Variety comes in the form of forced scrolling levels that show off the Ringed Wonder's flying ability. These forays to the sky are exceptionally easy and focus on the destructive powers at your fingertips rather than the skillful dodging that traditional shoot-'em-ups embrace. Because of this direction, these are the weakest aspect of the game. Triumph requires little more than holding down the fire button while puttering around the screen, and you don't even get to mess around with the goofy weapons from your ground-based battles. Boss fights also fail to add much to the game. An assortment of oversized monsters with inflated life bars attempt to thwart your progress, but these duels lack the chaotic energy that could have punctuated this adventure. Thus, you just dutifully avoid their attacks while focusing on their glowing weak points, and the drab predictability fails to enliven this ho-hum experience.
Hopefully he's conjuring some oxygen to breathe.
The biggest problem with Rise of the Manhunters is that you don't get to look forward to any monumental encounters. Defeat some foes, solve some easy puzzles, and repeat until your thumbs grow tired. Even your wealth of powers can't shield you from the encroaching repetition forever, so you're left with a tried-and-true adventure that is devoid of attention-grabbing highlights. The game still manages to stay fun partly because the core mechanics work so well. Controls are solid, so you can smoothly switch between weapons and combo enemies into oblivion without any problems. Tight collision detection also ensures that even defensive players can do their best turtle impression without unfair retaliation. These small elements have a huge impact on the game. You can focus on beating enemies senseless instead of trying to coax the game to respond to your wishes, which removes any potential frustration that might distract you from the fun.
Despite offering an uninspired adventure for the green-garbed hero, Rise of the Manhunters still provides a good time, especially if you team up with a friend. Playing with a buddy is unfortunately limited to local play, but beating down bots with a pal keeps things feeling fresh. It's a shame that Manhunters doesn't take advantage of the impressive powers Hal Jordan has at his fingertips, but this is still an enjoyable experience that should keep you entertained for the seven hours it takes to reach the credits. A little creative ingenuity could have turned this into something worth taking note of, but the lack of ambition doesn't strip away the fun entirely. It's impossible to give Rise of the Manhunters a ringing endorsement because of its reliance on genre staples, but solid mechanics and empowering unlockables make it a decent movie tie-in.