According to the promotional material, Rad Rodgers is a game is inspired by old school action-platformers with plenty of meta (and quite dirty) humour, this sounds like a relatively appealing proposition.
Something Familiar This Way Comes
Unfortunately, what the player actually gets is a bland and frustrating, dreadfully unfunny exercise in boredom. There have been lots of games released in recent years that aim to cash in on nostalgia but Rad Rodgers is one of the very worst examples this writer has played. If Rad Rodgers had been free with PS Plus more than likely the second level wouldn’t have been started and the game would have been deleted from this reviewer’s PS4 system.
In Rad Rodgers, you play as a 90’s kid with a tiresome attitude, sucked into a digital world with only his trusty console Dusty to back him up
A Story That Exists
In Rad Rodgers, you play as a 90’s kid with a tiresome attitude, sucked into a digital world with only his trusty console, Dusty to back him up. When they arrive in an enchanted forest they have to meet up with the ancient tree who is the guardian of the forest and figure out what has gone wrong. The story is as bland as the gameplay, so at least Rad Rodgers is consistent.
The character of Dusty delivering flat and crude one liners quickly made him the focus of some seriously negative feelings.
Shut up game!
Quite soon into Rad Rodgers, I started skipping cutscenes and turned the dialogue volume all the way down to zero. This is how I would recommend everyone play Rad Rodgers. It was Dusty who largely necessitated my muted playthrough. His raspy voice delivering flat, unimaginative, irritating and crude one liners quickly evoked negative feelings.
At Least It’s Short
Rad Rodgers takes place over 8 levels along with 3 optional pogo stick levels where Rad must escape rising water by hopping from platform to platform. In the standard levels the player is tasked with jumping and blasting around the platforms collecting four parts of a key that then open the route to the next level.
There are also points in each level where Dusty jumps into a tear in the world, navigates a maze with hazards and enemies, until eventually reaches a place where the player presses triangle. Like everything else involving the character Dusty, these brief diversions are utterly charmless and bereft of fun. The change between the different levels is miniscule. The background is different, and the platforming becomes a little trickier and that is it.
Rad Rodgers is not a competent game
Rad Rodgers leaves the player to spend their time jumping between copy and pasted platforms and shooting carbon copy enemies for however long their patience/will to live lasts.
In different more competent platforming games, gameplay would be altered depending on the setting of the levels, ice levels would cause the character to slip and slide, fire levels would have lava hazards, fireballs etc. Rad Rodgers, because it is not a competent game, has none of this.
these are game mechanics that have been in use for over 20 years, Rad Rodgers doesn’t do anything to elevate or innovate
In each level, Rad can pick up different temporary power-ups to increase the firepower of his weapon. There is rapid fire, a weird one that shoots a phoenix that sets enemies alight, a giant purple laser beam, and my personal favourite, the grenade launcher. This allows Rad to bounce grenades against walls to land at the feet of enemies; quite satisfying. Rad can also find hats hidden in levels that he can wear; these hats are purely cosmetic but I’m struggling to find more words to write about Rad Rodgers, so the hats get a mention.
Presumably someone at some point told the writer of Rad Rodgers that they were funny
Competent Jumping and Shooting
The gameplay during missions is smooth, the shooting is ok, but these are game mechanics that have been in use for over 20 years. Rad Rodgers doesn’t do anything to elevate or innovate, so it doesn’t deserve praise. Technically this game works, the shooting works, the jumping works, it never crashed no matter how much this reviewer wished for sweet relief. It deserves the passing grade it will be getting at the bottom.
Seriously Game; Shut Up
The main problem with Rad Rodgers and what crushed the sense of nostalgic joy the developer was aiming for was the writing. This has been mentioned several times in this review but it bears repeating. Presumably someone at some point told the writer of Rad Rodgers that they were funny, completely oblivious of the misery this errant compliment would cause this unfortunate reviewer.
This review has to end at some point and its difficult to keep going with a game this uninspired. Its probably clear the opinion of this reviewer but check it out expressed numerically below.