Demitrius Berkley-Thomas On May 19, 2010 at 11:51 am

Rocket Knight is 2.5D platformer developed by Climax Studios and published by Konami. This is a revival of the old Sparkster series which started with Rocket Knight Adventures on the Sega Genesis. The game starts out with Sparkster, a mouse, doing some farming in his yard when he spots large flying warships off in the distance. This sight causes him to run into his house and emerge with his armor, jetpack and sword. His wife and child wave farewell to him as he flies off to defend his homeland. When he arrives at the area that is being attacked he finds out it is being attacked by the wolves and this is where the game play begins.

The game starts out as a basic platformer with a jump and a rocket assist which is similar to a double jump but just gives Sparkster a little extra height and airtime. There is also a rocket blast which shoots him in whatever direction the player wants and can be used to ricochet off of walls and reach higher places. Most of the levels are pretty basic with some obstacles and hazards to avoid by using the rocket blast to bounce around them and there are some timed platforms but not many. There are some levels where the game takes a break from platforming and turns into a side scrolling shooter. In these levels Sparkster is flying with his Rocket Pack attacking enemies, most of who are flying around with large strings bombs attached to their backsides, with a fireball attack and a charged laser attack. The game uses a heart system for your health which can be replenished with heart power ups. There is also a fuel gauge for Sparkster’s rocket which is used up by rocket blast and certain attacks and regenerates automatically.

The combat in Rocket Knight is pretty simple but works well. The is a basic sword attack that uses no fuel and can be used anytime whether he’s on the ground, in the air or hanging upside down by his tail. Next Sparkster has a ranged attack where he shoots a fireball from his sword that takes up a little bit of fuel but does about half the damage of his normal sword attack. There is a spinning attack where Sparkster uses his rocket to spin himself in circles like sonic with his sword out and this also takes up fuel. Now Sparkster’s strongest attack is the Drill Attack which is like the rocket blast but costs twice as much fuel, does twice the damage and can break through cracked surfaces and blocks. Most enemies are easy to beat and their attacks are easy to dodge or knock back at them. Bosses in this game are also simple but just take some timing to defeat and each boss has a secret hit or counter attack which does extra damage and some are more obvious than others.

Rocket Knight has two difficulties, Normal and Hard. Normal difficulty is actually really easy and most people won’t die or have any issues until the very last boss, then once you get his pattern down he is easy as well. Hard mode is unlocked after beating the previous world’s boss with his secret counter attack. In hard mode enemies hit harder and attack a lot more so if you’re an experienced gamer or just looking for a challenge that is the difficulty that will fit you. The game includes two game modes, Arcade and Freeplay. Arcade mode takes the player through the levels in order with a limited amount of lives and continues. Freeplay mode is where the player can choose any level and any difficulty and play through it to try and get better times and scores to beat your friends on the leader boards. The game only has two unlockable costumes which you get for completing certain challenges.

The game took me about 2 hours my first time on Normal Arcade Mode and that was just me taking my time and messing around. There’s an achievement for beating the game in under an hour on Hard Mode so I believe most gamers will beat this game in one sitting. Rocket Knights was released on Xbox live Arcade, Steam and PlayStation Network for $15 or 1200 Microsoft points.


Starts out as a basic platformer but quickly adds more with some fun level designs and boss battles. While Normal Mode may be too easy for some, Hard mode brings that challenge that most will be looking for.


While the graphics are simple and cartoony I quite enjoyed them. It’s nice to have something that’s not gritty and realistic but still looks great.


The background music is okay but forgettable and the sound effect are average.


This game is a lot of fun and I really enjoyed playing it. While you can tell a lot of hard work has gone into the game the cost for the amount of time you get out of it may be prohibitive to most people.

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