After some four years of development, indie studio 24 Caret Games finally released its startlingly unique downloadable PS3 title Retro/Grade last month.
Described as a rhythm-based backwards sidescrolling shooter, Retro/Grade sparkles with polish as soon as the main menu and loading screens appear. The game has players starting out literally at the end with protagonist Rick Rocket putting the finishing touches on the final boss. As the credits roll and the space goliath explodes in defeat, all appears to be well.
That is until a massive chain reaction from the villain's ship causes a disruption in the space-time continuum–hurdling everything in reverse.
From there you must make your way back to the start of the game, dodging enemy projectiles being pulled back from behind your ship, while at the same time absorbing your own shots returning to the point at which they were fired along the way. Survival and high scores must be obtained at all costs.
It's pretty incredible stuff (if put to the same test, I don't think I could write an article backwards...all that well anyway), but the whole experience is taken to a new level by the extraordinarily catchy soundtrack. The music is without a doubt the soul of the game, tying everything together in a wonderful head-bobbing fashion.
The rhythm aspects just can't be fully enjoyed or even understood spectating; like many great gaming experiences, your hands need to be on the controller (or even better the guitar peripheral) to fully grasp the experience.
Retro/Grade is out now on Playstation Network for £7.99/$9.99 with a free demo version offered as well.
If you're Playstation 3-less, there may still be some good news. 24 Caret has previously mentioned on multiple occasions that they're looking into potentially bringing the title to other platforms. So hopefully we're nowhere near the end of the road regarding new developments for the game.
Unless we're moving in reverse that is.