Rise & Shine – Review
Shoot Fast, Think Faster
Rise & Shine is a true “think and gun” that combines elements of arcade shooters, bullet hells, and puzzle platformers to create a new blend of strategy and viscera. Switch between Shine’s add-ons to solve puzzles that redefine what bullets can do. Guide projectiles through intricate mazes, electrify damaged equipment to discover new pathways, and juggle 8-bit fruit because why not?
This is NOT another run’n’gun clone at all. This is something different and fresh.
Get Ready to Respawn
Don’t let the cute character models fool you, saving Gamearth won’t be easy. Prepare to dash flurries of missiles and avoid unseen traps as you fight to prevent its destruction. It’s going to take all you’ve got to stay alive in the face of lethal robot armadas, enormous bosses, giant death wheels, and (of course) brainthirsty zombies. You’re not gettin’ through this in one piece, kiddo.
Next Level Detail
Enter a world where every level is a single, continuous work of art. Each level is composed of hand drawn illustrations with multiple parallax scroll layers so every forward step is new; no tiling or repeated elements. This meticulous attention to detail allows each frame to flow seamlessly from one to the next, a quality you’ll wish you had on your 20th respawn.
Rise and Shine is brought to you by Adult Swim Games and Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team and it’s a combination side scrolling shooter mixed with some platforming elements.
To begin with there is a very short tutorial which introduces you to the mechanics of the game and this is also where you first get a glimpse of the cute little character you will be playing with. His name is Rise and he could very well be Gamearths last hope of survival in the war with the games protagonists Nexgen.
The story is told via a number of storyboards as you progress through it and although you can just skip through them I would recommend giving them a read. It starts with a character called Tomox who looks remarkably like a Space Invader (ask your parents……..maybe your grandparents even), he tells Rise to get out of the city and at the end of the dialogue he is shot by a rather large robot which also incidentally shows up a little later as the first boss you have to kill (more on him later).
The Space Invader is the first of many references that the older generation of gamers will recognise. I have spotted characters and tips of the hat to Mario, Duck Hunt and Pacman that I remember off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are more that I have missed on this first playthrough.
So, back to the gameplay….. On the journey out of the city, Rise meets a legendary warrior who is mortally wounded. The warrior exchanges some dialogue with him and then gives him his weapon. The weapon is a gun called Shine, hence the game title Rise and Shine. The gun talks and explains how to use him to Rise and then off they go to start the adventure. One of the benefits that Shine has is that he grants the holder of him infinite respawns….you don’t stay dead as long as he is with you. Soooooo how was it that the legendary warrior died then? I hear you ask……… ‘no idea mate’ is what I would reply, as it’s not explained in the game.
After receiving Shine, you shoot your way out of the Mall and so begins your quest to save Gamearth. It’s a gentle introduction that lets you use all the moves you learned in the tutorial and is also your first glimpse at the ‘look’ of your surroundings. Graphically Rise and Shine does the job and then some. The detail and style of the levels as you go through is very pleasing to the eye, bright colours, clean lines and depth to a 2-D landscape are in evidence everywhere. There is stuff going on in the background wherever you go and although it doesn’t have any effect on what you’re doing, it’s very nice to have it there.
Shine doesn’t just shoot bullets…….well he does, but not just ordinary bullets. There are a few different types of bullets to pick up as you progress and each bullet type has a specific thing that they do. Remote control bullets are controlled ….well remotely, electric bullets are very useful against machinery and explosive bullets also play a part later in the game.
The remote control bullets are used to get to places that don’t have a clear line of sight and the situations you have to use them in are like a little mini-game that you have to win to go any further.
There are puzzles to solve insomuch as you have to do certain things in a certain order to be able to progress (that’s a puzzle…right?)
Quite early in the game you meet the first boss, and he’s a doozy.
Now it may be just down to my gaming skills or my advancing years and slow reflexes, but this blooming thing took me an absolute age to defeat. In fact I’ve since viewed a video where the entire game is completed in the time it took me to bring this robot down to it’s metal knees (I’m presuming it had knees. You never see below it’s waist). This is the place where I was thankful of infinite respawns. It’s just a standard pattern to learn to bring him down and it’s fairly easy to learn, although to it’s credit the game doesn’t repeat the pattern in the same order each time you die.
After defeating him, Rise continues on throughout Gamearth and meets new friends and defeats more enemies and eventually learns a shocking truth about who he is fighting. I’ll leave that for you to discover yourself though.
I found Rise and Shine to be a very fun game but in place so frustrating. Not in a bad way though, in fact the only criticism I have is that it can be completed in a couple of hours and unless you’re a sadist there isn’t much replayability appeal. Why do you have to be a sadist ????? Well one of the achievements is to complete the game without dying once……………………..not gonna happen here I can tell you that for free.
In summary, Rise and Shine is a fun, fresh, sometimes frustrating but always stunning looking game to play that maybe could have been a bit longer, it has some tongue in cheek references to some older video games that the youngsters may miss but the older players will find themselves loving. I give it a well deserved 8/10.