Rise & Shine review

The world of Gamearth is being invaded by Space Grunts! Battle rages on and you witness the loss of the Legendary Hero as he hands you the only weapon strong enough to defend Gamearth. If this story sounds like a cliche, well it is, and Rise & Shine is full of video game cliches that will have you laughing while on the edge of your seat with tough challenges. Across beautifully drawn levels set in a 2-D side scrolling adventure, Rise & Shine will test your skills and patience while rewarding you with classic gaming humor.

Rise & Shine brings you on a epic quest to save Gamearth before all is lost. As Rise, you come across Shine, a legendary weapon that allows the wielder to re-spawn after death. Together you battle countless enemies as you fend off an invasion while trying to get Shine to the King. Along with encountering wave after wave of enemies, you also come across many gaming Easter eggs that give a nod to classic gaming. The Legendary Hero that falls looks very similar to Link. Background items such as Portal cubes and Gordan Freeman’s crowbar are scattered around. And the humor itself is a nod to many cliches in games of the ’80s/’90s, like one scene with two goons talking and asking themselves, “Why are we just standing near these explosives?” You’ll find yourself having a good chuckle for each nod. But as the game progresses, the challenges get harder.

One of the things I thought was a little odd is the control scheme. The weapon Shine is able to switch bullets, from electric shots to homing bullets. And in a 2-D atmosphere, the game really plays like a FPS game where you have full control of where you shoot. What stands out is that you have to hold down a button to aim the gun. You can’t freely shoot, like run and gun, and while aiming you walk much slower which makes avoiding obstacles and enemies hard. You can’t even jump and shoot, taking away a classic element of gaming. You are able to crouch behind objects and dash, which provides a means to dodge incoming attacks. Aiming is really easily with a reticle on screen. The option to use a controller is a nice one for those who prefer it. I often found myself switching back to the keyboard/mouse combo since aiming was a lot better.

The challenging levels of Rise & Shine are reminiscent of classic side-scrolling games like Contra and Mega Man. There are times where you can just shoot your way through a level, and others where you need to be smart with the types of ammo at your disposal. Certain enemies take more damage with certain bullets while some are completely immune. There are also puzzles to solve along the way that’ll have you navigate a bullet to hit a switch. The enemies themselves also get tougher with shields and faster movements, and boss battles that’ll have you using every type of shot. It’s a tough game that shows no mercy at even the slightest mistake.

Final Reaction

Rise & Shine is a beautifully drawn adventure that provides a classic gaming feel in a modern setting, a simple side-scrolling game that adds many elements for an engaging experience. It delivers a tough challenge that is satisfying after overcoming each boss. The game is short, but it’s a journey worth the trip with a story heavily influenced by the gaming culture that’ll have you appreciating all the details of the game. Do you have what it takes to stop the Space Grunts from taking over Gamearth? Jump in and spawn, and spawn, and spawn in Rise & Shine.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

Rise & Shine is available now on Steam and XBOX One.

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Joe Gonzalez
Joe Gonzalez 286 posts

Gamer since '86, well knowledgeable in movies and games, and semi tech savvy. Graphic artist and t-shirt printer for over 10 years.


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