Adult Swim Games has been publishing games for a while now, with some of them, like Duck Game and Jazzpunk, having decent success in the indie market. Rise & Shine is the newest game published by the company, and, in my opinion, it is going to be the most successful release of the publisher up until now. The game is made by Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team, which, as far as developer names go, bodes well (and is also hard to say three times fast).
In Rise & Shine, you play as Rise, a little kid living in Gamearth, an Earth similar to ours, with one key exception. Famous video game herores live there. One day, Space Grunts from the planet Nexgen (get it?) arrive and assault Gamearth. In the aftermath of the first strike, Rise witnesses the death of the Legendary Warrior (who looks suspiciously like Link). Before he dies, the Warrior gives Rise his legendary weapon, Shine. It is now Rise’s job to save Gamearth.
Now, if you are an avid Indie player, you probably have already heard some criticism on the game. Some of it might be fair, but the biggest criticism, its difficulty, is plain wrong, at least to me. Let me explain. Rise & Shine plays like most 2D Action games. If you have played Metal Slug, you will get the hang of Rise & Shine immediately. However, Rise & Shine chooses to up the difficulty a bit. Despite that, the game is still fair. Enemies have patterns in what they do, and once you learn them you can easily defeat them. Of course, this means that you might die a few times. But you know what? That’s absolutely fine. Do you really want to play a game and just blaze through it? Rise & Shine has the same difficulty components that make games like Dark Souls fun. The payoff after you beat a hard enemy, that glee you feel, is half the game.
Another thing people have complained about is the game’s length. That complaint is a bit more nuanced. The game will take from a few hours to a full evening to complete, depending on how many secrets and collectibles you want to find. For the price of 15 euro, this might turn some people away. However, what Rise & Shine lacks in duration, it more than makes up in character. Everything about this game is memorable. The titular characters, the enemies, all the video game character cameos… Moreover, the game is good. It’s fun to play, it’s well optimized, it has nearly everything. For how many games that cost 40 euro can you say that?
Another huge plus for the game is its creative design. The artstyle looks straight out of Rick and Morty and is great to look at. The music is also fantastic and fits perfectly with the game. The animations are sleek and just as cartoony as they should be. One thing that I liked a lot is that Rise pants after he has ran for a while. It’s a nice touch to remind you that he is just a kid who got thrust into this.
Of course, the game has some negatives. One of them is that the humour is a bit hit or miss. Some lines and events on the screen are hilarious. Others feel a bit off, like their timing or subject matter is wrong. Still, this rarely affects your immersion in the game.
Another minor complaint I have is that Rise feels a bit slow. Sure, he is a kid, and it feels thematically right to have him move slowly. However, there are many times where I died and what irritated me most was not that fact, but the fact that I had to walk back to where I was. And that’s with checkpoints being virtually everywhere.
Despite all the above, Rise & Shine remains one of the top games I have played the last few months. It has character, it has great art, it has fun gameplay. Any small mistakes Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team has made in the game are honestly superficial and will not hurt your experience much, if at all. So, if you are looking for a great game to spend an evening on, Rise & Shine is the perfect fit.
You can find Rise & Shine on Steam for 15 euro.
Rise & Shine takes the standard 2D Action formula that games like Metal Slug introduced and adds a ton of character to it. That plus the game’s great art make it a fantastic thing to spend your money on.
+ Fun gameplay.
+ Just right difficulty
+ Terrific art, music and general creative direction.
– The humour is a bit “off” at times.
– Rise is a bit too slow-moving.
– Philip “Snowchill” Alexandris