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.
Pocky & Rocky Reshrined is a fantastic remake of an acclaimed classic which deserved a wider audience, and this latest release is a great way to bring in new and old players alike. The story mode provides a satisfying and challenging experience where you come to grips with a diverse cast of characters and play styles, before diving into the endless replay value of two-player coop. Modern or retro, this is just a fun game to come back to again and again.
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.
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.
Pocky & Rocky Reshrined is an indication of the series' successful revival. Delicately drawn characters and stages are more than enough to introduce a charming world of pixel art for those who are familiar with latest video games, As well as giving nostalgic memories for the fans of original game. However, the fact that no big changes were made from 28 years old original work and short playtime is a bit shameful.
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 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.
SummaryPocky the shrine maiden and Rocky the raccoon are back together in the latest game in the long-running classic shooter series! As the evil Black Mantle attacks, Pocky and Rocky need to team up once again, this time with some new friends to take on the upcoming challenges! With 8 stages of high-paced shooting action, you'll have your hand...