

PROS
• Soundtrack is awesome
• An original and hilarious story line
• A truckload of unlockables for many extra hours of relay value
• Co-Op and battle mode is a blast with friends

CONS
• Graphics can look blurry in parts and camera angle issues.
• With only 9 main levels, it is a bit on the short side.
• Boss levels are unnecessary with awkward AI

Verdict
A fun platformer full of humour and attitude, with a soundtrack sprinkled with nostalgia. Jam packed with unlockables making you return to the Pixelverse for many hours after the first run through.
3/5

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