Rocketron comes to us from Doujin Circle, ASTRO-PORT. They are the same developers of Witch-Bot Meglilo, which is a shoot ‘em up deserving of an article all of its own.
Rocketron is an action platformer with a Metroid-like level design that rewards exploration. The player is able to shoot in several different directions, which is good since enemies will be coming at you from everywhere. You also have a rocket pack that can boost you in multiple directions. There are sections the require you to rocket through tight corridors, narrowly avoiding spikes. You can only use the rocket pack for a limited time, but you can find upgrades to lengthen its use. The rocket pack is a fun way to get around the levels, and it controls very fluidly. Its usage is one of the staple mechanics of the game, along with the its multiple weapons. You have a starter gun with unlimited ammo, in addition to missles, a spread gun and several others.
What I really appreciate about the game is its highly polished science fiction aesthetic and dynamic enemy designs. There are many types of robots that will hound you throughout the levels, from small flying robots to huge bipedal ones. The bosses are big and fun to fight. Everything is rendered in high quality pixel art; the entire experience will appeal to retro platformer fans.
There seems to be a well thought out story as well, but, as with some games I feature on this blog, all the text is in Japanese. However, the game’s controls and environments are straightforward enough that one can get through it without having to know the language.
ASTRO-PORT is a great Circle and their games are always worth a look. Rocketron is available to purchase on DLsite, which is a site that sells a lot of other digital Doujin goods. There is also a trial version to download. AGM Playsim has localized ASTRO-PORT’s other title, Witch-Bot Meglilo and has made it available on their site as well on Steam. Witch-bot Meglilo shows off ASTRO-PORT’s more humorous side. According to the Circle’s AGM page, their message to the world is, “This is how fun action shooting games can be!” Rocketron embodies this message wholeheartedly, and I hope to see a localized version someday.