Retro/Grade’s Backwards Battle Begins Today

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Retro/Grade’s Backwards Battle Begins Today

Hello PlayStation.Blog readers! Firstly, if you aren’t familiar with Retro/Grade, check out our previous post for an explanation about how fighting battles backwards works. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Now that you’re all caught up, we can get started. It’s been a long journey since our first post about Retro/Grade on the PS.Blog over three years ago. We’ve worked very hard creating the best game we possibly can since then — if you saw the three year old screenshots, you’ll notice that it’s barely recognizable as the polished product you see today. Besides all the visual polish we added — like jaw-dropping effects and full HD 1080p rendering at 60 frames-per-second with anti-aliasing — we’ve added a ton of content.

Retro/Grade on PSN - Challenge Mode

Although we have a campaign mode, challenge mode is really the star of Retro/Grade. It’s where the real meat of the game lies. In challenge mode, you are presented with a galaxy map, and you go through playing various challenges that are based on the campaign levels, but with various twists and rule changes. For example, in some of the challenges, the music is sped up, which naturally makes completing the level more difficult. We also have challenges that require you to reach certain score targets, have trickier patterns, and plenty more! There are 130 challenges spanning a map filled with secret paths, warps, and rewards.

What kind of rewards, you ask? All sorts! We have cheats that turn on fun gameplay features like big heads, disco lighting, a film noir look, and more. We also have 11 unlockable ships, some of which feature characters from other indie games like Meat Boy, Minecraft, Octodad, and Go Home Dinosaurs. We also reward you by unlocking tracks in the music player. While that may not sound too interesting (especially if you bought the soundtrack), our music player is set up like a DJ deck with two turntables, which means you can scratch and mix the unlocked sounds to your heart’s content!

Retro/Grade on PSN - Meat BoyRetro/Grade on PSN - Octodad

If challenge mode doesn’t sound like it interests you, campaign mode will keep you coming back for more. You can compete on one of our many leaderboards for the different songs and modes — don’t worry, we have separate leaderboards for guitar and DualShock controllers, just in case you feel that one control scheme has an advantage.

Retro/Grade is available today for $9.99, or in a bundle with the soundtrack for $14.99. The soundtrack, which is in AAC format and is copyable to a USB memory stick, is also available separately for $7.99. We have a demo available, so if you’re not yet completely sold on this reverse-shooter, now is your chance to try it out! Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you on the leaderboards!

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13 Author Replies

  • I would get it but im getting CS:GO

  • That looks fun! Also, it’s great to see Meatboy somehow his way on the Ps3, blood or not. :)

  • Wish it had a + discount, I have like 9.79 in my wallet :(

    • Ordinarily, the games with Plus discounts are reduced from $14.99, but we figured we would just offer the game at a cheaper price for everyone. I’m sorry to hear that you are 20 cents short in your wallet. If I could, I’d transfer you the 20 cents, so you could enjoy Retro/Grade!

  • Sad about no Vita version….I do like the idea of challenge modes as I’ve found those to be the funnest part of shooters such as Geometry Wars 2

  • This game is a must buy. I already got it through a contest.

  • Won this game also on their twitter contest. :D
    Very fun and I especially enjoy all the subtle details with particle effects and pulsing lights in the background to the music!
    The main menu is wickedly flashy as well! :D
    Great job to your entire team!

  • Oh man. I can’t wait for this!!

  • Europe PS+ gets this for free. Kinda of leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, just a bit.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, Sony’s promotional programs that US and EU are different, so we as the developer had no control over this. If a similar promotion existed in the US, we would have gladly participated, but that isn’t the case.

  • I would buy it for Vita.

  • So there’s going to be a demo. Great! I’ve been having a lot of fun with many of these new PSN games. Dyad and Sound Shapes are amazing, and this one looks great, too.

  • @tylerh1701 : if u check out eu store you will see that there are also many games in us ps+ for free, that are not available for free in eu ps+. u can be satisfied what u get in us store. dont worry…

  • @ BlitzkriegerTara : I understand what you’re trying to do here, but don’t bother. The content that gets released for free on the NA PS+ is never enough for some people. If they would live in the UK, then they would complain about how the UK never gets anything good and the NA PS+ gets everything.

  • @CyborgGreyFox : u a right. some people will always complain. im really looking forward to the update. can u tell me which time (use forum time) the update normally goes online in NA?

  • Using forum time, anytime between now and 9PM. It’s all over the place. There’s no fix time.

  • oh ok, thx for quick answer. hope there will be a time that worldwide updates and releases will be simultaneously. especially if its announced like that (talkin bout cs:go: worldwide release: today. european time:8pm/forum time: 11am. and no cs there…. :(

  • More unnecessary shoehorning of “indie” characters…

    Anyway, this has been on my radar for a while. Hope the game lives up to it’s unique premise.

    • A lot of indie developers are friends, and we thought it’d be a fun thing to do for fans of both games. We have plenty of other player ships that you can unlock that are not based on other indie games if you aren’t interested in the indie ones.

  • Oh great, characters from Super Meat Boy and Minecraft… games that Microsoft has paid money to ensure will never come to PSN. Thanks for rubbing that in our faces.

    • Do you know the publishing arrangements for either title? I don’t think the terms have been made public, so I don’t think you can say for sure they won’t come to PSN. Castle Crashers and Braid both came to PSN.

      Regardless, the developers are really great people and were happy to allow us to use their IP. I apologize if you feel that they were inappropriate for a PlayStation game, but we were just trying to create the best game possible and thought they were a fun treat for gamers.

  • Played this at PAX last year and was fortunate to get a code to play it early. (Thanks again 24 Caret Games.)
    The polish on this game after a year’s wait is incredible. There’s an amazing amount to do that will test anybody’s skill level, but still enough to do just for the beginners. This is an awesome game and fun for all ages. I enjoyed it, my 9 year old twin girls enjoyed it, and heck my 2 year old daughter enjoyed it. Although I think she mostly enjoyed dancing to the music. But then again, that’s yet another thing that shines. The soundtrack is amazing and the next thing you know you’re humming the music when you’re out shopping one day. And don’t think you can’t have fun without a guitar. I constantly switch between a guitar and a controller because both controls handle amazing and have a challenge of their own. All around this is a must have game for any PS3 owner.

  • Matt, yes, the devs of SMB have said that the game will NEVER come to PSN because of the deal they made, and obviously MS scooped up the publishing for Minecraft to deny PSN users from having it.

    • While I found the post about SMB, I don’t think you can say for sure that Minecraft will be exclusive to the 360. Braid and Castle Crashers were published by Microsoft on XBLA since you can’t self publish on Xbox 360, and they were able to come to PS3. Mojang is a successful company, so they may have negotiated a deal that allows them to do PS3 at some point.

      Even if Minecraft doesn’t come to PS3, I think it’s a bit silly to accuse us of “rubbing” it in your faces. We thought they made the game better, so we included them. It never occurred to me that adding them would upset gamers… If you want to play Retro/Grade, you don’t have to play as those characters.

      Either way, I’m sorry that you take offense to them.

  • This games looks amazing.

    This game should also be on PSVita, with Cross Buy, Cross Play, etc.

    Why isn’t this game on PSVita as well? Make all games for both consoles with Cross Buy, Cross Play, etc and the exclusives each console has are games that can only be played on each respective console like Tearaway on PSVita for example.

    Companies keep on insisting on making everything overpriced in video games I see. I’m not sure if this game is overpriced at $10, I haven’t looked into it but how is a digital soundtrack $7.99, one dollar less than complete albums from artists? Maybe it’s not overpriced, I haven’t looked into it but just from those facts it sure does seem overpriced.

    • The game is not on PSVita because our company is only two programmers. We optimized the game to squeeze every ounce of power we could out of the PS3. To port it to the Vita would be A LOT of work for such a small team. We would have to reprogram large portions of the game, and our code base is over half a million lines of code. When we started the game 4 years ago, there was no such thing as PSVita, so we couldn’t have planned to support it before it existed.

      You can get the soundtrack for $5 if you buy it with the game. The soundtrack contains over 50 minutes of original audio, so it’s on par with a digital album. Many game soundtracks are $8.99 for MP3s on, so I’m not sure how $7.99 is a bad price let alone $4.99.

      I’m sorry you think we should have released on Vita as well, and we are overcharging for the soundtrack, but the reality is I had to borrow money from family to afford finishing the game, so we need to start making some money back should we want to continue to make independent games.

  • Whiners will be whiners. I for one am excited for this game and love supporting indie devs. Drinkbox (mutant blobs), Queasy (sound shapes), and Shawn McGraph (Dyad) have all been great, and im happy that 24 carat is there also. Matt you have my support and if you ever get around to making another game or even porting this over to the vita you know you have one purchaser in me.

    Now I just want Retro City Rampage and Vikings Attack and ill be in Sony indie heaven.

    Matt: Do you have any plans on getting this on the PC/Steam or is that a breach of sony contract?

    • Thank you for your support! We completely self-published the game, which means we have a greater financial risk than some of the other indies on PSN. However, the advantage is we can bring the game to whatever platforms will have us. For now, we don’t have any plans beyond the PS3 release though. We are looking forward to taking a nice break!

  • Retro/Grade is awesome! I recommend everyone at least try the demo, and those into shooters and/or rhythm games pick this up without question. I got the game early and have been enjoying it a lot.

    Regarding the complaints of other characters in the game:
    Are you not a gamer? Do you not enjoy popular games? Just because you didn’t get to play the specific game on your specific system, don’t knock a game celebrating great indie games by including cameos. That’s just silly.

    Regarding the Vita requests, please stop. It’s a troubling trend now that any PSN release gets scrutinized and criticized if no Vita announcement is made.

    Regarding the (excellent) soundtrack, it IS a complete album from an artist. Skyler McGlothlin created the music for this game. You really should appreciate that a digital release comes with almost an hour of music composed for the game, that is not background music , but music synced up to the gameplay.

    You’re going to get whiners here, that’s inevitable. But you’ve also got people that have been waiting a long time for this game, and plenty more that need to try it.

    • Thank you for your kind words! I know I can’t make everyone happy, but I figure I might as well give honest answers. I’d love to see Retro/Grade on every platform under the sun (including Vita), but it’s not something our tiny company can do. We do support Remote Play, so you can “play” on Vita, but I’d strongly caution against using anything but the WLAN support because the latency can ruin the game. (I guess we won’t be supporting On Live!)

      Normally when I post, I get someone complaining about Killzone, the Last Guardian, or some other Sony developed product, so at least people are talking about things that I can actually respond to. :-D

  • Sucks about the Vita, but I understand.
    That system just needs MORE games. Arcade style ones too.

  • matt t
    i dont understand people on here attack you guys. you guys made a great games on a ps3. i would have love to Have seen a vita version but i do understand what the company is saying . hope you guys dont get put off by some of these bad comments. wish you guys the best and keep working on ps3 games.

  • Matt, I wasn’t that interested in RetroGrade until I saw your responses. You earned yourself a purchase. Keep up your hard work as some of use truly do appreciate you indie developers. Even if they go exclusive at times.

    • Thank you! We need all the support we can get, but I think you’ll like the game because we poured so much effort into it.

  • I had no interest in this game, as every time I heard it described, it was always as a “reverse shooter”, and I am not much of a fan of intense shooters. I decided to download the demo anyway and check it out. After trying it, that’s when I realized it was a rhythm game, which I love! So I immediately bought it and have been playing it since.

    I just wanted to highlight that the demo made this a purchase for me, without it, I would have never looked at it.

    My only “problem” (if you can call it that) is the ranking I receive on completing a stage. The highest ranking is Astro Admiral, which I’ve achieved on a few stages. The next lowest is Continuum Captain, which I haven’t achieved, as I get Comet Commander. I’m just curious as to the difference in requirements, because I’ve done a stage with one mistake and gotten Comet Commander, then redone the stage with no mistakes and gotten Astro Admiral.

    • I’m so glad to hear you like the game! Since the game is so different, we felt it was important to offer a demo to show people what the game is like.

      Continuum Captain is when you get 100% correct and you used the Retro/Rocket. Astro Admiral is when you get 100% correct WITHOUT using the Retro/Rocket. Comet Commander is 95% correct and above.

      Some people prefer to play without the Retro/Rocket, so I imagine that is why you haven’t gotten Continuum Captain.

      I hope this helps!

  • Pass! I like my games straight forward. Going backwards is not enough to sell me on this game when there are so many clones of this type of game [FREE][granted none go backwards] on the App Store. It’s just not enough for me.

    • The actual gameplay is straightforward and pretty darn unique. It just takes a little bit of time to wrap your head around the silly premise. Once you complete the tutorial, the game ends up being quite straightforward (but still challenging on the higher difficulty levels).

      If you’d like rhythm games, I’d recommend you give the demo a chance. If you aren’t a fan of rhythm games, then I can certainly understand that Retro/Grade may not appeal to you, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that there are clones of this game without actually playing it. If you know a game that is a clone, I’d love to hear it.

  • It’s quite a shame that their is so much hostility with some people but I will definetly be buying this game real soon.

  • Is it similar to PS1’s Einhander? I loved that game back in the day! Would love to see it on PSN (if it’s not already there I haven’t checked) and maybe for free for us PS+ users!!

    • The look was inspired by Einhander, but since time is flowing in reverse, it plays of a rhythm game. The best description I’ve heard is that it’s the gameplay is the missing link between Amplitude and Guitar Hero.

  • Wow, what a cool looking shmup. Too bad I’m on a Vita. Remember, there’s 2+ million of us and it’s not an overcrowded storefront. Heard from the Retro City Rampage that getting things up and running on Vita is relatively painless, too!

    G’luck either way, but fingers crossed.

  • reading your other comments and i understand. wishful thinking is all.

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