Adult Swim Games
are slowly getting to the point where they might as well be a major publishing studio. While they're primarily releasing indie games that are quick and easy to play, it's only a matter of time before they start investing in bigger games on a full-time basis, and you start seeing some major titles come out with E3 launches and giant cinematic trailers. But for now, we're still getting awesome small titles that warm the hearts of gamers, including Rise & Shine
, which we got to preview before it get's a full release Jan. 13.
Rise & Shine
doesn't do a lot to explain the plot, but you're given a baseline story at the start with a lot of hints to fill in the gaps. Apparently, all the characters in video games that you and I love are living in the same world together in their off-time, which includes normal homes, shopping malls, fast food joints and more. The race of giant robots that are tearing up the place have been at peace with you for a while, but have now decided to tear your world apart. Your character, Rise, sees Gears of War
-like characters shoot each other in a panic, leaving Rise to be an impromptu hero who takes the legendary gun, Shine, to save everyone. From there it's pretty self-explanatory: Shoot to the right and run like hell.
Rise & Shine
offers a little bit more than your standard platformers, as you come across enemies who learn and adapt. One moment you'll be fighting a drone that just buzzes around and shoots off plasma weapons, the next you'll be dealing with a drone that will track you when you hit it and zap you down with a laser beam if you don't kill it. Marching forward becomes a challenge, as you'll need to learn and adapt as quickly as the technology in front of you does. There are frequent continues, and the game only really stops when you choose to turn it off, but often you'll find yourself dying at the hands of a new enemy and re-spawning just a few steps away, ready to employ a new strategy to defeat them.
As you progress, you'll be given the ability to upgrade your gun with additional aiming and locking items, as well as new ammo designed to take out specific enemies or do massive amounts of damage in a short span of time. The bonus to this is that you have unlimited ammo; the downside is you usually only have 10 shots before you need to sit through a three-second reload. You'll find yourself ducking behind objects a lot to stay out of sight as you reload, but those objects can be destroyed in a few shots, so be ready to kill the minute you're good to go.
As far as the negatives go, I grew to despise the button scheme. There's no way right now to change up how the buttons are arranged, so how I would usually run, jump, hide and reload are all out of wack. The other half to this is that it takes three specific buttons to operate your gun. You hold the left trigger to unholster it, the right analog stick to aim, then right trigger to fire. This setup has been used before in other games, and it is a pain in the ass to navigate around, especially with mobile enemies who just don't allow for error. If you suck at aiming from long distances, you will die, frequently. And even if you're good, there's a certain point where there's just too much happening on the screen, and eventually this button combo and the reload time will catch up to you.
Rise & Shine
is a challenging little platformer with its own sense of humor and nostalgia that will appeal to many a gamer, though at the moment, it's got hurdles to overcome with its extremely narrow margin for error. It will be interesting to see if any changes are made between now and when the game finally gets released next month, but for now, it's a really cool game that has great potential.