There’s a lot of lippin’ in this game. There are enough 90’s one-liners that they’ve summoned Duke Nukem to be a playable character. Rad looks a lot like the blonde kid from The Incredibles and has the free heart and cheeky demeanour of the blonde kid from Calvin and Hobbes.
I think his name was Julio.
Things kick off in Rad’s room. It’s late, it’s a school night, and Mum has had enough of the ruckus. Rad cries out for enough time to finish the level and save his progress but the old lady isn’t having a bar of it. Its lights out for Rad who cracks the shits big time.
After a bit of hullabaloo, a new player enters stage right. The narrator, comedian and second main character; Dusty the console is a mentor and guide to our young adventurer.
Dusty takes the disheartened Rad under his wing and transports him into the game he was forced to prematurely eject from. This is when shit kicks off.
Rad Rodgers Radical Edition Switch Review
Immediately rad is equipped with a gun that would make Rambo shed a tear. It’s geared with unlimited ammo and every blast from this absolute weapon in this child’s hand sends a thundering thud through the speakers of your television.
If you prefer to play handheld that’s fine too but the vibrations from the Joy-cons are very intense. I copped a stern warning for playing in bed at 2 AM when my better half was chasing 8 hours for a bottomless brunch.
It wouldn’t be a 90s platformer shoot-em-up without powerups and there are powerups a-plenty. Green ammo turns the big boy pistol into a bigger boy ordinance launcher. Red ammo grants the power of the Phoenix and Rad is quickly launching flaming eagles across the screen as fast as you can pull the trigger.
There’s a couple of other gun upgrades scattered through but I really like when the player comes across the spiked club. Just swing for the fences during a blood fuelled 30 seconds of invincibility. It feels good to paint the walls with the gore of your foes.
I SAY RADICAL. THAT’S MY THING THAT I SAY!
There isn’t a huge variety of enemies in this game. There are probably 10 bad guys which is fine for keeping levels interesting in terms of gameplay. You’ll need to jump and dodge to avoid mystical blasts from shamanistic inhabitants and you’ll have to time dashes to avoid the onslaught of ceiling-clinging, sentient flora.
There are a good number of foes to do battle with but you’ll have seen most of them by the fourth level and they don’t change thematically with your surroundings. The forest dudes are the same as the little volcano dudes. I’m probably being picky but a forest-kin, fire-kin sort of deal would have been more satisfying.
There IS a variety in gameplay styles though as in-between each stage is a mini-game for the player to complete. There’s pinball, Simon-says and a pogo stick game that’s a lot like Mega Jump, the early iOS game. If you guys don’t know what Mega Jump is that’s fine cause it’s what 13-year-olds were playing on iPhone in 2008. It’s a good opportunity for leader board chasers to establish dominance as each game ranks the player on time and score.
The whole game rewards the old school mentality of collectables and high scores. Each level has a tonne of secret areas with spare lives and collectibles as well as recorded scores for degree and time of completion. Rad Rogers really is a modern take of 90s platformers with some rude words thrown in for your viewing pleasure.
QUIT COPYING ME!
The vulgarity isn’t usually too out of sorts. Dusty the console is rough around the edges but he mostly sticks to meta references about gaming because he’s a gaming console inside a game.
He instructs the player “This is the part where you move left or right” or “You know that game where it constantly beeps when you’re about to die?…. beep beep beep”. From what I saw the real filth comes from the NPCs who like talking about rectums and what they like putting in rectums.
It wasn’t too blue but if you’re not into vulgarity it might not work for you.
Overall the gameplay is tight and responsive. The shooting is like Metal Slug and the platforming can be difficult at times but not unfair. I had some difficulty on level three finding part of the final key you need to pass each level but that was because I’m dumb and not because the game was poorly designed.
Also, there are cosmetic hats to collect so I’m going to give this game a good score cause fuck yeah cowboy hats.
Rad Rodgers Radical Edition was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game Title: Rad Rodgers Radical Edition
Big gun, badder words - 8/10
Narrator has a tough New-Yorker accent and is used liberally - 8/10
Graphically good, but not great - 6/10
90's platforming and collecting - 8/10