Vblank Entertainment‘s Retro City Rampage, which launched last month to very positive feedback and reception, has a new update based on player feedback. The update is available now for PS3, Vita and PC while the soon-to-be-released platforms, XBLA, WiiWare and PS3/Vita in Europe, will have the updates on their day one launch. Congratulations to Retro City Rampage for being the #1 PS Vita game for October and maintaining a 9.5+ customer score based on well over 1,000 ratings over the three platforms.
As outlined on the Retro City Rampage blog, here is what’s new in the game:
A core pillar of RCR throughout development was to go beyond just driving and shooting missions. One of the developer’s approaches to this was to design missions which required the player to stop and strategize. If they went in guns a-blazin’, they’d be killed and need to try again. Unfortunately, this messaging wasn’t conveyed clearly enough and some people went in expecting a standard GTA-style experience throughout. Vblank also didn’t emphasize the importance of stomping on enemies, nor jumping to dodge and avoid rockets, gunfire and vehicles running you down. Jumping, stomping and throwing are as important as any other weapon in the game, but players who went in with just fists and guns and came out feeling frustrated.
To address the strategic missions, Vblank has added additional tutorials, re-balanced some of the gameplay and tips screens are now displayed after repeated failures. The strategic gameplay required on certain missions is not something that is going to change, but those who need more guidance should now have a much easier time with them. They can think of it as pulling out an old Nintendo Power! Players can also watch replays on the Leaderboards of the top players for additional tips.
Players who have mastered the game will likely notice little difference, but those who have gotten stuck will find the ride much smoother.
While the average mission in RCR contained 2-3 checkpoints (which is more than most open-world games), those that did not stood out and gave some the perception that they were sparse. This was intentional, to increase the challenge and the consequence of actions. However, in cases where the player would fail and be required to replay one or two minutes of gameplay became frustration to some, and was amplified for those who went in with only a run-n-gun frame of mind as they’d hit a brick wall each time. More checkpoints have been added to ensure a more enjoyable experience for these players.
- Car Tailing. Yes. I call this out for being a boring task then make the players do it. However, in RCR the player needed to not just follow the car, but also find coffee kiosks without losing them for a frantic juggling act. This was an unpopular mission to some, but the car tailing was a red herring. It’s unpopular because failing towards the end meant replaying another two minutes of gameplay. To remedy this I added a checkpoint in the middle, tweaked some mission variables and most importantly added the Coffee Jitter Power which flips the game to run at 2X speed for 30 seconds, cutting the length of the mission in half yet again. Sadly, this power was actually on the todo list throughout the project but cut due to time constraints before submission.
- Platforming. Yup. The mandatory Sweat Bomber levels were a frustration to many. These have now been completely overhauled. I’ve gone so far as to even add a rhythm game style tutorial bar showing which buttons to press and when after repeated failures on the first level. However, the real cause of the frustration was an oversight of mine involving jump distance. In order to make it over wide gaps, the player needed to run and jump. However, many players tried to jump from a standing position and saw the levels as impossible. This has also been addressed, and accelerating is no longer required before making long jumps. Oh, and these levels are also completely skippable now after three failures at the cost of unlockables. By completing all three levels, you’ll unlock an additional Arcade Challenge and a Free Roaming Mode playable character.
- Side Quests. Fun fact! Several of the optional side missions were the very first missions developed for the game, before the final story was written. They didn’t quite fit once the game became more ambitious with more in depth missions. However, rather than cut them I decided to leave them in as optional ones. While I hoped that everyone would enjoy the overall package and see these as extras, the sad state is that some critics tug on any loose string that they find and these more mundane missions were held up high to the spotlight, some even using them to “sum up” the game. To address this, I’ve reworked them and added more depth to bring them closer to the level of the rest. Be warned though, they’re now much harder and require more skill to beat, as is the case for many of the optional missions. The purpose of most optional missions is to give the advanced players more challenge (which funny enough was cause for criticism by some, but that’s why they’re optional!).
Remember: It’s Two Games in One
Knowing well that many players just want to blow things up non-stop without any story whatsoever, I built half of RCR to cater directly to this audience. Next to the Story Mode there are also nearly 50 Arcade Challenges and a Free Roaming Mode. Players who just want to jump into the game and go crazy are covered. There’s something for everyone in this game so enjoy what speaks to you.
- The Steam version updates automatically.
- The PS3 & PS Vita versions prompt you to update. Select “Yes”.
- For PC, the version number is displayed on the bottom left of the Main Menu.
- For other versions, check your download page periodically.
- If the latest version is not yet available, check back again later.