Available Now through Nintendo eShop
Anyone familiar with the Pop Island games should be familiar with the cute little penguin featured in Rising Board 3D. However, what you're getting here isn't a frantic capture the flag or free for all battle royale experience. You're getting a high speed-score attack surfing game that is just pure fun. Of course, it doesn't mean the game is free from flaws and shortcomings.
The sail makes it easier to perform plenty of tricks in mid-air
The game starts off with a short quick tutorial on the mechanics. You use the circle pad to steer and holding down the A button will cause you to accelerate. Releasing the A button lets you leap out of the water from from there, pressing the B button will allow you to do tricks by sliding the circle pad in any direction. Throughout the run (or in this case, surf), there will be large red arrows and a small notification on the top prompting you to perform a trick to gain trick points and Sun Points. Sun Points are also the game's currency that will allow you to purchase new surfboards in the shop as well as upgrade surfboards you have already bought. Upgrades don't really offer any noticeable advantages in performance other than increasing the heart meter seen on the upper right corner of the screen. You start out with 1 and max out at 3. Two surfboards can only be used in "Special" stages, however.
You may think Special levels need special requirements to be accessed but this just isn't the case. For every play, you get thrown into a random level. This also includes Special levels, which you can clearly see as soon as you start and see the words "Special" in the background. There are two types- one that focuses on speed and the other focusing on huge waves to jump out of the water and perform tricks. Though, the problem doesn't lie in these special stages. It's the regular randomly generated. And when I say random, I mean you cannot pick a level of your choice. You're thrown in. On one hand, it offers variety. On the other, it can make for a slight frustrating experience since there is no real level design.
One of the random Special Levels
This shortcoming doesn't necessarily mar the whole Rising Board 3D experience, but it's unfortunate odenis studio didn't come up with good and original well-crafted level designs. You will be hitting land at inconvenient points- some you don't even see off screen as they sometimes stretch beyond than what you'd expect which causes you to lose a heart. Lots of the terrain are ripped from the Pop Island games (and one from Glory Days 2) and provide some sweet eye candy even though it's a suped up DSiWare game. Seriously, this is one of the better looking games on eShop from the 3DS Download side. And throughout your surfing, you'll notice characters from the Pop Island games and even get a chance to temporarily play as them including a shark, goldfish, eagle and some weird fish-like thing on skis. These characters are imune from losing a heart if they come into contact with land and will also bring out more Sun Points to collect.
As for the music, it's what you'd expect from odenis- nice and catchy. Most if not all the of the soundtracks are ripped and strangely compressed from the past Pop Island games. They compliment the action just fine and will likely keep you going.
All in all, for $3, you can't go wrong. You're getting a good pick up and play type of game that has some depth to it's simple design. Odenis studio did a good job creating a new experience from it's existing Pop Island franchise. And there's just something about the game that just keeps bringing me back. It's addicting. Fun. And frustrating. But there's just a good balance. It's far from perfect and it's flaws stand out. Yet, it doesn't stop me from trying to beat my own score and collect more sun points to upgrade my favorite surfboard. It's a shame there are no leaderboards to compare with your friends or strangers worldwide. This game really needs it. Looks like I'm going to have to brag using the free Swapnote app.
+ Fun, Simple and Addictive gameplay
+ Good graphics and sound quality
- Lacking Local and Global Leaderboards
- Randomly generated levels can be a bit bothersome
Pro Tip: Tap A repeatedly to glide- this is helpful when you reach some long stretch of land and helps in general.
Last edited by Komicturtle on September 21st 2012, 12:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
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