Publisher: Big City Games
Release Date: June 6, 2003
Buy 'ROCKO'S QUEST':PC
Rocko’s Quest is an action title from RevistroniC and published by Big City Games. The game is essentially a budget title, but whether or not that would have anything to do with somebody wanting to play it is another matter.
You, the hardcore, battle-tested gamer, play Rocko, a barbarian-like dolt with muscle to spare, but not a lot of brain cells to go with them. Rocko’s girlfriend has been taken captive by a group of no good’s and whisked off to some remote hideout somewhere far, far away. Rocko’s quest then, is to chase after these evildoers and rescue his girlfriend. This is accomplished by essentially following a very long trail through several different levels, labyrinths, and the like. Of course, there will be baddies along the way that Rocko must deal with, some of which drop various potions, gold, and the occasional weapon once they have been eliminated. Additionally, there are pits full of water, treacherous traps, and an assortment of other surprises in store for our hero. Rocko can fight with his fists or with a weapon he straps to his back. He can attack directly with the right mouse button or use simple combinations that cause him to roll in one direction or another and inflict a great deal more carnage. There are, of course, the usual action buttons, puzzles, and the inevitable smorgasbord of power-ups.
After a fairly entertaining intro movie, you are placed right into the game, in control of Rocko himself. You use the keyboard to move him in whatever direction and the mouse to look around, attack, and jump. That’s right, I said jump. You all know what that means. You then set out on your quest, traveling down an obvious, worn path. There are little side areas littered throughout, and the game does have a lot of little nooks and crannies to check out. Combat basically results from a monster of one kind or another being situated on the main path, challenging you to fight it before you move on. The actual combat itself is a fairly straightforward affair, with not-so-straightforward results. If you simply go in hacking with your sword, you’re not going to last very long. While the game doesn’t offer a large variety of moves and special attacks, you will need to make the most of what the game does offer if you want to keep playing. Unfortunately, the various fights aren’t particularly entertaining and largely consist of Rocko swinging his sword, and whatever he’s fighting swinging their weapons. The usual clanking of metal on metal can be heard, and every once and a while, Rocko will knock something out of the monster’s grasp, like their weapon or shield. There are occasions when your rival will fall to the ground, apparently losing the use of their legs, but they still manage to crawl around after you, hopelessly swinging their weapons with fear-induced rage. There is, of course, the lack of blood or anything else resembling gore. The worst issue with the combat is that it’s not always clear how Rocko is doing. I would be clicking away, using combos and such, thinking I’m doing really well, and then I suddenly fall to the ground, flailing around wildly. After a few more hits, I was done. It’s kind of hard to tell exactly what’s going on from the graphics. I found myself staring at the usual health bar in the top left corner of the screen more than watching Rocko.
It is of the utmost importance that I digress here for a moment and alert you all to the fact that this game possess cardinal sin number one for an action game, that being the lack of an in-game save. There goes a point and a quarter right there. Instead of having a nice, simple F5-styled quick save type of thing, the game has these gateways that, once Rocko goes through, save the game at that point. Should Rocko die, he is returned to the last gateway he passed through. This is a hard pill to swallow with any game, and I simply can’t understand why a developer would do this. At least this game doesn’t reload all of the monsters you killed, like most of them do. Going back to a gateway simply forces you to move back to the location at which you died. Once you kill a monster, you don’t have to worry about it coming back to life because of the lack of an in-game save feature.
The next axe that needs some grinding is the sheer amount of jump-oriented puzzles, jump-specific areas, and all around constant need to jump over something. Nothing holds up intense progress quite like a jumping issue. Worse, these aren’t your father’s jumping puzzles either. They mean business, forcing you to be pretty exact. When you consider that the game is played from a third person perspective, you’ll realize that this makes it hard to judge distances and how close or far away you are from something. As if that’s not bad enough, some of these jumping issues even require you to grab on to something on the other side of whatever your jumping over, which means you need to put your sword away in order to have your hands free, thus leaving you vulnerable. Jump here, jump there, jumping all over the fricking place. What makes it all the more annoying is that Rocko usually falls in water if he misses his jump. While it could very well be the case that Rocko dies when he falls in the water because the various monsters poison it with terrible things, I beg to differ. It’s only water. The whole poison thing sounds like a good way to get out of coming up with some kind of water model texture.
Graphically. Is that a word? Graphically? Graphics? Graphics wise the game doesn’t look too bad. Everything has this smooth look to it, reminiscent of that old Dragon Slayer game in the arcade that nobody could really play too well. The textures look good but tend to confuse you as well, causing you to miss that big pit full of water that you’re supposed to JUMP OVER! The various environments, of which there are several, all look pretty convincing. The monster models are actually kind of fun, and the whole game has this humorous tinge to it that will strike your funny bone after a while, as long as you don’t have to jump too much. Sound is sparse but effective at the same time. A raging little ditty plays throughout the background, urging you forward.
My biggest issue with this game, aside from the lack of a true in-game save feature, as well as the whole jumping thing, is that I’m not quite sure who this game is meant to appeal to. My 9-year-old nephew loved it, and we had a few laughs playing through it, until I saw the ESBR rating on the box, and its TEENS warning, specifying VIOLENCE and SUGGESTIVE THEMES as the culprits. I hastily removed the boy from the game at once, said a prayer, and then tried to make sense of it all. As far as violence goes, there’s no blood or gore to speak of. After all, you’re fighting imaginary, fictitious monsters. They don’t even have names. After several minutes of experimenting, I do not feel I was at all affected by the violence in Rocko’s Quest. The cat might tell you differently, but I’m sticking to my guns. The suggestive themes thing is another matter, but we won’t get into that. I’m long past being a teen anyway, so it’s a moot point with me. I really can’t see anybody aged 13 or over playing this game because by that age, they would be well on their way to bigger and better ESBR ratings, more in-depth games, and a more thorough gaming experience.
Rocko’s Quest is a decent game for what it is. It’s a good game to play when you need a break from doing things like writing game reviews, or a similar activity. It’s a fun alternative when you don’t feel like building bases, chasing after Nazis, or building massive empires. Okay, chasing after Nazis is really, really cool, but I don’t always feel like doing the other two things, and Rocko’s Quest fills that bill nicely. Should you desire something a little different that doesn’t require a lot of input from you, then jump on down to your local retailer and pick up this game. Just be careful of the water.
Score : 7.4/10