One of the games Nintendo seems to be really pushing is the indie title RIVE, developed by Two Tribes, and it’s shaping up to be a challenging and enjoyable ride.
The developers categorize RIVE as a 2D shooter, but it’s really a little bit of everything. The first part of the demo we played felt like a twin stick shmup.
The left analog stick allowed us to maneuver anywhere on the screen, while the right analog stick aims your gun, which is fired using the ZR button. Although the first portion of the demo was just in an asteroid field, it can get complicated real quick as players have to get used to flying, aiming at 360 degrees, and firing to protect oneself. It even had a Star Fox feel as there was somebody barking orders while shooting, trying to survive, but it was annoying reading text while trying to stay alive and shoot everything in sight.
After that section, the game became a sidescrolling shooter reminiscent of games like Gunstar Heroes or Super Metroid, except now the act of jumping with the B button was added, making it feel like a platformer despite the action still being hectic with enemies all over the place. Like any other old-school shooter, there are power-ups to pick up that can be activated with the right shoulder button, but the game also goes Metroid Prime on you by giving players a scanning and hacking ability. The act of scanning or hacking is quite vital as it’s used to defuse circuit boards and solve other puzzles, and it can also be used on enemies so they can either assist you with combat or by using their abilities–not unlike swallow ability in Kirby games.
RIVE is as complex as it is simple, but it’s also a game that’s rather challenging. It’s one thing to be able to skillfully avoid enemies and also be able to solve robotic puzzles, but it’s something else entirely to stay alive doing all this. That being said, the two bosses in the demo presented quite the challenge and required me to think about their moves and weakpoints before attacking, and it really brought me back to my days as a child trying to figure out how to kill Ridley.
As hard as it was, it’s a really short demo (roughly 15 minutes) and looks to be a solid game when it comes out this winter. You can give it a try this week only by downloading it on the Nintendo eShop.