A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Pocky and Rocky are two extremely compassionate, caring individuals, making sure to keep each other safe at all costs. As the game progresses, players get to see how Pocky and Rocky work together as a team despite the overwhelming odds against them.
Positive Role Models
Pocky and Rocky are an inseparable pair, coming to each other's aid whenever it's required. Additionally, many characters along the course of their journey join the cause in meaningful ways, determined to fight back against the forces of evil.
Most of the characters within the game are Japanese, and many of the enemies and locations featured pull heavily from Japanese culture and mythology.
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Ease of Play
Players are able to shoot in eight different directions, but aiming diagonally can be hit or miss as the game has a difficult time registering those inputs, which could lead to frustrating deaths.
Violence & Scariness
There's no blood, gore, or even strong, violent imagery of any sort – just cartoonish chaos. If players lose their lives, their character will turn into an angel and float harmlessly toward the top of the screen.
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Products & Purchases
The game is a remake of the original 1992 SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) title, Pocky & Rocky, which may inspire players to go back and play the original.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pocky & Rocky Reshrined is a side-scrolling run-and-gun game available for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. A re-imagining of the original 1992 Pocky & Rocky game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Pocky & Rocky Reshrined will call upon players to go through eight different levels in an attempt to stop the mysterious Black Mantle, who wants to plunge the world into darkness. The game has a heavy emphasis on Japanese culture and mythology through its locations, items, and the creatures players will encounter. The two main characters, Pocky and Rocky, display traits of teamwork, compassion, and determination as they face off against dark forces far beyond their comprehension, staying by one another's side through thick and thin. Despite the gameplay's focus on throwing projectiles, there's only cartoonish chaos rather than outright violence. While playing the game, players may become frustrated due to the overwhelming number of things happening onscreen at all times, and though there are eight different directions players can attack from, diagonal attacks can be hit or miss in the heat of battle.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.