Developed by : Two Tribes                                                                                Published By : Two Tribes Publishing

Release Date : Nov 17, 2017

Mike Benton

For their last video game product ever, Two Tribes brings us Rive : Extreme Edition to the Switch, and boy is it one hell of an exit statement. Rive brings you back to the old days of side-scrolling shoot-em-up, as you control a spider tank, navigating treacherous levels that are filled with robotic enemies.

You jump into the pilot seat as Roughshot, who recently discovered a metal abnormality pop up on his radar nearby. After navigating a dastardly asteroid field, he enters what turns out to be a massive ship, and sets out to explore whatever it has to offer. Inside, he finds that, despite the ship appearing to be extremely old and out of use, there are weapons to be found, programs to be hacked, and an almost infinite amount of drones and robots that are bent on destroying him.

As you explore the depths of the mysterious ship, you will activate different warp points, making this massive web of pathways interconnected to all the corners.

The spider tank is equipped with a basic gun that you can shoot in a full 360° arc around you, but scattered around the ship are upgrade pads where you can pay to unlock one of a handful of weapon upgrades for your tank. These include a burst of missiles that auto-target, a shotgun like shot that deals heavy close damage, send out bouncing bombs, an an electric damage-dealing attack that can stun enemies. You can also upgrade your armor and the magnet that picks up nuts and bolts.

Nuts and bolts act as currency within the game, and you can pick them up everywhere. They’re dropped by enemies that you kill, and can be found hidden in crates all over the levels as well. Typically there’s one upgrade pad per level in Rive, so you are always able to get your ship upgraded.

The tank’s main gun comes with infinite ammo, so you can constantly hold the right stick in whichever direction you want to fire and watch the constant slew of shots spew out. Special weapons have a limited supply, but you can find crates to replenish these.

Hacking is a fun feature in this game as well. Not only are there terminals that you must hack in order to open new pathways and continue further on in the level, you also have the ability to hack other robots. You’ll encounter med-bots that, once hacked, will follow along with you and provide healing when you take damage, and fighter-bots that will stand by you offering up a defense to the waves of enemies you’ll face off against.

However, it’s difficult to break this game down into sections to speak about, as the whole game itself is just purely incredible. I personally loved how it blended multiple elements into a side-scrolling shoot-em-up game. The first level takes place in space so there’s absolutely no gravity as you free-float around shooting asteroids on your way to the ship. Once you get inside though, the gravity on the ship makes for an inclusion of platforming into Rive that makes it so enjoyable.

This game does a big honor to the side-scrolling shoot-em-ups of long ago. All the levels look so beautiful, the sound excellently keeps up with the pace of the action, and there are so many ways to play this game. The base campaign offers you normal and hard difficulty challenges, but it doesn’t stop there. You can unlock high-score and speedrun challenges on each individual mission, and my personal favorite, Single-Credit Mode for those that want to see how they’d fare at this game in an old arcade style.

Exclusive to the Switch, Rive : Ultimate Edition brings you a multiplayer mode as well, in which two people can control different aspects of the spider tank. One will act as a pilot, flying the ship around, while the other player gets to man the guns and bring down destruction wherever you go.

There is so much offered by Rive that this game is easily a must-own for your Switch. If you grew up with the old arcade classics, it’s going to be incredibly hard to put this one down once you start it. With this being Two Tribes’s last game, it is definitely the way to leave things on a high note.

Rive : Ultimate Edition is available today in the eShop, don’t hesitate to get your copy!

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