Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked Collection Review

Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked Collection

Rocket Knight is one of the many mascot platformers that debuted in the genre’s golden age of the 1990s, he’s back with a new collection from Limited Run Games after being largely forgotten since the 2010 sequel.

Rocket Knight was Konami’s attempt to build up a mascot character like Sonic or Mario, and even appeared on the company’s promotional material for a few years. However the jet-powered swordsman’s crusade was short-lived because he vanished after only three games.

So does Limited Run Games do justice to the legacy of Rocket Knight with its collection?

Rocket Knight

Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked Collection
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Limited Run Games
Platforms: Windows PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: March 29, 2024
Price: $29.99 USD

The Rocket Knight series follows Sparkster, the titular knight with a jetpack. He’s an anthropomorphic opossum who regularly goes on adventures to rescue the beautiful Princess Sherry.

However, every time he’s waylaid by pigmen and the evil knight Axel Gear. It’s a simple story that works in a Saturday morning cartoon kind of way, and as a fan of scrimblo platformers I can appreciate that.

Rocket Knight

With the basic story settled, let’s talk about the Re-Sparked Collection. What does it bring to the table compared to the original games? Here’s what you’re getting.

  • Rocket Knight Adventures (1993)
  • Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 (1994)
  • Sparkster (1994)

Basically players receive the entirety of the franchise (not including the 2010 game). The collection also includes features like a Boss Rush mode, achievements, and rewind.

Basically you get all three games in their original format with some added perks to enjoy the games in different ways, or to make it easier. Rewind features have been contentious among hardcore fans, but as always “you control the buttons you press“.

Rocket Knight

Anyways, touching on the games themselves, they hold up as classics of the 2D platforming genre and the unique rocket angle sets it apart from Sonic and Mario.

The level design can be difficult to interpret, but part of that is to how clever Konami was for their time. For example, one stage in Rocket Knight Adventures has Sparkster traveling between the background and foreground via these floating platforms. You even fight a boss like this.

However the difficulty is trivialized by Sparkster’s rocket. You have i-frames while using your rocket attack and can reliably hit bosses in their weak spot with little risk to yourself. This is especially noticeable when facing tough enemies in the stage which aren’t quite bosses. Just charge up, lunge, wait for the meter to refill, repeat.

Rocket Knight

Conversely, the rocket also makes some segments feel unfair in regards to platforming. The travel distance for the rocket is greater than the width of the screen. I mostly used the rewind feature when I dashed forward, only to find my dash ending over a pit I didn’t know was just ahead.

Overall the games hold up well, I can definitely see Rocket Knight appealing moreso to Mega Man fans if I had to compare it to any of the big retro franchises.

As for the quality of the emulation, Sparkster, and Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 are great. Some of the flashing doesn’t hold up as well on modern displays, feeling more like objects are glitching out than glowing, but that’s expected. However the first game in the series suffers from painful framerate drops.

Rocket Knight

The emulation quality of the first game immediately took me out of the immersion that I was playing an older game as it was intended.

Instead, I was viscerally aware that I was playing a ROM on shoddy emulation software. I don’t know why the oldest game has the most problems, but it made the gameplay of the other two games feel almost silken.

Lastly, I don’t know if it was my controller, but the right trigger did not activate the overlay as promised. If I wanted to stop for the night, I had to hit Escape on my keyboard and save that way.

Rocket Knight

Ultimately, Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked Collection is a $30 collection of three games with basic features. I’m sure it has meaning for collectors and fans of the original games, but I genuinely can’t imagine any non-fans picking this up and discovering Rocket Knight.

Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked Collection was reviewed on PC using a code provided by Limited Run Games. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Rocket Knight Adventures: Re-Sparked Collection is now available for Windows PC (via Steam).

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The Verdict: 5

The Good

  • Collects the history of the Rocket Knight franchise
  • New boss rush mode
  • Rewind feature is convenient for modern gamers
  • Fun and unique gameplay that sets Sparkster apart from other 90s mascots

The Bad

  • Frame drops, particularly in Rocket Knight Adventures (1993)
  • Old graphics don't hold up on modern hardware, even with CRT filter
  • Right trigger overlay didn't work


A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

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