Retro Throwback: Rocket Knight Adventure

Hello ladies and gentlemen once again, here we are with another installment of Cody’s weekly throwback. I keep in mind the time era while reviewing a game from my childhood but also games that were releasing around the same time period. The only criteria I meet is that the game had to have been released during the time period of 1990-1999. This time we have a fearless Possum in shinning blue armor taking on the perils and dangers of battling pigs head first for this week’s segment.

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Name- Rocket Knight Adventures

Developer- Konami

Genre-Side-scrolling platform

Release Date- (NA) August 5, 1993

Platform(s)-  Sega Genesis

 

Our protagonist Sparkster is a War Orphan turned Rocket Knight, set out to avenge his adoptive father for the traitorous acts of a corrupt Rocket Knight named sdfAxel Gear. With the Kingdom under attack by the Devotindos Empire and it’s king of the pig army, Devilgus Devotindos, we follow our Rocket Knight’s adventure to save the Kingdom and of course the faithful princess that always seemed to be caught in some sort of daunting trouble. Will we see the end of Devilgus and the Pig Star’s destruction?

 

 

From the initial sound clip of most retro Konmai dscfagames to  the sound of your rocket pack discharging along with the introduction of this game, the sound track is mesmerizing. Zooming through the various levels via rocket pack or traveling on foot, this side-scrolling platformer was very unique in design. The way Sparkster was able to build up his rocket pack and propel in 8 different directions or even sliding from tree branch to tree branch added a certain characteristic that many games lacked coming out around that time period. I guess it was something about the attention to simple gestures in the game that made the overall feeling of the game more “complete”, even though it’s about as much of a linear platform game as you could get. Armed with our trusty sword that projects energy over short distances and our rocket pack , we battle our way against variants of pig enemies eventually leading to the boss at the end of each level. I will credit this game with spicing up the platforms presented in the game play and changing the way the game plays such as becoming a horizontal scrolling shooter and a level where you control a larger machine to battle a boss. The legions of enemy pigs add to the never-ending entertainment (they lose their clothes upon defeating them) as our journey takes us from land to air to land again, complete with over the top boss battles what more could you want from a possum in blue armor?

 

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Final Grade – 85%

With an invigorating  OST and simple yet fun controls, Rocket Knight Adventure was noted as being a classic among most platform based games. Maybe it’s the fact that Nobuya Nakazato was the designer of the title (noted for his work with the Contra series) or that Konami was hitting our sweet teeth with all the side-scroller platform games they were producing in this time era. Although platforms are very common when this game was released, it offered a slight ingenuity for character design and how certain levels changed up the game play, particular how in the castle you end up running and bouncing your way back and forth running from flames while in another level you are flying in the air shooting a boss. That variety alone helped me score this game higher than I normally would with a platform being that with the usual short time frame associated with games of this nature, a change-up in gameplay is a very welcomed change of pace.

Pros- 

  • Ingenuity with character design
  • Solid OST
  • Variations of styles of gameplay within the different levels
  • Simple, yet fun controls
  • Creative animations

Cons-

  • Short game, lasting a little over a hour
  • Repetitive attacks

 

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