Radical Heroes: Crimson City Crisis is one heck of a 3D 8-bit beat ’em up from indie studio Mad Unicorn Games. The game is like this wonderful fusion of classic gems like River City Ransom (if you didn’t get that from the title!), Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, and Golden Ax, mixing them all together with movies and cartoons from the 1980s and ’90s, and hand-picking the best aspects to make a wild ride on your PC!
In Radical Heroes, you are presented with a 3D adventure with an 8-bit style (and 8-bit sprite NPCs and player-characters), taking place on large maps that have lots to see and do. You start out in the pleasant area of Crimsonville, facing off against various gangsters and lunatics in your quest to take out the Maniac (the area’s boss), but after this the game will send you to various other themed locations that feature new enemies, new weapons and objects to make use of, and a difficulty that continues to ramp up. Even though the areas are rather large, you can take the path of least resistance and work your way through them somewhat quickly, but the game rewards exploration by hiding upgrades, useful items, mounts to ride, and unlockables (such as new characters to play as) and this adds to the game’s replay factor.
Although you start with a stock character at the onset of the adventure, the characters you unlock as you go each have their own strengths and weaknesses. The starting character is pretty much a blank slate, but the others you unlock will come with their own preset stats right out the door. All characters gain experience as they fight and defeat enemies and this experience can be used at certain training locations to upgrade your stats once per level. Special combat skills can also be purchased at dojos and sometimes learned from a special NPC, so money in this game is very beneficial outside of your basic item purchases (such as burgers to restore your health).
The game features a fairly robust single-player campaign, but Radical Heroes can also be enjoyed via multiplayer, co-op, and local co-op modes. So far, I haven’t tried the game in a multiplayer environment, but I do get the feeling that it would be a lot of fun!
Right now, Radical Heroes is in early access on Steam (it has been since October 4), so you can pick up a copy now if you want for just $7.99. Right now, I feel like the game has a lot to offer even while it’s still in development, so I have no problem recommending that you pick this one up if you’re into beat ’em up and want to take a nice nostalgic walk down those streets of rage!