Parents' Guide to

Pocky & Rocky Reshrined

By Dwayne Jenkins, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Adorable side-scrolling shooter is flawed, but fun.

P&R Cover

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Some video games can get their point across without having to take up too much of the player's time. Pocky & Rocky Reshrined is a wonderfully re-imagined throwback to a beloved SNES title with eight stages that will take around a full hour to beat – maybe even a little longer depending on the skill level of the player. It's a gorgeous game that's unmatched when it comes to the visual variety it packs in each of its levels, from locations such as burning cities and crashing airships to enemy designs like sentient pots and enraged water spirits. Even though the original game is quite a few console generations removed from the likes of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, Reshrined manages to take an old favorite and makes it look and feel like it truly belongs in the modern gaming landscape. Cute characters and fun cutscenes aside, the gameplay is where that strong foundation begins to wobble.

Players will spend the bulk of the game frantically trying to duck and dodge the avalanche of lasers, beams, and random projectiles thrown at them from every direction at all times, but unfortunately, the controls can be unreliable when it counts. Diving out of harm's way doesn't feel tight enough, and players may find themselves underestimating exactly where they'll end up, leading to unintended deaths. Although there's a button dedicated to deflecting projectiles, that's useless when you have one direction covered, but seven other directions are impossible to account for when the chaos is at its peak. Even shooting diagonally can be a hassle while moving, another noticeable issue to the moment-to-moment gameplay. The saving grace here is the checkpoint system, which is forgiving enough to drop players off at reasonable points in an area without forcing them to do the entire level from the very beginning. Pocky & Rocky Reshrined may have clear roots in the SNES era of off-the-wall tough games with questionable controls, but it's just enough of a visual treat and challenge to be a fun way to spend a free hour or so of your time.

Game Details

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