July 30, 2011 1 Comment
It’s been pointed out to me that I’m a total hypocrite. I just dumped on Retrocade: DataStream Y2K600 for being “retro” and yet my #1 game is LaserCat, which has a bit of an old-school vibe going for it. But that doesn’t make me a hypocrite. It makes me complicated.
I found Crosstown just by cruising randomly through the indie marketplace. Having been released in 2009, it’s the oldest game I’ve subjected to review thus far. And it’s actually really good. You play as this dude with a gun who’s stuck in some crazy town populated by monsters. The object is to grab four rings in each of the forty stages. You can shoot the enemies, but you really don’t have to. For the most part they’ll leave you alone if you leave them alone. You also can use your gun as a drill to break through walls and get to the rings faster.
Crosstown looks like it will be slow-paced and plodding. After only a few levels the craziness starts to begin. Enemies are all over the screen, so much so that they begin to attack each-other. It opens up multiple options for strategy. You can go on the offense and gun down as many guys as you can to clear sections of the screen. Enemies do respawn, but I found this tactic to be effective, especially against baddies that lay extra walls down. Alternatively, you can try to be a sneak and just go after the enemies who pick up the rings. I found this usually resulted in beating levels quicker, but at greater risk due to having more monsters on-screen at once.
You’re given a few marginally helpful tools. Every time you grab a ring, you can spend it towards upgrading your gun, your ability to drill blocks, or your speed. If you do this, you lose the ring and it will respawn on the board. For the most part I never needed to use these boosters, although they did come in handy during a boss battle.
I wholeheartedly endorse Crosstown. It looks old school but at its heart is an awesome action game. The difference between it and something like Retrocade is here the Jurassic graphics are just dressing for a game that feels like it would fit in during any era. It’s one of those titles where a simple design can lead to complex game play. Besides, sometimes retro can be good. Party like it’s 1983! Let’s all do cocaine and vote for Ronald Reagan!
80 Microsoft Points said “forget it Jake, it’s Crosstown” like a dope in the making of this review.