RISING ISLANDS *** UPDATED ***
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on June 7, 2016 and July 27, 2016 (update)
*** UPDATE ***
With all the nice and hot weather we’ve been having, there’s no better way to spend your time than… by staying in your home, playing a game, right? Lucky for us, it was time to check out some new levels of the brand new game: Rising Islands. The last time I played it (see the review below this update), its demo version would only allow me to play the first stage of the game, which had a tropical island setting, with nice weather, sun and green trees. A good place to stay, wouldn’t you say?
This time around, however, I’m visiting a land of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. I must say, this does make a nice change from the temperature in my home right now. And maybe, just maybe, the sight of all this cold weather on-screen will help me feel a bit cooler. Whatever the case may be, we’re here to take a look at the things that have happened with Rising Islands since we last saw it. The game core mechanics haven’t changed a bit, which was to be expected. Rising Islands is still the nice looking fast-paced action game we saw in the demo. Quick thinking and quick reactions are still the two main ingredients you’ll need to make it to the finish line in one piece. That is what makes this game tricky and challenging, but at the same time, loads and loads of fun!
And of course, new levels mean new challenges! So apart from jumping, wall running and shifting between two dimensions, there are some new tricks you’ll need to master. Balancing while gliding on a rail and dodging all kinds of new obstacles like turning wheels and other dangers the developers have come up with.
The two new worlds, spanning thirteen levels complete the game, so from August 2nd, everyone can all enjoy the full experience of Rising Islands!
*** END OF UPDATE ***
Last weekend, I spent a good portion of my time playing the demo of a game called Rising Islands. I just love playing demos; to take a sneak peek into the ever-evolving world of an upcoming game and see what new stuff the developers come up with.
Rising Islands is the brand new, upcoming game by Lone Hero Studios and Soedesco. In Rising Islands, the world is threatened by an evil force and to restore the peace you’ll need to explore different worlds and collect crystals. The title menu features some kind of Chinese/Japanese sounding and very relaxing music. Together with its bright colors and simple but beautifully crafted cartoonish graphics, I got the feeling that Rising Islands is more about the atmosphere and experiencing the game than it is about action. And, I can only conclude after playing the game, in some ways it is. In others however, it is not...
A long time ago, as the story goes, the world was ruled by two ancient forces: Chaos and Discord. In their battle for dominance, they damn near split the world in two dimensions. Luckily, the Ancients found a way to contain both forces and bring a sense of harmony to the world. But, as mostly happens with peaceful worlds, evil now starts to rear its ugly head again. If we do nothing, this world is doomed for sure! That’s where you come in; you are Hairo, a young woman that just happens to be this world’s last and only hope. You possess a special power that lets you shift between the two dimensions, caused by the battle fought aeons ago. And, as luck would have it, it’s precisely this power that makes you the one that is needed to save the world.
Rising Islands features a set of beautifully crafted floating islands, high up in the sky. And although it is not a heavily action-based game with lots of enemies to battle, this doesn’t mean there’s no action to be found. Instead of slaying countless enemies, you’ll have to make your way through a series of parkour tests in each level. These free-running stages are very cleverly developed. In nature, everything is usually about balance. In this case, it means that you can switch between the two dimensions, colored blue and red, respectively.
For example, you’ll have to reach the other side of a wide chasm and you see a transparent blue platform floating in front of you. By shifting to the blue dimension, the platform solidifies out of thin air, enabling you to jump on it and cross the chasm. This “shifting” also works the other way around. Sy you’ve just crossed the chasm using the blue platform and you come across a blue obstacle that’s blocking your path. Just shift back to the red dimension and the blue object will become transparent, enabling you to run right through like it wasn’t even there. The whole ‘shifting between red and blue dimensions’ kind of put me in mind of a 2D platform game called Outland, which was originally released some 5 years ago. And although even Outland wasn’t the first game to use the ‘polarity-switching’ as a core game mechanic, it’s always good to see a game take this feature and bend it to its own needs. And, best of all, Rising Islands is a 3D game which, as far as I’m concerned, only adds to the possibilities (and fun) of this specific game mechanic.
So far, we’ve made object appear and disappear by shifting between the red and blue dimensions. And while this is all very cool, the absolute coolest part of the game is the time spent wall running. Now, I know that is also not a new feature in gaming, trust me. But, in Rising Islands you can only run along any wall if said wall is in the same dimension you are currently in. So basically, it’s a question of selecting the right color before attempting a gravity defying feat like horizontal wall-running; a red wall requires you to shift to the red dimension while a blue wall requires you to be a bit blue yourself. And the best part of being blue is Rising Islands is that you won’t even have to start feeling sorry for yourself and cry a lot; just shift to the blue dimension! But seriously, wall-running kicks some serious ass! The real fun starts when you have two floating walls opposite to each other and you’ll have to jump from one side to the other one. But wait, there’s a catch; the left one is blue and the right one is red. So during your jump, you have to switch between dimensions. So it’s all about timing your actions correctly and making split second decisions about what your next step will be.
One of the next hurdles I came across in the demo was an electrical fence. Again, in blue and red, so I think you know by now what you’ll have to do to turn off the electricity so you can safely continue your journey. But, picture this; two floating walls, one blue, one red. In between, there were a couple of colored electric fences. I will leave the rest up to your imagination, nut I can honestly tell you that It took more than one try before I completed this as well as, for that matter, a couple of the challenges that were yet to come.
The funny thing about failing a challenge is that, while it can be frustrating as hell, it doesn’t have to be. At no time during the demo did I blame the game for my failures. It was obvious my own fault; I just didn’t time my actions right, so I was willing to try again (and again and again). I personally think it takes a good game to not bug the hell out of me when I fail, and Rising Islands seems to have nailed it. The game constantly challenges me but, most importantly, encourages me to try again when I do fail. Thumbs up for that!
After completing one world, sadly, the demo was over. I would love play some more, but alas. I’ll have to wait till the release of the full game on August 2. I really had a blast playing Rising Islands; it looks bright, beautiful and colorful, the controls are responsive and smooth and the relaxing music completes the whole experience. But don’t let the relaxed music fool you, the game self is fast-paced and challenging; The parkour sections almost seem to be screaming at you: “make haste or you’ll fall!”. There are portions of the game that offer no rest for the wicked; times when you don’t have a lot of time to look ahead and think about what you have to do next. But, luckily, every level has its moments when you can rest a bit and oversee the upcoming portion of said level.
With the added promise of an expansive world for you to make your way through, secrets and treasures that are hidden throughout the world and epic, fast-paced boss-fights, one can only conclude that Rising Islands will be a title to keep in mind. Luckily, the release isn’t too far off, so we won’t have to wait that long before we can finally return to this strange world filled with floating islands. So, if you like a cool game that combines elements of Prince of Persia, Outland, Journey and Rodea: Sky Soldier, Rising Islands is definitely one game you just HAVE to try!