There’s a reason Two Tribe’s Rive, released this week, made its way on to September’s Hotlist. This dual-stick shoot-em-up (shmup) revels in its retro-gaming heritage. With the mix of full 360 degree shooting and well designed platforming mechanics, there are times when this game feels like a well polished Gunstar Heroes. The game’s intense, adrenaline filled battles are made more frenetic with the incredibly responsive controls and smooth graphics.
Having only completed the first two missions and defeated a giant robot called a Sky Whale, I can honestly say I’m hooked. I’ve tried putting it down to write this article a couple of times now, but the regularly placed checkpoints, a near zero load time between deaths and the action packed gameplay means you’ll always be saying, “Just one more go…”
As with most shmups, the story is more of a happy coincidence than necessary part of the game. You’re investigating the wreck of an old spaceship, salvaging the remains for any valuables you can get your grubby little hands on. Those inside the ship aren’t too happy with the intrusion and decided to eradicate you, with extreme prejudice.
The game has no Easy or Normal mode, only Hard, and it’s not messing around. You’ll be swamped with enemies, dodging projectiles, avoiding explosions and desperately trying to evade waves of lava and spinning blades of death. Though this game is difficult, it’s always more fun than frustrating, and even the smallest victory feels like a real achievement. With each level only taking around 10 minutes, I’m looking forward to gunning my way through this old vessel, as I continue stripping her down in search of fortune and glory.
Check out the first twenty minutes of gameplay below. The final review will be up at the beginning of next week.