Pocky & Rocky Reshrined Reviews
Solid and definitely have an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.
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.
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 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.
For those who don’t mind a short runtime and a somewhat steep price tag, Pocky & Rocky Reshrined’s old-school cool is a retro revival that evokes nostalgia while still being new. For those that appreciate a challenge, its insistence on muscle memory and pattern recognition will be just what the shrine maiden ordered.
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 and Rocky Reshrined is an absolute triumph. Much like The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors, it’s a textbook example of how to do a respectful modernisation of an established retro title; it’s not attempting to be a slavish recreation of the original, but nor is it abandoning the things that have caused people to enjoy it for so many years. Rather, what we have here is a brand new game that just happens to cover some of the same ground as its illustrious predecessor — but which is modern in a way that only today’s tech can provide. And that’s a beautiful thing.
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.
Coming to the Reshrined experience without any dog in the fight, Pocky & Rocky is an SNES classic I've heard quite a bit about but haven't experienced for myself...
Still, as a solo experience, and as an overall package? Reshrined still manages to be incredibly fun, and while I’ll never get why Natsume-Atari insists on making the multiplayer experiences as inaccessible as possible, the core gameplay loop is still outstanding enough that I can at least recommend this for a solo playthrough or two, and especially for the sake of those online leaderboards. Once this game finally clicks, it’s a whole lot of fun, and I am relieved that I managed to get it to finally click once I spent a good amount of time on it solo.
Anyone looking for an arcade-style cooperative game definitely needs to check out Pocky & Rocky Reshrined.
Pocky & Rocky Reshrined is a honest new take on a classic from the 16-bit era bringing back that desire to play a challenging and fun game with a friend for many hours. However, for modern standards, it doesn't offer enough content to keep you engaged for long. It lacks the multiplayer option at first, doesn't offer extras to keep you coming for more and it may even feel like there isn't much to do after completing it once. It's nostalgic but that isn't enough nowadays.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Pocky & Rocky Reshrined provides a lot of nostalgia towards the titles that came before, especially the first one on SNES. This sentimental longing towards the past has merits, but when put side by side with the new things it offers, it doesn't feel like it's enough of a package to people who never heard of the duo of youkai hunters. The different characters add some cool replay factor to the game, but in the end, I'd recommend it more to those who experienced the series' beginnings on consoles [back in the day].
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Despite some strange design choices, Pocky & Rocky Reshrined captures the charm of the original game and still feels great to play all these years later. Added variety makes this the best version of Pocky & Rocky and makes me long for this dynamic duo to be given a truly original title now that they’ve fought their way out of obscurity.
If you’re a fan of retro shooters, there’s a lot to like in here. If you’re a fan of the 16-bit era of gaming, you’ll love these slightly revamped graphics. The game is cute as all hell, I can’t deny that. Sadly, there’s a fine line between challenging and frustrating and Pocky & Rocky Reshrined loves to mentally torture me by jumping between these two states, all due to some questionable (and dated) gameplay mechanics.
Though at times it plays things too closely to the original game for its own good, that’s in testament to how rock solid it was to begin with. Even 35 years after the fact, this game is still unlike anything else you’ll find in the bullet hell genre. While the restrictions to multiplayer hold back its fullest potential, Pocky & Rocky: Reshrined is otherwise the golden standard for how to do remakes.
Pocky and Rocky Reshrined is a gorgeous run-and-gun shooter, lovingly and faithfully reimagined. It’s just as much fun as it was back in the nineties, but little in the way of extra content and decidedly old-school controls hold it back from greatness.
Pocky & Rocky Reshrined is what all fans of the Natsume franchise could expect, a remake of the Super Nintendo game that has been reimagined giving rise to something quite different from the original in terms of playability. New and experienced gamers alike will find this game a remarkable and satisfying experience that upholds the franchise's standards of entertainment and quality. For when a Pocky & Rocky 2 Reshrined?
Review in Spanish | Read full review