"To simply say that Rise 2: Resurrection is better than the original would not only be a pointless understatement (almost any other fighting game is better than the dismal original), but would be undermining the fact that Rise 2 is a surprisingly decent 2 dimensional beat 'em up. Rise 2: Resurrection has enough going for it to be worth a look for fans of this rapidly overcrowding genre. It's no Street Fighter Alpha, it may not even be Mortal Kombat 3, but the game pilfers enough from both of them, while keeping its own techno-war theme, to contain at least a modicum of originality and innovation.
Rise 2 has 18 playable characters, and at least 8 other robots. There are 2 ape-bots, several "loader" style utility droids which have been retrofitted for combat, and many humanoid cyborgs. While there is definitely some degree of character cloning, the similar units were than just simple rehashes. Some have multiple sets of limbs, others jet packs, buzz-saws, lasers, rockets or electricity shooters. The characters all look superb, and act and move differently. There are samurai cyborgs complete with katana and ceremonial dress, a female android who actually moves in a fluid, feminine way, and the Supervisor herself who has the face of a devil and whose body brings new meaning to the term "silicon implants."
The backgrounds, like the characters, are all computer rendered with a 3D look to them. There are even optional hazards which these settings throw at you to make the fights more dangerous (like land mines, spewing acid, and a nasty buzzsaw). And, unlike the original, Rise 2 has plenty of special moves--fireballs, jet kicks, sword swipes, and many other offensive attacks. Unfortunately, the game reuses too many of these special attacks between characters. The idea of the Mortal Kombat fatality (called an "Execution") has been added and allows you to gain the fallen robot's special power-it's a one-shot deal, though, since you can only use the stolen move once. The game "borrows" the Super bar from the Street Fighter 2 series, which when flashing enables the robot to perform its "Super" move, though most of them are rather lackluster. The Executions could have used more diversity as well, but some of them are rather cool. Rise 2 has a Combo counter, called Chaos, which broadcasts your combos when you achieve multiple hits. Also of note for fight fans is the fact that Rise 2 contains some neat air juggles-for keeping your opponent hurting while they're landing.
Just forget playing Rise 2 with the keyboard-a game like this demands a control pad. Actually, it demands an arcade stick, but there isn't one for the PC. And even with a pad, special moves can be trying at times. Rise 2 is a 6 button fighting game, though a 4 button controller works well. Unfortunately, the Win95 version only seems to support the Gravis GrIP for six buttons and the game won't support either 4 or 6 button controls for two players. I was also surprised by the almost total lack of cinematic sequences in the game (especially given that the cinemas were the best part of the original). Both the sound effects and music were decent overall (the soundtrack, as with the original, was done by Brian May of Queen fame), but the music loads had a tendency to jerk and freeze the game occasionally. There is a Win95 only and a DOS/Windows version, but I found the DOS version to be far superior; it is much more user configurable, utilized my STD 6 button pad without argument and actually plays better.
Overall, this is a good, though certainly not great fighter, with fantastic graphics and character animation, exceptionally diverse characters, and playability marred by sometimes troublesome special moves and an aging 2D fight engine. Rise 2: Resurrection is no masterpiece, but for those who want a new 2D fighter and are sick of Mortal Kombat, this one is worth a look."