Pocky & Rocky

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Pocky & Rocky
Pocky & Rocky series logo.png
Genre(s)Scrolling shooter
Developer(s)Taito, Natsume, Altron, Tengo Project
Publisher(s)Taito, Natsume, Altron, Natsume-Atari
Platform(s)Arcade, Super NES, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
First releaseKiki Kaikai
September 18, 1986
Latest releasePocky & Rocky Reshrined
April 21, 2022

Pocky & Rocky, known in Japan as Kiki Kaikai (奇々怪界, lit. "Mysterious Ghost World"), is a scrolling shooter video game series originating with the 1986 arcade game Kiki Kaikai by Taito. It was then adapted into a series of home console games entitled Pocky & Rocky in the West mainly developed and published by Natsume. The games follow the adventures of a young Shinto shrine maiden, Pocky, and her tanuki companion, Rocky, as well as other allies, as they fight against monsters.

Overview[edit]

Common elements[edit]

The Pocky & Rocky games are scrolling shooter games. They star Pocky, a young Shinto shrine maiden, and her tanuki companion Rocky as they fight a variety of monsters. The games pull heavily from Japanese mythology, featuring many Japanese legendary creatures. Pocky is typically equipped with ofuda and gohei, which she uses to battle enemies and progress through the environments.

History[edit]

The first game in the series, Kiki Kaikai, was developed and published by Taito in Japanese arcades in 1986. Home ports were also released in Japan for the MSX2, Famicom Disk System, and PC Engine.[1] The game would remain exclusive to Japan until a 2003 mobile port.[2] Ports of the game have also since been released worldwide in various Taito arcade compilations, as well as through Arcade Archives.

Taito licensed the brand to Natsume in the early 1990s, who developed two new games in the series for the Super Nintendo. Natsume retitled the game for an international release, giving them the names Pocky & Rocky (1992) and Pocky & Rocky 2 (1994).[1] Altron developed and published Pocky & Rocky with Becky for the Game Boy Advance in 2001.[1]

Japanese developer Starfish SD was developing a Pocky & Rocky game for the PlayStation 2, tentatively titled Kiki Kaikai 2, but it was cancelled in 2007 after Taito pulled the series licensing.[3][4] A representative of Starfish SD explained that Taito "had some issues with us and we had to let the title go."[4] The company reworked their assets into an original game, originally titled Kiki Kai World.[5] The game was finally released as Heavenly Guardian in North America[6] and Legend of Sayuki in Europe.[7] It was released for the Wii in 2007 and PlayStation 2 in 2008.

Pocky & Rocky Reshrined, known in Japan as Kiki Kaikai: Kuro Manto no Nazo (奇々怪界 黒マントの謎), released for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in 2022.[8] The game was developed by Tengo Project, which previously developed Wild Guns Reloaded (2016) and The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors (2019).[9] The team consisted of people who had worked on the first Pocky & Rocky game by Natsume for the Super NES.[10] After being defeated at the end of Pocky & Rocky, Black Mantle travels back in time to get revenge. The game features a mix of revamped stages from Pocky & Rocky with original stages. As of July 2022, the game had sold over 100,000 copies.[11]

Games[edit]

Year Title Original platform Developer Publisher
1986 Kiki Kaikai Arcade Taito Taito
1992 Pocky & Rocky Super NES Natsume Natsume
1994 Pocky & Rocky 2 Natsume, Ocean Software
2001 Pocky & Rocky with Becky Game Boy Advance Altron Altron, Natsume
2022 Pocky & Rocky Reshrined Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 Tengo Project Natsume-Atari

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Morales, Emil. "Hardcore Gaming 101: Pocky and Rocky / KiKi KaiKai". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
  2. ^ Taito.co.jp staff (2003). "Taito Mobile: KiKi KaiKai". Taito.co.jp (in Japanese). Archived from the original on June 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
  3. ^ I. G. N. Staff (2007-06-18). "Pocky & Rocky Canned". IGN. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  4. ^ a b Kohler, Chris. "Full Kiki Kai World Details: PS2 This Year, Wii 2008". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  5. ^ "Starfish talks Kiki Kai World". Engadget. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  6. ^ "The Bin: Heavenly Guardian - Hardcore Gamer". hardcoregamer.com. 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  7. ^ "Legend of Sayuki on (Wii): News, Reviews, Videos & Screens - Cubed3". www.cubed3.com. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  8. ^ Romano, Sal (18 October 2021). "Pocky & Rocky Reshrined delayed to spring 2022". Gematsu. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  9. ^ "TENGO PROJECT" (in Japanese). NatsumeAtari. Retrieved 2022-03-07.
  10. ^ "かわいくて硬派な巫女さんシューティングゲーム『奇々怪界 黒マントの謎』が4月21日に発売決定。誰でも最後まで楽しめる低難易度や、ふたり協力プレイが可能なモードも". 電ファミニコゲーマー (in Japanese). 2022-01-14. Retrieved 2022-03-07.
  11. ^ "Pocky & Rocky Reshrined sales top 100,000". Gematsu. 2022-07-14. Retrieved 2022-07-14.