Friday, August 26, 2016

Rocket Knight (Reboot is that what I should call it?)





 This is when I hate the naming of games. You either remake a game or reboot or remaster a game. But you title it the same thing as one of the older ones. Then you have to make up your own name for it to try and differentiate it from the original. It's not so bad on places like Youtube. You can see the pictures and know what's what there. But if you run a google search you have a really hard time finding what you want.

I had this problem with the Wipeout series. Actually that's on a whole different scale. You have the original Wipeout which is a Futuristic Racing game on the PSX (basically to rival F-Zero and does a good job of that).  Then sometime later you have a game show called Wipeout that eventually made its own game. -_- You have no idea how long it took me to search up the racing one as every search turned up that outdated Ninja Warrior Knockoff. Yeah....-_-

Have this problem with Strider and Devil May Cry as well. Strider makes a reboot but you're searching for either the PSX, Sega Genesis, or NES one (there is one on the NES and Sega Genesis). I'm now getting the latest one.

Solutions to this can be as simple as refining your search. But sometimes that gets really annoying and difficult.

Luckily Rocket Knight isn't too bad in this category although if I talk about this game to certain people they'll think I'm talking about the classic Sega Genesis one. When I run searches about this game I tend to get both games to turn up. I guess cause this game is still forgotten.

Getting this Game to Run Properly

Yeah this is annoying. Once more my videocard being sub par rears it ugly head and even affects this game. I tried to run it at the highest settings 1440 x 900, 60Hz.  Nope I get lag. I can tell this cause the demo I played on the PS3 and Xbox 360 the music doesn't sync up to the first cutscene. Yeah that's bad. So lets lower it.


  • 1280 x 800....nope It's slightly better but not good enough. Still laggy
  • 1024 x 768 Okay better...but still lagging behind. Let's try and remove draw shadows. Slightly better but still in the same boat.
  • 720 x 480 Now it works. But to be on the safe side. Might as well remove full screen.


I hate this problem. But at the very least the game is playable. Before I couldn't really play it. I could but according to my screen recorder I'm bouncing between 30 and 18 frames.  That's not good. It made attacking and dodging a random crap shoot. Sometimes I would land the hit. Other times I would get hit. Or I just totally whiff my attacks. Yeah not fun.  Thankfully at 720 x 480 I can run this and record at a full 60fps.  Not that I care for FPS but when its a matter of whether or not I'm going to have a hard time. Then the choice is obvious.

Gameplay Level by Level Explanation

So this is the first time for me I'm playing Rocket Knight.  I knew about the game as a kid cause it was one of the games featured on the back of my Sega Genesis box. Unfortunately I never got the game. At the time My mom and dad (mainly my dad) bought whatever games they decided. No it's not a bad thing. It's not like they were "Soccer Moms" as some call it and I can only play games that they approve of. It was more my dad buying a game for me for a reason. Most of the time it was to beat me at the game cause he knew he could.

Controls are simple although on the PC version the controls or well the tutorial shows me keyboard controls and I'm playing on a controller. I wouldn't really bring this up except when you boot up the game it tells you to use a controller for a better experience. So I had to spend a few minutes getting acquainted with the controls. The other issue is the pad I'm using doesn't really have the best D-Pad. It works just fine. Just the shape of it makes me mistake directions at times. I'll hold Diagonal Down Right but I only rocket boost to the right. So controls I blame more my controller than the game itself.

Difficulty isn't too bad. I was gonna say this is an unfair game cause the first boss I faced I died multiple times cause my attacks didn't connect properly. I guess I should talk about this in stages.
There's not too many stages actually. I mean these stages are kinda above average in length. But there's still not too many stages. This is one of those games you can definitely beat in one sitting. But I guess to give you a sense of the difficulty. There are lives in this game and there are continues. So take that as you will.

Stage Explanation

Stage 1-1

So we start off with Sparkster tending to his farm. Bored to death then the Fire Nation Attacked...no..actually its the Wolf Kingdom. The wolves look more like dogs to me. I guess what makes them wolves is that they aren't wearing any shirts. Anyway once Sparkster see's this he rushes inside his house dons his armor and takes off to save the day. With his wife and kid cheering him on. So stage one is the tutorial for the most part. This button jumps, this button does a rocket boost, etc.

I am noticing that he has a fireball attack but its so weak. Where as slashing with my sword I kill most if not all of these guys in 1 hit. The fireball takes multiple shots. Yeah won't be using that. At the end my score is tallied based on how many objects I picked up and how much time I took. Then it tells me how many continues I have.

So the cutscene ends and this guy named Axel Gear shows up pissed at Sparkster for some reason. Then takes off. Sparkster gives chase.

Stage 1-2

Now I'm being taught about the flying stages. Now the weak fireball is useful. Even has a charge shot. You're typical side scrolling shooter here. I run into Axel and a boss fight starts up. He clearly has better weapons than I do. Shooting a straight beam. Dashing like crazy, and even can create damaging smoke clouds.

So I beat him and runs off. Well no time to give chase gotta save the day.

Stage 1-3

This actually got a bit long. And now there's ninja wolves. They'll hang on the walls throwing shuriken at you. When you get close or right under them they jump down. And this game has contact damage. These guys are annoying. Another new enemy type is wolves throwing dynamite at you. At this point the game tells you that you can knock the dynamite back by hitting it. Wait a minute I can knock by dynamite which by logic standards should explode. But I can't knock back a ninja star?!

Anyway it's a good thing the game told me this for an obvious reason.

Stage 1-4

Boss time. Wait Axel you're not gonna fight this thing with me? Hey get back here!

So this giant thing Shoots Buzzsaws, punches, fires rockets, and throws dynamite at me. So I figure I guess I gotta knock the dynamite back. Easier said than done. The dynamite when knocked back don't exactly just fly where you want it to. There's a science to this. What I haven't figured out. Not only that but the weak point is the head.  I had a hard time knocking the Dynamite back to his face especially since if I attempted at the wrong time I could get punched in the face. Or I'll whiff and have the dynamite blow up in my face.

After a bit of struggling the boss is defeated. Well check this thing to make sure its dead. Nope is there a phase 2? No...it got up and completely exploded having the face plate land on top of me. Then Axel shows up and takes all the credit. The bastard. So once that was over the game tells me I unlocked hard mode for the next level. Wait what? I thought if you played in hard mode (I'm playing normal BTW) you stay in hard mode. It asks me if I want to switch difficulty. Um...no...I'm just starting this game I'm not suicidal.


Stage 2-1

So things get a bit more intense. I mean we are marching into our enemies kingdom now. Another new Enemy type. I can kill it but its best if I just lure it into a pit. The amount of fire power being shot is rather intense though.

Stage 2-2

So another Air Stage. I'm taking down airships along with more wolves and a lot more bombs. Kinda difficult to line up shots to take out as many as possible. But this stage ends.

Stage 2-3

So another gimmick introduced or at least only for this stage and the next.  Sparkster's Jet-Pack is frozen due to frigid temperatures. Now I can only charge the Jet-Pack either by standing near a warm fire or picking one of these items to refills my tank. Either way I have to use it sparingly cause it's very easy to run out.

Stage 2-4

So what's his name Ulfgar??? I think that's his name. Anyway the wolf king. Who looks more like a wolf than the others. This guy has way too many ways you can damage him. However I can't just run up and slash him. I have to make him hurt his self. Funny how the gimmick to unlock hard mode was to make him fall through the floor.

So the boss fight ends and the Wolf King surrenders with the white flag. So game's over?  Nope. The pigs of Devoltindos have other plans. They axed the Wolf King kicking him off screen. Before Sparkster or myself have anything to say about it. Sparkster is given a clunk to the head as well. Now all the evil bad guys are laughing. The people of Zephyrus are like WTF then they have guns pointed at them as well. Before we leave to the next stage Sparkster is thrown out the window into a seemingly bottomless pit.

Stage 3-1

Well thankfully this pit isn't bottomless. But man fell a long way down. Seems we're in the Pig's base. Everything's all scientific. The wolves are no more as enemies and now are replaced with pigs. And man are these pigs far more annoying. Most of them I have to work to actually defeat. This level is quite long too. I had a moment of stupidity thinking I was supposed to somehow head over to a switch but instead I hurt myself and found out it's a completely different switch. Kinda hard to see. Especially since I can't full screen this game.

Stage 3-2

Well not a flight mission. And I'm kinda digging the music here. Definitely sounds final level-ish or close to it. But oh god this mission impossible mess. Hitting switches that are timed to get from one point to another. Avoiding electric wires. All while blowing up the base. That's when things got really bad. I blew up the generator and now everything's blowing up. Time to run like hell. So now my platforming has to be quick and precise or I die.  It's way worse in hard mode where I literally can't afford a single mistake. What I had to do is easier said than done. After a bunch of screw ups I finally make it.

Stage 3-3

Well showdown with Axel Gear. This guy is a total asshole this time around. Pissed me off so many times. He's always airborne and dashes away from you when you get close. The hard mode achievement is get him to get hit by his own bomb. You have to be ready and expecting it or it won't work. But what's really frustrating is his desperation bit where now he's using a gun. Really man...truly dishonorable knight you are. That gun killed me so many times.  Once he's finally defeated time to get out of there cause the explosion I was running away was patiently waiting for this fight to finish.


Stage 4-1

So a flight stage. And it just doesn't stop. The supposed enemies that camoflague themselves then attack you. A guide said "Oh they're easy to deal with." Yeah that's a load of crap. There's so much crap on screen shooting at me its hard to pay attention to everything. The stage ends by shooting down an airship which I honestly thought was going to shoot back. But it didn't.


Stage 4-2

Alright back at home and man these pigs work fast. Machinery everywhere in place of the castle. Annoying pig enemies as well. Not fun to deal with. More platforming that relies on me being quick and precise. There's one part of the stage I just hated cause for one I didn't know where to go. I thought I would keep going right. But then the stage turns me around. First time I didn't notice this path. 2nd time this path is somewhat tedious to make. If your boost is too short you're gonna fall. So make it to the end to Fight General Swinehart and he's got a giant robot. That punches Sparkster in the face.


Stage 4-3 - Final

So the last boss fight. Okay what I needed to do first was obvious. But the 2nd part not so much. I then discovered oh after I kill the robot I gotta make the General crash into the electrified hands or face. Easier said than done. Half the time this guy would just fall safely right in-front of the electrified parts. Other times he would fly just out of my reach even after boosting. I got frustrated how this guy wasn't cooperating. Since it wasn't a matter of being difficult it was a matter of getting this boss to get damaged properly.

He finally goes down and gets taken out Smash Bros style. Star K.O. finish.

GAME!

This game's winner is Sparkster!

The people cheer on the hero as he flies back home. End credits roll. After the end credits he lands back at home another fine job for the hero. Now to tend to the wife and son. That's it for the game.

Unlockables

Back at the title screen. If I want to unlock anything. I have to play in hard mode. I did and god was I frustrated. More enemies to kill and boss attack patterns are much faster. I was frustrated. But managed it.

I unlock playing as Axel Gear which is nothing but skin/costume mod. It doesn't change up the story or gameplay. And I unlock Golden Sparkster mode. Which might as well be very hard mode. Enemies are far more aggressive but the worst part is my HP is cut in half. So these guys are doing more damage and I only have 4 hearts of health instead of 8.  Yeah....maybe another time I'll do this. Not right now.

Gameplay

Okay so gameplay. It's insanely short. You can finish this in about 1-3 hours. I guess your replay value is Axel Gear costume and Gold Sparkster. Maybe this game's a bit too short. But definitely has difficulty behind it along with continues like a classic Genesis or SNES platforming game. I guess if you're one of those guys that want the highest score possible or the fastest time this is a good game to do so on.

But I know a lot of people will frown or ignore this completely. These days I find a lot of people whether on Youtube, Twitch, whatever. They hate having lives and they hate continues. Saying that its unfair to have it in the game and that its a harsh punishment to game over cause you ran out of lives and then have to start all over.  But that's how games were back in the good old days. So I guess its true that times have changed and using old fashioned game design methods will only piss players off. I'd complain that gamers today just want there hands held or for someone to do the work for them. But that would be another 5 - 7 paragraphs of text by itself.

Anyway Gamplay is good but short-lived. 4 Stages. 2 different modes of difficulty. Not much else there. I guess it could be extended. Like giving the game an actual Axel Gear mode. A couple more stages.

Graphics

Graphics are great. Everything stands out for me. Even stuff going on in the background of some stages. Although I question if the wolves are just actually dogs. But enemy and character designs are great. Everything moves smoothly. I can't complain here about anything but my graphics card. I thought that since this is an old game I should be able to run it at the max specs. But no. I can't blame the game for that. I blame me.


Music and Sound

Music fits each stage. Sound effects aren't annoying except during stage 3-2 when I'm escaping the explosion. It's a bit too much going on in the background. No voice acting needed just funny sound effects and you can automatically tell what's going on. Not all games need voice acting or words to tell a story. You can do it just with a couple of sound bytes and animation.


Overall

A short enjoyable game. I think it's 15 bucks to download on either 360, PS3, or Steam. I got it when it was on sale. Worth my purchase. I kinda wanna play the older Genesis/SNES versions to see how they are. Anyway hope you guys enjoy the playthrough whenever it goes up.