Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Slipgate Studios
If nothing else, Rad Rodgers deserves credit for living up to its Kickstarter promises. Its developers pitched it as a love letter to ?90s platformers, and, for better and for worse, that?s exactly what they delivered.
Unfortunately, there?s a lot more ?for worse? here than there is ?for better.? Some of this, I?ll admit, is more a matter of opinion than of fact. As someone who lived through ?edgy? ?90s humour as it was happening, I can?t say I?ve ever had a burning desire to relive that era. And having that desire is pretty much a must for enjoying this game. If your idea of hilarity involves foul-mouthed robots repeating the same catchphrases over and over again coupled with non-sequiturs about butt plugs and masturbation, then good news: here?s a game that will appeal to your discerning tastes. For everyone who isn?t 14-years-old, though, it?s probably going to get really old, really fast.
The game?s other issues, however, are a less a matter of taste, and a more because Rad Rodgers just kind of fails at basic competence. Its physics aren?t what you?d call predictable: sometimes you can jump in midair, while other times you can?t. Given that this is a 2D platformer we?re talking about, where jumping is kind of essential, you can see how this lack of consistency may be a problem. Similarly, the game equips you with all kinds of different firearms and all kinds of enemies to shoot at, but aiming your gun is a struggle if the bad guys aren?t directly in front of or above you.
Worse still, Rad Rodgers is horrendously glitchy. Note: I?m not talking about the intentional glitches, where the game forces you to play-through some broken-looking levels in order to unlock missing platforms. I?m talking about legitimately game-breaking glitches, like the screen dissolving for no apparent reason, as it maps your progress and covers everything on screen with a giant map. Or a boss becoming trapped underneath a platform, leaving you with no option but to quit the level and start over again. Or reaching the end of a level with everything you need to open the exit gate, only for literally nothing to happen. If they happened once in a fairly short game, these glitches might be forgiveable, maybe (thought doubtfully) even funny. When they start happening regularly, and make you lose lots of progress, then it?s harder see to the humour.
Not only that, it makes it harder to see why anyone — even those people who yearn for the days of generic 2D platformers with dumb humour — should subject themselves to this mess. Given a little (okay, a lot) more polish, I could see Rad Rodgers evolving into something vaguely interesting to a certain type of person, but right now, it kind of sucks.
THQ Nordic provided us with a Rad Rodgers Xbox One code for review purposes.