So...what do we have here?

Pocky & Rocky [Run & Gun Action Game]

Natsume does it again!

U.S. Game Box Front

Part of the Kiki Kaikai series

U.S Folks Call Them Pocky And Rocky, But
They Are Known As Sayo And Manuke
In Japan

One of the strangest games ever!

If you like this game, you should try
Sunsoft's Japanese title called:
"Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban"

-General Information-
Version: U.S.
Year: 1993
Publisher: Natsume
Developer(s) and Others: Natsume
# of Players: 1 or 2
# of Saves: None
Estimated Market Value as of 07/05/2007: ?? - ?? (U.S. Dollars, USD)
Other Info: Licensed by Taito Corp. This game is also known as "Kiki Kaikai Nazo no Kuro Manto".

Pocky & Rocky was a misunderstood game. Back when the game released, the game didn't have too much success in the U.S. which is a pity. The game was very popular in Japan and the series goes by the name of Kiki Kaikai. The series was originally made by Taito (and the games are still licensed by them). However, the SNES games were published and developed by Natsume which was a good move for everyone. Natsume is known for their high quality 2D games back in the day and they made sure that the game would get the red carpet in terms of quality. The plot is very simple, though to Pocky & Rocky's credit, the game does have pieces of story and/or dialogue during and in-between stages. Pocky (a young shrine maiden who uses a staff) & Rocky (a raccoon/Nopino Goblin) must deal with a mysterious foe known as "The Black Mantle". This fiend is casting spells on the spirits and goblins across the area and this is creating pandemonium amongst the creatures of the forest!

If you have played several other Natsume titles like Ninja Warriors or Wild Guns, it should come as little surprise that the graphics are bold and colorful. The environments are very detailed indeed. You get darkened by shadows and lit up by light the moment you happen to pass under the trees or under window light and the special effects are excellent. Enemies animate nicely and when you combine the quirkiness of the enemies with the fine touch-ups presented throughout the game, I feel that you get something that passes the test of time. Even as I play 2D style games today, I can still play this game and think that it is still a beautiful 2D game. The music nicely fits the environments as well as the theme of the game. It also has a Japanese flair to it that I find quite nice. The sound effects are fair and balance out the overall game experience.

Pocky & Rocky is a run-&-gun type of action game where two players can play simultaneously. Choose either Pocky or Rocky (Sayo or Manuke in Japan) as they run across six stages of mayhem blasting everything in sight! As you progress through stages, your maximum life will increase. There are a couple of small differences in the way Pocky and Rocky fight. Pocky fights by throwing magical charms while Rocky fights by throwing leaves. There is an auto fire button as well as a button to fire off single shots. Pocky can swing her staff while Rocky will swing his tail to hit enemies as well as deflect certain projectile attacks that the enemies may use against you. You can also perform a special attack if you hold down a button. The character will glow green and after a moment, you can release the button to do a charge attack! Pocky will spin with her staff while Rocky turns into a statue and is momentarily invincible. You can also dash to evade attacks and if you dash into your partner, you will cause him/her to slide around the stage uncontrollably (the partner will also lose life) and hit any enemies in the way.

You can snag a variety of different items that will help you along the way. You have bombs (what game would this be without em?), restorative items, a dog that you can ride to destory enemies (you are also invincible while riding it), a magic shield, and two orbs. One orb is red while the other one is blue. Grabbing red orbs will give you the power of fire that also adds a "burst" effect when enemies are hit with it. If you hit one enemy, the shot will spread outward upon contact and burst into smaller shots that hit enemies near the enemy you shot. The blue orbs increase the standard shot. The size of the bullets will be bigger, deal more damage, and your shot radius is expanded. You must grab either red orbs or blue orbs. Grabbing both of them is counter-productive and will prevent you from reaching your maximum potential. The game is challenging and fun with a friend, has excellent graphics, packs some quality audio, and has the frantic arcade action that Natsume is known for delivering. I feel that Pocky & Rocky is a timeless classic that will keep you coming back again and again.

- Written by Vyse the determined -

Game Screenshots

Pocky & Rocky comin' at cha! How can I be forced to choose only one!? I love them both! What the heck is THAT? Eat super-duper-ultimate-dangerous-lovely-omega-destructive-ultra bomb!!! This place is spooky! Let's get this over with. Argh! I hate these twisters!

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