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Roarr! The Adventures of Rampage Rex (PC) artwork

Roarr! The Adventures of Rampage Rex (PC) review


"Dino-bore"


Roarr! The Adventures of Rampage Rex (PC) image

I've learned one thing from kaiju-themed video games: don't get your hopes up. Developers have had only limited success while attempting to encapsulate the chaos, destruction, action and camp that come with giant monster movies. It must be very difficult indeed to create solid combat between monstrous character models, while also programming a robust, destructible environment. A few titles managed to either mostly entertain or just squeak past average. Most, though, crash and burn harder than the JSDF trying to thwart Godzilla. Roarr! The Adventures of Rampage Rex falls into the latter, unsuccessful category. It promises pandemonium, hilarity and action, but only modestly delivers at best. At worst, it's so minimalist that it feels incomplete.

You take the role of Sue, a T. Rex who awoke from her subterranean slumber to find aliens conquering the planet. Irritated by their racket, she decides to bite, claw and tail whip any extraterrestrials that get in her way, completely disregarding any trees or buildings that happen to be in her path.

Stage one starts you out on an island, dotted with trees and a small suburb. Giant, land-roaming squids creep toward you, while vile, obnoxious muzak fills the air. You shake the memories of an operator putting you on hold so you can focus on the foes, hoping that at the very least, the action elements will work their magic. You fight off the monsters by mashing one of two attack buttons, creating simple combination strikes before they vanish with poofs of black smoke. Occasionally, you change things up with a special charge attack or an AOE roar that kills everything, exhausting your ability meter.

Roarr! The Adventures of Rampage Rex (PC) image

As you continue to mosey onward, you realize that there aren't many sound effects. Blows create dull, quiet thuds, and each alien croaks with a basic "Ugh!" Your footsteps are silent, despite the fact that you're larger than a skyscraper. Even Sue herself doesn't make much noise, especially when she uses her killing roar. Rather than a massive, bellowing cry, she cuts loose a quick, anticlimactic snarl. The frickin' game is called Roarr!, and you'd think the least you can expect is one solid growl.

As you smash into the nearby houses, your special attack meter refills. Outside of that, you derive almost no joy from urban destruction. Rather than crumbling to dust, each building and tree silently uproots itself and bounces as if it were a rubber prop rather than a something you could smash. You walk into a massive tower, it falls over and disappears. Nuclear power plants lift a tiny ways off the ground and casually tip over, and their neighboring towns indifferently tumble. I can't think of another time I've seen destructible environments so underwhelming, especially in a kaiju-themed title.

Most of what I described happens within the first few minutes. Now, imagine playing that same segment for two to three hours and you have Roarr!'s campaign. After you defeat the first slew of cephalopods and venture to the next island, another group races toward you. Now and then you might scrap with new creatures, but they all perish with the same button mashing strategy. Some of them lob explosives or heal their cohorts, but even then they only pose a minor threat and fall with little resistance. You murder dozens of these creeps for ages, kept alive by the numerous healing items they drop and rarely breaking a sweat. You begin to wonder if there's nothing else on offer besides endless waves of monsters.

Roarr! The Adventures of Rampage Rex (PC) image

Then, after way too long, you reach the first boss and his army of goons. You try to circle around him or utilize the dodge button to take him on strategically, only to realize there's an easier way to dispatch him. You start by taking out all of his cronies with a roar or two. A vast field of trees and buildings surrounds the boss, so you can easily take a few seconds to recharge your skill and use it again. Several defeated enemies also drop health-restoring steaks that never despawn (at least from what I've noticed), so you can easily recover your hit points when you're low. Repeating the process, you can quickly growl the level boss to death and advance to stage two, assuming you haven't uninstalled the program by this point.

It doesn't matter which stage you land on, though, because they all play the same. You button mash all opposition and slay bosses with the aforementioned strategy. Levels four and five introduce different environments, with a desert and a tundra, respectively. Unfortunately, these are only cosmetic changes, as they play no differently from stage one. The challenge factor doesn't increase, and you never see an ounce of variety. You kill lackadaisically, you follow an arrow to the next horde and you begin the tedious process anew.

Finally, you reach the sixth stage, in which you board the mothership and initiate a boss rush. The only catch is that the first segment provides you with no healing items, so you need to defeat the first boss without dying. Although that sounds simple, the truth is the first boss sometimes gets cheap, lucky shots in that kill you quickly if you're not careful. Once you get past him, you're practically golden.

Roarr! The Adventures of Rampage Rex (PC) image

Even the main antagonist is a joke. During my own playthrough, I nailed him a few times and then darted away to regroup, when he inexplicably died. My only guess is that the bombs lobbed at us during our brief exchange got the better of him. Either the developer didn't think that battle through very well, or they intended for the story's villain to be an even bigger disappointing pushover than the rest of the rogues gallery.

If you happen to drop dead during any point of your mission, it's automatic "game over." However, Sue doesn't fall over limp or explode in a blaze of glory. Rather, the screen suddenly transitions to you standing on an Olympic podium, and you don't know why. You have to examine the screen for a few seconds before you realize that you failed, because the game seems to be celebrating your death as if it's some kind of victory. As I said before, Roarr! seems incomplete, and the evidence crops up in its lack of variety, dearth of sound effects, underwhelming destruction and awkward transitions. It doesn't possess enough dynamic elements to be the "perfect party game" it advertises itself to be, or a standard brawler, or even a decent kaiju adventure. Tyrannosaurus didn't go extinct for this...

1/5

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Staff review by Joseph Shaffer (March 20, 2019)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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hastypixels posted March 20, 2019:

Kudos for reviewing a game I'd pass over in disgust.

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