|Release Date(s)|| XBLA:|
|Genre(s)||2.5D Platformer, Scrolling shooter|
|Platform(s)||Xbox 360 (XBLA), PlayStation 3 (PSN)|
Rocket Knight (tentative title) is a platformer video game currently in development. It is a 2.5D revival of the Sparkster series, which first began with Rocket Knight Adventures. It is being developed by Climax Studios, and will be published by Konami for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and Steam in early 2010.
In the Kingdom of Zephyrus, Sparkster is surprised to find that the Devotindos, the pigs that he had fought previously in Rocket Knight Adventures, had taken up residence. He decides to move elsewhere to live with his family for a while until finding a war raging above Zephyrus. Sparkster is surprised to find the pigs fighting alongside the oppossums against an army of wolves, with Sparkster's former rival, Axel Gear, acting as Rocket Knight in his absence. Suspecting something may be amiss, Sparkster decides to put on his gear and head back into the fray.
The game is shown at a slightly zoomed out perspective, allowing less dangerous use of the jetpack. The game uses the auto-filling power meter from Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2, which powers both the jetpack and sword attacks featured in Rocket Knight Adventures (the Super NES version of Sparkster and the original Genesis game did not have an auto-power meter) . However, Sparkster won't be able to use consecutive boosts, only an additional second boost that serves as an extra jump. There are other tweaks, such as Sparkster only bouncing off walls when he hits them at a 45 degree angle. Sparkster's attack range is also complete, allowing him to deflect projectiles with his sword. Like previous entries, there will be side-scrolling shooting segments. The game will have two ways to play: Arcade mode, which emulates the 16-bit games in which progression goes from level to level and there are no save points, catering to hardcore gamers, and Freeplay mode, which allows more novice players to save their progress and select levels from a map screen. The game will also feature online leaderboards and achievements.
When producer Tomm Hulett joined Konami, he decided to work on a pitch for a revival for Sparkster, which was accepted after two years and four pitches. Hulett claims, "it was really a matter of reworking the concept -- making the right pitch at the right time," with various recent franchise revivals receiving positive responses at the time. Hulett also said that Konami thought Climax Studios were the best pick partly due to their facial animation technology, allowing Sparkster to produce expressions respective to his 16-bit counterparts. A trailer was released on October 9, 2009.