Rad Rogers - A Radical Retro Romp

Similar to the 3D platform-shooters from yesteryear such as the Ratchet & Clank series, Tomb Raider series, Jak 2: Renegade, Jak 3, Jak & Daxter: The Last Frontier and the underrated/underappreciated Nintendo 64 sci-fi third person shooting game, Jet Force Gemini, Rad Rodgers is yet another 3D platform-shooter hybrid starring a brand-new dynamic duo which consists of the titular protagonist, Rad Rodgers, and his foul-mouthed, overused, sentient sidekick, Dusty, who he carries around in his backpack.

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Speaking of the main characters, Rad Rodgers is the main protagonist of the game and he is a twelve-year-old, rambunctious young boy who spends his life away playing video games until the late hours of the night and Rusty is his foul-mouthed, outdated, overused, video game console sidekick who provides Rad with helpful but questionable verbal support throughout their adventure. Regarding their voices, Rad is voiced by Hunter Pratt and the legendary voice actor, Jon St. John, provides his voice for Dusty.

As far as plots are concerned, there isn’t much to the self-explanatory storyline other than the game is set in the 80’s. Rad falls asleep in front of his television at his home during the tail end of his video game sessions and all of a sudden, a vortex materialises in the abovementioned television and it sucks him into it along with his video game console that he names Dusty. Upon arriving in the video game world, he wakes up and realises not only is his video game console is brought to life; he is also somehow transported to the aforementioned video game world. Together, it’s all up to him and Dusty to restore peace to it and save it from an evil corruption. Storyline wise, it’s almost similar to the plot of the video game cartoons from the 80’s, “Captain N: The Game Master”, “Captain N and the New Super Mario World” and “Captain N & The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3”.

Believe it or not, Rad Rodgers is developed by 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment which are the same developing teams behind Duke Nukem 3D (and probably Duke Nukem 64 for the Nintendo 64), League of Legends, Max Payne, Prey and Evolve, to name a few.

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The developing team of the game is composed of the following members: Frederik Schreiber (Game Director), Jacob Ostergaard (Lead Game Designer), Chris Pollitt (Art Director), Ewald Wip (Lead Animator), Grzegorz Zawadzki (Lead Programmer), Andrew Hulshult (Audio Designer/Composer), Leon Zawada (Level Designer), Simon Rance (Lead World/Tech Artist), Yoeri Vleer (Visual Effects Artist), Florian Coudray (Concept Artist), Arturo Pahua (Concept Artist), Isabel A. Mejias (Comic Book/Paintover Artist), Cade Cook (Environment Artist), Svein Yngve Sandvik (3D Artist) and Daniel Mortensen (QA/Level Design). Rad Rodgers is inspired from the games of yesteryear, which are known as Jazz Jackrabbit, Bucky O’Hare, Ruff ‘N’ Tumble, Jim Powers, Commander Keen, Duke Nukem and Conker.

Looks can be deceiving and the game may be a “PEGI 3+” game at first glance but underneath the child-like, family-friendly characters and colourful, lively environments is a mature game befitting for the teens and adults, due to the profanity, bloodshed, the adult humour, overkill action and over-the-top explosives which are provided with white-coloured edgy words in capital letters in a comic book style. The actual PEGI rating is yet to be confirmed. Just like Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island, Unreal Engine 4 powers Rad Rodgers. Thanks to its powerful capabilities and processing power, this enabled Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms to add more detail than ever before in terms of graphics, visual style, character design, environmental design etc.

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Speaking of the environmental design, there are six environments planned for the game complete with their own music tracks, artistic and creative visuals and graphics as stated by the Kickstarter page of Rad Rodgers. The worlds within the video game world or universe are filled to the brim with mystery, secrecy, surprise at every turn or Just like Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island, Unreal Engine 4 powers Rad Rodgers. Thanks to its powerful capabilities and processing power, this enabled Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms to add more detail than ever before in terms of graphics, visual style, character design, environmental design etc.

Speaking of the environmental design, there are six environments planned for the game complete with their own music tracks, artistic and creative visuals and graphics as stated by the Kickstarter page of Rad Rodgers. The worlds within the video game world or universe are filled to the brim with mystery, secrecy, surprise at every turn or Just like Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island, Unreal Engine 4 powers Rad Rodgers. Thanks to its powerful capabilities and processing power, this enabled Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms to add more detail than ever before in terms of graphics, visual style, character design, environmental design etc. Speaking of the environmental design, there are six environments planned for the game complete with their own music tracks, artistic and creative visuals and graphics as stated by the Kickstarter page of Rad Rodgers.

The worlds within the video game world or universe are filled to the brim with mystery, secrecy, surprise at every turn or disclosure, hazardous danger and retro-inspired goodness. According to the Rad Rodgers Kickstarter campaign, it is set to release on February 2017 for PlayStation 4 and PC. If the campaign is successful, the stretch goals will consist of possible console releases that are slated for Xbox One, Mac and Linux. Unfortunately, there are no possible releases for Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo NX, Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS.Within the video game world, Rad Rodgers is utilising an arsenal of ridiculously, overpowering weapons at his disposal to rescue the elder tree and the inhabitants of the aforesaid world.

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On that note, Rad’s radical weaponry range from the Bolt Blaster (it possessed unlimited ammunition, it’s simple to use and it have enough firepower to finish the job. Plus, it’s Rad’s primary firearm.) to the Phoenix Cannon (it emits a red-hot, flaming Phoenix that lights up its opponents and items with its fiery wings as it soars by in the direction the gun is aiming. Anything that gets in its way will be reduced to piles of smouldering ashes upon contact). There are more than five weapons to obtain in the first chapter and there are more to come as Rad and Dusty advance through their quest. The gameplay at its core isn’t groundbreaking and it’s nothing special seeing as it’s a platformer or a collect-a-thon but it’s jam packed with hard-to-find secrets, hidden Easter eggs and golden puzzle pieces to uncover to boot as well as collecting emerald jewels along the way. In addition, Rad jumps from platform to platform, grab on to vines or metallic ropes that allows him to swing from one spot to another one, hop on to launch pads that causes him and Dusty to soar to new heights, hold his enemies or wooden TNT crates at gunpoint before reducing them to obliterated corpses and splinters respectively and so on.

Most noticeably, one of the main objectives in the game is to guide Rad Rodgers and Dusty from point A to point B, which is a staple in numerous platforming/collect-a-thon games throughout the years, whether they are 2D or 3D. In other words, the player must direct them from the start of a level to the goal. The floppy disks are a nice touch, especially the distinctive but familiar and nostalgic sound they make every time a document or a file is saved and they are a reference to the older generation of the 80’s and 90’s method of saving their documents or files on their dated computers (for example, Packard Bell). Not to mention, the aforesaid floppy disks act as save points in each level and world, judging by the screenshots and the walkthrough videos on YouTube.

Within the Pixelverse (sort of akin to the Netherverse from Ratchet & Clank: Nexus), players have the opportunity to take control of Rad’s large-fisted, mechanical sidekick, Dusty, to travel to the backside of the video game while the game code is running. It opens up a new load of possibilities that no one have seen in modern games nowadays. Basically, Dusty can grab objects and platforms from the Pixelverse and position them in the real world to discover new places Rad couldn’t reach before as well as fixing glitches. Unlike the previous video games throughout the years, Rad Rodgers is split into countless episodes. In the first episode, it includes the Jungle world and the developing team is planning to release future episodes after releasing the first episode.

As said by the lead animator, Ewald, in the behind the scenes video, him and the developing team decided to go for the cartoony style than they used to. He draws inspiration from the Disney and Pixar movies because the characters feel squashy, stretchy and very alive as if they are living, breathing, real people. This is the kind of animation they’re trying to aim for this video game. According to Chris, the art director, from the behind the scenes video, Rad Rodgers is inside a video game, not in just a sense the player is playing that, he’s aware he’s inside it and that affects a lot of the ways the player can interact with the game and the player can see it breaking apart and it’s Rad’s job to fix it as he travels through the crazy scenarios.

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If the addictive gameplay, the feeling of satisfaction from creating a trail of fiery explosions in your wake, a lorry load of retro references, artistic and detailed artwork, concept artwork, voice acting, raunchy humour, the laugh-out-loud fourth wall-breaking, the phenomenal, rocky soundtrack filled to the brim of ear candy and so forth are anything to go by, Rad Rodgers could put the previously recent Kickstarter platforming games such as the blatant plagiarized, unoriginal rip-off, Kewpie-Jazzy (just a head’s up, I’d steer clear of this game or avoid it like the plague if I were you. It’s a complete disgrace to 3D mascot platforming games everywhere and the platform genre itself in my opinion), and the underappreciated Classic Spyro-inspired and Crash Bandicoot-inspired platformer, Griff the Winged Lion, to shame. On to the subject of the game’s soundtrack, Andrew Hulshult is the audio designer and the composer responsible for the soundtrack.

In terms of the quality of the soundtrack, it’s definitely up there with the likes of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, Yooka-Laylee, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, to name a few. Just like the developing teams that take pride in their hard work and the astonishingly amount of effort they put into the game, Andrew takes pride in his music and strives to make the MIDI-inspired soundtrack sound believable, retro-sounding, edgy and astounding beyond belief, complete with synthesizers, as if the music tracks came straight from the good ol’ days. “Roots Of Evil”, “Savage Swamp” and “Neon or Death” (the main theme of Rad Rodgers) are a few of the samples from the soundtrack. As of Thursday 6th October at 1:59pm BST (British Standard Time), Rad Rodgers is already funded.

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Therefore, people and possible future backers can no longer back the game on Kickstarter. Now, the only methods of pledging money to the aforementioned game is via PayPal by clicking on its icon on the official Rad Rodgers website or sending the money to the developers via Backerkit which late backers can gain access to on the abovementioned official website. On the word of Frederik Schreiber (the game director of Rad Rodgers), the deadline for PayPal late backers is 1st December. If you’re a fan of 2D or 3D platform-shooters or you’re dying to see the return of the 90’s era Apogee platformers, then Rad Rodgers might be just the game to quench your thirst for more 3D platform-shooter games or 90’s era Apogee platforming video games featuring a mascot character or a buddy-duo of mascot heroes.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms’ recent video games such as Bombshell (the spiritual successor to Duke Nukem) for instance and their previous video games.

Wing See Li. Twitter: @xflowerstarx  

Website: http://radrodgers.com/

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