Pocky & Rocky Reshrined
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Critic Reviews for Pocky & Rocky Reshrined
Pocky & Rocky Reshrined's ability to seamlessly segue from what seems like a simple remaster into a full-blown remake is brave – and it does it beautifully, too. This looks and sounds like you remember the Super Nintendo release, but is bursting with vibrant flourishes that elevate it beyond mere nostalgia. For purists, it'll no doubt be perfect – but newcomers may scoff at the archaic control scheme, which purposefully limits your capabilities and leads to significant pain.
Despite us making numerous comparisons to the Super Nintendo game, Pocky & Rocky: Reshrined is, for the vast majority, a completely new entry in the series. And that's worth celebrating for several reasons. Tengo Project, well aware of the original's pedigree, was smart enough to only use it as inspiration, rather than attempt to follow its lead beat-for-beat. Within this modern framework, the developer has constructed a thrilling tapestry of light, colour, and action-packed junctures for hardcore gamers to get their teeth into. Is it better than Natsume's venerable 1992 outing? No, but it's about on par, albeit for slightly different reasons. Pocky & Rocky: Reshrined is a blessing, a gorgeous-looking, delightfully artful new interpretation of a much-loved classic, and a noteworthy example of what can be achieved, creatively, with the 2D medium. If you're even mildly into the application of old-school gaming disciplines, it should be snapped up without a second thought.
With this third of Tengo Project's revivals of classic 16-bit Natsume releases, the team has certainly saved the best for last. Pocky & Rocky Reshrined takes what was already a fantastic run 'n gun experience, and expands, enhances, and improves pretty much all of the original Pocky & Rocky's components to masterful degrees. From its stunning graphics, to its rich gameplay, to its fleshed out cast of interesting characters, Reshrined makes its predecessor proud while also introducing an all new generation of players to a core game that's still just as worth playing today as it was 30 years ago.
Despite the impression of being an unpretentious and simple game, Pocky & Rocky Reshrined provides a great time. The gameplay is functional and challenging in the right measure. The graphics are good and the animations are excellent. The soundtrack is impeccable. The game delivered by Tengo Project is exemplary in many departments, but some questionable implementations and the lack of online co-op and content compromises the overall experience.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
For fans of the shooter genre, Pocky & Rocky Reshrined offers something a little different, and it’s well worth jumping into. Despite being almost 30 years old, it still feels fresh and compelling – helped by its wonderful visuals and soundtrack. Throw in a cast of great characters, each with a unique set of moves, and various modes to jump into, and there’s a lot to love here. We just wish the easy mode was unlocked from the outset.
There's certainly nothing wrong with the gameplay, which remains just as enjoyable now as it did almost 30 years ago, but Reshrined feels like a missed opportunity to add in new elements or mechanics. While the inclusion of an online leaderboard is welcome, the lengthy, poorly-localized cutscenes are not. If you go in not expecting anymore more than what the Super Nintendo games did and can tolerate some odd design choices, then busting these ghosts might make you feel good. Otherwise, wait for a sale or light some incense in hopes that one of the original Pocky & Rocky games shows up on NSO.
Pocky & Rocky Reshrined is definitely the best entry in the long-running albeit sporadic KiKi KaiKai series. It may have its shortcomings but the modernized gameplay and lovely presentation make it a must-have if you enjoy classic games that are off the beaten path.