RKGK Rakugaki (PC)

It seems futuristic cel-shaded adventures are on the rise again with the recent Hi-Fi Rush and Bombrush Cyberfunk, and they’re now joined by another from Wabisabi Games in RKGK Rakugaki – a platforming graffiti fuelled speedathon of an adventure. Does it have the substance to match the style? Lets take a look.

Cap City is under the control of the evil B Corp, headed by the infamous Mr Buff. The citizens of the city are living dull monotonous lives due to mind-control technology, under the watchful eye of this corporation. Everyone is need of a spark of resistance, and that’s where Valah comes in with her creative graffiti skills. Backed by the rest of the RKGK gang, its time to take the fight to Mr Buff and bring colour back to the streets of cap city.

The overall narrative isn’t really the games strong suit, rebellious youth taking it to the man in a cyberpunk dystopia, but it at least presents well with flashy dialogue and cutscenes. Our gal Valah does a decent job holding it all together, just the right amount of sass & attitude. You’ll have plenty of time to spend with Valah and her robot companion as the game is split into several zones, each with several stages within, and rounded off with a boss battle. As you progress the hideout will fill out with friends that offer up new functions. Progression will unlock various items, such as clothing, which can be purchased from these friends. There’s a surprising amount to get through if you want everything the game has to offer.

Carrying a bit of a cel-shaded look, the games packs a lot of style into a small package. The real highlight comes from the visual effects, especially when tagging as the graffiti looks as if it leaps from the screen and changes the surrounding area. There’s a nice variety to the stage zones too, and there’s a surprising amount of detail at times. Character and enemy models are decent enough, key characters like Valah fare best, but some of the set piece bosses are no slouch either.

Sound doesn’t have the same pazaazz as the visuals, but it supports well with its reactive OST, and there’s some voice acting to go with dialogue sections occasionally. Performance is also decent. I went with 4K/120Hz at max settings on my system (R7 5800X3d/32GB/RTX 3090) and managed to hold 120fps well with a lick of DLSS – the game also supports Vulkan but performance was way off with that, never really passed 100fps which is unusual in comparison to DX. There’s plenty of tweaks so you should be able to find a suitable performance profile for your system, a recent update has added Steam Deck support.

This stylish game no doubt has many influences, but for me it felt like I was playing Jet Set Radio mixed with a heavy dose of Ratchet & Clank. JSR is there for the obvious graffiti angle, you’ll be collecting sprays and tagging enemies while boosting through levels as quickly as possible. R&C is pretty much everything else from the platforming to the combat. It’s most noticeable, outside of the grinding sections, during the numerous boss battles which feel ripped from the duo’s PS3 era adventures. Enemies themselves increase in variety pretty quick, the difficulty jump from Zone 1 to 2 is noticeable, with obstacles increasing too to make speedy runs difficult. You can destroy enemies all manner of ways to keep the flow going (basic hits, glide jumps, grapples, etc) and try to grab as many coins and collectibles as possible to finish a stage with enough objectives done for a nice boost – with defacer mode to help if you chain enough together to get into the zone.

The objectives can be head-scratching, especially timed ones. You’ll do a stage quick in a few minutes, but the game will want it done in a third of that? Maybe if you did nothing but rush to the end. The game will catch you out at first with a few other things too, like its platforming, as you may be expecting something akin to Sonic but ends up like Mario instead. This is down to momentum not being a factor within the platforming really. Your momentum doesn’t carry over to jumps, for example, so your jumps will always be the same even if you approach at a high speed. The games pace is deceptive as well. Valah’s actual movement speed is slower than a babies crawl, so you will have to rely on everything to constantly keep the speed up, boosting and gliding in particular. It’ll take a stage or two to fully click

RKGK Rakaguki isn’t all style as it has a bit of substance to go with the flashy visuals, once the game clicks the blistering gameplay and the progressively more dangerous stages, and bigger stakes, have that ‘one more go’ appeal. You’ll need to check some expectations going in beforehand, such as for the old-school platforming feel, but it’s worth seeing it through for the gameplay loop beyond. Worth a blast at the £16.49 asking price.



Has the style to dazzle you until the gameplay loop digs its claws in, from there you’re with Valah till the end.

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Geoffrey Wright

Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.

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