Title: Rising Dusk
Release Date: 26 Jul, 2018
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Like a grand story of old, Rising Dusk is a game that evokes the same emotional output as those with which it drew inspiration from. Despite any similarities, there's an undeniable charm to the entire presentation and execution of its simple, but worthwhile tagline of anti-collection. What it manages to accomplish with such limited material is a testament to the developer's appreciation for challenge and charisma, both of which are well apparent here. Wonderfully varied and deceptively difficult to fully complete, gamers of old should take solace in Rising Dusk, even if the game isn't a work of perfection.
+ Does a lot with a little
+ Great optimization of its gimmick and homages
+ Very good soundtrack
+ Most levels are great fun
- Hub world/game in its entirety could have included more to do
- Controls can be finnicky
Read the full review at https://www.keengamer.com/article/20181_rising-dusk-review. This game has alot of soul, and I love it. It all meshes together really well, and gives me the vibe of "random game I rented on SNES and wound up loving". The music is great, the pixelart is pleasing, the levels are interesting and thought out, and the aspect of the collectibles are well placed and take some thinking. Not alot of games invoke this kind of feeling out of me.
Super charming! Highly suggest this game.. Wonderful game despite its weaknesses, but those are what holds it back from really being a masterpiece.
The art, animation and music are all gorgeous. It is amazing how much detail has been put into every sprite and how fluid the animations are. The music is absolutely phenomenal and gives the game a very immersive surreal atmosphere, especially when combined with the visuals and the consistent thematic design.
The puzzles are quite unique and enjoyable while the platforming is balanced and reasonable. It manages to uphold a very consistent level of challenge that is stimulating without being frustrating or unfair.
There are a lot of things to collect and the game has been designed to force you to replay the level multiple times to get them all, but the levels are each relatively short and so replaying them isn't even a negative experience. Often players have to approach the level in a different way to get all the collectibles which adds to the variety of the replay as well.
There is a degree of roughness to the polish of the game that shows up from time to time. Noticeable glitches every few levels, the Tanuki are way too mechanically unrefined in comparison to how demanding at least one puzzle is which requires you to manipulate them to progress. And there is that one jump in the dark caves, which requires the player to jump at an exact specific frame at the very edge of the block just to make it and progress.
The game explains very little to the player, and several things such as quest items and useable items are totally unexplained. Which makes it a trial and error process to learn what each useable item does, and you do have to buy another each time you use it. While the quest items remained completely unexplained. There are multiple secret paths which lead to entirely new levels, but you only unlock them by finding secrets in other levels nearby. So if you do not find the secret, you just miss out on the special level and or have to run around adjacent levels messing around looking for a secret that could be anywhere.
The second greatest weakness of the game is the boss battles. There are only four, and they are each very underwhelming. They try to incorporate the games existing mechanics into the fight, but totally fumble it and it just becomes a relatively easy lukewarm momentary pseudo fight. It feels like the developer literally just could not come up with any passionate, inspired ideas for boss fights and they just did whatever they could manage to come up with. The fights are extremely anticlimactic and just awkward while only providing slight difficulty; usually from the fight gimmick being unrefined.
The greatest weakness of the game though is the lack of any story. The game is so meticulous in building a vibrant, genuine world and yet the world is completely empty of characters or plot. A massive opportunity missed, players have no idea why the protagonist is running around doing what they are doing. And it ends with the player having no idea why they just did everything they did. The whole time, they never actually talk to anything and there is never any sense of purpose to what is happening. No conversations with interesting, quirky folklore characters and no weird child in a fantasy world plot unfolding from level to level. Two things that could have been done, and would of added so much onto the world and the overall experience, but were not.
For seven dollars the value is fantastic especially for such an intricate and detailed experience. But it is just so unfortunate that the lack of compelling boss fights and any kind of narrative creates such a giant hole in the experience. Absolutely devastating for a game that had so much potential beyond being more then just a generic indie puzzle platformer, but didn't take the steps to go the full way.. Brilliant, vibrant, adventurous game crammed full of ideas! Has a great overworld map that allows you to explore and discover new levels and secrets tucked away in all the nooks and crannies. Every level is distinct, with its own music and sense of place, and lots of different mechanics and structural setups. The world oozes charm, especially all of the cool characters you meet.. To be fair, it is quite possible that I didn't undertand what this game actually WAS. That being said...bored me to tears.. I played this game for hours offline, and when I went online again it said I\u2019d played for zero minutes, hence the low playtime. <\/i>
I normally never play platformers because I like exploration, strange monster characters, and a mysterious vibe in my games.
Rising Dusk is the platformer I've been waiting for. The only other platformer I've been able to get into was Kirby's Epic Yarn, which is relaxing and clever, but Rising Dusk is ALSO chock full of mysterious yokai monsters that talk to you!
I just love how it feels like there are lots of secrets in each level waiting to be discovered. And constant references to the world of yokai from Japanese mythology! (I wish there was a companion guide to explain it all cause I'm sure I'm missing a few references here and there!)
Even if you don't know and love yokai yet, who doesn't love green-shelled creatures, flaming old man wheels, and little bathing naked humanoids?? I mean REALLY!
Many levels felt soothing even though you technically CAN die if you play poorly -- it just never feels so punishing that you can't savor your surroundings. There was only one or two spots with too many hazards between one savepoint and the next (the savepoints are so cute by the way!) where I got a little frustrated.
I also have to add that whenever a game's theme is "ancient Japan" or "Japanese mythology" I kinda groan and cringe and expect the worst, because it usually means there's just samurai, ninjas, and maybe a kappa. But the creator of this game obviously understands and respects all the yokai lore, and pulled it off in a really playful nice way, so big kudos for that!
On top of all that it's at a reasonable price and has chill music. Time to explore the world of yokai, I say!. Rising Dusk is an Anti-Coin Platformer inspired by Japanese folktales, with beautiful studio Ghibli style 16-bit art. Developed and published by Studio Stobie. Heads up if you plan on playing with a controller, you will need to go into the options menu and set the controller button binding manually, since the game currently has partial controller support. It also starts in windowed mode, but settings will fix that too.
You are a young girl named Tamako who finds a Yokai and gets herself trapped in their world, the world of Rising Dusk is a land permanently shrouded in the hours of twilight and inhabited by an assortment of ghouls and demons. And the only way out may be to avoid every coin, The key to returning home lies atop the strange new mountain on the horizon. Rising Dusk's art style is a beautiful vibrant mix of 16-bit pixel art and studio Ghibli charm, the background and level art is detailed and vivid, And the animations and characters are charming and very adorable. The overworld is lush and delightful, accompanied by calming music and full of little animations like the silhouettes of moving clouds and grass brushing in the wind, giving it a relaxing vibe. The soundtrack in this game is great, a mix of fantastic relaxing tunes and mystifying tracks.
What sets Rising Dusk apart from the average platformer/puzzle platformer, is the main theme of anti-coin platforming. This mechanic is very original and makes Rising Dusk one of the most unique platformer I've played in the past few years. The way it works is simple enough, the blocks are all numbered, so if a platform is marked with a 2 and you've collected 2 coins, that platform will disappear when touched, There are also platforms that only appear once you have collected a specific amount of coins. This will also be used to open up alternative pathways used to retrieve secrets and collectibles. There are collectibles in every level such as golden cat statues (that you will need to access the dojo challenges), cassette tapes that can be played at the radio station in the overworld, and finally quest items that can be turned in to the villagers of the local town. you will need to strategically choose which coins you are going to collect if you want to get the collectibles as well as pass the level.
Challenges can be unlocked at the dojo, these are more difficult than most levels and play out more like puzzles. The goal is to collect every coin in a certain order, maneuvering around the platforms as they appear and disappear. There are a total of 10 dojo challenges each harder than the last, and each requiring more golden cat statues to access. There is a reward for completing all of them, I won't spoil it but it's not really worth it if you weren't already going for a 100% completion, it's more of a nod of appreciation for getting all the collectibles and beating all the challenges. The level designs are clever but not very hard once you've got the pattern down, apart from managing coins collected, you also have to watch out for enemies or other characters rather as they don't attack you directly and there is no real combat in the game. There are dudes that push you around or throw you, turtle/platypus things that change direction when their head is jumped on, racoon like creatures that steal your coins, and a few others.
There are a couple of side-scrolling levels that felt tedious and too long, because they were moving so slowly, I got kind of bored during a few of these levels but thankfully they don't take up the majority of the game. The last level is a side-scrolling segment followed up by a very disappointingly easy boss fight. there are 3 bosses you must find and defeat before facing the final boss, sadly they are all very easy to overcome and can be finished in about 15 seconds or less. This is the weakest point of Rising Dusk, not only are the bosses ridiculously unchallenging, but so are a good chunk of the levels. Multiple checkpoints are placed throughout every level (Checkpoints have an absolutely adorable animation), so even harder areas aren't that hard to overcome. The mechanic that drives this game has so much potential to be something amazing, but it almost falls flat in this instance. I feel like if the developers ever decide to make a sequel, they could improve upon the groundwork they've already created for themselves and make something truly special.
Rising Dusk is a wonderfully charming and stylish platformer with beautiful art and a great concept that definitely needs some work, but nonetheless is a very enjoyable game from start to finish. I feel like if the developers ever decided to make a sequel, using the groundwork they've already laid out for themselves with Rising Dusk, they could build upon the mechanics and world they've created and make something truly special. Rising Dusk is available for the small price of $6.99 on Pc/Steam and Mac. If you love good design and great puzzle platfomers, and don't mind a slower pace. than this is something you shouldn't miss out on.. Very novel puzzle mechanic where blocks appear or disappear based on the number of coins collected. Some very difficult puzzle platforming for the optional objectives, but pretty easy for the main objectives. Cute art style and good, if eclectic, music. Lots of really nice nods to Japanese folklore, but if you're not already familiar with the folklore you won't learn it from this game as the yokai are not explicitly named and their stories are not told. Very good atmosphere (if you're into yokai and pixel art) and pretty good puzzles.
If you like this game, I'd also recommend the anime\/manga series Natsume's Book of friends which has a very similar vibe.. This is an absolutely gorgeous game. The gameplay is good (although some of the puzzles are lacking) but the real reason to pick this up is the huge sweeping collection of settings. From foggy docks with spirits chasing after you, to mountains that you ascend while the sun sets behind you, to strange traditional Japanese cities inhabited by tanukis, this game has it all. 100% recommend.
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