If you are a fan of good old school platform games, you tend to have a love affair with any that happen to find their way to you. This is what happened to me when I was able to try out Rise and Shine. Like some relationships though, the punishment they cause can sometimes be a little much to take, and the connection created all too fleeting.
Rise and Shine is about a boy and a gun. The boy Rise, gains the legendary gun, Shine early in the game. Once they form a connection of sorts, Rise then makes his way through a world invaded by robots and space creatures who have taken over a world full of video game references.
When you see Flappy Bird flying through the sky, this is probably the first warning how hard Rise and Shine will be. With a focus on gun-based puzzles, dodging bullets and even using a cover based shooting system, there is plenty of uses for Shine. Through the use of normal bullets and special electric ones you must work your way through the levels to complete the game.
With the different types of bullets also comes the different ways to control them. There are the standard types, radio-controlled ones and explosive. This gives you plenty of combinations to get through the battles, power-up buttons, and work out puzzles that help you progress. This feels quite innovative at first, but the problem is there isn’t much change by the time you’ve learnt the basic way to control the gun.
The bigger problem for the player though is the level of challenge the game provides. There is a level where hard games can create a balance that keeps the player invested, and makes them come back for more. In a 2D platformer like this, a good example is Rogue Legacy. In that game, it starts off hard and as you progress and build up your abilities you begin to form the ability to dominate the game.
Where I’ve managed to put hours into Rogue Legacy and progressed through New Game+, New Game++ and so on, Rise and Shine doesn’t really give this level of longevity. It is short, and the battles are at a level of chaos that is just that bit too overwhelming to be fun. That doesn’t make it a bad game though.
Looking at Rise and Shine, Adult Swim Games have provided gamers with a world full of game references that they’ll know and love. The cartoon style is beautiful, and there are never moments that you are not invested in the world you are playing in. The controls work well, though the chaos of the gun battles can cause problems, and you will feel you want more of the game. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t last longer.
With a more balanced challenge and a longer gaming experience, Rise and Shine may have ranked higher as a platform game. In truth, not ever game has to be at the level of challenge of Dark Souls, sometimes the level of challenge can be toned down just a little to keep the fun, and keep the player invested.
Rise and Shine is available on PC and Xbox One now.