Gamearth is the world where classic video game characters live. It’s also the world that Space Grunts from Nexgen planet are currently invading for no reason other than they’re big and have giant guns and like to use them. Rise, and his gun Shine, are the only ones who can stop them.
Unfortunately, they’ll die, repeatedly, in the process. They’ll also have to repeat large swathes of the game, because the save system sucks.
“Run and Gun” is the closest I can get to explaining the core of Rise & Shine. It’s a 2D game where you’re running, aiming, and shooting everything in sight. There’s also bullet-hell and cover-based shooter mechanics in there, as well as some puzzle elements. Toss in a little bit of platforming and you’ve got Rise & Shine. It’s a fresh formula that almost works. More about that in the Perspective section.
The game starts you off as a fairly helpless child named Rise and tosses you right into the action. In fact, you’ll probably die before you even know what’s going on. Dash to the first point of cover and you’ll be presented with a bit of story that puts Shine into your hands. Shine is an intelligent gun with the firepower of a cannon.
Run, cover, shoot. That’s the basics. Throughout the game, Shine will get some upgrades that will help you solve puzzles along the way, but that core “blow everything up” vibe still prevails in most cases.
Rise & Shine is an absolutely stunning looking game. Everything in the game is hand-painted and layered in a meticulous fashion. Moving through the game feels fluid and whole, and every step you take feels fresh, new, and exciting. A visual treat for the eyes.
The music, composed by Damián Sánchez, is fully orchestrated and wonderful, though at times it’s hard to hear over the sounds of explosions and your repeated deaths.
While I love the way the game looks, Rise & Shine is brutally hard. Not just hard in a Dark Souls kind of way, either. It’s almost as if the game takes every cheap shot it can at you. Combine that with controls that just aren’t up to snuff and it’s enough that it really put a damper on my enjoyment of the game. Enough that I put the game down and probably won’t pick it up ever again.
It’s a shame, really. Rise & Shine really has a lot going for it, but the difficulty and poor controls are things I can’t get past. It’s rage inducing, and I just don’t need that kind of stress in a video game.
A Steam copy of Rise & Shine was provided free for review by Adult Swim Games.