Looking for a land that you can flourish in your love for gaming references? Then look no further! Welcome to GamEarth, the world where all your favorite gaming characters come together to live in harmony. We have our hero and savior, Legendary Warrior (he is totally not Link) and our frequently bad dudes, The Space Marines (I think they are just evil members of the COG). Come to GamEarth, where all your fantasies become a reality!
Rise & Shine is a mixture between an arcade shooter and puzzle platformer developed by Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team (yes, that is their real name and yes, it is that badass). The story starts with Rise in the middle of a battle between a space grunt and the Legendary Warrior in the middle of a shopping mall. The battle doesn’t end well for either party when they are both fatally wounded. Upon his dying breath, the Legendary Warrior gives Rise his prized sentient pistol, Shine. Shine grants his holder with infinite respawns and unlimited ammo to aid them in their journey of saving the world. Rise with Shine now in hand is asked by the Legendary Warrior to right the wrong that is afflicting GamEarth and to become the savior of the people. This title contains thirteen stages that take Rise on the adventure of his lifetime as he defeats bosses and slays enemies. Throughout the game, Rise achieves three different upgrades to aid his journey: the electric bullets, RC bullets, and explosive bullets. While electric and explosive are self-explanatory, they both have their unique use of beating some of the puzzles throughout the games. The electric bullets stun human enemies and do additional damage to robots as well as charge lights or other devices throughout the game. The explosive bullets are an effect that can be added to normal and electrical bullets to destroy certain items. When used with normal bullets, Shine will shoot a normal grenade at enemies in an arc-shaped movement which sticks to objects if held down the maximum distance. However, the grenade will become an EMP grenade when paired with the electric projectiles. The RC bullets are the effect that is not only used the most throughout the game but a unique effect I have not seen in a game recently. This effect puts the projectile in bullet time but provides extreme precision with the movement. The bullet can be put at a standstill if needed when waiting for a gate to open or to avoid a projectile coming towards you. One thing that is good to mention about this game before going in is that it is very difficult at points. There are bullet hell sections, there are brutal boss fights, there are waves and waves of enemies that come at you at once, and there will be death. You will die from time to time playing and it will be frustrating, but the game is not impossible. To add to it, there is an Ironman difficulty that tasks you with completing the game without dying and I couldn’t imagine playing through some of the sections on that difficulty.
The visual aesthetics featured in Rise & Shine are simply phenomenal. The graphics are cartoony in nature while you are playing and transition to a comic book style for the cutscenes. It looks amazing and pairs well with the vibe that is given off. It feels like you watching a Saturday morning cartoon and I don’t feel that any other visual style could have worked better. The soundtrack of the game was one in the same. It paired great with the overarching gaming references.
Before receiving this game for review, I had seen trailers and gameplay of the game and I felt that it looked pretty good. I had played other games published by Adult Swim Games and liked the previous installation, but I wasn’t expecting too much out of the game. The other titles like Mega Coin Squad and such were niche games that were fun to play, but I felt fell out after a little bit of time. Rise & Shine did not fit this bill and I feel it far surpassed any of the previous titles. The game was so much fun and I couldn’t put it down (like literally could not put it down…I beat it in one sitting). It was fast-paced, action-filled gameplay that I just could not get enough of and I wish there were other titles that gave me that kind of experience. From killing grunts to solving the puzzles, I just could not get enough and I would love another game similar to this experience. The only downside I found when playing this game was that it was over too fast as I beat the game in a bit over 5 hours.
In the end, Rise & Shine was a phenomenal title that I would recommend everyone to get a chance to play. However, I will say while this game is cartoon and comic book inspired, it is a mature game. There is blood and there is violence but I don’t believe that it is too over-the-top. The developers did an amazing job and I could not have been happier with my experience with this title. The game is priced at $15 USD and I feel that it is priced perfectly for what you would get out of it.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 9/10
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