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Game Review: Human Resource Machine (Mobile)

Get Ready To Relive Your Childhood…

Remember the good ol’ days of video games when you’d come home from school, blow on your favorite cartridge and pop it in to your Nintendo Entertainment System?

If you get even a little bit nostalgic with that sentence, you may be in for one of the greatest treats available to gamers in their 30’s: the retro reboot brought to us by Conatus Creative will be available on Linux Mac and PC exclusively via Steam: River City Ransom: Underground !!!!!

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited.  Not just New Game Excited, but something akin to New Technology Excited…  Let me explain.

River City Ransom was an 8-bit NES game circa the 90’s (originally released in Japan on April 25, 1989) that pushed the boundaries of what was available on the platform at the time.  Double Dragon and Bad Dudes ushered in a new genre of fighting games, but River City Ransom didn’t stop there; it overlayed RPG elements on top of the already successful side-scrolling beat ’em up style in a way hard to find comparison to in all of the Nintendo (8-bit) catalog.  Possibly the first open world (yes, it was open world too) game I encountered, I remember spending hours after school tossing tires and throwing baseballs at oncoming enemies…  All for the that satisfying *clink* of the coins that would eventually unlock power ups like Dragon Feet and Acro Circus.

River City Ransom’s levels were also deeper than would be seemed at first glance.  In the background if there was a fence, you could probably stand on it.  A tire laying on the ground, having been thrown at you then rolling to a stop only to fall over on to its side, could be stood on; the environment had an awareness of depth and height and the backgrounds weren’t just static pictures there to provide scenery – you could use them to your advantage to avoid bosses (in some cases taking advantage of poor AI, preventing them from being able to attack), or place boxes in order to get into extra high up spots unobtainable without the use of a little ingenuity.

All of this came at a price, though, and sometimes the game, like many others, would manifest this peak of processing with the flash of sprites or the occasional frame lag, and this is what makes me giddy about the release of River City Ransom: Undeground …  It’s all of the classic goodness, meant to elicit that oldschool beat ’em up feel, without any of the processing restrictions within that classic console many of us know and loved.

Have a look at the launch trailer and take in all the crunchy-but-smooth combat to see for yourself!

Originally Kickstarted back in 2013, accepted by the Steam Greenlight program in 2015, the game’s been a long time coming, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!

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