Rive: Ultimate Edition Review
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Developer: Two Tribes
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Rive: Ultimate Edition is a 2D twin-stick shooter in which you play as Roughshot, a scavenger trapped in a vast, dilapidated ship from which you must escape. You’ll embark on your adventure in a Spidertank, a walking/flying hybrid ship that fittingly looks like a spider. Using your Spidertank, you’ll need to find your way out while taking out all kinds of enemies and collecting scrap metal they leave behind, while dying quite often. Thankfully you come across checkpoints quite often because you’ll need these checkpoints, considering the amount of times you will die. Most enemies you encounter don’t do a whole lot of damage, but the amount of enemies that come at you at any given time can be overwhelming and take total concentration to avoid their attacks.
The main campaign in Rive: Ultimate Edition offers 12 missions, each with worldwide and friend leaderboards. There are also a few other modes and options to keep you coming back for more, such as single credit mode where you do not get any continues. There is also a unique co-op multiplayer mode where each person takes control of one aspect of the ship. One person will control movement and the other will man the gun, alternating after each death. I found this mode to be quite fun with friends and family.
The core gameplay and mechanics of moving, jumping and shooting are very fluid and smooth, and even though the rigid difficulty can be frustrating at times, I always found myself jumping back in for more. Unlike most shooters of this genre, you won’t find random upgrades in the environment and then lose them upon dying. Instead, you use the loot you find by destroying enemies to permanently unlock four different abilities by purchasing them after completing missions. Each upgrade has situations when they work best, such as the shotgun blasts are great for tight corridors with hordes of enemies. Homing missiles are solid for more open areas where enemies are spread out. These abilities should be used wisely as each one can only be used once before you need to find more ammo. In addition to upgrading your abilities, you can also boost your ships armor and range in which it gathers ammo. However, the most unique ability is the ability to hack. Early on you’ll hack computers to open paths for you to continue pushing forward, but eventually gain the option to hack certain enemies. These range from heal bots to literal trains.
Visually, Rive: Ultimate Edition look fantastic and runs at a smooth 60FPS in 1080p when docked and 720p in handheld mode. Even with all of the hectic action happening on the screen at once, I never noticed any slow down. The environments both inside and outside of the ship look sharp and detailed.
Rive: Ultimate Edition is a very fun, albeit difficult, twin-stick platformer/shooter. While the difficulty can be mildly frustrating, I found myself wanting to play more and more, rather than giving up. For $14.99 on the Nintendo eShop, it is a steal!
Solid, fluid gameplay
Fantastic graphics with no dips in framerate
Tons of fun
Mildly frustrating difficulty
Could use more upgrades
A special thank you to Two Tribes for providing us a review copy of Rive: Ultimate Edition.