It's quite rare to see a 2D shoot 'em up with 3D graphics even nowadays so let me introduce you to the fantastic Rigid Force Redux.
Rigid Force Redux is one heck of a fun shmup. You play it by shooting and dodging projectiles as you do in any scrolling arcade shooter but Rigid Force Redux features plenty of exciting mechanics that help make the gameplay feel fresh. As you defeat enemies, they leave energy orbs behind that you can collect to fill a meter. To collect them faster with a powerful magnet, you simply hold a button down which also slows your ship's speed. You use this energy gauge to either swipe a sword that clears out nearby projectiles or fire a more powerful blast of projectiles. Meanwhile, you'll acquire power-ups that increase your firepower, change your weapon type, and strengthen your missiles. Finally, each basic power-up grants you an additional satellite weapon which you can position with the shoulder buttons. All of this may sound like a lot but it's all implemented intuitively and makes for one thrilling shooting formula.
On top of having fantastic gameplay, Rigid Force Redux looks amazing with its distinct and detailed ships and environments. Whether you're flying through a frozen planet, a deserted wasteland, or a fiery volcano; everything looks absolutely wonderful. In addition to that, the soundtrack is a pitch-perfect blend of orchestral arrangements and electronic music and the shot sound effects are very satisfying, especially when you blow up hulking monstrosities. Believe it or not, there's also some voice acting which takes the form of your navigator who does an excellent job of chiming in to explain the next stage or give you encouragement whenever you take a hit.
Rigid Force Redux includes 3 modes: Main Mission, Arcade Mode, and Boss Rush. Main Mission is your basic arcade mode where you play from the beginning and trying to complete all 6 stages in one sitting is quite a challenge. If it's not difficult enough for you then you'll be happy to hear that you can play each mode within 3 difficulty settings which should mix things up quite a bit. Anyway, Boss Rush is self-explanatory and Arcade Mode actually implements some nifty elements as you take on the individual stages. Namely, you can try to accomplish things such as increase your score multiplier, rescue comrades, and destroy orb bombs. Needless to say, aiming to increase your score and achieve better ratings on each stage and difficulty setting combo offers an impressive amount of replay value.
Although I absolutely love Rigid Force Redux, it does have its downsides. The most notable of which is that there are only 6 stages so it's definitely on the short side. Each stage may be somewhat lengthy but I wish there was more variety such as branching paths via selecting which stage you want to tackle next, etc. Last but not least, some parts force you to memorize the stage layout. For example, a few segments feature hazards and enemies that may surprise you so on your second attempt, you'll know where to fly to avoid them and having to do that just feels cheap. These moments are very few and far between, though, so it's definitely not a big deal.
Rigid Force Redux is simply one of the best shoot 'em ups that I have played in years. If you're a fan of arcade shooters then you need to play this. The amalgamation of game mechanics is phenomenal and its sights and sounds are top-notch, too.
- + Tight shoot 'em up gameplay with lots of cool mechanics to play with
- + Awesome graphics and sound
- + Arcade Mode adds a lot of replay value
- - Could use more stages and variety
- - Some parts require a bit of memorization