Retro City Rampage DX Goes Retail on Nintendo Switch

October 9th, 2017 marks the fifth anniversary of Retro City Rampage, and to celebrate, Vancouver-based Vblank Entertainment is releasing a physical version of the latest iteration of the game, Retro City Rampage DX, for the Nintendo Switch.

This self-published release comes in two versions: The $29.99 (I think that’s in U.S. dollars) Standard Edition, which includes the cartridge and manual in a factory-sealed case, and the $44.99 limited Collector’s Edition, which features the same stuff as the Standard Edition, plus a keychain, soundtrack CD, 3D glasses, and reversible cover.

Unfortunately, despite being labeled a “retail” release, I’m not sure if either edition will be available at retail (I’m waiting to hear back on that). Pre-orders have gone live in Vblank Entertainment’s official online store, but the Standard Edition has already sold out at this time, leaving only the Collector’s Edition available to grab there as of this writing. They add that orders will ship worldwide (and the Nintendo Switch is region-free, so no worries there), and will be in stock later this month.

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To be honest, I am loving what they’ve done with this set, and if money wasn’t tight at the moment, I’d be all over one of those Collector’s Editions. The manual is based on one of my all-time favorite games in Super Mario Bros. 2 (whose own anniversary happens to be October 9th — coincidence? Or deep cut?), while the reversible cover is based on the standard box art for the SEGA Master System — another thing which I’ve made no secret of my admittedly bizarre affection for, as this desktop wallpaper I made can attest.

And of course, the game (which is already available now in the Nintendo eShop for $14.99 CAD) is great, too — you can peruse my review of the Nintendo 3DS release to see what I think about that. Suffice to say, whereas Grand Theft Auto struggles to hold my attention for more than five minutes of anarchy, I felt much more at home with Retro City Rampage.

If that’s not enough for you, or you’re just looking for something a little easier on the wallet, Vblank has also begun making merchandise for the game:

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A series of ten buttons are now available, and you can get one five-pack or the other for $4.99 (again, I think this is USD) each, or both sets for $7.99.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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shakedownhawaiimagBrian Provinciano, of the Vancouver-based developer Vblank Entertainment, recently took to the PlayStation.Blog to announce the forthcoming sequel to the studio’s first game, Retro City Rampage.

Titled Shakedown Hawaii, the new game takes place about 30 years after the events of the original. The Player has come out of early retirement to rebuild his corporate empire that has long been neglected. Not only is he equipped with an arsenal of supercharged weapons that are perfect for putting a destructible environment through its paces, but his aesthetic is beefed up as well — we’re talking 16-bit style as rendered by Henk Nieborg, baby.

There isn’t much more to tell at this point in time, except that it’s coming to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, with “Nintendo” and Steam releases also planned. Regarding the lack of specifics there, Provinciano said on Facebook:

I haven’t gone into detail of specific platforms yet, other than to say that the current platforms in the trajectory are all ones that the engine is already ported to, is already compliant with platform requirements for (which can take a month per platform to implement) and have already been through console certification. These facts mean that it should be smooth sailing to release a new game on these platforms within a realistic time table. Choosing to release on a new platform with zero paperwork done, zero porting done and zero requirements implemented would be much less predictable. I can’t possibly be any more transparent than that. Don’t read into it any further than that, or assume any sort of fanboy war is at play.

The game will be playable in some form at the PlayStation Experience in San Francisco from December 6th to December 7th. For now, check out the trailer and screenshots, and if you’re not familiar with the predecessor, then check out my review of Retro City Rampage DX on Nintendo 3DS.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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Earlier today, a friend of mine approached me with what I found to be an interesting but not uncommon conundrum. New to the world of Nintendo 3DS by way of the New Nintendo 3DS XL, he professed to be out of the loop where must-play games are concerned, specifically those from the Nintendo eShop.

With a long internet-less trip coming up in a week and about $50 to invest into this new venture, he noted that the Nintendo eShop itself was cumbersome when it came to finding good titles, and wanted to know what I had to recommend. After a month and a half of ownership, he’s already invested in some prime choices in the forms of Gunman Clive and its sequel (which I maintain to be the best values on the entire eShop if you like platformers), Mighty Switch Force (which I reviewed here) and its sequel, and one of the Phoenix Wright games.

So, what does that leave? Lots! However, there are a few restrictions to this list. First, there are no racing games (he prefers to race people in person) and no first person shooters– which is fine, as I rarely play those enough to offer a solid opinion on any existing ones, anyway (unless you count Steel Diver: Sub Wars). On that note, second is that I am by and large recommending games I’ve played myself and have personal experience with, so no hearsay here. Finally, no Virtual Console or retail titles, because I trust he has a decent idea of what’s good and what isn’t from those catalogs.

Starting off, we’ve got one he brought up and was curious about…

vvvvvv01VVVVVV by Nicalis – $7.99

With graphics inspired by the Commodore 64, VVVVVV is a very challenging, but very fun game. Though it looks like a regular platformer, the catch is that your character cannot jump to avoid the many spikes and obstacles which litter the space station he’s trapped in. However, what he can do is invert his personal gravity at any time he has his feet planted on the ground, allowing for ceiling-walking and some funky acrobatics. The game is all about trial and error; fortunately, with limitless lives and frequent checkpoints, you can try as many times as you need to get it right.

For my full review, click here.

gameplay_2aNightSky by Nicalis – $9.99

As long as we’re talking about games by Nicalis, here’s another I’ve rather enjoyed. I find NightSky to be a relaxing game, something you might play before going to bed for the night. You’re in control of a sphere, and you have to use your weight and momentum to advance from one section to the next. There are “no enemies, no bosses, and no violence” here: Just you and your destination, along with your desire to reach it. Despite that, it nonetheless manages to feel intelligently designed.

You can find my full review of it here.

3DS_DRWLastRanger_022013_Scrn07Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger by Nintendo – $10.99

One of my favorite new franchises to come out of Nintendo is Dillon’s Rolling Western, a mix of tower defense gameplay with some action-role playing game elements. The Last Ranger is the second game in the series, but I nonetheless recommend it as the starting point for anyone who is interested, as it pretty much features everything the first had and then some. The only reason to go back to the first– which is a great game in its own right, don’t get me wrong– is if you either desire more content after finishing the sequel, or you’re eager to follow the story the whole way through.

You can find my full review of the game here.

steamworld_2SteamWorld Dig by Image & Form – $8.99

This is kind of an odd inclusion on my list, as I’ve not actually played this game– the Nintendo 3DS version, that is. I have played the Wii U version, however, which is for all intents and purposes the same game. This Metroidvania-ish title takes you further and further underground as you use your tools to forge your own path in subterranean worlds, discovering secrets of a lost past. Better still, the worlds are randomly generated, adding to its replay value upon completion.

For my full review– you guessed it– click here.

retrocityrampageRetro City Rampage: DX by Vblank Entertainment – $9.99

I’m not a huge fan of the Grand Theft Auto style of sandbox crime spree gaming. Despite that, I found myself rather enjoying this NES-styled demake that was once known as “Grand Theftendo” in another life. You’re still a criminal in an open-world sandbox, but the world itself is constructed of numerous amusing and sometimes clever references to movies, television shows, and video games from the 80’s and 90’s. Plus, the characters and story are so wildly over the top that the whole package just works.

My full review can be found here.

zenpinball3dZen Pinball 3D by Zen Studios – $6.99

If you’re into pinball, or even just miss the days when every skating rink and pizza joint seemed to have a table, this is the game for you. The tables are well crafted, and enhanced by the 3D effect of the Nintendo 3DS enough to feel as close to playing the real thing as you can possibly get on a handheld device. Zen Studios must be doing something right, as they’ve released a console sequel and a long line of additional tables and versions.

In fact, the Nintendo 3DS also has a Star Wars version for $6.99, and there is a Marvel Comics version for $7.99, which also has a free demo. That said, I’ve only played the original, but since you can try it for yourself at no cost, it’s hard to go wrong.

For my review of the original, click here.

Pushmo2Pushmo by Nintendo – $6.99

There is something that’s just so pure about Pushmo, one of the best values in the Nintendo eShop. A puzzle platformer of sorts, you’re basically charged with sliding out pieces of giant, 3D pixel art in such a way that you can make it to the top to rescue the child that’s trapped there. It’s low-pressure, and you can even skip a puzzle and come back to it later if that’s what suits you. And should you tire of the 200 puzzles that are included in the base game, you can even create and share your own through QR codes.

A sequel is also available for the Nintendo 3DS in Crashmo, but that one’s a little more complex, so it’s probably better to start off with the original.

My full review of Pushmo can be found here.

WiiU_Shovel_Knight_gameplay_2Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games – $14.99

For those who grew up in the heyday of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Shovel Knight is like a return to that period in gaming. I dare even say that had development for the platform not ceased in the early 90s, this title feels like what would have eventually been made had developers just kept going. It mixes elements cherry-picked from all manner of classic titles, from Mega Man to DuckTales to Super Mario Bros. 3 to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and more, in a way which feels perhaps less derivative and more evolutionary.

More than just a simple game which tries to cash in on the retro-style craze, this game truly has that “it” factor that makes it feel genuine. It’s cliché, but playing Shovel Knight really did make me feel like a kid again, playing a brand-new NES game for the first time.

My full review for this one belongs to Nintendo Force, but I will share that I gave it a 9.5 out of 10. This game succeeds in what it set out to do, and then some.

azurestrikergunvolt001Azure Striker Gunvolt by Inti Creates – $14.99

Capcom may have seemingly given up on the Blue Bomber, but that hasn’t stopped developer Inti Creates from making more Mega Man games. At least, that’s what a first impression will tell you, as Azure Striker Gunvolt does bear similarities to the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX developers’ previous work. But while there is a surface resemblance to be noted, Gunvolt differs more as you dig beneath the surface, bringing its own style and substance to bear as you play. One thing is for certain, though: Inti’s hunger for providing a challenging experience is definitely the same as it ever was, at least when you square off against one of the uniquely-powered bosses.

Like Shovel Knight, my full review belongs to Nintendo Force. However, in addition to my 8.5 rating, I can direct you to James’ review on The Mega Man Network, where he also touches on the last item on my list…

MightyGunvolt001Mighty Gunvolt by Inti Creates – $3.99

Originally a freebie with the purchase of Azure Striker Gunvolt, Inti Creates has gone on to release this title on its own in the Nintendo eShop, complete with some downloadable content. Whereas their Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX experience was apparent in Azure Striker Gunvolt, so too is their experience developing Mega Man 9K and Mega Man 10 apparent in this very similar-looking retro-styled title. While much simpler to learn than Azure Striker, Mighty Gunvolt features three playable protagonists– Gunvolt, Ekoro from the Japan-exclusive Gal Gun, and Beck from the upcoming Mighty No. 9— each with their own weapons and abilities, like you do.

So those are the top ten Nintendo 3DS eShop releases I can best recommend from personal experience– not counting Virtual Console or retail releases, of course. That said, there’s still the matter of the $50 budget to deal with, of course. So to fit within that limitation, my picks would be:

  • Shovel Knight – $14.99
  • SteamWorld Dig – $8.99
  • Pushmo – $6.99
  • NightSky – $9.99
  • VVVVVV – $7.99

Strictly speaking, that comes out to $48.95 (in U.S. dollars, as per the Nintendo website), leaving $1.05 to spare. It provides a nice bit of variety, and lots of value for your gaming dollar. Of course, if you’re not so strict about adhering to the $50 limit and are willing to go over a little, then you could easily slot something else into the spot I placed VVVVVV in.

But with these ten games, it’s really hard to go wrong.

Recently, the Vancouver-based game developer VBlank Entertainment announced that the latest version of its inaugural title, Retro City Rampage DX, had arrived or was coming soon to virtually every platform imaginable: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Steam for PC and Macintosh, Xbox 360, and WiiWare– but not the Xbox One or Wii U. (It was already on the Nintendo 3DS, in case you were wondering– you can find my review here.

While the Xbox One remains up in the air, VBlank founder Brian Provinciano did come forward on his webpage to explain not only that the Wii U would not be receiving its own version of Retro City Rampage DX, but also why. Among the reasons (summed up in my own words):

  • Too much work with too little payoff. That is, for both developer and consumer alike. Porting the game to the Wii U would be a massive undertaking with too little to show for it. “…it would take months from start to finish. In the end, it would be 95% identical to the WiiWare version.”
  • It’s already playable on Wii U. On that note, the game is already there– sort of– via the Wii U’s Wii mode. You can purchase and play the game through the Wii Shop Channel, and even use Off-TV Play, although you have to use a separate controller from the Wii U GamePad. Plus, there is no perk in terms of the difference in power between the machines– the game features no load times, and high resolution isn’t going to make much difference in a game that’s already set in a low resolution of 240p anyway (versus the Wii’s 480p and the Wii U’s 1080p).

Of further interest is “the Wii version still hasn’t made me a cent due to the threshold requirement,” and Provinciano notes that he receives more requests each week for a Wii U version than there are WiiWare sales. “I had mountains of requests for the WiiWare version, but in the end very few have actually purchased the game on there. It accounts for just 1% of the game’s sales.”

Admittedly, that’s not very encouraging.

Provinciano goes into greater detail about the rigors of getting everything together, how there was never any platform exclusivity, and how people even managed to sabotage his efforts (whether deliberately or not) by saying that the game was cancelled when it never was, leading to interested parties being unaware when it did finally come out. Plus, in the end, he’s ready to take on a new challenge instead of continuing to make ports of the finished game.

You can read all about it here, and if you’d like to play a fun game and support a Canadian developer, be sure to give it a shot.

Some months back, I reviewed Retro City Rampage DX, a “top to bottom reworking” of the original Retro City Rampage that was released on the Nintendo 3DS. As noted there, I’m not normally into the open world crime genre, but this one actually managed to hook me in a way that games such as Grand Theft Auto have not.

Now the time has come for that love to be shared across virtually any non-mobile platform you can think of. The DX version is now available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita with a triple cross-buy feature, while Steam users can enjoy a double cross-buy for PC and Macintosh. Meanwhile, the WiiWare version (which can be played in the Wii Mode of the Wii U console) has also been updated, and the Xbox 360 will receive its update later this month.

Fun fact: According to Vancouver developer Vblank Entertainment, there was also a limited edition retail version made for the PlayStation 4, but it sold out in one day.

To see what’s new in this version of the game, check out the following trailer:

Following are more platform-specific details:

PlayStation Users

The PS4, PS3 and PS Vita versions of ‘DX’ all sold together as one, 3X Cross Buy! With the 20% OFF PlayStation Plus launch week discount, you’ll get all three for $7.99 ($9.99 without Plus). That’s only around $3 for each platform, and much less than the original RCR’s $14.99 launch price! Owners of the original Retro City Rampage for PS3 and PS Vita can transfer their save games
to the new ‘DX’ version via Cross-Save. The new ‘DX’ version is a separate purchase, but keep in mind that with ‘DX’, you’re getting the PS4 version, a brand new Trophy set and new leaderboards. Owners of the original ‘RCR’ who transfer their save game to ‘DX’ will also earn a shiny elite star next to their score to show off on the leaderboards.

LAST CALL! The original ‘Retro City Rampage’ will be delisted from the PS Store and replaced with ‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ in order to avoid customer confusion. While ‘DX’ includes a mode to play the original ‘RCR’, if for some reason you would prefer the pure original, grab it before it’s too late. If you already own the original ‘RCR’, you not be affected by this. You will still be able to re-download it indefinitely, at any time. The delisting will only prevent new purchases.

PC/MacUsers

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original ‘RCR’ on PC/Steam/Humble Store. The PC and upcoming Mac versions are Cross Buy. The Mac version will be available for free to all who purchase or have purchased the PC version, and vice versa. Steam updates are automatic by default, but DRM-Free customers will need to login to their download page to grab it when it’s available.

Xbox 360 Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original version on Xbox 360, with all the HD bells and whistles! The only things missing are the remastered screen borders, due to Title Update size restrictions. It still contains the new borders though!

Note: This also marks the debut on Xbox 360 in Australia and New Zealand!

WiiWare Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original version on WiiWare. I greatly thank those loyal few of you who’ve showed your support by purchasing RCR on your Wii and Wii U consoles in ‘Wii mode’. This update makes the WiiWare version on par with the other systems, only missing HD video filters and zoom modes. It supports the Wii Remote, Classic Controller and Game Cube Controller, with an optional ‘shake’ gesture exclusive to the Wii Remote.

Note: This also marks the debut on WiiWare in Australia and New Zealand!

Nintendo 3DS Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ is already available for Nintendo 3DS, but don’t worry! You’re not forgotten! Remember that an update will be coming alongside the *new* 3DS which adds support for the new buttons! I have no idea when that will be since the North American/European release date for the system hasn’t been announced, but it’s coming!

Now things are starting to cook! Here’s what you’ll find new on the Nintendo eShop either today, or in the very near future!

N3DS_RetroCityRampage_03

Retro City Rampage: DX for Nintendo 3DS – I’ve talked about VBlank Entertainment’s Retro City Rampage here before, and it’s always a pleasure to give a Canadian developer a bit of spotlight. And so here we are once again, now with the promised release of Retro City Rampage: DX on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Inspired by a mix of the original top-down Grand Theft Auto games and tons of video game and pop culture references from the 80s and 90s, it’s solid modern-day sandbox fun combined with a delightful retro-infused aesthetic.

N3DS_BravelyDefault_03

Bravely Default for Nintendo 3DS – On February 7th, this seems to be the Final Fantasy game that isn’t a Final Fantasy game, but is the game Final Fantasy fans wish they were getting. Or something like that. In any case, there is a free demo available in the Nintendo eShop if you’d like to get a better taste before it drops into stores and the eShop tomorrow.

WiiU_TheLegoMovie_06

The LEGO Movie Videogame for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – Also available on February 7th, the same day the movie hit theatres, you’ll be able to step into the blocky shoes of Emmett, a regular LEGO Joe who winds up finding himself tasked with saving the world. As you can see in the screen above (and in trailers), the movie features tons of cameos from various licenses LEGO has gotten their hands on over the years, from DC Comics to The Lord of the Rings to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’re in the movie, but the question remains of how many managed to make their way into the game.

WiiU_NinjaGaiden_03

Ninja Gaiden for Wii U – Before donning the shiny black armor for Team Ninja, Ryu Hayabusa wore baby blue in his original NES outings, the first of which is now available on the Wii U Virtual Console. One of the tightest but most challenging games of its era, Ninja Gaiden has undoubtedly left its mark on the video gaming landscape. Fortunately, with the help of the Wii U Virtual Console’s Restore Points, making it to the end may not be quite as grueling a challenge as it once was; that said, just because the game may not be able to knock you quite as far back doesn’t mean the road ahead will be any easier as you take up the Dragon Sword of your clan and solve the mystery of the ancient statues stolen by the evil Jaquio!

N3DS_OnePieceRD_02

One Piece: Romance Dawn for Nintendo 3DS – The first-ever One Piece role playing game will be available on the Nintendo 3DS as of February 11th. Story arcs from the long-running hit manga/anime television show are recreated here as you level up your crew and set sail to become King of the Pirates!

WiiU_PercysPredicament_06

Percy’s Predicament for Wii U – Percy Penguin is, as the title says, in a predicament. Trapped in a magical orb, Percy must collect all the fish in each of 80 different levels before the time runs out! In addition, there are 170 more levels on the way, and better still, they’ll be free to those who have already bought the game!

urbantrialfreestyle

Nintendo eShop Sale: Urban Trial Freestyle for Nintendo 3DS – Until 9am PT on February 20th, this action-bike racer is just $3.49.

And that’s everything for this week! For more info, screens, and videos for each of this week’s releases, just click the corresponding link above.

3ds_3Vancouver-based Vblank Entertainment has announced that it is bringing its classic-styled gaming hit, Retro City Rampage, to the Nintendo 3DS. On the official webpage, developer Brian Provinciano notes that the most successful version released was the PlayStation Vita’s, given is pick-up-and-play style. Therefore, it only made sense to look at a Nintendo 3DS version.

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