Retro Game of the Day! Pocky & Rocky
Pocky & Rocky by Natsume, released in 1993 in the West for the Super Nintendo.
And here we have one of the HARDEST GAMES KNOWN TO MAN. Alright it's not that difficult, but the kiddy looks of this game are extremely misleading!
Pocky & Rocky is essentially a "walking shooter," for lack of a better term, in which you control a girl and a Tanuki (raccoon-ish creature) rather then, well, spaceships. You walk around and blast, blast, blast. This game is actually a nonstop flow of continuous firepower - let up and your game will quickly end.
A strange choice to be released over here, though this kind of cutesy anime style is definitely quite conventional now, 20 years ago it wasn't exactly mainstream so much. Combined with the play style and difficulty, it seems an odd choice to release for the Western Market; perhaps if they reskinned it as a proper Contra clone then it could have gone down in the history books more successfully.
Don't let my tone dissuade you however - despite the underappreciated theme, what you have here is honestly a demon of a 2-Player game (and it's quite a blast to play!) There is great attention to detailed lavished over the entire presentation, and those who partake will find themselves enjoying one of the true hidden gems of the SNES lineup. For shooter fans, or just solid 16-bit action game fans, Pocky & Rocky is gold!