Rocket Knight Adventures set to blast back in 2010

 

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Climax Studios

Format: XBLA, PSN, Steam

Available: 2010

Another retro classic gets a HD remake, and it looks stunning!


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For those who haven’t sampled the original Rocket Knight Adventures, originally released on the Mega Drive in 1993 and resulting in the sequel Sparkster a year later, I highly recommend you do. At the time it was a massive hit, and one of the best platformers available on the Mega Drive. Even now the gameplay is supremely fast and frantic and graphically, although obviously dated, it still maintains a certain charm that sets it apart from other games of the time. But now there looks to be some almighty news on the horizon, as Konami have confirmed that a new Rocket Knight Adventure is due to be released next year.

Rocket Knight is a completely new adventure for Sparkster, which although it looks totally new and shiny, still sticks to the flawless principles of the original. First off, the biggest change is the graphics, which look fantastic and dazzlingly smooth. Thankfully the side scrolling setup is maintained, as anyone who’s ever played any of the new Sonic games will know, the conversion from 2D to 3D gameplay doesn’t always work (in the case of Sonic, it was abysmal). Rocket Knight Adventures was always praised for its fantastic pace and energy, and from looking at brief glimpses of this new outing the speed is still there in abundance. Another element that has been retained is the side scrolling shooting sections, where Sparkster would take flight and shoot down waves of enemies.

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Remaking or ‘reimagining’ (the dirtiest word in the English language) is a trend that originally started out in the film business, but has now started to filter through to other mediums, including the world of games. Monkey Island was reworked this year (to startling effect), Sam and Max were brought back last year for another bout of crime-busting slapstick, and there are even rumors that Sonic is due to return to his side scrolling roots next year. Whether the concept of remaking old games is good for the industry is a discussion for another day, but regardless it’s been a pleasant voyage of discovery to see a few old names reanimated. Let’s just hope Rocket Knight turns out to be a cracker of a game, and at least be a respectable homage to the original classic.

Rocket Knight is due to be available via XBLA, PSN and Steam, with prices expected to be roughly £6-8. If this is the case, this sounds like a bargain, and with other classic platform characters such as Earthworm Jim and Sonic making welcome and hopefully triumphant returns, I personally can’t wait! Bring on 2010!

Scott Tierney

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