Rivals Of Aether is a forthcoming Xbox One and PC indie fighting game from developer Dan Fornace, whose previous works include Killer Instinct (Xbox One, 2013) and the Super Smash Bros. Game Boy demake, Super Smash Land. The development team consists of Fornace himself, composer Flashygoodness, artist Ryan Sicat, and pixel artist Johan Vinet.
Drawing heavily from the Super Smash Bros. series, Fornace’s Rivals of Aether takes place on Aether, a lush world where the game’s fighters (Rivals) are battling for dominance. Each of the playable Rival characters incorporates one of the four elements (fire, water, air, or earth) into their appearance and moveset. The four Rivals that have been revealed so far are (Below, left-to-right) Wraster (Air), Zetterburn (Fire), Orcane (Water), and Kragg (Earth).
The game’s aesthetic is a mix of old and new. It features a combination of detailed motion graphics, 8-bit character sprites, and SNES environments. If you’ve ever played Super Smash Bros., the game’s layout will look familiar.
Rivals plays similar to Smash; one-to-four players battle on a stage and attempt to launch each other off of the level and into blast lines by increasing their opponent’s percentage. The higher a player’s percentage, the farther they will fly when hit, and if a player crosses a blast line they will be KO’d.
There are several Super Smash Bros. mechanics at play in Rivals. Each character has a set of physical and special moves to use against opponents. The game features blast lines, a percentage meter instead of the traditional life meter, and a form of Meteor Smashes/spikes, which are moves that allow you to slam an offstage, airborne opponent straight down (usually resulting in very satisfying KOs).
One thing that sets Rivals apart from its Smash Bros. roots is that it appears to have a story to tell. RIVALS MODE promises to tell us each character’s story as we uncover the mysteries of Aether. Aside from that, I’m also interested in seeing the rest of the roster, and wondering if we might see any characters who can use more than a single element.
Rivals of Aether is set to release in 2015 for Xbox One and PC. We’ll be tracking the game as it continues development, and will post more information as it becomes available. If you’re interested in hearing the latest news from the game’s dev team, feel free to follow the game on Facebook.
If you’re interested in Super Smash Land, it can be downloaded for free from the game’s official website.