Developer: TRU FUN Entertainment
Rating Guide: How I Review Games
Review by: IrishTirade
Even the most prolific Xbox 360 users may be unaware of the hidden gems that are waiting to be unearthed within the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. It is a magical place where upstart designers have the rare opportunity to allow their dreams to be viewed and played by the over 30 million Xbox Live gamers around the world. Every genre of play is represented here and maybe even a few you’ve never thought possible. Most of the titles on XBLIG are very inexpensive and provide bite sized experiences that can floor you with their inspiration or make you scratch your head in denial.
All in all, since its inception in 2006, independent users have been creating titles using Microsoft’s XNA to the tune of nearly 3,000 games. The service went public to all Xbox Live subscribers as part of the New Xbox Experience console update in 2012. Since then, Indie developers have been able to actually sell their wares to the public.
One such team, TRU FUN Entertainment, has created an old school platformer named Rad Raygun. It’s a love letter to 1980′s nostalgia, the Game Boy days, and the iconic Mega Man series. Promising “ultra sharp 144p resolution graphics and 4 unique shades of monochrome off-green”, Rad Raygun tugs at the heart strings of anyone that has enjoyed a 2D platforming side scroller in their earlier days.
Set in the year “198x”, the protagonist Rad powers through five world travelling levels in his effort to rid the planet of what was once evil (The Cold War, Communism, etc.). Irafghanifstan (this is not a typo), Berlin, and Cherynobl Russia are a few of the places our hero visits during this short but sweet game, bringing plenty of whimsy and 80′s style humor along the way. Russians soldiers have adorable 8 bit style AK-47s and I think I even saw Soldiers in Germany wearing Deevo style hats. “Whip-It Good.”
Play is basic as is all games of this type, run, jump, double jump and shoot your way through the levels to reach the boss character acquiring various upgrades such as a jet pack, arced shooting and extra lives as you progress. The gameplay felt just fine and there’s even a bit of a story tied in with a caricature of Ronald Reagan giving you news and mission briefings before each level.
The one aspect of Rad that resonated with me the most was the soundtrack. The 16 bit type chiptune music was a joy to listen to throughout the experience and the memorable title theme is still stuck in my head. I had alot of fun with Rad and highly recommend it to anyone that’s craves going back to the glory days of the Game Boy and the original Mega Men games. While playing I was taken back to a time when mobile gaming was fresh and new and in it’s infancy. It was difficult at times to believe that I was playing this on a 46″ 1080p LCD TV instead of a 4″ black and white one that requires batteries.
If you haven’t checked out what the Indie Games Channel has to offer I suggest you give it a shot. You may just find an amazing experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen or stumble across another that takes you back to an earlier and simpler time in the industry. Why not start with Rad Raygun? As with all XBLA titles there is always a free trial to play that costs nothing, but for only 80 MS points or one single dollar, Rad Raygun is a cute, funny, and worthwhile experience chalk full of humorous 80′s nostalgia I believe children of all ages can enjoy.
If you would like to add Rad Raygun to your Xbox Live download que you can do so here.
In a world full of multi million dollar triple-a titles a simple yet joyful game like Rad is a refreshing change of pace and one I can almost guarantee will not dissapoint.