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"[GAME] Rocketbirds: Hard Boiled Chicken [VITA]"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Rocketbirds: Hard Boiled Chicken'.
Sun 03/03/13 at 22:26
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Ratloopís Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken on PS Vita is all about Nazi Penguins. Yeah, I know, but try adding a Rambo-style Chicken hero to the mix and you'll start to get an idea of this crazy platformer's intentions.

Harboiled Chicken, a Rambo-esque feathered hero, has been sent to assassinate the tyrannical penguin leader and his evil regime that has taken over Albatropolis. Their campaign of evil involves exterminating other feathered creatures, stamping out resistance and opening museums dedicated to penguin evolution. The last one seems particularly evil.

While he's happy to go off to war, Itís not simply a matter of our hero following orders. The game provides the background on our heroís origins as the story progresses and we learn just why he's so determined to stop the evil penguin empire. The animated cutscenes provide a mix of humour and pathos to the proceedings.

Humour actually follows the game throughout the story, with guards moaning about their work as you crawl through air ducts and there are plenty of moments where an off-hand conversation can leave you sat their reading the speech bubbles for several minutes before you move on to your next target. It reminds me of the Oddworld games in the way it uses humour as a offset to the violence and other times mirroring early Metroid quests.

While screenshots of Rocketbirds could allow it to be mistaken for a side scrolling platform shooter, it really wants to be more of a puzzle game, especially as you near the end of the story. Donít get me wrong, thereís still plenty of shooting to do, but the main focus is often on taking over enemies with little mind-control bugs and sending them off to press buttons to open doors, move crates or catch a lift and take it to your current level.

The mind control element is well thought out, though aiming is done using the back Vita screen and never really feels all that accurate. With an endless supply of both bugs and grenades, thereís no real issue beyond the odd annoyance of not being able to place the bugs where you want them to go at the right time.
The shooting and puzzle solving is further split up by the odd jetpack mission, where youíll need to hold X down to boost around, while firing at the fast-flying enemies.

As the game progresses, expect to dodge homing missiles and become an expert at collecting the falling health and ammo crates once youíve destroyed an enemy. While these sections are a welcome break, theyíre often over very quickly. It would have been nice to have a mini-game open in the main menu featuring the jetpack levels as an extra.

There are some tricky sections in Rocketbirds, often caused by the placing of crates and working out just how to get past sentries, plus the limited ammo occasionally gives you pause for thought but, despite this, the gameís one issue is its length. There are red resistance flags to find and things you may miss in your first play through, but they didnít seem enough to play the game all the way through a second time.

Graphically, the game certainly feels a lot more polished on Sonyís handheld. The mix of blood soaked penguins that fall by the wayside as you plough through another level is offset by the cartoon graphics in a strangely complimentary way. The cut scenes are very well drawn and feature music and lyrics created for the game, further adding to the sense of duality with their dark themes playing off against the often comedic deaths and snippets of every day dialogue from guards.

Rocketbirds works because it has its own sense of identity, humour but also a good storyline and several different elements from action to puzzle games to keep things interesting. It may be short and lacking in much replay value, but itís a very welcome addition to the Vitaís library and well worth picking up on PSN if you're looking for another download title to play while out and about.

8/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Sun 03/03/13 at 22:26
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Ratloopís Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken on PS Vita is all about Nazi Penguins. Yeah, I know, but try adding a Rambo-style Chicken hero to the mix and you'll start to get an idea of this crazy platformer's intentions.

Harboiled Chicken, a Rambo-esque feathered hero, has been sent to assassinate the tyrannical penguin leader and his evil regime that has taken over Albatropolis. Their campaign of evil involves exterminating other feathered creatures, stamping out resistance and opening museums dedicated to penguin evolution. The last one seems particularly evil.

While he's happy to go off to war, Itís not simply a matter of our hero following orders. The game provides the background on our heroís origins as the story progresses and we learn just why he's so determined to stop the evil penguin empire. The animated cutscenes provide a mix of humour and pathos to the proceedings.

Humour actually follows the game throughout the story, with guards moaning about their work as you crawl through air ducts and there are plenty of moments where an off-hand conversation can leave you sat their reading the speech bubbles for several minutes before you move on to your next target. It reminds me of the Oddworld games in the way it uses humour as a offset to the violence and other times mirroring early Metroid quests.

While screenshots of Rocketbirds could allow it to be mistaken for a side scrolling platform shooter, it really wants to be more of a puzzle game, especially as you near the end of the story. Donít get me wrong, thereís still plenty of shooting to do, but the main focus is often on taking over enemies with little mind-control bugs and sending them off to press buttons to open doors, move crates or catch a lift and take it to your current level.

The mind control element is well thought out, though aiming is done using the back Vita screen and never really feels all that accurate. With an endless supply of both bugs and grenades, thereís no real issue beyond the odd annoyance of not being able to place the bugs where you want them to go at the right time.
The shooting and puzzle solving is further split up by the odd jetpack mission, where youíll need to hold X down to boost around, while firing at the fast-flying enemies.

As the game progresses, expect to dodge homing missiles and become an expert at collecting the falling health and ammo crates once youíve destroyed an enemy. While these sections are a welcome break, theyíre often over very quickly. It would have been nice to have a mini-game open in the main menu featuring the jetpack levels as an extra.

There are some tricky sections in Rocketbirds, often caused by the placing of crates and working out just how to get past sentries, plus the limited ammo occasionally gives you pause for thought but, despite this, the gameís one issue is its length. There are red resistance flags to find and things you may miss in your first play through, but they didnít seem enough to play the game all the way through a second time.

Graphically, the game certainly feels a lot more polished on Sonyís handheld. The mix of blood soaked penguins that fall by the wayside as you plough through another level is offset by the cartoon graphics in a strangely complimentary way. The cut scenes are very well drawn and feature music and lyrics created for the game, further adding to the sense of duality with their dark themes playing off against the often comedic deaths and snippets of every day dialogue from guards.

Rocketbirds works because it has its own sense of identity, humour but also a good storyline and several different elements from action to puzzle games to keep things interesting. It may be short and lacking in much replay value, but itís a very welcome addition to the Vitaís library and well worth picking up on PSN if you're looking for another download title to play while out and about.

8/10

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