In my long career as a gaming journalist, is never very pleasant to take time to write about how bad a game is, especially when developers worked hard on it. Take Rise & Shine for example: its interactive cartoon looks inspired, as well as its puzzles based on remote guided projectiles, its phases of sustained action and its “mature” direction by Adult Swim Games as their publishers. Sadly it’s a failed attempt to create something original.
If the developer name (Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team) might be really long, its game could be as short as reading it, ranging two big hours to complete. Rise & Shine’s selling pitch is basic: a videogame set in the world of videogames, with more cliché references than all the geeky shirt shops do in six months combined. Rise & Shine is fairly easy to understand, however, that its only identity is that of the games it plundered, under pretense of just being referential humor.
The game puts you in the shoes of Rise, a young kid in charge of saving his PlanEarth planet from invaders of NewGen . In the chaos of the invasion, a blue elf named Blink entrusts you with a mission: to find the King of GameEarth – a mustached plumber – by using the power of the legendary gun called Shine. With it, you can destroy hordes of soldiers straight out of Gears of War and save gimmicky versions of your favorite videogame heroes. Along the way, you’ll travel through lands inspired by Space Invaders, Duck Hunts, Street Fighter, or even find a certain bird that likes to flap a lot. One will sadly smile at the weakness of the script, which almost laugh at its own jokes.
Anyway, after an hour, there is no longer any plot, scenario, or logical connectors. Not even an exercise commentary, or characters to connect with, nada! All that remains are puzzle and run and gun sequences, mashing numerous gaming cameo here and there. Don’t get me wrong though, the game looks great and run smoothly, almost forcing your optic nerves to twitch with the insane amount of colors and on-screen effects. The artists of Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team’s studios (I’m going to shorten it to Mega Team from now on) prove that they have talent, with often sumptuous backgrounds and some nice character designs.
To be honest, I could certainly have ignored all these issues if Rise & Shine properly exploited its good mechanics and gameplay ideas. But in just two hours, you soon realize that the whole game repeats itself: shooting action with waves of robotic AI, hidden behind a cover or running in all directions to avoid the swarms of pellets they shoot at you. With a very Megaman oriented shooting experience, minus the precision of the aim, Rise & Shine requires twitch reactions that are almost impossible to perform due to its stiff and rigid control and animations.
And when you do not stupidly keep on pressing on the trigger to shoot your gun, Rise & Shine drops the pace with some puzzles to solves, often linked to just a mechanical trick to open a door. For that, you’ll use either a guided ball shot from your gun that you’ll have to guide through a labyrinth, or use a sticky bomb to fix on a moving element that needs to be blown up at the right time. With neither the fighting nor the puzzles being so interesting, it’s “surprises” like one boss attack killing you instantly that will make you rage quite this game. If this is what Mega Team had in mind when creating a “think and gun” title and not another “run and gun”, I’ll admit that I’m unconvinced by their vision.
Rise & Shine was reviewed using an Xbox One downloadable code of the game provided by Adult Swim Games. The game is also available on PC via Steam. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• Really beautiful to look at
• Great music
• Some levels are enjoyable
• The shooting mechanics are boring
• Puzzle sequences lacking inspiration
• Really crude humor
• The story is just a sequence of bad cameos