You've gotta admit, restoring Blockbuster to its former glory by going GTA on the streets is a pretty good hook for a game.
Shakedown Hawaii's also one of the last games to release on the Vita - probably the last game, really. But while the Retro City Rampage developres know how to nail their visual style, the game also has a lot more busywork than its predecessor.
There are hundreds of missions in Shakedown: Hawaii, each one of them a bite-sized mashup of arcade violence and dark humour that takes aim at late capitalism. None of the missions overstay their welcome, but also, they don’t culminate into anything more rewarding than the experience of just driving around the game’s bright, lurid streets looking for trouble.
Beyond the opening jabs and jokes about subscription payments and day one patches, Hawaii has the player buying up a lot of property around Hawaii. Your properties give you money every couple of minutes, which can then be spent on more properties to gain more money. There's no volatility in the properties you buy, and you can't lose them once you've bought them. So it's a little bit like completing things for the sake of completing them, which can get a bit samey. Your landlord ambitions aside, there's also 81 properties that need to be shaken down through scaring away customers, cutting off hair, killing gang members, and so on.
But I'm interested in your take on the game. How have you found Shakedown Hawaii's references and in-jokes, and how's the gameplay been for you coming from Retro City Rampage?