06/12/2013

the era of MC Hammer



Taking a break from the fidelity of beautiful next-gen graphics to play some Retro City Rampage on my Vita. Its basically Mario channelled through the original Grand Theft Auto by way of a love letter to 16-bit gaming. It also contains time machines. Also rocket launchers.
Bought it earlier this year on the PSN sale and only sparingly played it until my recent return to handheld gaming. Essentially its a game made to fit the constraints of the Nintendo Entertainment System whilst crowbarring in as much outdated pop culture as a single game can contain without exploding from the sheer awesome.

Yes pixels straight out of the era of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, its an utterly irreverent game that cares not a jot for story. Its a collection of parodies all falling over each other at once. It should be disaffecting like all things that reach a critical mass of irony. It shouldn't really hold my attention but recently it has done so  Playing it on a HDTV I never gave it much time but on the small screen it just works. 

Not sure why that is. Maybe its due to some primal association I have between handheld consoles and 16-bit games going to my first experience of handheld gaming. Back when my mind was in some way forever blown by the arrival of the original Game Boy and it forever shaped my perception of handheld gaming as something defined by the games and graphics of that time. 

True this game is doing a better job of channelling those warm fuzzy feelings of yesteryear on my Vita than it does on the big screen. Self consciously borrowing everything that worked in games past, it has so far avoided becoming a mess of a game without an identity of its own. Certainly for a small-scale project that was basically someones labour of love it works best as a diversion enjoyed in small bursts of gameplay. Ideal for attention spans measured in milliseconds, like mine.