In Rise & Shine, you are in the shoes of Rise, a child entrusted with a powerful gun (Shine) who must travel to meet the King of Gamearth after an attack on his home planet. A platformer at its surface, Rise & Shine attempts to take a comical approach in parodying many classic video games, and often times, it comes across as forced and awkward.
The best part of Rise & Shine is definitely the artwork and music. The cutscenes are very well done, as well as the scenes you control Rise in. Using a mixture of comic book style cutscenes and uniquely drawn action sequences, Rise & Shine is definitely enjoyable to look at. Along with the artwork and soundtrack, the references to classic video games is enjoyable throughout.
Once you’ve learned the basic controls of Rise & Shine (which are goofy in-and-of themselves), there is a very high curve in the difficulty. I don’t mind a challenging game, but it becomes incredibly frustrating when the checkpoints appear at seemingly random spots. It only takes a few hits to die in Rise & Shine, and it often takes just as much luck as it does quick reflexes to survive, and this is not an enjoyable combination to me. Peeking out of cover at the wrong moment will likely cost you your life, and that grows old very quickly.
The achievements in Rise & Shine may be the saving grace of this game, but they certainly are not easy. There are a limited number of achievements that are going to come with the natural story progression of the game. Rather, many of the achievements are going to be for completing tasks flawlessly (for example, beating the Chapter 1 boss without taking any damage). Once again, this is not an easy list, but for people looking for a challenging game with challenging achievements, this will be a great list for them.
Rise & Shine brings great animation and a somewhat enjoyable story in a crowded space of indie releases right now. While they started down the right path paying homage to many retro games, the steep curve in difficulty makes Rise & Shine more frustrating than enjoyable. If you have patience and love a challenging completion, this may be the game for you. Personally, I am not a fan of huge spikes in difficulty, seemingly out of nowhere, and may not make it back to play Rise & Shine much more.
A copy of this game was provided for this review