Rush Bros. (PC) Review

By Javier Jimenez 26.06.2013

Review for Rush Bros. on PC

Platforming: A genre whose gameplay relies upon running and jumping across pits, on floating platforms, on enemies, and everywhere else. Music: Happy sounds. They go in your head.
Putting the two together is not a new idea. Bit.Trip Runner was a "rhythm" platform game that was released three years ago. Both Donkey Kong Country Returns and Rayman Origins feature levels with jumps and elements that are synchronised tightly to notes in a stage's song. Undoubtedly, there were others before that. Given the "rhythmic" nature of running and jump, it's a natural combination. Which now leads to Rush Bros. from XYLA Entertainment; it is, ostensibly, a melding of music and platform fun.

The term 'ostensibly' is used because despite the "music" aesthetic of the game - from music particle effects to discs and the like - the tie-in between the game's music and the game's levels is mild.

Unlike procedurally generated music games such as Audiosurf, in which a level is created on the fly based on the waveforms of the music file being played, the levels in Rush Bros. are premade. Each platform and each pit will always be the same, no matter which song is being played. Where the game does meld music and play is through rising-falling platforms and assorted traps, which are sometimes tied to the music's tempo or beats. It's a nice idea, however in execution it's not very noticeable given how quickly levels are completed.

A small note on the game's default music: it tends to lean towards the dub-steppy side. Thankfully, a custom soundtrack can be loaded from a personal collection of MP3 files.

Screenshot for Rush Bros. on PC

Rush Bros. isn't exactly a terrible game. It's not exactly a great game either, though. Every facet of classic game software design carries the aura of… well, just "not quite there".

Platform physics? "Slidy" - not exactly satisfying. Animation? Very sparse two-frame stuff. Level design? Convoluted, sometimes requiring significant amounts of back-tracking and several repetitions of earlier parts of a stage(!). Unavoidable traps lead to mandatory deaths. Online? Well, yes, there is online gameplay, and it's probably the best part of the package. It's rare to see an online platformer and Rush Bros. does a good job of creating a competitive multiplayer experience. Mostly it does this by not allowing the other player to interfere with the gameplay experience. They are, basically, a "ghost" against which the other player races. Given how few platform games have an online component, it is something to give Rush Bros. kudos for.

As for the graphics, this is another area where Rush Bros. deserves good marks. The game's neon aesthetic is striking and effective. Some stages bring to mind the glory days of Pac-Man and Tron, with bright luminous greens, reds, yellows, and blues against a midnight black; glowing bumper walls floating on an inky abyss - very nice effects there.

As far as the story, all levels are unlocked from the start of the game. There's no overworld map on which progress is made, nor branching paths or secret exits, and there really is no story, not even on the level of Mario or Rayman's paper-thin plots. All in all, it feels like a sparse experience. Aside from a high score, there's no incentive to play through any particular level, unless the player really loves what's going on with the game's mechanics, art style, and music.

Screenshot for Rush Bros. on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Rush Bros. carries a price tag of $10 / £6.99. As a multiplayer platform game, it's not the worst. Then again, there aren't many multiplayer platform games out there (it is actually tough to think of any, to be honest). However, as a single player game it is hard to recommend it at full price when something comparably priced can be bought that is more feature rich, packed with content, and well executed, like Rayman Origins, Runner 2, or Super Meat Boy.

Developer

XYLA

Publisher

XYLA

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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