LifeisXbox’s Rising Hell review | Since Lucifer’s attempt to take over the heavens and his betrayal against his fellow demons, Hell had been restless. After his soul has been trapped inside of a tree, the Zaqqoum, from where the kingdoms of Hell grew, his followers patiently await his rebirth. Still, as he has many enemies willing to take his place, things are about to change… A Rising is about to transform Hell forever!
Rising Hell is the new game from the Indonesian independent studios Toge Productions and Tahoe Games, published by Chorus Worldwide Games. This hellish adventure puts you in control of one of three different hell dwellers who want to escape the place! To do so, they will need to climb the three and eliminate all threats along the way.
Rafa faced hordes from Hell for about 5 hours in his Xbox One X. This game is also available for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Nintendo Switch.
What we liked!
- Hellish Visuals | Take the children out of the room because we don’t want them to have nightmares at night! Rising Hell presents some beautiful pixel art, full of colors and overflowing attention to details. Characters, enemies, scenery… they all show a lot of talent from the game developers! The animated violence of your attacks, the visceral special effects of your weapons, the hell minions eager to take your life away… Toge Productions’ team was truly inspired when developing this game!
- Sound | Heavy Metal fans, rejoice! Rising Hell brings powerful riffs that dictate the rhythm of your adventure! And those guitar melodies are unforgettable! It’s been some time since I last heard strings screaming so loud in a game! I really want to congratulate the musicians responsible for it. Hope to see you on a stage someday! Oh, that’s true: I almost forgot about the sound effects. They are excellent too. But compared to the music, I’m afraid they will be left aside.
- Gameplay | As Rising Hell is an up-scroller platformer – yeah, I just invented a new category of games for it – with roguelike elements. Here you will climb the kingdoms of Hell until you reach its exit, facing countless demons along the way. And when I say facing them, I mean attacking them with all you’ve gotten – and what you got is the Hellsbane, a weapon created in Hell to kill the archdemons! To aid you in your quest, you can count on ancient artifacts that give you enhanced powers and demons willing to assist you in your mission. They will offer you powerups to dispatch those who stand in your way. But don’t think they are helping you by goodwill: they are after power and souls, which you will need to collect and exchange for those powerups. Use those powers to slice and dice whatever crosses your path.
- Different characters, different playstyles | You start your adventure in Rising Hell with Arok, the king of the mortals. Cast to Hell in his thirst for power, he now tries to find his way back to the world of the living. And as you collect blight among your many incursions (many because you will die… a lot!), you get enough pieces to unlock two new characters: Zelos, a rogue fiend in a quest for revenge, and Sydna, a phantasma who’s been searching for her loved one. Each one of these characters plays very differently from one another, granting you a fresh experience with each character. Zelos uses his Hellsbane as a gun (which reminded me of Mega Man) while Sydna throws short-ranged explosive spheres at her enemies. I can’t believe I’m going to say it, but choose your favorite hell dweller and rise!
- Game modes | Besides the story mode – here called Conquest – Rising Hell offers some challenges for you to test your powers (and earn some more blight in the process). In the Gauntlet mode, you can try different game modes like a boss-rush mode or a race against the clock to reach the end of the level. This extra blight is helpful to unlock more artifacts, and these additional challenges are perfect for extending the game’s lifespan.
- Procedurally generated levels | For a game that claims to have an ever-changing procedurally generated hell, its levels are pretty repetitive. What it truly offers are different paths from the elevators you can take at the end of each stage (which vary among a few options in each of the realms). Levels offer different challenges from their counterparts (some will have a poisonous chamber while others will be ablaze with flames on your tail as you climb the platforms, for instance). They are challenging and exciting, but after a few retries, I felt like I have already seen them all.
What we disliked
- Underdeveloped story | The premise of the game – the intro for review – is explained by a short animation at the beginning of your adventure in Rising Hell. But I wasn’t very comfortable about that and went on a search for more information about the game. The developers’ page gave me a little more insight on one of our characters – but that was all. While writing this review, I came across a thread on Twitter containing a riveting graphic novel telling the story of the characters of the game. So, if you want to tell such a fantastic story about your game’s characters, why don’t you include this story IN THE GAME?
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With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.