RIVE analysis. An explosive farewell

Written by Kamran Haider

Returning to the chaotic world of RIVE, this time on the Nintendo Switch circuits has reminded us how good this intense and frenetic action videogame is, the work of the creators of Toki Tori. It’s her last job as a developer and, certainly, although the news is sad, they could not have a better farewell. Analysis of RIVE: Ultimate Edition.

During the nearly five hours of intense action offered by RIVE this video game developed by the authors of Toki Tori never ceases to amaze. It is your greatest virtue. Although in essence, the options are from start to finish always the same, however much we can improve certain aspects of the ship and even add new weapons to the arsenal, you never know with what new trick you will be surprised by the work of Two Tribes. You will go from fighting in space as if a classic matamarcianos was trying to overcome challenges platformers, under a shower of missiles, with the same rapidity with which the enemies will assault you by dozens throughout the adventure. It’s a non-stop shooting! A video game so frenetic and chaotic, in a good way, that sometimes you will feel overwhelmed by the intensity of its action. Also its difficulty.

That a game present, first, the Difficult Mode as the only alternative already clearly denotes what its responsible people are looking for. The action of the old school; an extreme challenge that remembers the essence of those great classics with which we enjoyed so much in the eighties and nineties. It achieves it, in a remarkable way, and also with its own personality; making you see it as a unique, original video game, and not as a simple imitator of the great legacy to which the protagonists of the adventure, with much humor, make reference on several occasions. It is meritorious, well it is, considering that RIVE is not that I invent anything new; his great triumph is knowing how to reinvent his action again and again with more and crazier challenges … at the same time as mortals. So at a time when it is questioned if the arcade is dead in modern times, that a title of this kind landed on Nintendo Switch is a great news; even more so when you understand that you can carry in the palm of your hand a video game as frantic and spectacular as that presented by the authors of Toki Tori. Ready for battle?

The chaos of combat

The good thing about RIVE, despite its difficulty, is that it rarely gets to discourage you. If you die, and you will do it many times, you reappear immediately in a position close to the disaster. So it is easy to re-engage in action, learn from mistakes, and move forward distributing tow. However, it is abused in excess of that crazy chaos that we like so much, making it really difficult to survive certain game situations. It is not exasperating, but it is not fun to die of continuity as well, the pace of the action may be somewhat affected. There are moments that are incredibly epic, like when you escape in the desperation of a lava flow, but all that emotion that makes you drunk while you run successfully can disappear at a stroke if you make the slightest mistake. Here failures are not forgiven.

That it is very difficult seems great to me, I love it because overcoming its challenges makes you feel proud, a hero; but when it is abused of the impossible combats and implacable traps, all that grace is lost. And in this adventure, you will find a couple of moments of style that detract some charm from the final set. Nothing serious, of course, because the action is so delirious and spectacular, that everything is forgiven. I already said it before. RIVE knows how to surprise you from start to finish. Always add a dash of spice to the combats either by forcing you to move through environments without gravity, dodging explosive mines, moving with difficulty by drafts while avoiding falling into the jaws of a shredder, or simply fighting against dozens of enemies escorted by a big boss.chaos of combat

Every shot, every explosion, feels brutally real with the HD vibration of Nintendo Switch

To face all these threats we have few but valuable resources: the ability to jump, for the levels set inside the space station in which the adventure is developed, and the main shot, a machine gun, that we can accompany of several additional arms with limited ammunition … and really little weight in the combats. They have their utility because a good shot in time can clean the screen in a jiffy, but they do not make the difference either. And this, added to the small variety of enemies, is a negative aspect to take into account. Because yes, the game surprises you again and again with more and more extreme challenges, but there they are, the same robotic enemies attacking tirelessly.

The option to pirate some of these robots to help us, or to perform the same action in extremis to open new paths in the middle of combat, helps keep the interest in the adventure very high. The five hours that can take you to complete the game go flying because in addition the story that counts, with texts in Spanish, has humor and is followed with interest. Do not expect much, it is typical and it does not stop being an excuse to crush robots, but in the end, it has its grace and also allows Two Tribes to say goodbye to the videogame industry with great dignity. Because if you did not know, this is your last videogame as developers. A sad goodbye that, in your case, tastes like a sweet goodbye for the good work done.

Apart from its ability to surprise, RIVE also stands out for the intuitiveness of its control system and the precision with which you control your combat vehicle. In Nintendo Switch, where we can play in Portable Mode or on the TV, the HD vibration has been integrated so that each shot, each explosion, feels brutally real in your hands. And it’s amazing! Considering the intensity of the action. And although it sounds cliché, it’s worth noting that enjoying the video game in portable mode is equally spectacular. In addition, this version introduces a new cooperative mode that allows two people to jump into action as a team, one controlling the movements of the ship and another by firing. Not bad, although it is not an addition that marks differences. Maybe, with some challenges designed exclusively for the cooperative action, giving us total control over the ship, it would have been great.

I would also have liked to give more importance to the technical improvements of the ship because there are too few but, in general, the sensations with this video game of Two Tribes could not be more positive. Once the adventure is over, we still have a game to play if we decide to complete their levels in the Time Trial Mode.

Recommended: Analysis of Reventure, one of the indie games revelation of 2019


RIVE is the best farewell card the Two Tribes team could offer. It is his last video game as a developer but how good it is! Thanks to an admirable ability to reinvent your action constantly, this title of shooting and 2D platforms knows how to surprise you again and again with crazy challenges with which it is difficult not to get excited. There is a lot of epic in the intense and brutal shootings in which we embark on this video game that is worth trying.

  • Frenzied and intense action. The game always knows how to surprise
  • The combats against jefazos and special situations, like the escape of lava …
  • … although we would have liked to find more moments like that.
  • Little variety of enemies. Neither is exploited the improvements of the ship.
  • We like it to be difficult, but sometimes it happens.

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Kamran Haider

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