ROBOT IDENTIFIED: TROPER TVTR101 COMBAT DROID CLASS B.
POWER RATING: EXCELLENT
COMBAT ABILITIES: EXCELLENT
STRENGTHS: INTELLIGENCE, AGILITY, REDACTION AND ORAL ABILITIES.
WEAK POINTS: NO SOCIAL SKILLS
THREAT: EXTREMELY HIGH.
The saying "better graphics don't make a better game" was finally put into the minds of many gamers and critics when an infamous Fighting Game known as Rise Of The Robots was released in 1994 for the IBM PC, Amiga, Game Gear, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and Philips CD-i. The game certainly looks great for its time in screenshots and on its intended platforms (the Amiga and PC), but the game itself leaves much to be desired when many fights can be ended by backing the unimaginative enemy robot into an invisible corner and kicking their shins in. The hit detection is also pretty bad, with the player landing hits while apparently kicking thin air, and the same going for the enemy robot.
The game's premise was dead simple, and by the standards of any beat-em-up, perfectly functional. The Supervisor, a T-1000 Expy with boobs, is the central robot in charge of a large robotics plant. All is going well, until a computer virus suddenly gives her sentience. She transmits the virus to the rest of the plant's robot workers, causing them to kill all the humans inside and try to find a way to connect to the outside mainframe. The only way to prevent The Supervisor from uploading the virus to the rest of the city is to kill her. Enter Coton, a cloned Cyborg programmed to fight his way to the Supervisor's lair and kick her highly textured ass.
If the game has any greater legacy than just being awful, it is that it solved the issue of the increasing number of video game magazines - although not in the way they would have liked.
To try and attract readers, some were giving 'exclusives' of games, promising high scores in return for advance review copies. Some of these games were still in Beta and even Alpha testing, and others would even review based on PC screenshots. Some would diss the game in the review but give scores of 80% and more at the end. Nobody really noticed when a game turned out to be good anyway, but with Rise being so universally bad by any other standards, its exceptionally high 'exclusive' review scores caused a sharp loss in trust for the common news-stand magazine.
A sequel, Rise 2: Resurrection, was released on the PC, Playstation, and Sega Saturn in 1996. This one featured a new cast of characters, on top of the returning robots, and numerous gameplay improvements that were overshadowed by the overall design of the game, that is try to be like two certain other fighting games but betray the mechanics from both in certain ways. Never the less, it is more balanced and playable than the first.
This series contains examples of:
- A Winner Is You:
- All you get for beating the Supervisor in the first game is a shot of her exploding, then a brief sentence of text and a clip show of all the FMV sequences in the game that repeats until you reset.
- Beating Rise 2 gives you a generic "You kicked the Supervisor's butt" ending, with the lines repeating in different variations.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In the story for Rise 2: Resurrection, the Supervisor manages to defeat and absorb the Cyborg, destroying his body and copying his brain patterns to the rest of her robots.
- Inverted if you play through Rise 2.
- Artificial Stupidity: Most enemies can be easily beaten by just backing them into a corner and kicking them to death. Sometimes your opponent will even just drop all pretenses and walk into the corner themselves.
- The Sentry can be easily flummoxed by just crouching and kicking. Watch as he flails around with his spinning roundhouse over your head and only occasionally gets a hit or two in.
- All this is especially ironic given how the marketing boasted about the game's allegedly complex AI and how your opponents learn from their mistakes.
- Big Bad - The Supervisor.
- Blatant Lies - Music by Brian May was promised for the game. Most console versions that advertised this lacked all the music by him (with the exception of the intro music).
- Body Snatcher - Coton in Rise 2 simply possesses whatever robot you chose to play as.
- Chrome Champion: The Cyborg, while the Supervisor is his Evil Counterpart (but with shapeshifting.)
- Cigar Chomper: Builder, inexplicably.
- Digitized Sprites - The graphics used pre-rendered 3D backgrounds and sprites, with incredibly fluid animations for each character.
- Everything Is Better With Monkeys: The Builder is basically a shiny blue robot gorilla.
- Excuse Plot - The second game for the most part.
- Failsafe Failure - Subverted. The Supervisor's programmers actually thought ahead, and didn't give her access to any network outside the factory in case something like this happened. Doubly Subverted when she absorbs the Cyborg's mind, letting her transmit the virus over a larger area.
- Fake Difficulty: Apparently the only way the dev team could think to create a difficulty curve was to just make each robot hit harder than the last (which completely breaks two-player mode, especially since one player has to play as the Cyborg.)
- Finishing Move - Rise 2 allowed you to perform E-X-E-C-U-T-I-O-N-S on your defeated foes at the end of a match.
- Full Motion Video - The first game had plenty of this in almost all versions of the game.
- A God Am I - The Supervisor's view on things, post-virus.
- Have a Nice Death - Rot R shows a FMV depicting the Cyborg being defeated if you lose a match. Likewise, all the other robots are given the same treatment.
- Home Version Soundtrack Replacement - The game was heavily advertised as featuring music by Brian May. However, they got into rights issues with EMI. Rather then delaying the game to resolve them, the developers completely replaced May's music with techno music by Fuzzy and Clownlogic.
- The Brian May soundtrack was included on the 3DO and CDi versions, letting the player choose between it or the techno soundtrack.
- Here's an interesting note: Console versions included a video game rendition of his song: Cyborg. Rise 2 claims to have him return, though he never actually contributed any music, aside from a few chords in the intro theme, while the one full track he did contribute was discovered on a PS1 disc. Why not include that as part of the main game is beyond any of us.
- Lightning Bruiser - In Rise 1, while each enemy gets progressively difficult, the Sentry Droid is big, bulky, and does the most damage yet, with size not hindering him at all. Just hope Player 2 decides not to use him.
- Loads and Loads of Characters - In between games, Rise 1 went from seven characters to over twenty in Rise 2! You have to fight most (if not all) of them too.
- Mascot Mook: Of all the robots in the first game, Builder ends up getting the most screentime after Cyborg, being used for the continue screen in versions that allow continues and the game over screen in all versions.
- Missing Episode - Bell-Fruit's arcade version of Rise 1, which sported the same improvements that would find their way into Rise 2, supposedly making it the only vaguely good version of the game. Though it was fully functional it never made it past location tests, and all cabs are thought to have been lost or destroyed.
- Obvious Beta - While Rise 1 is somewhat playable, and Rise 2 being more so, there seems to be some unfinished elements of Rise 2, such as certain characters not having certain animations, nor having said animations match up with their actions. The Necroborg is a blatant example of this.
- Porting Disaster: The game's main selling point was meant to be its graphics and AI, so it at least looked great in screenshots. With this in mind, there are a large number of low-power consoles that it should never have been ported to, like the Game Boy and Game Gear, where it became nothing more than a standard fighting game with robots.
- Shout-Out - The Supervisor is less a Shout-Out and more like a rip-off of the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. She starts out showing off her hand blades, and being melted to the ground when defeated.
- Spam Attack - In Rise 1, it's very possible to go through the whole game on easy and normal by walking up to your opponent and kick them to death.
- Totally Radical - The ending for Rise 2: Resurrection tries to play on this. It went on for nearly a minute, and it's just the game really emphasizing how much butt you kicked.