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By Kira Nance On 17 May, 2017 At 05:47 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst and foremost, I would like you to take into consideration the fact that getting myself to write this review is comparable to pulling teeth. The moment I began my complicated relationship with Rise and Shine I was immediately taken back by the beauty of the beast. Oh man, is this a beautiful game, but beauty is only skin deep after all. While platformers at not my specialty they are also not my Achilles heel, yet I consistently found myself in the position where I was too frustrated to continue. Rise & Shine is a little bit like being in an unhealthy relationship and being too stubborn to leave. Perhaps like dating a supermodel whom, while she is beautiful, is so very used to going on looks alone that they fail to nurture other aspects of their being. I wanted to love this game, perhaps I still do but that’s not necessarily a good thing. 

It’s no surprise that Adult Swim Games has, as of late been dipping their toe into the proverbial pool that is console gaming. After the success of titles such as Katana Zero, Headlander and Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality it makes perfect sense. The folks over at Adult Swim bring a refreshing attitude to the entertainment table, expressing a strong desire to provide quality entertainment over profit “We don’t have an agenda to sell something. For us, we want to create a really amazing experience.”  said Adult Swim’s Ashley Jex-Wagner, director of events “That’s the most important thing for us is for everyone to have a good time“. 

It seems the developers at Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team are on the same page. In an interview with Invision Community, Enrique Corts (Art Director, Creative Director) stated “Our focus has always been making really polished hardcore games that add something fresh to the table. We believe in making things properly since day one, so we only launch our games when they are completely ready and as much bug-free as possible, even if that means we risk our financial health. Sometimes is really tough having our own quality bar so high, but this is the only way to success we understand.

The four-person team based out of Spain has already seen success in the mobile market with Editor’s Choice titles, Pro Zombie Soccer, Pro Zombie Soccer Apocalypse Edition, and Supermagical, all of which have received Game of the Year in the App Store. Rise & Shine is Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team’s first PC/console title release and consequently my latest headache. So, the big question here is did Adult Swim and Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team accomplishes their goal to provide us with enjoyable quality content? Well, I’d have to say yes and no.

With the combined powers of Adult Swim Games and Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team, comes Rise & Shine a true “think and gun” gem that while frustrating is definitely worth your time. Rise & Shine is basically a playable homage to classic video games. Warped versions of beloved characters such as Link, Marcus Fenix, Q*bert and the Duck Hunt dog make hilarious appearances. The gameplay itself is a bit of a throwback, think Metal Slug meets Contra. This 2-D side-scrolling shooter is anything but basic, sometimes it’s even overly complicated. There’s a cover system to employ similar to the one used in Gears of War but this doesn’t ensure safety from all enemies especially the more volatile ones. Combining aspects of arcade shooters, bullet hells, and puzzle platformers staying focused in Rise & Shine is a major challenge in itself.

You play as Rise, a young boy of Gamearth, who upon receiving a legendary smack talking gun by the name of Shine suddenly becomes his planets greatest hope for survival against the invading Nexgen. You gun your way through 14 levels of unique puzzles, endless robot armadas, hungry zombies and intimidating bosses. Shine also conveniently bestows his wielder with unlimited respawns, unless you share the likeness of Link apparently. Unlimited lives, thank you, Shine, I thoroughly tested those boundaries. You have the choice to load Shine with his standard ammo or electric bullets, electric doing more damage to some enemies and next to nothing against others. Rise & Shine also grants you fun explosive bullets to detonate at will and the ability to guide your bullets remotely (RC), though only through a limited radius. Utilizing each bullet type is essential for navigating the puzzle solving, projectile dodging, enemy slaying chaos that is Rise & Shine. Bosses are no joke, only adding to the retro gaming atmosphere here, for example, the final boss takes upwards of 90 minutes to beat. 90 painfully tedious minutes. Considering the game consist of a mere two hours of actual gameplay with almost no storyline to spice things up, I found this to be severely annoying. I’m sure eighty percent of my time was spent severely immersed in boss fights. Taking damage is never an option as two hits from a base level enemy or projectile is enough to kill you at any point. Mastering the fine art of bullet spray is probably the best defense in Rise & Shine and quite possibly the best way to stay sane. 

The controls are slightly over complicated, requiring you to aim with the left trigger, shoot with the right trigger and guidance is provided by the right stick. When your screen is full of enemies, storms of bullets, lasers, and explosions this less that kind control system gets in the way. add in the bumpers to cycle through ammunition all while dodging, jumping and dashing to avoid getting hit. Oh, and don’t forget to reload. Seriously I’m exhausted just explaining all that.

Visually, the folks at Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team nailed it. This is where the quality of the game shines through. The story while lacking in detail, plays out in charming comic panels that showcase the developers love for comic books. Each level’s background is made up of hand-drawn illustrations with multiple parallax scroll layers, giving new depth to each scene as you progress. I seriously lost myself in the artwork of Rise & Shine, it was easy to imagine myself gallivanting around the streets of Gamearth blasting away space grunts. The in-game audio and soundtrack are top notch thanks to the talent of Jerry Goldsmith Award nominee Damián Sánchez (Reservoir Dogs, Blues and Bullets). However, aesthetics alone cannot carry a game and Rise & Shine left me raging in the end. It’s a title deserving of your time and respect but I can’t in good conscience recommend it for anyone with anger issues.

Review code was provided by the publisher.

 

By OtakuDante On 17 Mar, 2011 At 09:49 PM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarOn Tuesday March 15, 2011 the PSN store was graced with the presence of a new Contra game. The game had previously been released on the XBLA for the Xbox 360, so they had first dibs at this very impressive game.

 

 

Most gamers like myself, who have lived to see many consoles probably now what the Contra series is all about. It’s roots started back in the arcades, and on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Basically Contra is a 2D side scrolling game with a science fiction story, and two player co-op. The series always included main characters who wielded a gun or some sort of weapon. The goal in each game of the series was to overcome the alien race, and defeat large boss creatures, and machines.

 

Hard Corps: Uprising takes the series to a whole new level with an anime style developed by Arc System Works, the creators behind the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fighting games. If you’ve played either Guilty Gear, or BlazBlue you’ll recognize the art style immediately. The graphics in the game are very impressive, and include vivid colors that bring the game to life.

 

 

In this new installment to the series, the story is more involved. The game has two available characters, Colonel Bahamut (from Contra: Hard Corps) and Krystal initially. There were also three DLC characters made availble for purchase from the PSN/XBL stores when the game was released. The three DLC characters include ‘Harley Daniels’ with a very unique 50’s style hairdo, ‘Leviathan’ one of the main enemies in the game, and ‘Sayuri’ a Geisha styled female assassin with a sword. All of the characters except for Sayuri had guns as weapons, and it turns out that Sayuri is the strongest of them all.

 

I liked the selection of characters, the costumes were diverse, and were more than just skins by any means.  The price for the extra characters was reasonable in my opinion. For $2.49 a character you get a great deal. I would definitely invest in getting Sayuri as she is the strongest character available. With each character, initial or DLC you have to play the game to unlock their special abilities and extras.

The game features a handful of different modes that include the traditional local co-op, and online co-op modes. You can play through arcade mode to follow the story, and unlock the game’s available trophies/achievements. Along with the arcade mode there is a mode called the Rising mode in which you earn points to put towards your characters upgrades, and customizations. The online mode can be played both arcade style or rising mode style. The player has the option to join a quick match, or even create/host their own room with their own rules for online play. When I first tried to join a quick match I wasn’t able to find one. It may have been the time of day? I ended up creating/hosting a game, and someone joined almost immeditely. I imagine everyone  is trying to fully unlock all of their characters before tackling online, and that’s the reason there aren’t that many available matches at the current time.

I’ve heard rumors that the XBLA, and PSN version might differ in loading times. The rumor was that XBLA took about 2 minutes to load while the PSN version only took 20 -30 seconds. Myself and another reliable source (a fellow Xbox 360 gamer) determined that the versions were equal in loading time, and quality. If you’re an Xbox 360 gamer, or a PSN gamer like myself I believe you’ll find that this game is definitely worth having in your game collection.

Overall this game is very much worth the $14.99 price tag that the PSN/XBL stores has it listed for. I’ve seen games that aren’t near as good as this one go for more than that. Hard Corps: Uprising has great replay value for both online, and local gaming. If you’ve been missing the Contra days of old, then this will definitely fill that gaming void. It adds something new to something old without ruining the experience that was Contra. It truly is still Hard Core (pun intended).