During this years Eurogamer Expo I had the chance to sit and play Raging Justice, a nostalgic throwback to the days of side-scrolling beat em ups. You have to beat up everyone you see on the screen, using a variety of kicks, punches weapons and even a lawnmower.
The first thing I noticed was how well the game controlled; I had previously been somewhat sceptical about how the game played. This was largely in part to the 2D pre-rendered sprites and how this made the movement look, this was obviously an artistic choice, but it didn’t affect the game play at all. I got to grips with the controls fairly quickly; there’s been a conscious choice through development to keep the buttons used to an absolute minimum. This commitment to the games inspirations is evident throughout the content, with the most obvious reference point being Streets Of Rage.
The levels are a mix of urban environments in which; bikers, thugs, large gentleman and almost everything else will come at you from either side of the screen. It can get a little muddled at times, especially when you are among a crowd of five to six people. This is honestly one of the only issues I had with the game. Once I started mashing loads of buttons, they soon disappeared.
I have to write about the lawnmower I got to ride. I was towards the end of a level when I came across a lawnmower in the top right of the screen. My first reaction was “Surely not” but after walking over to the machine I was given the prompt to get on it. What followed was a glorious minute or so of gaming, I just drove left to right across the screen mowing everyone down, giggling like a little kid at my own automotive murderous rampage. This was the most fun I’ve had at any one moment whilst at EGX so far.
Raging Justice is the closest modern equivalent of a Streets Of Rage game we will ever get and boy does it know that. Everything down to the level select screen will give you that awesome nineties feel of waking up on a Saturday morning and turning the Megadrive on. It is a genre that I feel has become somewhat lost in the current generation of gaming, due to 3D environments being more popular. But there is a certain charm to 2D pre-rendered backgrounds that I can’t quite fathom.
We are likely going to see Raging Justice released Q1 of 2016; the game is coming to Xbox One and Steam. The developer assured me that he is considering other platforms, and in my opinion I think it would be a brilliant title for the Playstation Vita. Regardless, I thoroughly recommend keeping an eye on this title. If you grew up playing games in the 90’s like myself, it will tickle your need for nostalgia ever so perfectly.