**Okay, so embarrassingly I managed to hit the wrong key to take all of the screens for this game, but I’m going to make this review extra super descriptive to make up for it, promise.
This game is a work of mad genius, and one of the weirdest depictions of Italian-America that can be found. Which makes sense, on account of it being a Japanese game. It uses Little Italy less as a context than as a collage of stereotypes and setpieces. This game, which in Japan was called Nitro Punks: Might Heads, plays like a platformer informed by the collected works of Martin Scorsese combined with all of Rocky but without any of the boxing, spousal abuse, or cuss words.
You are Rocky Rodent, a self described (I think he’s just an egomaniac, but it can’t be proven) world famous dine and dasher who finds himself at the end of his rope when cornered by the owner of the restaurant he recently stole from. The plot thickens when it’s discovered that Rocky inadvertently ate said owner’s protection money. Another restaurant owner overhears the altercation and confesses that his daughter has been stolen by the Mafia in a similar extortion related beef. You, Rocky, are to rescue said daughter in exchange for a free meal. This is a nice touch as it neatly sidesteps any questions of inter-species relationships, which is remarkably sensitive for a game that feels as though it is constantly saying ‘fuhgeddaboudit’ in garbled double-dribble speak.
Rocky must free-run through the city, past unusual obstacles (hopping soup cans, angry motorists, even weirder things) while collecting discarded food items (I had no idea there were so many flans in new york) in effort to save a daughter for a free meal. This sounds like a tremendous amount of effort, but you aren’t alone. You will be aided on your quest by a variety of hair-care products which will grant an otherwise hideously balding rodent unusual powers to go with his implausible coifs. I got one that allowed me to stick my head in the ceiling and flip up to the platforms above.
There is nothing like Rocky Rodent. If you have never played an animal-themed speed platformer before, make this the one you play.