I love platform games. Yes, there may be more now then back in their 90’s heyday but given how much more you can do with modern consoles it’s always exciting to see how a developer is going to take the tried and true idea and tweak it into something new yet still familiar.
Rad Rogers is one such modern platforming game, taking inspiration from the days of old but hopefully bringing something new at the same time. The game centres on the eponymous character, and his adventures once he’s sucked through an inter-dimensional wormhole created by his TV and taken to a world of platforming nostalgia. It’s a pretty weak concept, but it is reminiscent of games from that era and so it does earn some points there. Unfortunately, it opts for an art style that’s more similar to modern games so it crosses messages by having an old school premise but then using newer art assets instead of keeping it all nice and succinct. It’s a minor gripe but when you compare it to similar games like Shovel Knight and Limbo, it’s easy to see how well they tie themselves together and how Rad Rogers isn’t up to that level.
Platforming-wise, Rad follows more in the vein of Earthworm Jim than Super Mario, with you sporting a gun for blasting, a melee attack for smashing, and a jump for jumping. This of course takes it into a different territory of the “in-between” game where it isn’t a completely side scrolling shooter and isn’t a completely platformer-style game, but instead a medium and slightly clustered “run and jump” shooter, something that in my opinion never really works well. This is made all the more confusing when the easiness that mars the earlier portions suddenly disappears and becomes harder and harder towards the later portions.
Apart from this, the game is responsive with jumps feeling pretty tight and shooting being responsive as well, but for me personally I found the movement too fast and it felt a bit to floaty like the motion of movement wasn’t being properly interpreted as to how you actually moved. It’s a small issue but in this kind of game it’s something that I could really pick up on. The levels are also way too long, coming in at around half an hour each which is ridiculous when you consider the type of fast paced action the game is trying to convey.
Now I may be painting this game with a pretty bad brush and while it isn’t terrible I just don’t think it’s that good. It’s a mediocre throwback game in a world of amazing throwback games and worse still, it has an awful grating sense of humour that constantly misses the mark and reminds me of just how much of a mediocre game this is.
Maybe pick this up if you want a game that reminds you that better games exist.
Author: Hal, Plymouth store