PS3 Previews: Rocket Knight Preview

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Rocket Knight Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA 2010

Publisher:

Konami

Developer:

Climax Group

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action/Adventure

Release Date:

TBA 2010

It has been over 15 years since we took control of an uber-deadly opossum named Sparkster. It was sort of a trade-off for the time: while Sega took the hedgehog and began a revolution, Konami took the opossum and…well, gave him a sword and a jetpack, which was pretty darn amusing for a while. Rocket Knight Adventures debuted on the Sega Genesis and believe it or not, there was yet another installment before Sparkster went dormant for a very long time. But now, Konami is bringing him back; Rocket Knight will fittingly show up on the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Marketplace some time later this year. So if you never got a chance to slice and dice hordes of evil wolves back in the ‘90s, you get a new opportunity. The trend of dressing up random animals in knight-like apparel kinda died out a few generations ago – right around the time the industry began to grow up – but nostalgia can be quite healthy. …or at least semi-guilty indulgence.

Rocket Knight will be depicted in 2.5D, which is the modern take on old-school side-scrollers like this one. Basically, it’s still technically a “side-scroller” but the background environments and characters will be in three dimensions. This is good news and as far as I’m concerned, Sega should’ve kept Sonic in the 2.5D realm, as unrealistic as that sounds nowadays. Sparkster will have his protective armor, effective sword and aforementioned jetpack, all of which are required to deal with the invading beasties. If you actually played with Sparkster back in the day, you’ll probably remember the jetpack dash; he’s a nimble little guy, after all, and he’ll be able to speed about, hover, and even break through walls. As for additions to his sword, he can shoot fireballs at his enemies and we’ve heard there will be a few new abilities, too. Also, let’s not forget that Sparkster can actually bounce around and ricochet off walls when boosting, which is a little unique.

You’ll nab some power-ups and other useful items as you progress and that ricochet aspect of the gameplay will play a major role, especially when timing is required to reach tough places. Basically, it’s a platformer and an action game, which is fairly straightforward for a game of this type, as it requires solid reflexes and a good amount of trial-and-error experimentation. You can also expect a good amount of diversity in the backdrops and environments: one minute, you might be leaping around a lush, natural area and the next, you’ll find yourself freezing to death in an intimidating icy atmosphere. Here, you’ll have to locate fuel cells or sit near fire spurts in order to survive, so there’s obviously a little more strategy involved than one might anticipate. Add to this the colorful, appealing atmosphere and you’ve got a very charming little game that should appeal to all those who desire a dose of the rose-tinged past. And speaking of the past, there’s one last feature the veterans might recognize…

It’s the return of Sparkster’s nemesis, Axel. In the original game, he looked a lot like Sparkster’s twin, only he wore red armor and liked to cause a lot of problems. He’s back in Rocket Knight and once again, it’ll be up to Sparkster to put a stop to Axel’s infernal plans. Oh, and let’s not forget that sometimes during your adventure, you’ll actually fly around and the game will become more of a shooter! There’s really a surprising amount of stuff to talk about, especially when you consider the subject of our analysis. I mean, it’s just a freakin’ opossum dressed up as a knight. But there’s platforming (much of it with an original twist), hack ‘n slash battles, item collecting, diverse levels (a total of 14 to work through), a bit of strategy, and even a flying mechanic. In many ways, it sounds a lot like what developers should continue to do in the pseudo-2D realm; it would be much appreciated and if they stay cheap on the PSN and XBLA, they’ll also be very accessible. You just gotta love Sparkster!

4/5/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (16 posts)

DemonNeno
Monday, April 05, 2010 @ 10:21:31 PM
Reply

Awesome! It's been FOREVER! That's killer that they're keeping it a side scroller. I used to beat my head against the keyboard everytime I read about another brilliant 2D game that turned out into a disasterous 3D game.

Now that this game has made it out of the wood works, I think it's time for the addition of a 2.5D Ghouls & Ghosts!

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

FlyingKickPunch
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 3:38:58 PM

they made it. it's on psp :)

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DemonNeno
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 6:36:48 PM

Ahh! Damnit. I don't PSP. I PS3 on a 52"! :)

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Reckoner
Monday, April 05, 2010 @ 11:13:37 PM
Reply

YES!! HE'S BACK?!! BAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!!

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BikerSaint
Monday, April 05, 2010 @ 11:31:47 PM
Reply

Hey Ben,
Oh man, did I ever love Rocket Knight Adventure!

I always thought Konami could have done more to keep this game going, so I'm really glad to see it coming back & just updated a bit.


And I still have my original Genesis cartridge,
but I never knew about the 2nd one, so now I'll go see about hunting it down too.

BTW, offhand, would you know the name of the 2nd one, and if it was on the Genesis too?

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fluffer nutter
Monday, April 05, 2010 @ 11:38:47 PM

A quick look-up to the wiki helped out. The sequel was called Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 and then there was a spin-off for the SNES called Sparkster.

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BikerSaint
Monday, April 05, 2010 @ 11:31:47 PM
Reply

OK, my button has the hiccup's,
so I'm deleting this 2nd post copy of mine above

Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/5/2010 11:34:17 PM

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 12:53:55 AM

@fluffer nutter, OK thanks for the info.
Damn, didn't know there were 2 of them.
I'm gonna check it out now.

BTW, your reply button was missing once again, so not sure how close up to your post I'll be....
Frigging "M.I.A." buttons!

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fluffer nutter
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 2:27:45 AM

When you reply to the comment, the "reply" button will be at the parent post, i.e., the first post that started the thread. All subsequent replies will not have the link under the date/time stamp.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

chedison
Monday, April 05, 2010 @ 11:56:23 PM
Reply

no thanks, opossums freak me out

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King James
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 12:06:02 AM
Reply

YES!!! Yes!!! YEP!!!

Now, all I need is a streets of rage remake and I'm good.

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SayWord
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 12:30:04 AM
Reply

Yes! Only sega game I loved besides sonic! I cannot wait, bring it!

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___________
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 2:24:50 AM
Reply

you had me at side scroller.
i really miss those styled of games, im playing apocalypse on my ps1 now and am having a blast!
even shadow complex, i had a blast with that game last year and now ive heard epics new game is actually not gears 3 its a new shadow complex but full retail full HD release.
o,boy i really hope thats true!
i wish there was a game company just set for giving us old styled 2D platformers and side scrolling games, than another for giving us HD remakes of ps1 and ps2 classics.

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Sonattine
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 5:01:32 AM
Reply

This news has brought back fond memories.
I was playing the Megadrive utlimate collection again last night (the first two areas of Sonic 2, a couple of battles of Shining Force). It's so frustrating that they didn't bother to do HD upgrades. Fewer games with upgraded graphics would have been so good.

This new trend is cashing on my nostalgia. They might as well though, my weekly allowance has gone up a bit since those days.

I agree with King James. A Streets of Rage remake would be great. I've been playing SoR2 at least once a year with my sister since its release. I've never found anything like it since. But, I'd rather they did just a graphic upgrade of number 2. SoR 3 was an improvement on many aspects and sounded like a wonderful idea on paper (I remember being excited by all the new features presented in a magazine preview) but the game ended up just being unplayable.

Lets hope that with Rocket Knight, they focus on gameplay. That, after all, is what's at the core of 2D gaming.

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Oyashiro
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 5:52:19 AM
Reply

What games have Climax Group made, I don't think I've heard of them.

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wiiplay
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 @ 2:05:52 PM
Reply

Wait up a second here..
Rocket.. Knight?
Say no more, I'm buying!

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