Retro City Rampage XBLA

XBLA players will be able to ring in the New Year next week by partying like it’s 1999…or 1989…or any other year from the ’80s or ’90s, for that matter: developer Vblank Entertainment Inc. has revealed that Retro City Rampage will finally release on Xbox Live Arcade on January 2. The game first released on PSN and PC in October, but the announced XBLA and WiiWare versions were pushed back indefinitely.

Brian Provinciano, the man “almost entirely” responsible for developing Retro City Rampage, announced last month that an improved XBLA version was complete and had entered certification, but he was unable to provide a concrete release date at the time. Provinciano used the time between the October release on PSN/PC and the game’s November certification bid to tinker away on the XBLA version, ensuring it would be what he calls “a better experience.”

The retro-tinged open world game was designed from the beginning to require players “to stop and strategize” while playing. Unfortunately, he received player feedback following the October release that the game was frustrating when players entered into certain missions with “just fists and guns.” Additional tutorials and tip screens that show after a player has failed a mission a certain number of times have been added to the XBLA release in an attempt to smooth out the experience. Further softening the difficulty are additional checkpoints sprinkled throughout the game.

Car tailing, platforming and side quests have also seen changes since October. A checkpoint, altered mission variables and “Coffee Jitter Power” were tossed in to improve car tailing. Meanwhile, the mandatory “Sweat Bomber” platform-centric levels have been completely overhauled and can also be skipped should the player fail three times on any one of them.

Not everything has been made easier, however. Certain side quests are actually more difficult than they previously were. The missions in question were developed prior to the final story being penned, and Provinciano felt they didn’t quite mesh with the rest of the game as a result. Additional depth and challenge was added to address this oversight.