The Walking Vegetables : Radical Edition
Developed By : StillRunning
Published By : Merge Games
Category : Action, Arcade, Twin-Stick Shooter
Release Date : Nov 8, 2018
The last year or so has taught me just how much of a fan I am of the twin-stick shooter genre. Even moreso when the game behind it is a bit over the top and ridiculous. Which, believe me, The Walking Vegetables most assuredly is. Over the top plot line? The world is being invaded by killer vegetables and it is up to you to slaughter them down to the last and save the planet…I’d say that’s over the top a bit. Splash in a heavy dose of 80’s culture references, and bright neon colors to give things a vibrant spin on things.
In addition to being a twin-stick, The Walking Vegetables is also a bit of a roguelike, with semi randomly generated maps, as well as skills and weapons that can be upgraded. The game takes place over a series of days, which serve as the game’s levels although they all share the same name so…go figure? Maybe it’s like Groundhog Day? Anyways, they all operate the exact same way.
You spawn into a section of a larger map, spread out in a grid. Your job is to visit each square on the grid and clear it of all attacking veggies. Do this enough, and eventually you’ll encounter what you’re out for in terms of beating the level : a boss fight. A tiny little alien will spawn into one of these grid sections and start whipping around. Hit it enough and a portal opens up allowing you to travel through to fight the level’s boss.
In your travels, you’ll have access to a whole slew of guns that can either be found in many ways. Once you clear an area, you’ll be greeted with a chest that drops. If you have a key (which there are plenty of that you can find even by accident and still have extra), the key opens the chest and inside you’ll usually find a much more powerful weapon. Also on the map there are a vast amount of buildings, most of which can be opened up and cleared themselves, which can also net you some sweet weapon drops.
The majority of your skills will come from completing certain feats within the game. For instance, defeating a specific boss let’s you walk damage-free through the acid waste left behind by some enemies. Hitting a specific number of deaths actually gains you a heart on your health bar. You can unlock twenty in total, and at maximum equip up to four at a time (but that’s once you’ve earned all twenty).
My only complaint from my time with The Walking Vegetables was the oddity of the weapon system. Or rather, more specifically, your ability to carry them. When it comes to the game’s guns, you can load up on every single one without a problem. However, you also have a shared slot for melee and throwable. So…do you want that police baton? Do you want throwing stars? It’s a really touch choice because both have heavy advantages that are hard to consider giving up.
In the end though, this game is a ton of fun. It’s bright, it’s beautiful, and you’ll get slapped with 80’s references up the wazoo! Right in the intro of the game before you even get to take control, you’ll be greeted with a Ghostbusters reference, and then be asked if you’re a “Rad enough dude?” to save the planet (bonus points if you can place the latter). The soundtrack is extremely well done, and visually the game throws in a scratchy VHS overlay that manages to fit just perfectly. Don’t hesitate to grab this game when it drops in a couple days, and until then make sure you eat all your vegetables. Because if you don’t, they just might rise up and try to eat you!