Reviews Featuring ‘Rocket Knight Adventures’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales – TouchArcade


Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 11th, 2024. We’ve got one new release today, but it’s a very good one. Indeed it is so good that I have a review ready to go for it. Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked is the release in question, bringing back a few 16-bit classics for all the good children who love 16-bit classics. After taking a look at that game, all that really remains is the lists of new and expiring sales. That said, there are some good new sales today. Let’s get to work!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked ($29.99)

I will admit, I haven’t been overly impressed with the Carbon Engine releases from Limited Run Games. The emulation has sometimes had some odd issues. The standard suite of features and options hasn’t been particularly extensive. The generic UI has been applied too frequently, making releases feel like they’ve fallen off the assembly line. For all the talking up of the Carbon Engine from LRG’s camp, most releases using it have felt decidedly middle-of-the-road and workmanlike, more Ratalaika than M2.

That had me a bit concerned for Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked. I can’t say I terribly mind if Felix the Cat or Bill & Ted get thrown in generic hot dog wrappers, but a Rocket Knight Adventures collection deserves better than that. Previous Konami collections on Switch have been handled by the likes of M2, Hamster, and Digital Eclipse. The best of the best, in other words, and it was hard not to be a little disappointed when I found out this set was going to be a Carbon Engine release.

Well, I’ll give Limited Run some credit here. It feels like this collection has had a little more oomph put behind it. Instead of the same old menu, we’ve got a nice custom job here complete with an animated opening. From here we can fire up any of the three included games: Rocket Knight Adventures (SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive), Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 (SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive), and Sparkster (Super NES). There’s a Museum section with scans of the boxes, manuals, and ads for the games, plus some design documents and videos. There’s also a music player where you can listen to any of the tunes from the three games. Each game also features a special Boss Rush mode you can select in lieu of playing normally; a cute little extra.

In-game, the options are the norm for Carbon Engine. There’s a rewind feature that thankfully works a bit better than the one seen in some previous releases. You can save your game at any time, though each game only offers one save state. You can turn on a CRT filter if you like, and a number of screen size and ratio selections are on offer. There are several borders to choose from to fill out the rest of the display utilizing various pieces of Rocket Knight art. The Super NES game allows you to turn on a Boost Mode, and I’m presuming that reduces slowdown. It doesn’t tell you what it does, so I can only guess. And that’s it! Not bad, really only missing control remapping.

As far as I’ve been able to tell, the emulation is fine here. If there are any issues, I didn’t notice them. So that’s nice. That leaves us with the games, and what a marvelous trio they are. The first game, Rocket Knight Adventures, is the best of the lot. It’s a tough game, but the play controls are great, the rocket pack proves to be a fun gimmick, and the presentation is outstanding. Konami was a fountain of creativity in this era, and Rocket Knight Adventures demonstrates that perfectly.

Likely with the desire to sell more than two copies in Japan, Konami decided to put the sequel to Rocket Knight on both the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive and the Super NES. So, this is the same game twice, right? Maybe more colors on the Super NES, less cropping on the Mega Drive? No, those wild folks at Konami went and made two distinct games, each one taking advantage of its respective platform. And they’re both really good, though I do prefer the Super NES one to the Mega Drive one by a possum’s nose. Really though, they’re both solid action games and are plenty of fun. Three great games in one set, and they’re all different from each other.

Outside of including the middling 2010 Rocket Knight and adding in more save states, I can’t really think of many ways Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked could be better. If you know and love the games, you can pick up this set without fear and relive your happy memories. If you’ve never played them before, I think the three high-quality games in this set represent a solid value for fans of 2D platformers. I’m glad this turned out okay, both for fans of Sparkster and those who are about to become one.

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

Select New Releases

Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked ($29.99)

Rocket Knight Adventures is one of those Genesis/Mega Drive games that comes up often in those “Hidden Gems” lists you see all over the place. And for good reason! It’s a very good action platformer with some unique mechanics and all the polish and charm you would expect for a Konami game of the era. This release, coming by way of Limited Run Games and its Carbon Engine, includes that game and its two distinct follow-ups, Sparkster for the Super NES and Sparkster for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive. There are a few extras here, but nothing too over the top. Still, if you’ve been meaning to play these great games this is certainly a way to do that.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

A few big sales kicked off today. Spike Chunsoft is doing a summer sale, and that means lots of cool visual novels, adventure games, and roguelikes for cheap. Limited Run Games is also doing a sale, with new low prices on the Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection, Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore, and… er, Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties. It also seems as though 505 Games is doing a sale, and that means if you really want to subject yourself to the Switch version of Eiyuden: Hundred Heroes, you can do it slightly cheaper. Have a look through both lists and see what you think!

Select New Sales

Super Adventure Hand ($9.74 from $12.99 until 6/17)
Chasm ($6.99 from $19.99 until 6/17)
Frogsong ($11.24 from $14.99 until 6/18)
Deathwish Enforcers ($16.09 from $22.99 until 6/19)
Save Me Mr Tako: Definitive ($10.49 from $14.99 until 6/19)
Cthulhu Saves Christmas ($6.99 from $9.99 until 6/19)
This Way Madness Lies ($6.99 from $9.99 until 6/19)
Saturday Morning RPG ($2.49 from $9.99 until 6/19)
Cosmic Star Heroine ($10.49 from $14.99 until 6/19)
Night Trap 25th Anniversary ($3.74 from $14.99 until 6/19)
Double Switch 25th Anniversary ($3.74 from $14.99 until 6/19)
Corpse Killer 25th Anniversary ($3.74 from $14.99 until 6/19)
Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties: Definitive ($13.99 from $19.99 until 6/19)
Arzette: Jewel of Faramore ($13.99 from $19.99 until 6/19)
Jurassic Park Games Collection ($20.99 from $29.99 until 6/19)
Pictooi ($2.49 from $9.99 until 6/19)


The House in Fata Morgana ($27.99 from $39.99 until 6/19)
Shiren the Wanderer: Tower of Fortune ($5.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
Katana Kami: Way of the Samurai Story ($5.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Yu-No: A Girl Who Chants Love ($14.99 from $49.99 until 6/24)
Master Detective Archives: Rain Code ($41.99 from $59.99 until 6/24)
AI: The Somnium Files ($7.99 from $39.99 until 6/24)
AI: The Somnium Files nirvanA Initiative ($23.99 from $59.99 until 6/24)
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ($5.24 from $14.99 until 6/24)
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ($5.24 from $14.99 until 6/24)
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony ($10.49 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp ($6.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
Terraria ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night ($11.99 from $39.99 until 6/24)
PixelJunk Monsters 2 ($2.24 from $14.99 until 6/24)
PixelJunk Monsters 2 Deluxe ($3.29 from $21.99 until 6/24)


Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty ($9.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee ($9.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath ($9.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ($2.99 from $14.99 until 6/24)
Chaos;Head Noah ($12.49 from $24.99 until 6/24)
Chaos;Child ($12.49 from $24.99 until 6/24)
Chaos;Head Noah/Chaos;Child Pack ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/24)
Steins;Gate Elite ($11.99 from $59.99 until 6/24)
Steins;Gate 0 ($5.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Steins;Gate My Darling’s Embrace ($11.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Robotics;Notes Elite ($10.49 from $34.99 until 6/24)
Robotics;Notes DaSH ($10.49 from $34.99 until 6/24)
Anonymous;Code ($29.99 from $59.99 until 6/24)
Made in Abyss: Binary Star FiD ($17.99 from $59.99 until 6/24)
Horace ($5.99 from $14.99 until 6/24)


Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes ($37.49 from $49.99 until 6/24)
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Deluxe ($59.99 from $79.99 until 6/24)
Indivisible ($7.49 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Serial Cleaners ($7.49 from $24.99 until 6/24)
LEGO Builder’s Journey ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
Grow: Song of the Evertree ($12.49 from $24.99 until 6/24)
Banner of the Maid ($3.39 from $16.99 until 6/24)
Journey to the Savage Planet ($8.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
ABZU ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
Gimmick Special Edition ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/24)
Madshot ($1.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
Rain on Your Parade ($9.74 from $14.99 until 6/24)
Hammerhelm ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/24)
The Isle Tide Hotel ($12.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
What the Golf? ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)


Ghostrunner ($8.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star ($34.99 from $49.99 until 6/24)
Ten Dates ($10.39 from $15.99 until 6/24)
Sushi Bar Express ($8.54 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Drawn to Life: Two Realms ($3.49 from $9.99 until 6/24)
Wildfrost ($13.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version ($14.99 from $59.99 until 6/25)
The Long Dark ($17.49 from $34.99 until 6/25)
Slime Rancher Plortable ($9.99 from $24.99 until 6/25)
Project Highrise AE ($7.99 from $39.99 until 7/1)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, June 12th

All-Star Fruit Racing ($1.99 from $19.99 until 6/12)
Batora: Lost Haven ($9.99 from $24.99 until 6/12)
Blasphemous 1 + 2 Bundle ($26.99 from $44.99 until 6/12)
Bravery and Greed ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/12)
Crown Trick ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/12)
Going Under ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/12)
Killer Frequency ($12.49 from $24.99 until 6/12)
Moving Out 1 + 2 Bundle ($22.49 from $44.99 until 6/12)
Pix the Cat ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/12)
The Knight Witch ($6.79 from $19.99 until 6/12)
The Serpent Rogue ($1.99 from $19.99 until 6/12)
Thymesia Cloud Version ($11.99 from $29.99 until 6/12)
Xenon Racer ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/12)
Yooka-Laylee & the Impossible Lair ($2.99 from $29.99 until 6/12)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, sales, and whatever else rolls in over the course of the day. Has anyone else been combing through the Game Boy Mega Man games that were just added to Nintendo Switch Online? I own the cartridges, I own the games on the Nintendo 3DS, and yet here I am playing them again. Comfort food, I suppose. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday and, as always, thanks for reading!



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