The 1990s are here and ready to feast.
DEVELOPER: Aicom Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: March 1991
Totally Rad is what happens when slang gets its own video game. The protagonist is Jake, a “cool dude” who happens to be learning magic from a creepy old wizard named Zebediah. When his “fly girl” Alison and her “old man” get kidnapped by an underground mutant named Edogy, Jake puts on some G’NR and takes his magic to the streets of L.A.. The gameplay is standard platforming – run, jump, the whole bit – save for Jake’s magic. Instead of acquiring different forms over time, Jake has everything he needs from the outset. It’s up to you to experiment and deduce what magic works better towards different foes. But you do have a limited Magic bar, so experiment conservatively. Jake’s magic options include full healing, half healing, time stop, shields; water, wind, fire, and stone attacks; and, most importantly, eagle, fish, and lion transformations. The latter are crucial for boss fights. Much like Mega Man, you could just use the Mega Buster/Jake’s Magic Wand on all the bosses, but equipping the right weapon/animal transformation will ensure that much quicker (and easier) victory.
Even with the magic bits, though, Totally Rad feels totally average. The magic gives the game a little variety, but, if you have any experience with 8-bit platforming, it’s nothing you haven’t played before. If anything, Totally Rad is worth playing just to experience the cutscenes. They’re absolutely ridiculous with laugh-out-loud antiquated dialogue, and bizarre facial animation from the characters, particularly the wizard/pervert, Zebediah. Totally Rad is a time capsule that has not aged well at all, but that’s also part of its charm. Check it out, dudes.