Review: Rise of Nightmares

By Bob Webb on September 11th, 2011 (29 comments)

Rise of Nightmares is a game that suffered from its platform of choice. This should come as a surprise to no one, but the Kinect does not have the fine tuned motion tracking required to make a very intuitive and frustration free experience. While being the bold leader in creating the very first horror game for the Kinect, Sega AM1 managed to make a horror game that was simply not scary and was bogged down in the quagmire of technical problems that come with the Kinect.

Knowing that Rise of Nightmares would suffer from the same plethora of problems that many other motion games have suffered from in the past, I agreed to do the review on one condition: I play the game start to finish while completely drunk. I now present to you, my inebriated review.

Rise of Nightmares (XBox 360 Kinect)
Developer: Sega AM1
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: September 6th, 2011

Rise of Nightmares starts out following our unfortunately not-so-silent protagonist Jack while he is vacationing in Romania with his wife Kate. Having discovered a concealed flask on Jack, Kate berates him for his drinking problem and storms off. At this point, I was feeling a real kinship with our hero as I was currently chugging 40 ounces of Old English Brand Malt Liquor. As Jack runs after her, all hell breaks loose and the train derails, leaving jack to search for his missing wife in a nearby estate that is full to bursting with all sorts of fiendish meat monsters.


Reminiscent of a B Horror movie, Rise of Nightmares unfortunately doesn't play on the campy aspect enough and comes off as taking itself too seriously. The game consists of extremely bad voice acting narrating your experience while you walk down corridors and hit flesh constructs with a large variety of objects you pick up from the environment. Every aspect of the game screams House of the Dead which should not come as a surprise because Sega AM1 is the same developer that brought us that game series. Rise of Nightmares is basically House of the Dead meets Saw with extremely frustrating controls.

While the controls do leave something to be desired you can get used to them, much like you can get used to eating a pie made entirely of shit. It’s still a shit pie, you’re just not throwing up anymore. Rise of Nightmares has the player turn their shoulders left or right in order to turn their character on the screen. For the first hour of game-play when I was facing straight forward, my character turned drunkenly to the left. This could have been because I was shitfaced at the time, but it also lead to a lot of over steering and inebriated curses. Fortunately, Sega was smart enough to throw in an “auto steer” option in which you simply raise your right arm and your character will walk a predetermined path. This feature, however, is unavailable during certain segments of the game.

My main problem with the Kinect controls was that I kept stepping out of the range of the sensor. In order to walk forward you had to step forward and how far forward you extended your leg determined how quickly you moved. To move backwards, you simply moved one of your legs back. Having a spacious six to eight feet of room between me and the Kinect, I still managed to inch forward or back too far during the course of the game. This unfortunately resulted in several cheap deaths due to the sensor not detecting my movements correctly.

While there are a lot of problems to be had with the controls, I do have to give Rise of Nightmares a thumbs up for their combat. It is pretty satisfying beating the shit out of a sewn together sack of meat with nothing but your fists while screaming like a madman. Weapons are widely available although they vary in effectiveness. In addition to the standard stock of enemies, there are several boss fights that use a series of Kinect movement based QTE’s. Surprisingly, these events are rather forgiving and give you a chance to avoid a would-be fatal attack.

In the end, standing up for an entire full-length game is really difficult. I finished Rise of Nightmares in two nights of three to four hour chunks. Standing up for this long, flailing around and maintaining a rigid posture probably would have been a lot more painful if I wasn’t dulling my senses with copious amounts of alcohol. Though despite all of this, I still managed to write the following after finishing the game:

“I punched dudes. My feet hurt. I reallly iwhs it cout have played the game when sitting down. jesus christ ths was not worth the ffort. I realy ohpe they dont make a sequel because itdoes not deserve one untilt hey can fucking fix the technoogy.”


Rise of Nightmares is definitely not a game you should buy a Kinect for. In fact, I wouldn’t even recommend buying it if you owned a Kinect. Maybe if you were really bored and really wanted to play a Kinect game, you should rent it or buy it used, but it is certainly not worth the full retail price.

Score: 50%


(50-59%: Mediocre - A mixed bag, both the good and bad are about equal here.)

Tags: Kinect, Review, Xbox 360, Rise of NIghtmares

Bob Webb

Bob Webb is an editorial and reviews writer at 4Player. Other responsibilities of his include developing the 4Player website and expanding its features. His hobbies include brewing beer, drinking said beer and playing video games. Follow him on Twitter.

Comment!
  • Whatsisface 3 years, 3 months ago

    I bet being drunk made it more enjoyable.

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    • Bob Webb 3 years, 3 months ago

      To add insult to injury, I only got 280 cheevos for completing it.

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  • roughplague 3 years, 3 months ago

    Nice way to mix up a review, bob x3 if anything, any kinect game should be reviewed drunk, because at least the controls makes more sense lol. I do think you went too much into the controls in your review, even if I understand that it's a big part and a big bad part of the game. either way, special review indeed, I wanna see more reviews thinking outside of the box..not in disfavor of game of course, like for example you shouldn't review vanquish drunk and complain about how you couldn't handle anything in the game, or review metal gear solid with a cardboard box over your head and complain about it being hard to see in the game or something. Nice review tho, keep it up

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  • bazooka137 3 years, 3 months ago

    :/ Disappointing to see the game ruined by faulty technology. Cannot say I am surprised though from seeing some of the gameplay previews I have seen. Hopefully we can get a game that can utilize the technology better because I think this could have been a good game. Grats on playing the game drunk though. xD

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  • Shazza1990 3 years, 3 months ago

    Lol never heard of a game being reviewed drunk. Maybe this game needs it... Enjoyed the read :D

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  • schuyler 3 years, 3 months ago

    you probably had to get drunk to numb the pain

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  • Tim Green 3 years, 3 months ago

    Great review mate!

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  • Greg the Keg 3 years, 3 months ago

    Agh, I can't drink 40s. Even less can I drink 40s and then play a Kinect game. And even less than THAT can I drink 40s then play a Kinect game and write a review of it. So, much kudos to you Bob. Very good review, and a very nice twist.

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  • G_money 3 years, 3 months ago

    Drunken reviews? Copy right that shit.

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    • Cvillain 3 years, 3 months ago

      http://4playerpodcast.com/category/podcasts/cocktail-time-podcast/ You're welcome :3c Also Bob is in the most recent episode :D

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  • CrossOutlaw 3 years, 3 months ago

    The kinect controls aside, this game has other negatives going for it thats mentioned in this review like voice acting and story. Even with a gamepad this would be a average game. Btw to bob webb, do you think you will be getting the nykon zoom lense thing for your kinect? I heard it wad good to help with the required range on your kinect, making it easier for other games. Hopefully when david plays the gunstring it will be better. I just dont think u can have free movement done well on the kinect

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    • CrossOutlaw 3 years, 3 months ago

      Ohh the game is called gunstringer

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    • Bob Webb 3 years, 3 months ago

      Yeah the controls were just the biggest sticking point; there were many other components that made the game less than good. The voice acting was laughable at points, the story started OK but went indigo prophecy, and the graphics looked like something out of last generation. There really was too much to go into without writing a 4 page essay. Maybe if I get on a podcast sometime soon I'll go into more details. ;) I'll also be playing and reviewing The Gunstringer, which is a Kinect game I'm actually looking forward to. Also, I can play it sitting down (major plus).

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      • CrossOutlaw 3 years, 3 months ago

        sweet cant wait....and really do hope you get into a podcast soon, Most preferably cocktail time.

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  • Skittles0520 3 years, 3 months ago

    I've never laughed so much while reading a review...I also loved your choice of drink...40 OE.. I think i should play games this way...might make some more enjoyable... Nice review, Bob :D

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  • DalishCassassin 3 years, 3 months ago

    Hahahaha! Great review, I say we need more drunk Bob reviews! Rise of Nightmares: Certainly not worth the full retail price. Your face in that final picture: Priceless.

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    • Cramoss 3 years, 3 months ago

      Haha yeah.. dat face

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  • Arxidus 3 years, 3 months ago

    The Kinect will NEVER be able to implement good controls. It's like the fuckin Wii WITHOUT button imputs; you're just flailing your arms. And half the time it doesn't even work. Sure, it would be great to have some games not require the Kinect, but let you use some kind of hand gestures if you did have it. Take menus for example. It would be great if, while playing the game, during a menu or pause screen, you could navigate the options with your own hand, swiping to change the menu you were on. It's not necessary, but it would be a smart use of the technology if you had it. But even still, it's not worth the price. That shit's steep.

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  • lemith 3 years, 3 months ago

    Thought so...

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  • Comradebearjew 3 years, 3 months ago

    No surprise there, look awful to begin with.

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  • thecineaste 3 years, 3 months ago

    http://images.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/9949223.jpg That is all.

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  • Minyme 3 years, 3 months ago

    Is there a place to see Bob playing this? Pictures or video or something?

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    • Bob Webb 3 years, 3 months ago

      I didn't play it on the feed, but I did take some video. Unfortunately the video is really crappy and way too dark. I need to either invest in a better camera or get my setup working for broadcasting.

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  • Cvillain 3 years, 3 months ago

    Bah! Drink some steel like a real man...actually don't, that's just gross, get like, a Midas Touch, a Lil' Sumpin' or something delicious like that

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    • Bob Webb 3 years, 3 months ago

      You just named two of my favorite beers, though that list is a long list. Dogfish Head is up there on my top brewers as is Lagunitas (which is located not far from my place). When I'm not purposefully getting drunk based on a vote (40s won) then I usually drink good beer or I brew my own. ;)

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  • The Dude 3 years, 3 months ago

    Would have interesting if you played Edward Fortyhands while playing this game. Whoa...a game within a game...INCEPTION!

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  • DuckNow 3 years, 3 months ago

    The only way this review could've been better is if you wrote it while you were hammered right after playing this game.

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  • Garrett Jacobsen 3 years, 2 months ago

    It's a shame the controls were so shitty. I was actually planning on buying it. If you (kinda) enjoyed the combat you should buy dead island. It has similar melee combat and it is satisfying to brass knuckle a zombie in the teeth.

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  • thintough 2 years, 11 months ago

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