Rival Megagun is an interesting concept for a game. It’s basically a combination of a traditional top down shooter and a classic arcade vs game (a cross between Space Invaders and Street Fighter, to the layman) which plays out over a twin field of view, where each player has their own side of the split screen (similar to two player Puyo Puyo or Tetris).
Players must battle to outlast each other over various ‘bullet hell’ style stages, each with their own individual backgrounds, obstacles and enemy types. The object of the game is very simple – the first player to die loses. You can make things extra tough for your opponent by sending extra enemies over to their side by filling up your combo meter. If, however, you really want to ruin their day, you can transform yourself into a larger ‘end of level boss’ type ship with various powerful weapons that will automatically appear at the top of your opponent’s side of the screen. This is done by completely filling up your gauge before your opponent.
The single player campaign works in a similar way to the arcade mode of most fighting games. Choose your pilot/ship (each has a different shot type and individual combo powers) and battle your way to the final boss. Each stage represents a new challenger for you to face, and each of these stages is specific to that challenger. If you can make it through all of them, the game turns into more of a standard shooter for the final boss, abandoning the split screen for a regular top down view.
Rival Megagun goes for a retro aesthetic in terms of both its graphics and soundtrack. Visually, the game looks like a highly polished Neo Geo or Sega Saturn game (albeit with fancier presentation and a higher framerate) and the excellent in-game music is as adrenaline pumping as one would expect from this type of frenetic game.
All in all, Rival Megagun is a thoroughly enjoyable experience with a large amount of replay value and a surprising amount of depth for an extremely low price. Definitely worth checking out if you have an appreciation for quality arcade games.
RIVAL MEGAGUN / DEVELOPER: SPACEWAVE SOFTWARE / PUBLISHER: DEGICA GAMES / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH, PC, PS4, XBOX ONE (REVIEWED) / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW