Does Super Rad Raygun provide a fun and unique 2D platforming experience, and how does it compare to the original Rad Raygun? Check out our review of Super Rad Raygun.
Thanks to the recent resurgence of 2D platformers during the previous console generation, we are now seeing an influx of interesting and unique indie titles that pay homage to the platformers of yore. Nostalgia plays an extremely important role in video game culture and movie culture. With the release of Super Rad Raygun the follow up to the Xbox Live indie game Rad Raygun, TRU FUN Entertainment, ScrewAttack and Rooster Teeth Games aim to provide a fun platformer that expands on Rad Raygun while also paying tribute to video games and pop culture of the 1980’s.
The gameplay in Super Rad Raygun is fun, some of the level designs are interesting and require you to pay close attention and plan your strategies and jumps accordingly. Each level itself has a particular theme and sometimes parodies actual real life locations. The mechanics overall are good but the camera shifts during some of the vertical segments of the game made jumping more difficult than it had to be. I also found it annoying that some enemies were almost impossible to avoid and would constantly respawn if the camera shifted. There are also some frustrating and difficult enemies such as the snipers and the balloons on the Berlin level. Some of the enemies in general are overpowered and can be difficult even with higher level upgrades. The upgrade system is my favorite aspect of Super Rad Raygun. Each upgrade plays a different role depending on your current level and can be utilized to adapt to any particular gameplay style. The upgrades themselves are also not permanent, so you never have to worry that your upgrading the wrong ability. There is also a collection aspect to Super Rad Raygun, and if you are a completionist then there are plenty of batteries and bits to find within each level. Super Rad Ray Gun also implements a limited battery system so spamming Rad’s ray gun isn’t an option until you actually upgrade your battery. One complaint I had with Super Rad Raygun was the difficulty spikes. The game never felt unbeatable but at times the fluctuation in difficulty became frustrating and led to multiple playthroughs of each level. The boss fights in Super Rad Raygun were also fun, each boss required careful thinking on my part and provided some great gameplay moments throughout. The gameplay in Super Rad Raygun does a great job at paying tribute to platformers of the 80’s and 90’s. If you are a fan of games like Mega Man and Shovel Knight, then this might be the perfect game for you.
The story in Super Rad Raygun has you take control of Rad Raygun who is attempting to fight off communist robots during the 1980’s. The story itself is purposely campy and is a direct parody of video game culture and pop culture of the 1980’s. Some of the dialogue between Rad and the other NPC’s is excellent and provides that dose of humor that makes the game even more brilliant. Personally, when I play 2D platformers or platformers in general I never really tend to focus on story per se, although there are some exceptions to this rule. Platformers at least for me are about methodical gameplay and the intrinsic joy you get from conquering a particular boss or level. Super Rad Raygun is no exception to this rule and isn’t about story, but about the enjoyable gameplay and fun bosses you encounter throughout. If you take the story on face value as parody and enjoy cleverly written humorous dialogue, then I defiantly recommend giving Super Rad Raygun a chance.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics in Super Rad Raygun are a clear throwback to old school platformers of the 80’s and 90’s. The games visual style is presented through a monochrome off green filter reminiscent of early Game Boy games. The green filter the game uses does get old over time but thankfully you have the option to change the filter early on. The art design for Rad is also great and some of the enemy designs and boss designs are clever nods to 1980’s pop culture. The music in Super Rad Raygun is excellent, the soundtrack composed by FantomenK provides some great level themes and boss themes. I sometimes found myself listening to the level themes and boss themes over and over, which is a testament to the overall quality of the soundtrack.
Super Rad Raygun is a great platformer that understands the mechanics that made platformers of the past so great. The levels are fun and some of the bosses can be extremely challenging. I particularly enjoyed the upgrade system and abilities I gained throughout my playthrough. The only complaint I had with the gameplay was with the difficulty spikes and some of the camera shifts. The game also supports some very clever writing and the music stands out as some of the best I’ve seen in a retro styled game this year. If you are looking for a great platformer for a great price, then I highly recommend Super Rad Raygun.