RIVE: Ultimate Edition is finally out for the Nintendo Switch. The game was previously released back in 2016 by Two Tribes for Steam and Playstation 4. Full disclosure: Two Tribes provided a full copy of the game for review purposes. RIVE is also their final game, which they announced slightly before its’ initial release. However, the ship and the game is fully upgraded with additional features exclusive to the Nintendo Switch such as added HD Rumble, 2 Player Co-Op, and additional achievements. So is it time to strap in for the ride, or should you pass on RIVE? This is PushDustIn from Source Gaming, and let’s get started with the review.
The story follows Roughshot, the pilot of the Spidertank. Roughshot, like his name suggests is a rugged, manly man who solves his problems with bullets and explosions. While looking for loot, Roughshot finds a seemingly abandoned ship in the middle of an asteroid field. Upon entering the ship, Roughshot finds a drone robot. The game centers around Roughshot’s exploration of the massive ship, and attempt to escape from it. The game features numerous references and homages to classic video games including Asteroids, Star Fox, and Tetris.
The game features full voice acting from Mark Dodson, and is a true joy to play through. Roughshot’s banter to himself and the world around him is extremely well written.
The ending is pretty bittersweet, especially when I realized this was Two Tribes’ last game.
RIVE is a twin-stick game, meaning players will use one control stick to move and the other to shoot. It’s is a platform shooter, with some levels requiring players utilize their jumping skills. The game can be difficult at times, but it’s also pretty forgiving with frequent saves. Levels have quite a bit of variety among them; some levels are pure platforming, while others are more akin to Asteroids. There are also sections will players will need to simply avoid enemies, while others demand players take on several waves of them. I felt like the game had some great pacing – the levels never felt like they overstayed their welcome. In total, the game has 13 levels, and takes about 3-5 hours to complete on the first playthrough. RIVE is extremely fun!
In addition, there are endless levels called ‘Battle Grounds’ which have infinitely respawning enemies. Players can compete for a high score with online leaderboards showing their friends and all time high scores. The game also features several challenges, and achievements which further add to the replayability of RIVE.
The game can also be played co-op, an exclusive feature on the Switch. I played the game with my girlfriend, and we have a blast! Essentially, one person controls the ship while the other person shoots. If Roughshot is killed, then the controls automatically swap. I believe any mode can be played co-op, which is definitely a nice feature.
I really enjoyed the presentation of the game. The game’s music fits perfectly, and Mark Dodson’s performance is extraordinary. The over the top, but charming Roughshot is one of the best characters I’ve seen in a game this year. The graphics are top notch…and what’s more is the framerate never dips. RIVE plays at 60 fps, which means it always feels incredibly smooth. I’ve played most of the game not docked, and it looked gorgeous. I wish there was a bit more background / set variety but overall the game has a cohesive style and fits with the narrative.
RIVE: Ultimate Edition feels like a proper send off for Two Tribes studio, and is a must play for those who are seeking a fast paced action game on the Nintendo Switch. It’s really somber to know that the game industry is without such talented developers anymore.
I give RIVE: Ultimate Edition a 4.75 / 5.
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Mains: Yoshi (64), Game and Watch (Melee), Wario (Brawl), Wario/Pac-Man (Smash for 3DS/Wii U)