Retro City Rampage is a WiiWare, Play Station Network and PC (downloadable from Steam and GOG.com) game released in October 2012; the Xbox LIVE Arcade version was released in January 2013, and a Nintendo 3DS release (as Retro City Rampage DX) followed in February 2014.The story goes that the game's original developer, Brian Provinciano, built his own homebrew engine for NES development, and started work on a Retraux demake of Grand Theft Auto III. After overcoming programming limitations by moving the game to the PC, he started adding in other various references to the characters from his childhood, including, but no doubt not limited to classic games such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Bionic Commando.As these references became more and more prevalent, Brian decided to make the game an entirely new game as opposed to a straight Retraux demake, and the result is the game that you see before you.The game also contains an awesome soundtrack by Jake "Virt" Kaufman.View the soundtrack trailer here.
This game contains examples of:
Affectionate Parody: Of pretty much anything evocative of the 80s and early 90s, particularly with regards to gaming.
All Just a Dream: Used twice, both times a Shout-Out to the ending of Super Mario Bros. 2. The first comes after A Taste of Power in the game's beginning. The second happens in the ending, after defeating the final boss. Before dropping Doc Choc off in the past, Player goes to the gun store and buys a Lightgun, the most powerful weapon in the game. Immediately after this, the game cuts to Player in his bed, as if the entire game, having taken place in the past, was just a dream. He wakes up to a news report of an APB on him, with massive forces waiting at his doorstep. He replies, "Lock n' load!!" with the Lightgun in hand, in a subversion. After the credits roll, the game resumes.
A Taste of Power: Several times. The Jester lending the Player his speed shoes, the Player's dream of causing mayhem with a rocket launcher and a tank, and the Player from the future coming back to give the present-day Player a ride in the time machine car.
Bad Boss: The Jester, who blames his henchmen for anything that goes wrong, and then blows them up for it. The Player's the only henchman he treats with respect.
Even Evil Has Standards: In a flashback, Player is disgusted when Sweat Bomber tells him to kill the residents of a computer store he just stole from purely for the sake of profiting off of their funerals.
Genius Programming: The original version of the game was in the format of a homebrew NES game, making this an authentic example to the point of the developer overcoming format limitations using a custom-built dev kit.
Infinity+1 Sword: The Lightgun, which can destroy anything in a single shot. It's available after finishing the story mode. It also makes the sound of an NES Zapper trigger, making it the only entity in the game that doesn't make an 8-bit sound.
Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: Graphically, the lava in Final Castle does look exactly like boiling kool-aid, but special mention goes to the moat surrounding the castle. It is pretty explicitly referred to as water, but here and nowhere else in the game, the water is a purplish red. This is not explained.
Marathon Level: The last set of story levels don't have any breaks in between the various parts, meaning you have to play through all of them in a single sitting. They include getting captured by the police and being forced to participate in Death Cam VHS, having to outrun the police in a monster truck to get to where Major Lee will pick you up and give you a ride to the final level, having to pile up the enemy corpses in the water to reach the entrance, opening chests to find where the key is, finding out there's no key and having to survive enemies with rocket launchers that destroy the walls until you find a hole that leads to the sewers, taking the Turtle Van for a ride through the sewers, having to go through another (thankfully brief) water level, getting bitten by a radioactive plumber and gaining Shockwave Stomp powers, smashing through the walls until you actually find the key and make it to Dr. Buttnick and defeat him, racing him through the exploding base on a motorcycle, catching up to Doc Choc's time machine and making it to 30XX, actually catching up to his time machine and using the guns Buttnick told Choc to install on it to defeat him for good.
Villain Protagonist: From the opening crawl: "THE PLAYER is out for a friendly frolic of CRIME CAPERS when suddenly ambushed by EVIL GOOD GUYS. They will stop at nothing to end his RAMPAGE OF DOOM threatening the citizens of Theftropolis City. Are YOU bad enough to defeat the EVIL GOOD GUYS?"
Virtual Paper Doll: Played with. The player can buy new hairstyles, hats, glasses, tattoos, and even visit a plastic surgeon, but because of the retro style of the game this doesn't have much effect on the the actual character model. The customizations also don't overlap (except for body tattoos, which don't change your character model at all, just your portrait) — you can get a haircut, but your hair goes back to the default if you buy some sunglasses or a hat.