Radical Roach Review – PC
Radical Roach is a shoot 'em up with a twist. Instead of the typical ship, you play as a flying roach! Radical Roach is the first offering from Decaying Logic. Playing as a Radical Roach is definitely a first for shoot 'em ups, but is it a concept that has any potential?
Moments after receiving an unhealthy dose of radiation, Radical Roach kicks into high gear. A sidekick flea joins up in your quest and the game begins. Plot points are told by either a piece of art work or a taunting from the flea army. Traverse four stages that are each broken down into four levels and a boss fight on the fifth. The game looks like pieces of paper moving across a hand drawn background. It has a real flat quality, but it is beautifully done and never distracts from gameplay. Additionally, the bugs are very cartoony, adding to the game's charm. Even when bugs splatter, it's kept light and never ventures into the typical grossness associated with roaches.
The stages are very diverse. Move through a nuclear wasteland, an underground cavern system, a forest, and a mountain area.
The controls are simplistic, which is perfect considering all the fast-paced onscreen action. Given three hits before death borderlines between challenging and frustrating since there isn't a way to recover life. Additionally, there is never any indication that Super Move
is a onetime use (leading to preemptive use). Unlike many other SHMUPs, Radical Roach doesn't have much firepower to work with. The Super Move changes in each level, but the player is unfortunately limited to a single basic weapon with zero power-ups. Another odd choice was the lack of a power-up bar for the boss fights.
There were no secrets hidden in Radical Roach (that I could find). There is a Gallery Mode unlockable that shows the artwork from the game's story. There is also a Battle Bug Mode, which is the traditional kill-count mode that lets players choose between Radical Roach and four other bugs. This mode is just as fast paced as the main story, and it's something I would have liked to have available from the start. Strangely enough, Radical Roach doesn't have a score system. It leads to several moments where it makes more sense to avoid enemies, which drains some of the action.
The music and sound of Radical Roach really stand out. The music is fast and exciting without being annoying or distracting. The enemies are killed with a very satisfying, wet, squishy, squashy sound. Everything about the sound is true to bugs, which enhances the overall experience.
Cartoony and colorful 2D graphics.
Fast paced action with tight controls.
Unique bug motif offers up a new take on the genre.
The music is fast and exciting while the sound fx are both satisfying and juicy.
Fast paced and fun, but a little short.
Radical Roach is a very fun experience, but is missing a few important things. Sometimes the way Radical Roach weaves in and out of the classic SHMUP makes it seem like it should have zigged when it zagged (no score system being one of the biggest examples). Overall, Radical Roach is still a fun play.
GamerCheese Score: 3.5/5
Radical Roach: 7 pounds ($10.74 USD. Requires Windows 7/Vista, DirectX 9.0c compatible, Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, 120MB of hard disk space, and a generic sound card.
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