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Casey Scheld ReviewsGame ReviewsPC Reviews

Pocky & Rocky Reshrined Review

Official Score

Overall - 80%

80%

For those who don’t mind a short runtime and a somewhat steep price tag, Pocky & Rocky Reshrined’s old-school cool is a retro revival that evokes nostalgia while still being new. For those that appreciate a challenge, its insistence on muscle memory and pattern recognition will be just what the shrine maiden ordered.

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Cornering the shrine maiden shooter market, Pocky and Rocky are back for another go-around with the PC release of NatsumeAtari’s Pocky & Rocky Reshrined. Does this run-and-gun sequel have what it takes to stop the monsters of the mountains, or do its yokai signal a foreboding presence?

Pocky & Rocky Reshrined Review

Much like the original 16-bit title, Pocky the shrine maiden and Rocky the raccoon will team up with some unlikely allies across different realms to fight spirits corrupted by a man in a black mantle. While there are brief story cutscenes with text and fairly static graphics, the meat of this run-and-gun comes from its top-down “shooting” action.

And when we mean “shooting,” what we really mean is “exorcizing.” As cursed airships, cities ablaze, the Underworld, and other areas get overrun with skeletons, fish with legs, and the almighty Hellkraken, Pocky and Rocky will fight back with eight-way shooting mechanics, dashing, and dodges that will give players a nice little edge when the going gets tough.

And believe us when we say the going will get tough. Although Pocky & Rocky Reshrined features a top-down angle that provides plenty of real-estate, this is one title that hits hard and fast. Old-school gamers will know the name of the game, but there is always a threat to be mindful of. The controls are more than up for the challenge, but that’s not to say that there isn’t a learning curve around both each character as well as the layout of each stage. It will attract a certain type of gamer, but those that do crave titles based on pattern recognition and muscle reflexes will have an absolute field day.

On that same note, this title has that old-school cool with its different option choices. Aspect Ratio percentage, Aspect Scale percentage, resolution, and scan line effects can be adjusted, while the graphics themselves have received a considerable upgrade from its 16-bit roots. With the ability to fine tune each aspect, even the most scrutinizing of retro gamers is covered.

One is also able to unlock “Free Mode” after completing Story Mode or collecting a sizable 10,000 coins. With this mode in place, one can select and play as their favorite character. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it still gives players something to gun for and encourages replayability – especially with a friend. Rounding things out are some Online Rankings and achievements. While they are exactly what they say on the tin, the arcade-like action of this title is conducive to multiple playthroughs and score chasers alike.

For those who don’t mind a short runtime and a somewhat steep price tag, Pocky & Rocky Reshrined’s old-school cool is a retro revival that evokes nostalgia while still being new. For those that appreciate a challenge, its insistence on muscle memory and pattern recognition will be just what the shrine maiden ordered.

This review of Pocky & Rocky Reshrined was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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