Rocket Knight - Xbox 360

Rocket Knight
Game Description:In Rocket Knight, players take on the role of a fiery opossum named Sparkster who returns home to the Kingdom of Zephyrus after 15 years to find it in shambles. Using wits and a trusty rocket pack, players must steer clear and overcome a hostile wolf army looming to take the lives of the Zephyrus people. A 2.5D action adventure title, Rocket Knight brings expansive new worlds, each with massive platform levels and a rocket flying level. As players navigate through the challenges, their rocket pack can be used to ricochet off walls, launch Sparkster through obstacles and enemies in his way, and rocket drill through weak walls to create new passageways. Along with burst projectiles that shoot from Sparkster's sword to attack distant foes, a burst vortex can also be created from players' rocket pack to repel enemy bombs back at them. If all else fails, players can use Sparkster's prehensile tail to hang from and slide down rails in order to avoid danger. With timed levels and leaderboards, dedicated players will also be able to show off their high scores and fastest times online.
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Rocket Knight Hands-On Preview

Rocket Knight Hands-On Preview

By Jake Gaskill - Posted Apr 12, 2010

Rocket Knight preview

During Konami’s recent Gamer’s Night in San Francisco, I spent a little time spastically firing myself around Konami’s upcoming Rocket Knight, the downloadable follow up to 1994’s Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2, one of the top 10 greatest old-school platformers to feature a rocket-propelled opossum as the hero.

In Rocket Knight, players once again assume the role of Sparkster, the aforementioned opossum, who must re-strap on his beloved rocket pack and defend his land from annihilation. As you’d expect, the quirky nature of the game’s premise translates into the gameplay and design, which should come as no surprise to anyone who ever played the original Rocket Knight games on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.

Aside from the standard platforming elements, Sparkster has two unique abilities that afford him plenty of mobility and speed: his rocket pack and his tail. The first game that came to mind while playing the game was Splosion Man, since Sparkster is able to ricochet off surfaces, which in turn gives him the momentum he needs to reach higher platforms. You can also dispose of enemies by rocketing into them, or going the more traditional route and stabbing them.

Rocket Knight preview

The level I played consisted of a number of different jungle-themed areas, all spread out across a variety of dizzying heights on the massive map, and packed with a variety of enemy types (brutes, dynamite tossers, karate wolves, etc.) and environmental hazards. Considering how many vertical layers there were to the map, it would have been a pain to maneuver around if not for Sparkster’s trusty rocket pack. Thankfully, the rocket mechanic works well, once you get the hang of it.

There are also pipes zigzagging the levels that Sparkster can attach to with his tail and use to slide his way to a new position. Rail sliding, when coupled with the rocket pack, naturally leads to some rather frantic gameplay. There were times when I ended up on some completely different portion of the map, after I bounced between two walls, flew through the air, caught a rail and slide down a lower section I didn’t even know was there, all in the span of a few distracted seconds. These random scenarios were a bit frustrating, but they were most likely my own fault since I was only able to spend a few minutes getting used the game’s controls.

The end of the stage featured a boss battle with a massive flying ship. As rain powered down around me, I disposed of the ship's canons with a few well-timed jump attacks. The sense of scope was consistent with the overall feel of the rest of the level, and based on some of the footage from the newly released trailer, it appears this will be the case for the entire game as well, which is definitely one of the game's more compelling features.

Rocket Knight preview

I never played the original Rocket Knight games, so I have no nostalgic blinders on for the new one. Fans who have been waiting for a Sparkster reunion should definitely keep their eyes on Rocket Knight as it promises to deliver the same kind of wacky, rocket-fueled platforming that made the original games so beloved among fans.

Rocket Knight is scheduled for release on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and PC in May.

Comments are Closed

  • Myrrh_van

    As soon as I saw this I reached for my genisis, (which happens to sit four inches away from my bed) and started to play the first one. I've yet to beat the first one, but I loved the game play. In fact I made an account just so I could make this comment. I am now going to play a week stright of hard core gaming and a subsequently couple of months money pincing just to buy an xbox so i can play it!

    Posted: April 14, 2010 7:13 PM
  • Ryne S.

    I used to rent this game all the time on Genesis. Definitly going to pick it up. Just hoping it comes with the original.

    Posted: April 14, 2010 6:10 PM
  • GatsuBlackSword

    Man I'm Really Stoked They Are Remaking This Series. I Used To Go To My Buddies To Play This On His Genesis All The Time.

    Posted: April 14, 2010 1:53 PM
  • HeiniSchplitzen

    This was one of my favorite games on Genesis, the soundtrack was awesome(boss battles!) Heres hoping they dont screw this up, I loved the original! From what I have seen so far, my only complaint is the environments look drab. Make it more bright and colorful, and you got me sold.

    Posted: April 14, 2010 12:52 PM
  • topgamer101

    I only played the second title, but it was quite fun and entertaining. Looking forward to this one as well.

    Posted: April 14, 2010 9:32 AM