Pocky & Rocky 2
|Pocky & Rocky 2|
|Genre(s)||Shoot 'em up|
2 player cooperative
Pocky & Rocky 2, released in Japan as Kiki Kaikai: Tsukiyo Soushi (奇々怪界 月夜草子?, "Mysterious Ghost World: A Moonlit Night Written Text"), is a shoot 'em up video game developed and published by Natsume in Japan and North America, and published in PAL regions by Ocean Software for the Super NES video game console. It is the sequel to Pocky & Rocky.
The game is played in a top-down view, featuring many elements from classic shoot 'em up games but giving the player free eight-directional movement. Player one controls the main protagonist, Pocky, who attacks by throwing o-fuda talismans (referred to as "cards" in English versions). Pocky can pick up items to improve her attack power and new clothes to protect herself from damage, as well as throw player 2's character and use magic. Player 2 assumes a supporting role as one of Pocky's friends each possessing a unique attack and unlimited lives. If there is no second player, the supporting character will be CPU controlled.
Pocky can use Player 2's character as a utility in various ways. Using "magic", she can force herself into her partner's mind and control their body for a short time, enabling unique abilities depending on who she possesses. Additionally, she can throw her partner at enemies to attack, doing massive damage to the enemy but temporarily killing the thrown character. This exploitation of player 2 is a departure from the previous game, in which player 1 and Player 2 had similar powers and were equally valuable.
Pocky is the main character, and is always controlled by player 1. She is a shrine maiden who attacks by throwing talismans and swinging a purification rod. Though dutiful and good-natured, her chaotic brand of teamwork frequently involves more pain than intended.
Rocky the Tanuki (called a raccoon in English versions) is Pocky's friend and one of Player 2's selectable characters. He attacks by throwing leaves. When magically possessed by Pocky, he gains the ability to find hidden treasures. Rocky was one of the main protagonists from the original Pocky & Rocky.
Bomber Bob is one of Player 2's selectable characters. He is a large and powerful man who attacks by hurling heavy spiked balls a short distance in front of him. When using magic, he gains the ability to lift rock obstacles. His relationship to Pocky is not explained. When thrown at a boss he creates a large Japanese character that hurts those to enter it.
Little Ninja is one of Player 2's selectable characters. She attacks by throwing shurikens and can use a katana at close range. When using magic, she gains the ability to open locked chests without need of a key. When thrown at a boss she creates a pillar of fire.
Tengy is a Tengu, and the first character to join Pocky's team. He is not selectable from the beginning of a level, but player 2 can assume control of him by switching characters mid-level. Tengy throws bouncing leaves, and using magic allows him to fly over some obstacles. He strongly resembles the tengu enemies from the original Pocky and Rocky. When thrown at a boss he creates a large stream of energy.
Scarecrow is a suave scarecrow who thinks himself to be very cool and handsome, and the second character to join Pocky's team. He is not selectable from the beginning of a level but player 2 can assume control of him by switching characters mid-level. He attacks by throwing sickles that boomerang back to him, and using magic transforms him into a pogo stick. When thrown at a boss he creates a pillar of blue and white energy.
Digger is a mole who joins Pocky's team to avoid losing face in front of his friends. He is not selectable from the beginning of a level, but player 2 can assume control of him by switching characters mid-level. He attacks by summoning other moles. When using magic, Digger can travel underground. When thrown at a boss he creates a pillar of darkness that originates from a hole that he stares out of menacingly.
Ottobot is a powerful flying robot, and the fourth to join Pocky's team. He is not selectable from the beginning of a level, but player 2 can assume control of him by switching characters mid-level. He attacks using missiles, and gains both the abilities to fly and lift heavy objects when using magic. When thrown at a boss he creates a large explosion that acts similarly to Bomber Bob's special move.
The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a rave, praising the additional characters with unique abilities, the graphics, and the gameplay design. Though one of the reviewers voiced dislike for the fact that the other characters act as mere subordinates to Pocky, they gave it a unanimous score of 8 out of 10. GamePro likewise praised the additional characters with the new strategy they add, the graphics, and the cute design. They particularly noted that "Even the tiniest animals and items display precise detail."