In 1993, Konami released Rocket Knight Adventures, a fun (yet challenging) cartoony side-scrolling platformer starring Sparkster the armored possum. Sparkster was another in a long line of animal mascot characters of the 90′s such as Sonic, Bubsy, and Crash Bandicoot. Sparkster, with his signature jetpack, could propel himself across chasms, reach normally unreachable items, and cut a swath through multiple enemies at once. Close to two decades later, Sparkster returns in the form of a PSN downloadable game. Rather than an HD remake or re-imagining, Rocket Knight is a true sequel to 1993′s Rocket Knight Adventures with the exact same gameplay of the original in a 3-D side-scrolling format.
Rocket Knight dutifully recreates what made the original so much fun to pick up and play. The controls and level design remain intact with a few new tricks of course. Sparkster can now perform a rocket-drill attack by double-tapping the rocket button to break through walls and weak floors. Other new maneuvers include the ability to hover momentarily, reflect enemy explosives with a sword strike, and rocket-spin while hanging by Sparkster’s tail. Another new addition is the ability to save at the end of each stage, making Rocket Knight significantly easier than it’s less forgiving predecessor.
Rocket Knight sadly does not offer much beyond it’s fourteen stage arcade mode and ability to replay any stage previously completed. It’s archaic and dated format of stages, lives/continues, and restarting an entire stage when said lives run out may not appeal to today’s gamer. Therefore Rocket Knight can only truly be recommended to fans of the original Rocket Knight as well as fans of classic side-scrollers in general who are willing to pay it’s inflated $14.99 price tag.
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