Brian Provinciano has now posted an official update to confirm the 3DS release. The target release window is the Holiday season, and below is part of the statement.
The 3DS version is the first that's required significant development work. While all previous versions were nearly pixel-for-pixel identical, the dual screens, lower resolution and less beefy processor meant some things had to go back to the drawing board. Quality's important to me and for it to play well, it wasn't going to be a quick-n-dirty port. It packs all of the same content as the other versions, including the new Retro+ Enhanced Graphics mode, but every mission is being tweaked and adjusted to run best with the zoomed in camera. I'm also still working on the best ways to utilize the bottom screen for both convenience and gameplay. I'm not a fan of flow-breaking minigames, but selecting weapons, scrolling the minimap, or even using the screen for dual-stick style shooting are on my list to explore.
The main game is 2D, just like the other platforms. While just as much as you, I would love to play RCR in 3D, with a top down angle, a conversion wouldn't be trivial. With sidescrollers, developers can simply separate the background and foreground layers and distance them apart. However, with a top down perspective using cube-like objects such as buildings and vehicles, it would require the graphics to all be recreated as 3D objects, a new rendering engine, a camera system that players would be happy with, and further optimizations. For a new game it would be more feasible, but for an existing one, it simply would've taken too long.
We've been in touch with Brian Provinciano, who has kindly provided some images of the 3DS version in action, below. Keep an eye on Nintendo Life for an interview on the title in the coming days.
Nintendo has issued a press release outlining its plans for the upcoming PAX Prime in Seattle, which we will tell you all about in a separate article, but buried among the games that'll be playable is Retro City Rampage on the 3DS eShop.
After a lengthy development period, Brian Provinciano (the man behind Vblank Entertainment) still released the title on WiiWare despite the platform's loss of momentum, and at the last update hadn't reached the required sales threshold for payment — a policy long since scrapped in the eShop services. The title was released in portable form on the PS Vita, and some have stated their hope that the game would come to the 3DS eShop as a more viable and current Nintendo platform; that wish will be fulfilled.
We'll get in touch with Provinciano for more details, but in the meantime you can always check out our Retro City Rampage WiiWare review and interview about the game. PAX Prime is from 30th August to 2nd September at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, if you want to go hands on.