Monday 27 June 2022

Pocky and Rocky Reshrined Review (Switch)

Pocky and Rocky have been chucking cards at demons for some time now but have still only managed four games, the last of which was on the GBA.  We are old enough to remember the first SNES game and loved it dearly. We’d never finished it due to how crushingly difficult it was but here’s a thing, after player Reshrined we went back to it and finally made it through to the end.

How did this happen? Well, one of your attack options is a close-range melee attack. Except, that isn’t all it does and we never realised before. Yes, that close range attack works as a deflect to many of the incoming projectiles. Who knew? Apparently, everyone except us but there you go.

For those new to the series, you basically make your way through ancient Japanese landscapes blasting demons. Despite its title, this isn’t actually a remake. It starts off looking very much like the first level of the first SNES game but soon branches out into levels full of little secret passages and new level designs. You also get to play as four characters over the course of the story mode. Once cleared a free mode unlocks which let’s you select who you want to play as to try and beat all the levels. This is slightly annoying as it effectively locks the two player mode away until you’ve beaten the game. You’ll have to beat it once again to unlock the final playable character as well.

That said, while the game is tough, it does have generous check points and you have unlimited continues with which to get through it. So, if you stick at it you will get through eventually and it’s not the longest of games either.  

The options available to the player follow the shooter mould with a few twists. You have the standard shoot attack which can be upgraded from cards (or other weapon depending on character), to fireballs and homing magic. You have the smart bomb attack and two ways to avoid incoming fire. The first of which is the dodge which launches your player across the screen, but takes a few seconds to get back up from and the previously mentioned deflect attack which knocks projectiles away and back at enemies.

Complementing how the game plays are some beautiful visuals. The ancient Japanese mythological style is captured perfectly as demons of various sizes come at you against the backdrops of bamboo fields, rivers and wooden flying machines. Anyone familiar with Spirited Away or other Studio Ghibli output will be seeing some familiar faces along the way as well. It perfectly merges the old pixel style with something more modern and comes out the other side still looking exactly how Pocky and Rocky should.

Overall, Pocky and Rocky Reshrined is a successful return for a much loved pairing. All the mechanics work and it looks both retro and beautifully modern at the same time. There are no issues with controls, and it also provides enough of a challenge for long term players while being accessible to newcomers. Locking the multiplayer option away is a strange decision but generally speaking everything here works and fans or the original and newcomers alike should both be very happy with it.

Overall 8/10

Physical copies of the special edition version of Pocky and Rocky can be found at -

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