Seething Cauldron of Pop Culture Talk

Irascible Analysis of Popular Culture

SNES vs. Genesis: Pocky and Rocky 1 and 2, The Firemen, and Legend of the Mystical Ninja

Pocky and Rocky 1 and 2

The two Pocky and Rocky games are top-down shooters developed and distributed by Natsume in December 1992 and June 1994, respectively, for the SNES. They almost make the shmup genre, because of the way the game plays, but slides into the action genre because the rate of advance through the game is completely controlled by the player. However, it still has the same kind of fast-paced shooting that shmups are known for and lots of powerups and other items scattered around for the player to find. In the game, you can play as either Pocky, and shrine maiden, or Rocky, a raccoon. The sequel is the more fun of the two, as it has an even greater focus on action and large, free-roaming levels to play with. The sequel as lets you choose from one of three characters to accompany you through each level and provide additional attacks or you can just grab your companion and throw them at th enemies for massive damage. Either way works just fine. Both of the game are fun, breezy titles with colorful graphics.

The Firemen

The Firemen is an action game developed and published by Human Entertainment for the SNES in 1994. I read one review that describes it as “Die Hard with fire instead of terrorists and a water cannon instead of a gun” and this is a view that proves largely true. As a fireman, it’s your job to work your way through various flame-engulfed buildings as you look for the source of the fire and rescue any survivors along the way. It has boss battles, like a giant ball of fire that actively attacks you. You have two main attacks, a stead stream of water used for fighting fires that are moving around and a downward blast that’s good for fire on the ground of fore close-range combat and you’ve got a companion who uses his fire ax to extinguish fires. It’s a pretty intense game, though not overly hard. It’s unfortunate that this was only released in Europe and Japan and never got a proper American release because it’s really, really good, easily one of the best I’ve played so far.

Legend of the Mystical Ninja

Developed and published by Konami in July 1991 for the SNES, Legend of the Mystical Ninja is an action game that has both platforming and Zelda-like isometric areas. The town you start out in has an isometric perspective and is filled with various village people who try to run int you and cause you damage, so it’s perfectly okay to beat them mercilessly with your pipe. There are different houses and stores you can visit to get information about where you supposed to go or purchase items. The actual levels themselves are sidescrolling. The graphics are okay, with some nice animation in the background, but overall it’s nothing all that special. The game can be a bit challenging at times, but it’s not overly hard and you’ve got unlimited continues to work with. There are three other Goemon games on the SNES, but only the first was released in English.


April 22, 2010 - Posted by | Console Wars, Games | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. ‘breezy’ is probably the last word I’d use to describe the Pocky & Rocky games, they are pretty hard. Also not sure what you mean by the sequel focusing more on action. Free roaming, shopping and collecting aspects take away from the non stop action in the first one, and the autoscroller with the dragon has piss poor controls. IIRC the bosses also took much longer to kill. Pocky & Rocky 1 is easier to get into and to get through in my opinion.

    Comment by Alex | May 20, 2010 | Reply

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