Needless to say, I have a special little place in my heart for jetpacks.
As long as I could remember, I’ve loved them. The fiery roar of their engines, the elite look of their pilots, and most of all, the idea of complete and total personal freedom.
Rocket scientists should really be working on this one. I mean, how many personal lift devices are there? Maybe a handful? How many are cost effective? Okay, I’ll bet a rope and pulley is, but that’s beside the point. Look, if you made a jetpack cost about as much as a car, you’d probably make traffic jams a thing of the past.
Sure, there’d be a physical requirement for them, but how many severely overweight people do you see on motorcycles? On that note, they’d probably be only marginally more dangerous than a motorbike. I mean, sure, you gotta stick the landing, but other than running out of gas, what are you going to hit that high up? (Disregard bad takeoffs. I’m sure many clip shows show people doing stupider things than taking off with a jetpack.)
So where’s all this buildup going? Am I retroactively re-reviewing Dark Void? No. Have I watched a jetpack themed movie (Perhaps The Rocketeer)? Nope.
I’m reviewing Rocket Knight! (The Remake!)
Now, this game’s source material is a classic to me. I remember playing through this game, getting frustrated at the waterfall boss, and finally remember how everything clicks and suddenly really hurting some pigs.
So when I saw (A week ago) that a remake was almost upon me, I preordered it immediately from steam.
Having made a full playthrough of it, my first impression was “This is short. Like, shorter than the first.” At least, as well as I remember it. But I won’t spoil nostalgia right now.
But it was listed as “Arcade Mode” So I figure there’s more to it than that. (Achievements will definitely lengthen the game for me.)
Onto the actual, y’know, GAME part.
Our friend Sparkster (Whose name I didn’t actually know up until playing the remake) starts out tending his garden, “Lalalalalala” when suddenly his village is attacked! He runs into his house, grabs his armor, bids his wife and child adieu, and takes off!
The game starts with you fullfilling the latter of the aforementioned title duties, IE Being a knight. Cutting up enemies is pretty standard. Your sword, having been borrowed from the Legend of Zelda series, swings, shoots energy, and lets you spin all crazy-like. The baddies all go down within four hits and you’re on your way.
The rocket portion makes combat a hell of a lot more satisfying, to the point where it can barely be called combat. I prefer to call it “Get the f*ck out of my way!-fu” Your rocket dashes do as much damage as your sword swipes, a powered up one does double, and you ricochet off walls like a little angry pinball of pain.
All of this awesome comes at a slight price. Anything you do that has an orange or blue flame effect to it drains out a little meter in the corner. If it gets too low, no rocket for you for a second. Like, really just a second. It recharges faster the lower down it is, so if you pace yourself ever so slightly, you’ll be fine.
Later on, you take to the sky in a side-scrolling shooter format. Of course, you can still cut them, since your little laz0rs do half the damage of your normal strike, but you’ll probably avoid it because you’re FLYING THROUGH BULLET HELL! At least in the later levels. And sometimes it’s air-mine hell. But I digress. These sections are fun, and break up the platforming fairly well.
Now, I would like to find whoever was in charge of the level design and shake his hand. And then have his freshly shaken hand point me in the direction of the story-writer. That bit’s for later.
The levels are simple enough to easily navigate and never get lost (And no, it doesn’t ALWAYS break down to “Go right until finished. Only mostly), and they seem well planned around the artistic styling of them. I went from burning village, to frozen mountain, to underground laboratory, and back, all accompanied by flying sections. I never tired of the playthrough (Even though it only took me two hours), and some of the platforming sections had my jaw in my lap as to their brilliance. Of course, with brilliant platforming comes hard as hell platforming. They’re common-law married. The jet sections in the later parts of the game had me grumbling in frustration as they cost me several lives because I didn’t ricochet juuuust right, or the collision detection on the diagonal dashes seemed off. But they never stopped me for too long. In fact, the only part of the game I ever used a continue was on the final boss: A shining example of final bosses everywhere for platformers, even if it WAS a *Spoilers!* giant robot! But I was still smiling with glee as I figured out how to beat it.
Now, I mentioned earlier that I would like to find the story writer. I still do. I want to shake his hand as well, and then smack him upside the head with it. It’s told in blurbs between loading screens and it is LITERALLY shorter than this blog post. There are more quick-tips to playing the game than story screens. I mean, not every game needs a hardcore story, and there’s only one twist, and if you don’t see it coming, you must be younger than I was when I played the first game. Or just stupid. Of course, how much story are you going to fit in a game you can beat in an hour or three? Still, no points for effort.
I’d like to finish the review saying that if you played the first one and loved it, get this game. If you haven’t played the first one, get this game anyways. It’s fifteen dollars via steam (Unsure of the XBLA or PSN prices, probably comparable) and you’ve probably bought worse games for more.
I don’t like my normal ratings system anymore. Just go by the damn game.