Raging Bytes: Old Zombies, New Maneuvers
There have been many debates and discussions on the concept of ‘golden age thinking’. The term refers to a feeling of nostalgia where you are attracted to an era before yours. Moreover, you’re attracted to a time and place that feels different. The ‘retro,’ the ‘vintage,’ ‘dated,’ and ‘nostalgic.’ All of these features combat the humdrum of our current lifestyle because to go into the ‘easy’ life of yesteryear is something charming and attractive. One such game which has been released recently is Raging Bytes.
Video games are one of the most influential visual media in our times. The ode to nostalgia, to the past, can be found here as well. After all, almost all good games have been derived from a great predecessor. Now, I won’t suggest that it was a part of the golden age thinking, but the premise of the game is close enough to warrant a second glance into the concept.
Raging Bytes’ release was announced on March 17th, 2023 and made available for pre-registration. The game has since launched and is described by the developers as a “zombie RPG for all.” The game is written and supervised by Jiro Ishii, developed by Hit-Point and published by KEMCO.
Raging Bytes crafts nostalgia to create a video game that is the exact opposite of a crisp and high-resolution title. The game can be considered a nod to the console and pixels that fostered many childhoods.
Same Old Story or Something New?
The plot line within this Android RPG invokes the genre of zombie movies. Set in 1978, the plot revolves around a viral outbreak that ends up as you know what. The personal story revolves around Ben, a police officer. He wakes up in a hospital and finds himself amidst an ongoing zombie apocalypse, and is joined by various other characters. Ultimately, they form an ensemble that fights hordes of humans-turned-zombies. The characters and plot lines make it easy to navigate through the overworld of Raging Bytes.
There are three chapters where the story evolves, following a fast-paced adventure that resembles any three-act structure of a zombie classic, made better by offering a good turn-based gaming experience within this mobile game. Right from Ben’s discovery of an apocalypse that had plagued his city, there is an action-packed and tense narrative that explores Ben’s struggle to survive and thrive while battling zombies. He meets Barbara, a doctor, and forms a team with other survivors. There are different types of weapons such as guns, melee weapons and ranged weapons to ward off the hordes of zombies. All of this, plus the immediate danger of running into a zombie, makes Raging Bytes a fairly interesting game to play, even for amateur players or people who don’t often play games.
So, What’s Different?
The game is a 2-D pixel art video game. So, if you are used to the clarity and fast-paced speed of the current Android games, this game’s tempo and feel might be different. The characters on the screen are bouncy, maneuvered through a joystick on your touch screen. You have to move your player around to explore the smallest of corners and cabinets for clues, and there is a steady stream of dialogue to go through and uncover the story. It is definitely a far cry from the clear and rich graphics and blazing multicolor mobile games we are used to, but maybe that’s the whole point of this game. It offers something different, derived from something familiar and coupled with the latest technology of a smartphone.
Even though KEMCO is a Japanese studio, the game doesn’t use anime influences and characteristics. Instead, the venerated pixelated form comes into being. It takes back you to the 8-bit cassette video game era of the past. The only difference is that now those little squares are on a screen in your mobile phone with a touch screen.
As the player ventures into the game, they will find that all the potential zombie enemies are visible. You can also choose to attack them one by one or in groups. They can also be avoided altogether. Some zombies offer special rewards which are worth the risk. The nooks and crannies within the game have elements that can be unblocked. However, they come with the added danger of a fatal battle with zombies.
Don’t Feed the Zombies!
Even though Raging Bytes offers an array of characters and a plot line that is interesting and interactive, the players can’t solely survive with weapons and health. The turn-based pacing of the game can bring forth a weaker zombie, which can be dangerous. If you get one dangerous hit, it will take a considerable number of resources to revive again. There are two possible endings, and the game features both in one play-through.
The only thing that bothers me while playing this game was that the injuries by the zombies can be fatal. So, exploring the game and fighting the zombies might take a while since there is a high chance your character will die, and you have to begin the game again. However, one can say that the uncertainty adds to the adrenaline of the gameplay experience and makes it interesting.
Is It Hardcore
Is It Hardcore?
Yes, it is. The game is story-driven in the same fashion as a zombie movie. It’s half old-school zombie film adventure and half pixelated video game nostalgia that might invoke the phantom touch of the console buttons embedded in our collective memory. However, here’s the thing. The game might work its magic only for those with a soft spot for zombies or nostalgic 8-bit games. After all, nostalgia might not always be what it used to be, at least for some. But, for someone who is looking for a game that will keep you engrossed with a good story and fast pace, Raging Bytes is your game.