Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2
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|Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2|
North American Genesis box art
|Genre(s)||Platformer, scrolling shooter|
Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 (スパークスター ロケットナイトアドベンチャーズ2 Supākusutā Roketto Naito Adobenchāzu 2), known simply as Sparkster in North America and Europe, is a 1994 side-scrolling platformer video game developed and published by Konami for the Sega Genesis as the sequel to Rocket Knight Adventures. The game was released in North America on February 22, 1994, in Europe on May 8, 1994 and in Japan on September 23, 1994.
Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 is the second game in the Sparkster series. Another game under the same title, Sparkster, but without the Rocket Knight Adventures subtitle and not continuing the plot of the first game, was released on the SNES. A follow up game is Rocket Knight.
Sparkster's gameplay is very similar to its precursor. The game largely functions as a 2D sidescrolling platformer, with an autoscrolling airship stage being the lone exception. The player is able to jump, attack with Sparkster's sword, or use his rocket pack to fly.
The primary gameplay difference is how the use of the rocket pack changed. In Rocket Knight Adventures, it had to be charged manually, and took a relatively long time to do so; its use was primarily strategic and planned, and sustained flight was generally not possible. In Sparkster, the pack charges quickly and automatically, allowing the player to use it more conventionally and remain airborne indefinitely.
A duel with Sparkster's arch rival Axel Gear occurs, much like in the first game.
The main difference between this game and the rest of the series is the inclusion of six secret swords hidden within the levels (as well as another earned by clearing the prologue level). A player who can obtain all seven will face the final boss as "Gold Sparkster", similar to Super Sonic from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Gold Sparkster hits harder than normal Sparkster and his rocket pack charges faster. However, he is still able to sustain damage.
Completing the game as Gold Sparkster is necessary if players want to see the 'True' ending. If the game is completed without transforming into Gold Sparkster, a message will appear saying 'Try Again'. The 'True' ending simply shows Gold Sparkster returning the sword he originally found (which was claimed after clearing the prologue level) to its rightful resting place, transforming back into normal Sparkster, and then raising his arm and giving a shout of triumph, followed by the message "END."
After the Kingdom of Zephyrus was rescued by Sparkster from the Devotindos Empire, the kingdom comes under attack once again, this time from the Gedol Empire led by King Gedol. Making matters worse, he has also dispatched Sparkster's rival, Axel Gear, to kidnap Princess Cherry, Princess Sherry's cousin. Sparkster once again rockets into action to save Cherry and the Zephyrus Kingdom from King Gedol and his army of lizards.
While not as acclaimed as the first game, Sparkster did receive a positive reception. Electronic Gaming Monthly commented that some of the attacks "take some getting used to" and that the game needs more colors, but that the sound effects are fitting and the look is an improvement over the original Rocket Knight Adventures. They summarized it as "overall a good action title" and gave it a 7.2 out of 10. While they criticized the severe slowdown in the later levels, GamePro concluded that the game is "a good progression from the original", applauding the special attacks, smooth graphics and animation, and the fact that the harder difficulty levels actually include new sections in the stages instead of just adding more enemies.