Random Article

Must See..

Rad Raygun (Xbox360) Review


At a Glance...

Formats: Xbox360
Genre: ,
Final Score
7/ 10

User Rating
6 total ratings


We liked?

Quite historically accurate retro fun.

Not so much?

May not appeal to younger gamers.

Final Fiendish Findings?

Rad Raygun is a fun trip back to the 80s that will have you waxing poetic about your Gameboy days. While it may not hold the same appeal for younger gamers, at just $.99, it is worth a playthrough, if only for the nostalgia.

Posted February 25, 2013 by

Full Fiendish Findings...

Time to step into the way-back machine.

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to find yourself in possession of a Gameboy Original, then you will feel right at home from the minute you start up Rad Raygun. From the shades of olive that make up the screen, to the odd background patterns, to the electronic background music, this is a game that looks and feels like an old time classic. Retro fans, rejoice!

Like the gameplay itself, the story line in Rad Raygun is pretty simple. Although it’s a new game, the developers have chosen to stick to the retro theme, and make the story match the look. So, you are stuck in the ‘80s, battling those incorrigible Communists. You play as a robot that (admittedly, this could just be me), looks just like a Gameboy Original that has sprouted arms and a face. You need to first save the White House, and then the world, from the threat of Cold War. The story is told in text boxes which, especially in the opening scenes, often move by quite fast, so slower readers may miss out a bit on the story. It really isn’t essential to your enjoyment of the game, but all the ’80s pop culture references are amusing if you’re of a certain age.

When you begin the game, you can jump and shoot your ray gun in a straight line in front of you. As you work your way through, you’ll be able to find various power-ups and health boosts, usually hidden in out of the way spots that might take some fast fingerwork to get to. You’ll also learn new skills, from shooting your weapon in an arch to airborne backsliding to flying with a jetpack, all of which you must master in order to work your through to the end of the level – which, of course, has a boss for you to defeat.

With the attention to retro detail in Rad Raygun, it’s not surprising that the developers have gone old school on lives as well. You have only a few lives to start with, and if you lose them all, you get put back to the beginning, regardless of how many checkpoints you’ve reached. This can add a bit of length to an otherwise short game, depending on your skill level, but there are plenty of health power-ups to be had, so it may not be much of an issue for some. There are also extra lives hidden off in corners and such, so if you explore you should soon have more lives than you need.

There are a few different types of enemies in Rad Raygun, and all of them want to shoot you. None are particularly hard to kill, but they can be a challenge simply because they will reappear every time you leave the screen. That means killing the same enemies over an over if you need to go back for something (or just bump the controls). Again, that was pretty standard for the games this was modeled after, so it only adds to the nostalgia. Speaking of which, there was one little bit of nostalgia that I did have an issue with.

One section of the game actually has an area where you get to play Tetris. I love Tetris, so I was super stoked to try it. Unfortunately, rather than having you just simply play the puzzle game, you have to move your character around to move the blocks – while he’s in the middle of them. I just found that it really didn’t work that well, so it was a bit of a disappointment. There were also a few sections where the background patterns (specifically when they are stripes) pretty much made my eyes bug out as they flew by. I can’t really see it as a con, as again that was kind of standard for those types of games. But I will say that it is a bit overwhelming on a 42 inch screen versus the tiny one of a Gameboy.

Rad Raygun is a fun trip back to the 80s that will have you waxing poetic about your Gameboy days. While it may not hold the same appeal for younger gamers, at just $.99, it is worth a playthrough, if only for the nostalgia.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)


Be the first to comment!

You must log in to post a comment