Rush Bros initial stand-out feature is the bright color pallet and the way the music blends seamlessly into the gameplay. Stages feel like pulses that slip between beats of each song, some changing more violently than others.
Something of a cross between the play style and control of Little Big Planet and the integration of music akin to Lumines sits the combination that is Rush Bros. This, of course is not without the natural problems, mainly that the controls are seemingly floating at times reminiscent to something from a user created level, and speed running stages are greatly added when the song that it starts with and seems to flow with is known. Knowing the levels seems to be key as most of the extended content of the game seems to be based entirely around speed running.
Aside from the challenge of the single player game, multiplayer offers something a little unique. The natural sides of red vs. blue are drawn and two players go to see who can beat a given stage the quickest. The problem with this feature is that it seems that the game wants this to be the default option, instead of playing through each area by themselves first and getting a feel for the way things are laid out. Personally the first couple of times that I booted the game I found it frustrating to be working out the controls and also be told that I had only a couple of second to catch up and finish a stage before I lost entirely.
The match making itself seems to be terrible, in so much that it pairs you up with anyone that is on at that moment. The upside to this is that a game is never really that far away, the downside is that it is possible that someone who is trying to hit the top of the leader board at that moment is trying to learn a level and is going to simply destroy whoever they find. The case with most people I played against seemed to be that they were happy to jump into a game and progress forward several levels, and wreck me in the speed runs of all of them, but as we seemingly got farther away from their comfort zone the field also seemed to level out.
The design of the levels seems to be odd in so much as one level will have the start of a really neat idea, like moving deadly spikes, and then they won’t be seen again. Instead of the game using some of the ideas again and allowing the player to get used to some of the notions or even allowing the game to use them in different ways they seem to be ignored and then jumped on to the next cool thing. It never ends up feeling bad, but just kind of like going over to a kid’s house to have a lot of cool toys, but he is too excited to show you the next one to ever really get any enjoyment out of playing with any one of them.
Rush Bros is a good game, at times it even does things that makes it feel like it could strive to be something great. The problem ends up being that there are just too many ideas thrown into it at once to ever make one of them really stand out and be impressive. When it does something really well it almost takes a moment to sit back and look at how great that one moment is, unfortunately you need to take that moment or everything in the game will just be zoomed right by. Watch out for these guys, because when they figure out exactly what they are doing they are going to make something that we will all take note of.