Pocky & Rocky Are Back (And On The PS4 & Switch)

Four more retro titles are heading to the PlayStation 4 and Switch courtesy of the Hamster Corporation, and one is a pleasant callback to a long dormant franchise. Among the games releasing on Hamster Corporation’s Arcade Archives is the 1986 Taito classic KiKi KaiKai, which would spawn a sequel best known to gamers as Pocky and Rocky.

KiKi KaiKai, which was released in the US and European arcades as Knight Boy, came and went during its initial run without much fanfare and fell behind more popular titles from Taito’s library like Double Dragon and Bubble Bobble. The series was revived six years later in the SNES sequel KiKi KaiKai: Nazo no Kuro Mantle, localized in the US as Pocky and Rocky.

The cutesy top-down shooter is the first title to be released, with Jaleco’s Saint Dragon, UPL’s air hockey title Penguin Wars and shooter XX Mission rounding out this set of retro re-releases. Hamster’s Arcade Archives has sought to bring the authentic arcade titles as they were meant to be played to modern consoles and have amassed an impressive catalog of over 200 games thus far. Along with those classics are an impressive assortment of SNK titles spanning the companies lifespan in the arcades.

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Its most recent wave of releases includes Mat Mania and the original Frogger. Highlights from the collection includes the VS titles from Nintendo such as Castlevania and Gradius as well as Konami’s Yie Air Kung Fu, a predecessor to the modern fighting genre. Other notable titles include 10 Yard Fight and the aforementioned Double Dragon. While KiKi KaiKai and the other four titles are without a release date, Hamster Corporation often waits until their current collection of titles are fully available before announcing their next batch.

While KiKi KaiKai is the highlight of the upcoming set of classics, it wasn’t fondly remembered back then and hasn’t aged well. Pocky and Rocky is a better game by and far, but the same core mechanics are present in KiKi and can still provide a good playthrough before the game gets too overly repetitive. With no release date as of this writing, fans will have plenty of time to decide if this blast from the past is one they want to experience for themselves.

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