We've all heard about the long-in-development Retro City Rampage, the 8-bit-styled open world game with a heart as big as its funny bone. At E3 this year at the D3 Publisher booth gamers were able to finally go hands-on with it, and what a hilarious romp it turned out to be.

Players control a character named Player, who becomes a criminal under the leadership of the Jester. Your first mission has you help the Jester with a "cliched" bank robbery, which involves taking out cops, running over pedestrians, and stealing the cash from a swimming pool filled with coins in the vault. Unfortunately things don't go the way things should, as most of your men are taken out before the mission even begins in the most hilarious ways possibles.

Soon after you rob the bank, you are forced to drive through a busy street, which then becomes too impossible to drive through. The Jester then gives you the gift of magic shoes that help you run faster, which you use to cross the street in order to push initiate the Walk signal on the other side. Sadly the bus drivers of Theftropolis City aren't so kind to let you through, so the Jester instead takes out all the buses with his rocket launcher, including the one that had your stolen loot.

You are then forced to run from the cops on foot, and it gets worse from there. Characters that look conspicuously like Ninja Turtles, the A-Team, and even those two dudes from Contra get caught up in the chase, and things look grim for Player. All of a sudden two teenagers in a time-travelling phone booth appear, and you kick them and their friends out and escape via the time-space continuum. Player then goes back three years into the past. The phone booth gets busted, and you are soon met up with a crazed doc in a DeLorean.

If that last paragraph does not convince you of the awesomeness that is Retro City Rampage, then I don't know what else to say. Yes, it seems like a nostalgia overkill, but that's the point of this game. If you were to quickly describe Retro City Rampage, think what would happen if the Zucker Brothers were given the chance to do a Grand Theft Auto parody. The references are everywhere, and if you don't get one joke you'll only have to wait a moment for another one to pop out to give you a smile.

The full version of Retro City Rampage will contain over fifty mission, thirty challenges, six playable characters, more than twenty-five weapons to raise anarchy with, forty vehicles to drive around, and much more. While no official release date has been announced, the folks at D3 Publisher have assured me that it would be out very soon on Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, WiiWare, PS Vita, and even PC via Steam. Players can expect some great old-school gaming, tons of cool homages, and so many laughs that you may need an oxygen tank at arm's length ready to help catch your breath.

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