Sunday, September 30

Review: Rise and Shine [Nintendo Switch eShop]


The Switch has seen its fair share of shooters, so it’s always nice when something with its own style and flair comes along to expand the family a bit. Rise & Shine, with its puzzle-like sequences where you’ll need to carefully guide your bullets, cover mechanics, and plain creative variety ticks a lot of new boxes. That said, its relatively short overall runtime means that the experience is a bit compressed, which leads to some leaps of faith in difficulty as you’ll need to very quickly apply the new skills you’ve learned without much ramp up.


Pretty heavily steeped in humor and rife with a variety of game references it’s easy to have a good time if you can deal with dying quite a lot along the way. Most of the time this is due to the game’s puzzle-like nature where new enemies and obstacles will require you to do some trial-and-error discovery in order to defeat them. While sometimes you can count on recently-acquired skills being the key to victory as the game progresses you’ll need to be ready to use your entire destructive palette to find success. There are usually cues you can observe to help you figure out what to do, but managing between your main objectives and the distractions that will be thrown at you in parallel can make getting through tough even when you have an idea of what you need to do.


While variety is one of the game’s stronger suits the fact that it will only last a handful of hours also ramps up the difficulty a bit. Where most titles will spend some time to build your understanding of how to effectively use newly-acquired abilities in incremental steps here you’re given the basics and are then expected to work out nuances on your own and under duress. While I like a challenge I could see where this could lead to some frustrations for some as well. Throw in a small number of leaps of faith in applying the game’s mechanics to an extreme and you may end up looking up a solution or two. I like the creative spirit behind it all but when you’re dying because you haven’t figured out what you’re expected to do it can be grating.


If you’re a shooting fan who is up to some crazy battles where you’ll need to use your brains as much as your reflexes Rise & Shine is a pretty good match. It won’t coddle you hardly at all, which will be either a positive or a negative depending on the type of gamer you are. I don’t recall ever having played a shooter that has had puzzle elements to it like this, so that does help it stand out from the crowd. Just keep in mind the caveats that come along for the ride when you decide whether to check it out.

Score: 7.5

Pros:
  • A smart and challenging mix of shooter and puzzle elements
  • Continues to throw new variations of enemies and situations at you that will demand you show skill and determination to figure out
  • The humor is very self-conscious and there are numerous callbacks to classic gaming titles that can be amusing

Cons:
  • All said, aside from the frequent dying, it will likely only last you a handful of hours
  • Where some games can be annoying with long “training wheels” portions this title will simply throw you in the deep end, and in some spots this can be a bit overwhelming
  • Some puzzle leaps of faith may not be intuitive to all people, requiring either an element of luck or looking up the solution to get through