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Vblank Entertainment released a new trailer for their upcoming, open-world action game, Shakedown Hawaii. The game takes the 8-bit charm of Retro City Rampage and evolves it to the 16-bit era with improved sprites, higher quality sound and music, as well as smoother gameplay.
The latest trailer for the game teases its release on Steam, the Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita and the PS4. You can check it out below, courtesy of Vblank Entertainment's YouTube channel.
According to developer Brian Provinciano, the game is inspired by the fluid-frame raster era of Neo Geo games produced by SNK back in the 1990s like King of Monsters and Shock Troopers. It was one of the more underrated game consoles due to how expensive it was, but over the years SNK established quite the cult following due to their arcade games gaining a lot of fame and popularity via emulation and re-releases on newer game consoles.
The Retro City Rampage sequel follows in the artistic footsteps of games like Metal Slug, where they used a lot of per-pixel color changes in the animations to give the sense of depth and smoothness between the character's key frame transitions, something that you evidently see in the trailer above when cars start and stop and characters make dynamic moves from running and crouching to shooting and jumping. There's also parallax sprite layering so players can move in and out from behind foreground and background objects, giving the game a sense of dimensional depth to the environments.
Vblank admits they're drawing heavy inspiration from the classic era of arcade games during the 16-bit era, which is why Shakedown Hawaii is definitely a higher-caliber of visual quality compared to what was doable on the Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16 and SNES during the early and mid-1990s.
This is all complimented with a trailer that has retrowave music, a genre of music popularized in media these days thanks to artists and DJs like French maestro Kavinsky – who provided some tracks to Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 cult-classic Drive – and Perturbator who helped flesh out the unforgettable soundtrack to Dennaton Games' Hotline Miami.
According to Provinciano, he mentioned in the comment section of the PlayStation blog that the soundtrack for Shakedown Hawaii is being composed by Matt Creamer, who goes by the stage name of Norrin Radd.
The game itself, Shakedown Hawaii, is a direct sequel to the 2012 release of Retro City Rampage. The first outing was an 8-bit inspired game that played on similar concepts to the original 1997 release of Grand Theft Auto.
Vblank's sequel definitely shares some thematic similarities with GTA: Vice City as far as taking place in a tropical location surrounded by the fast-paced urban life. However, Shakedown Hawaii actually takes place 30 years after the events of the original Retro City Rampage, so the main character is older, angrier and fatter. The poster image is kind of a direct nod to Rockstar's take on Max Payne, who was grizzled and out of shape in Max Payne 3.
You can look for Vblank Entertainment's open-world, chaotic action-shooter to arrive on PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS and on Steam for PC.