The lights are on
I loved, loved, LOVED Rocket Knight Adventures on the Sega Genesis. And while I was a little bit disappointed this wasn't a port or remake of the game I have so many fond memories of, this sequel has managed to (mostly) stick with what works and give it a shiny new 21st-century sheen.
The meat-and-potatoes platforming sections are fun, fairly linear affairs filled with opportunities to let loose with Sparkster's jetpack attacks. While more branching paths might have been a good idea, it still manages to be a platforming hoot. The flying sections suffer a bit, as there's no real incentive to attack or collect when you can just avoid. But it is nice that it's not just one game style the whole way through.
The problems: too often I found myself falling prey to enemies or projectiles suddenly falling from the sky, having no idea they were there until I had already taken damage. And I'm not a fan of the diminishing rocket power...a brief charge time on a rocket burst, a la the original game, would have been better. And while the finite number of lives and continues is a nice throwback to gaming days of yore, the unforgiving difficulty of hard mode can make being forced to completely start over a pain in the rear. And the game is too darn short.
Still, though, I'm glad to have picked up this little bit of childhood nostalgia. My inner undiscerning 10-year-old gaming self lives on.
Man do I need to play the original.