Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut review (Vita)

We check out Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut, which was recently updated to offer PSN users more retro-themed fun in a familiar package. We played the Vita version – here’s our review.

Rock Boshers DX came out for Playstation Vita back in late 2012, with the Director’s Cut edition also already a few months old. So why are we reviewing it now? Because we never got a chance before, AND before it just received a brand new (free) update. The update gives the game a secondary (optional) graphics style that is designed to do just what the original game set out to do: pay homage to the games that delighted home computer users back in the mid-eighties.

In the case of Rock Boshers DX, the look and feel that the designers have strived for is that of the ZX Spectrum – though many users of MS-DOS, Atari ST and Amiga machines will also no doubt recognize the art style. Boulderdash came to mind for me, as did many others while I was playing – oh, the memories. Rock Boshers has nothing to do with falling boulders though, as it’s an, at times, frantic shooter. A twin-stick shooter at that – and we sure didn’t have those back in the mid-eighties (unless you owned an arcade version of Robotron or Smash TV).

Rock Boshers DX

Sporting an 8bit look and feel, the game transports you to an 1880s-themed version of Mars, and mixes action adventure elements with the core shooter mechanics. To emphasize the silly ‘out there’ approach of the setting, you also take control of none other than a young Queen Victoria – on a quest for adventure. Along the way, you’ll battle both humans and monsters and tackle challenging boss fights.

Aside from the original palette, the recent update also gives you the option to play the game with an “80s console” look – which is funnily enough just like how you remember NES games from that era being different from their computer counterparts. Definitely worth a second playthrough for reasons of nostalgia, and also because the game isn’t that long. Expect to beat the game in about an hour and half, and that’s including some restarts due to the challenging nature of some of the levels.

As such, we felt that the game could have used a little more content in terms of extra levels and/or challenge rooms, but that doesn’t take anything away from what’s there when you pick up Rock Boshers DX – a truly fun and retro-inspired shooter adventure, with a game length that’s well suited to the Vita handheld platform. Oh – and we haven’t even mentioned our favorite part: the wonderful chip-music ditties playing in the background.

Score: 7.8/10

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