Rise & Shine is a 2D side scrolling shooter that takes pays a great deal of homage to classic games from my childhood like Contra, Zelda and a variety of other titles.
The plot, puts the gamer into protagonist Rise’s shoes who has the gun Shine bestowed upon him to aid him in defending his planet Gamearth from invasion of space baddies whose real purpose is never really fleshed out in any great detail.
The game itself is simple in concept but utilizing a dual thumb stick control scheme to aim and shoot. I found the controlling to be decent but more often than not, I found myself getting increasingly frustrated as badguys would finish me off in quick fashion due to my inability to quite get the targeting reticle quite in the area I thought i should be aiming. There’s also a small element of cover where Rise hides behind an obstacle and peeks out long enough to take a few pops (many times multiple attempts as you try to aim correctly)at the nearest bad guy assuming they’re not charging at you. Further to the above Rise can use radio controlled bullets which are used in a puzzles and in vanquishing the bosses. The first boss drove me crazy as he was raining missiles down on me while I ran around like fool trying to shoot a target with my radio controlled bullets which only work in specific areas.
The art direction is.. simply put stunning. Beautifully detailed 2D art with great music and audio really makes you want to be pulled in but the game was overly frustrating. Not in an “I’m a lazy gamer give me satisfaction easily” way. I’m a kid of the 80s and those games were considerably more difficult than a majority of games today but, I won’t lie. My controller nearly went through the TV on more than a few occasions.
I wanted to love Rise and Shine but at the end of the day, I don’t. It’s a fun game at the heart of it all but when the enemies are too much or the aiming is not quite right it’s tarnishes the fun you just had previously. I thought we were getting a love letter to the days of gaming in my youth. What we got was a pretty little platformer with some good ideas and some poor execution. I hope the developers don’t abandon this property. I’d like to see a Rise and Shine 2. I hope it’s a more polished better thought out project in terms of story, execution and difficulty. If you’re one of those people who LOVE those insanely difficult games that may drive you to the edge of questioning your hobby of choice, then you need to own this game. If you’re like 80% of the gaming majority – this might not be the game you’re looking for.
Rise and Shine is available now on XBox One and Steam.
Pixel Cereal gives Rise and Shine 6.5 out of 10