Rise & Shine (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 12.01.2017

Review for Rise & Shine on PC

Rise & Shine is the story of a boy and his talking gun. Faced with total annihilation at the hands of Nexgen, Rise and his buddy Shine must take the fight to an army of musclebound grunts and their android allies. Can Rise overcome his fear of dying…over and over again? Will Shine ever stop shooting his mouth off? Probably not, but at least they'll rack up a nice body count. They might even save Gamearth, their home planet.

This game combines a multitude of different genres. On the surface, it's a side-scrolling shoot 'em up, but there's a bit more going on under the hood. For starters, shooting anything that moves will only get the heroes so far. They have to take advantage of cover, prioritise the right targets, and engage in a little problem solving. These aspects of the game are well-crafted. They do a great job of conveying what the player has to do, so it's very unlikely that they'll get stuck or die an innumerable amount of times before the solution becomes apparent.

Most of the puzzles involve hitting targets from far away. In some cases, it's not quite as simple as just aiming and pressing the fire button. Remote-controlled bullets and grenades are a necessity to progress, and there are moments where they're implemented in a clever manner. Piloting a bullet while trying to dodge other bullets? That's pretty Meta. The grenades are a little tricky to use, but care is taken to avoid frustrating scenarios. The player is given plenty of time if they're trying to make a difficult shot, while easier shots introduce stakes of some kind, such as a shield-toting grunt on the rampage. The boss fights are admirable efforts. They combine everything the player has learned into one tidy package.

Screenshot for Rise & Shine on PC

The controls serve their purpose. The basics of running and jumping are accounted for, and Rise has a handy dash for last second escapes. The mechanics are perfectly solid, and the possibility of suffering a cheap death is practically non-existent. Granted, Rise is anything but durable. His recharging health matters little if he takes two or three direct hits, but at least it gives him some leeway. At the very least, dodging the brunt of an explosion might cost 2/3rds of the health bar, but it's still far more balanced than getting outright killed by a slight nick.

By fairly conservative estimates, Rise & Shine can be completed in two sittings. This is comparable to many of the classics it pays homage to, and there's replay value in collecting all of the hidden treasures or doing a no-death run. However, there is a bit too much variety over the course of each stage. There's never really any time to establish anything. Many ideas are put to use, but they lack the escalation necessary to take them to the next level. On one hand, this is a good thing, because this game never wears out its welcome. On the other hand, there are missed opportunities for developing really engaging and fulfilling action/puzzle sequences.

For example, sometime after the halfway point of the game, there's a shmup section. Its necessity is questioned because rather than having more involved situations with lots of possibilities, time has to be spent riding a ship and dodging bullets, which isn't really original. Later on, the hero arrives at NPC Island, where he can play mini-games to earn rewards. While it's a cute diversion, it happens at the second to last stage. The shift to the climatic moments of Rise's adventure is really jarring. The mini-games should have been moved closer to the beginning. The final encounter with regular adversaries at the last stage is really good, and is a showcase for relying on cover, reflexes, and smarts to survive a gauntlet. It's a shame events like these don't occur more often.

Screenshot for Rise & Shine on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


A strong case can be made for Rise & Shine. It boasts fantastic visuals, tons of references that appeal to the older crowd, and a more thoughtful approach to running and gunning. Unfortunately, it never realises its full potential. There are numerous intriguing elements, such as destructible cover or contending with adversaries while platforming. Simply put: they don't get enough attention. If a few of the less interesting segments were excised or moved to optional modes, and in their place were stages designed with a more advanced skillset in mind, then the campaign could be tighter and more complex. All told, it's still a worthwhile venture for shoot 'em up fans seeking a change of pace.


Super Mega Team


Adult Swim Games





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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