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View Full Version : Sparkster vs. Sparkster?



Obviously
01-06-2006, 06:40 PM
Until recently I had no idea that there was a Sparkster on the SNES, I've also been told that it's a completely different game (Because you know, Konami's got a fetish for that). I was under the impression all these years that it was an exclusive Genesis franchise. If anyone's played both can you fill me in on the difference between the Genesis Sparkster and the SNES one?

GeckoYamori
01-06-2006, 08:06 PM
Not surprisingly, the MD version is much more fast-paced and has more action. The SNES version is more along the lines of a traditional platformer. For instance, you manually charge your rocket pack in the SNES version while it's automatic in the MD counterpart.

Obviously
01-06-2006, 08:56 PM
Huh... curiousity caused me to check out a rom of the SNES Sparkster (Mainly because I don't have the system anymore). You're right, it is slower paced, but it seems more faithful to Rocket Knight Adventures than the Mega Drive Sparkster is in terms of gameplay mechanics, which is a good thing. It's nowhere near as good as Rocket Knight but it's not bad either, definately better than the Mega Drive Sparkster because it's got some of the charm of the original.

GeckoYamori
01-06-2006, 09:18 PM
I think the MD version has the edge, but that's just a matter of personal preference because I'm much more of an arcade gamer by nature.

j_factor
01-07-2006, 01:46 AM
I think they're both good, but neither's as good as RKA. Interestingly enough, the Genesis Sparkster says "Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2" while the SNES version is only called Sparkster.

I can't find either of them for shit lately.

Obviously
01-07-2006, 08:24 AM
The RKA 2 observation is good, not only does it set the two versions apart but it just looks like the Super Nintendo Sparkster tried to introduce the SNES crowd to the play mechanics of the original RKA while the Genesis one wanted to take the gameplay further by changing a few of the mechanics. I agree with you completely about the original RKA being the superior of the three by far.

I'm just happy to find out after all these years that RKA actually has two sequels and not just one.

Elusive
01-07-2006, 04:14 PM
Allow the resident Sparkster maniac to throw in a few thoughts here. =D

RKA - two variants exist. The Japanese version is identical ingame, but has a few sound effects switched around in the menu screens. Also features slightly different ending credits, if I recall correctly, and has a different (far superior IMO) first cutscene and between-level screen. The Western versions were ... well, Westernised, losing the cutesy intro and level screens. The game is focussed on the invasion of the kingdom of Zebulos by the Devintos Pig armies. A version was slated for release on the Super NES shortly afterwards, but was cancelled shortly after announcement.

Sparkster: two variants exist. The Mega Drive version was released in late 1994, and is set five years after the first game. It details the collapse of Zebulos after the first game, and the rise of the Gedol empire. The European box cover lists it as 'Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures II', the other regions only call it 'Sparkster'. The second version - the Super NES version - was released a month after the Mega Drive version, confusingly also called 'Sparkster'. The Super NES version changes the name of the planet the action is set on, the names of a few characters, and introduces the Wolf armies. I prefer the Mega Drive version for its relation to the first while maintaining a unique feel. The Super NES version is all nice and pretty, but feels more like it was developed by people who hadn't played or heard of the original game.

And I own all of then XD

Oi, Americans - the US boxart for the first game has some sort of 'win a Sparkster T-shirt, see inside' competition. Details, please.

Obviously
01-07-2006, 04:40 PM
Really? I actually got the opposite impression. The Megadrive version of Sparkster feels so different to the original game. The rocket-pack was changed, the sword was changed, where as Sparkster for the SNES works the same as RKA in these areas. Other than the story which really doesn't matter a whole lot in a platformer like this, Sparkster for the Megadive just seemed a whole lot less related to the original game than the SNES one did, but that's just how I felt about the two games.

Melf
01-07-2006, 04:41 PM
This would make an awesome "Side by Side" article.

Hint....hint... ;)

Obviously
01-07-2006, 05:49 PM
I would gladly do one but it seems that popular opinion is against me :P .

neptun
09-23-2008, 02:44 AM
RKA is/was one of my most favorite games for the MD. What a brillant title, Konami developed with a lot of great ideas, top sounds and a compelling presentation.

I waited for the sequel and i was such disappointed about Sparkster. All the flair of the original was lost and the game couldnt achieve the excellence of RKA in every respect. Just disappointing!

Against this Sparkster for SNES was the follower legitimately. Its much similar to RKA and i just can recommend to play the game. Its great

Joe Redifer
09-23-2008, 03:28 AM
Doesn't the SNES and Genesis versions of Sparkster share the same melodies?

jesus.arnold
09-23-2008, 04:21 AM
The general opinion of reviewers from the time was that Sparkster (MD) was the better game, EGM however rated the SNES version higher.

Most of them talked about the SNES version being generic and the same old thing, with no new ideas to put it ahead of all the other platformers out there.

108 Stars
09-23-2008, 07:40 AM
Both Sparkster versions were widely regarded as disappointing, uninspired sequel to the much better RKA.

Mr. Ksoft
09-23-2008, 07:50 AM
I wasn't so thrilled by the Genesis one, but I kinda like the SNES version.

Of course, neither tops the original RKA.

Elusive
09-23-2008, 04:29 PM
Doesn't the SNES and Genesis versions of Sparkster share the same melodies?

Yes. 1-1 and 1-3 of the Mega Drive version are the same song as Level 1 in the SNES version (only more Z80-y, obviously).

5, the final level, is a remix of 1-1/1-3 - and the Password screen's theme (0:15 onward) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjYvGbOxog0) is nice too.

Zebbe
09-23-2008, 05:15 PM
That 1-1 MD song sounds a lot like an early shmup on the console, from those that wrote "8 MEG POWER!" on the boxes I think.

Mr. Ksoft
09-23-2008, 06:55 PM
Yes. 1-1 and 1-3 of the Mega Drive version are the same song as Level 1 in the SNES version (only more Z80-y, obviously).

5, the final level, is a remix of 1-1/1-3 - and the Password screen's theme (0:15 onward) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjYvGbOxog0) is nice too.

Also level 3 in the SNES version has the same music as level 4 in the Genesis version.

Elusive
09-23-2008, 07:02 PM
That 1-1 MD song sounds a lot like an early shmup on the console, from those that wrote "8 MEG POWER!" on the boxes I think.

It's a Konami game, what do you expect :P

108 Stars
09-23-2008, 07:54 PM
Konami games usually had sound about as good as it gets on the HW.

Dirt Ball Gamer
09-24-2008, 02:44 AM
Is the jap version of the megadrive sparkster region locked for a model 1 US genesis? Is the jap version language mostly in japanese or is it in english? I need to pick this game up but would prefer the jap version unless its all jap text and region locked then I will have to settle for the US version. Any info on this would be very usefull.

Joe Redifer
09-24-2008, 04:35 AM
Why would you prefer the JP version?

Dirt Ball Gamer
09-24-2008, 06:50 AM
I usually like the look of the case and manual better on jap games versus the US versions.

Elusive
09-24-2008, 02:32 PM
Is the jap version of the megadrive sparkster region locked for a model 1 US genesis? Is the jap version language mostly in japanese or is it in english? I need to pick this game up but would prefer the jap version unless its all jap text and region locked then I will have to settle for the US version. Any info on this would be very usefull.

The game is region-locked, yes, just like Rocket Knight Adventures was. There's pretty much zero text in the game, either.

Honestly, though, there's no difference between the regions like there was with RKA. They even have the same cover art!

Aarzak
09-24-2008, 08:41 PM
The Genesis Sparkster may be a bit more innovative and varied in its gameplay, but I dislike the tiny sprites and spartan graphics. and of course the friggin BORDER that Konami seemed obligated to put in most if not all of their Genesis games, whether it was completely black (TMNT HH & TF, Contra Hard Corps) or stylized (RKA, Castlevania Bloodlines), it takes up screen space dammit. It's just lazy, their SNES counterparts don't have any such borders.

Back to "Sparkster". the SNES version is more of a straightforward successor to the original RKA than the Genesis one is, has bigger, better graphics and sound but I don't think that it was up to par with the original RKA.

Dirt Ball Gamer
09-25-2008, 12:20 AM
Cool thanks, Ill probably just get the US version then.

Elusive
09-25-2008, 05:04 PM
Back to "Sparkster". the SNES version is more of a straightforward successor to the original RKA than the Genesis one is, has bigger, better graphics and sound but I don't think that it was up to par with the original RKA.

I beg to differ - the SNES version is a stand-alone game (was created by a different dev team) as far as continuity is concerned. The Mega Drive version directly continues from the original game, so it's more of a 'true' sequel. I know that this is a 199x platformer we're describing though :P

One thing I absolutely love about the MD version of Sparkster is the desert level boss, as it's where you really have to master using the rocket-pack to dodge and attack. You get a good bit of practise with the first stage's train boss, but the size of the desert boss's arena seals it :)

Dirt Ball Gamer
09-26-2008, 02:27 AM
What letter grade would you guys give sparkster on the genny?

108 Stars
09-26-2008, 02:39 AM
C.

Aarzak
09-26-2008, 03:41 AM
I beg to differ - the SNES version is a stand-alone game (was created by a different dev team) as far as continuity is concerned. The Mega Drive version directly continues from the original game, so it's more of a 'true' sequel. I know that this is a 199x platformer we're describing though :P

One thing I absolutely love about the MD version of Sparkster is the desert level boss, as it's where you really have to master using the rocket-pack to dodge and attack. You get a good bit of practise with the first stage's train boss, but the size of the desert boss's arena seals it :)

I know, I meant gameplay and graphics-wise, its what the Genesis Sparkster should've been like. Seriously, those small graphics weren't cutting the cake in 1994.

Jeckidy
10-02-2008, 04:01 AM
I wonder if they were ever planning an RKA game for the Turbografx/PCE. However, it might have been too slow technically to handle such a high-speed game.

Joe Redifer
10-02-2008, 04:46 AM
It could definitely handle the speed as it was much quicker than the SNES and on par with the Genesis.

Jeckidy
10-02-2008, 04:57 AM
Really? I had no idea. I thought it was internally 8-bit and thus, a game optimized for the 68K processor would be a bit too much, but I don't know alot about its specs explicitly.

I also keep having dreams of a Sparkster/RKA compilation for the PSP. As Sparkster has made a comeback as a character in the new DS International Track & Field, as you might know, it may be in the realm of possibility.

jesus.arnold
02-14-2009, 09:06 AM
Both Sparkster versions were widely regarded as disappointing, uninspired sequel to the much better RKA.Not really, MD Sparkster got quite a few 8s and 9s.

Also Sparkster on the Mega Drive is the complete opposite of an uninspired sequel, if anything I think most people are scared by all the ideas going on in it, unlike the original which was pretty much an excellently made but generic platform game.

After buying the game last week I've been playing it quite a bit and must say that learning to use the jet pack properley is a very rewarding experience, in Sparkster when you know what you're doing you can zip through the stages with precision


Really? I actually got the opposite impression. The Megadrive version of Sparkster feels so different to the original game. The rocket-pack was changed, the sword was changed, where as Sparkster for the SNES works the same as RKA in these areas. Other than the story which really doesn't matter a whole lot in a platformer like this, Sparkster for the Megadive just seemed a whole lot less related to the original game than the SNES one did, but that's just how I felt about the two games.

By your thinking Kid Chameleon is more of a true sequel to Super Mario 3 than Mario World is as it carries on the different suit power-ups and doesn't throw in un-characteristic sections riding dinosaurs, not to mention how much was changed between Mario World and Mario World 2:Yoshi's Island.

Series' are supposed to change and evolve as they go on, to develop their own identities, the reason the SNES Sparkster is more similar to the original is because it's a rehash of the original made by unrelated designers trying to ape it.

Elusive
02-14-2009, 03:27 PM
After buying the game last week I've been playing it quite a bit and must say that learning to use the jet pack properley is a very rewarding experience, in Sparkster when you know what you're doing you can zip through the stages with precision

The desert-level gigantic snake-thing boss is brilliant for this. You're pretty much required to keep yourself in the air, dodging his grab-and-slam-into-wall attack and AIMING FOR HIS FACE.

jesus.arnold
02-14-2009, 11:00 PM
The desert-level gigantic snake-thing boss is brilliant for this. You're pretty much required to keep yourself in the air, dodging his grab-and-slam-into-wall attack and AIMING FOR HIS FACE.Ah yes, I know the one you mean, I usualy stay in the air while he's in the background and then dive bomb him when he comes out, I like one of the other bosses too, the one that fires forwards 3 times then bombs the floor twice, usually forward rocket pack him 3 times then diagonal bounce him twice in opposite direction retreating along the wire afterwards.

Alianger
02-15-2009, 02:06 AM
Also Sparkster on the Mega Drive is the complete opposite of an uninspired sequel, if anything I think most people are scared by all the ideas going on in it, unlike the original which was pretty much an excellently made but generic platform game.

I for one welcomed the change in control, as you say it's a fun experience just trying to keep sparkster in the air. What turned me off from the game was the uninspired level design, and mostly forgettable presentation (much worse on an artistic level). The game forces you to wait around a lot - for a bosses weak point to show, for a platform to move close enough or even for the level itself to scroll forward.. I was bored with it after the first level.

jesus.arnold
02-15-2009, 11:46 AM
I for one welcomed the change in control, as you say it's a fun experience just trying to keep sparkster in the air. What turned me off from the game was the uninspired level design, and mostly forgettable presentation (much worse on an artistic level). The game forces you to wait around a lot - for a bosses weak point to show, for a platform to move close enough or even for the level itself to scroll forward.. I was bored with it after the first level.I agree that the graphics are dissapointing (the distinct pastel, detailed, friendly look of the original is replaced with decidedly Sonic 2 style blocks of primary colours and "attitude") but I would disagree about the actual level design because I think it is pretty good (going through pyramids, escaping from boulders, riding trains, running in a mech)

I think the boss fights are a real strength of the game and all are pretty good with the exception of the 1st level un-screwing contraption, which takes a little too long even when you know what you're doing.

Aarzak
02-15-2009, 02:48 PM
From what I've played, Genesis Sparkster looks like an absolute turd, and is the worst-looking out of the whole series. Yes, it looks worse than the original RKA, which is one of the best-looking platformers on the Genesis. I've never had the patience to play past the first level, the new gameplay didn't intrigue me.

SNES Sparkster is much more faithful to the original RKA; its as if Konami was making up for not porting RKA to the SNES. It shares similar gameplay, mechanics and sprite sizes to RKA, and looks better than the Genesis version.

jesus.arnold
02-16-2009, 11:08 AM
From what I've played, Genesis Sparkster looks like an absolute turd, and is the worst-looking out of the whole series. Yes, it looks worse than the original RKA, which is one of the best-looking platformers on the Genesis. I've never had the patience to play past the first level, the new gameplay didn't intrigue me. All I read there was "I don't like MD Sparkster but have never played past the 1st level of it so don't realistically know anything about it" I'm awaiting a reply saying "OK now I played past the 1st level and still think it's awful" as these sorts of discussions usually go this way


SNES Sparkster is much more faithful to the original RKA; its as if Konami was making up for not porting RKA to the SNES. It shares similar gameplay, mechanics and sprite sizes to RKA, and looks better than the Genesis version.It's not faithful to anything, a bunch of new programmers were told to make a sequel to a game thay had nothing to do with and so played the original and made something similar, as I said earlier it's doing nothing more than ape-ing Rocket Knight Adventures

Sparkster (SNES) is a true sequel to RKA in the same way that a fan made hack of Sonic 2 is a "true" sequel to it instead of Sonic 3, as I'm sure the new hack would stay much closer to the original without changing anything to make it play too differently.

Mark Robert
03-26-2009, 09:02 PM
I'm going to put myself in the minority opinion here. RKA is top quality no doubt but I simply have more fun playing Sparkster:RKA II. The game makes better use of the jet-pack against bosses and is great for a more open exploratory level design. I also think it's a pretty game with the bosses/mini bosses being particularly impressive. I only wish the whole game had followed the perfect balance and intensity of the first level. The first level has it all; exploration, a couple mid-level bosses, fighting action sequences and great exploratory platforming. The rest of the levels (with the exception of the mech level) are almost exclusively platforming levels that lose the wonderful variety the first level had. All in all though, I love Genesis Sparkster. For me, it's a distinct improvement over the first RKA. (I've never played SNES Sparkster so I can't comment on it.)

Aarzak
03-26-2009, 10:08 PM
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TjN001
03-26-2009, 11:39 PM
The SNES one looks more fun to play, but I can't say much as I haven't played either. The local trade-a-game has the Genesis copy for 24.99. Too high a price for me to be really interested. If I saw one cheap I'd get it for sure, I really do love the original.

Jared
03-26-2009, 11:56 PM
They both look pretty good IMO

jesus.arnold
03-27-2009, 12:05 AM
Don't you hate it when people upload gameplay to youtube of games they have no idea how to play? I mean seriously I can do that 1st stage in like 1/4 of the time it took that guy and I rarely even touch the ground for a second.

oldmanwinters
03-27-2009, 12:17 AM
The SNES one looks more fun to play, but I can't say much as I haven't played either. The local trade-a-game has the Genesis copy for 24.99. Too high a price for me to be really interested. If I saw one cheap I'd get it for sure, I really do love the original.

That's probably the most expensive price I've ever heard of for a Genesis game at a trade-a-game store! I've never played the SNES version but both Genesis games are great in their own respects. Just enough similarities and differences to ensure that both games are worth playing!

TjN001
03-28-2009, 02:45 AM
That's probably the most expensive price I've ever heard of for a Genesis game at a trade-a-game store! I've never played the SNES version but both Genesis games are great in their own respects. Just enough similarities and differences to ensure that both games are worth playing!
I don't know who does the pricing there, and I don't think they know much of what they are doing. For instance, they also have a copy of Socket for $20. Lots of times I find really good deals there though. The funny thing is that the expensive games just sit there for a month or so, then they give up and cut the price. It's always a waiting game when buying from there.