[Beyond PlayStation] Shakedown: Hawaii Review
Shakedown: Hawaii from Vblank Entertainment is out on Nintendo Switch! Find out if the game is everything you wanted from a Retro City Rampage sequel in our Shakedown: Hawaii review!
I’ve played Retro City Rampage on Nintendo WiiWare, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita, and own physical version of the game on PlayStation 4 (with the bonus limited edition PSP case), and on Nintendo Switch (in its Collector’s Edition version), so you can imagine how much I had been looking forward to playing Vblank Entertainment’s Shakedown: Hawaii on the Nintendo Switch. It’s been over three years since Brian Provinciano announced the game, and Shakedown: Hawaii is finally out and ready for all to enjoy.
The first thing you will notice after watching the trailer above and checking out the screens in this review is that for Shakedown: Hawaii the graphics have been boosted up to an enhanced 16-bit look, an upgrade over the 8-bit styled look of Retro City Rampage. Everything is more colorful, more packed, more animated, more neon, and, in my opinion, more fun. In this new open world sandbox game, you’ll be tasked with taking Feeble Multinational back to its former glory by making the most of what each of its three protagonists is willing to do.
Online shopping has killed all Feeble retail stores, a new app called Crüzer destroyed its taxi business, and all video stores were obliterated thanks to the magic of streaming. The CEO of the company also has a book he wrote way back in the 1980s and, as you can imagine, it’s not a hot commodity in 2019. Luckily there are many ways to potentially make some extra coin in this game, as long as you give it your best effort and take on mission after mission that will help to give you the money you need to improve your business to increase your daily income.
You’ll move with the left analog stick or the D-Pad and aim with the right stick. You can cycle between weapons with the L and R buttons, and attack with the Y button. The B button is for jumping, and you can pick up and throw things with the A button. The game is a big one, so you’ll make good use of your map by pressing the – button so that you can at all times know where you are and where you’re going. If you need to take cover, you can do so with the X button, and this button will also allow you to go inside a vehicle. Once you have one, you can accelerate with the B button, brake and go in reverse with the A button, change weapons with the L button, shoot with the Y button, and change radio stations with the R button.
There’s a lot to do in this game, with over 100 story missions, almost 400 properties to acquire, 11 score challenges, 17 weapon challenges, and more than 80 shakedowns to perform on stores around the island. You might need to destroy some of the racks inside of the store to show whoever is running that store that you mean business – doing this while wearing a disguise, of course -, or you might need to take care of running a delivery of goods to a store so that someone “subscribes” to your potential protection services – wink-wink, nudge-nudge. This will increase your daily revenue, and so will buying businesses of the same type so that you can basically corner the market on X or Y on the island.
You’ll laugh as you experience all the ways the game parodies and makes fun of everything from “software as a service” on the PC side of things (“what happened to the buy button?” says the CEO, as all options to get access to the latest version of a piece of software is presented with a “Rent” button and some crazy expensive bundles), to microtransactions in video games, double XP weekends, selfies, Monopoly (you know, the board game), multilevel marketing, reality TV, in-game advertising for video games, miracle pills, and more.
You can change the way the game looks by going into the video menu in the option. You can toggle a 2x zoomed in view, a TV simulation mode to make it seem as if you were playing the game in an old 16:9 tube TV, change the color mode from the auto option to different color palettes such as Tampa, Portland III, Next-Gen, Entertainment System, See-65, PC-DOS Ega, Beam Racer 2599, Pocket Handheld, or Giga Blurst, as well as change the overscan feature from the default auto setting to either off or on.
Shakedown: Hawaii is a fun sequel to Retro City Rampage. While Brian Provinciano’s previous game was more tongue in cheek on the nose about its parodies and humor, Shakedown: Hawaii goes down a different route, throwing some funny parodies or commentary on how the state of the video game industry has shifted over the last handful of years, all while giving us a game that is very addictive, giving you mission after mission to complete, and hundreds of objectives to work on as you go.
This Shakedown: Hawaii review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Vblank Entertainment.