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Review - Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken

PCN Review: Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
Posted on October 19, 2011 by Shak

The main thing I don’t like about Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is its name, and it’s not because the name has no relation to the gameplay. On the contrary, it has everything to do with the game, but the fact that it has got “birds” in the title will immediately make consumers assume that this is an angry birds clone. This is completely not the case, and whilst there may be some “angry” birds in the game, the Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is an amazing PlayStation Network title that looks and plays exactly as you’d expect from a PlayStation 3-exclusive.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken comes as a huge surprise to me, in short, this is an amazing little game and I honestly didn’t expect it to be this good. The game is similar to something like Shank, in that it is a 2D stylized platformer, but has some 3D environmental elements and some influences of Limbo. The level design is superb, and is graphically superior to Shank. The 3D elements in the background are mainly used to increase stereoscopic 3D effect, but even without this option, the way the camera pans still gives you a 3D effect. A lot of the level is usually also slightly darkened with shadows, similar to Limbo, which gives a great stylized effect.

You play as Hardboiled Chicken, and you job is to kick ass, kill penguins and take on a mission to assassinate the evil penguin leader. The gameplay on the whole consists of shooting, and platforming through the 2D environment. There are also some basic puzzles that you need to navigate at times. As you progress through the levels, you will slowly gain more weapons, which you can switch to using the d-pad, and you will face tougher puzzles and enemies. You can pick up ammo from dead enemies, but health must be specifically found within the levels as well as bigger ammo packs. Both the health and ammo are displayed simply as status bars. Thankfully, the ammo is universal, so there is no over-complication when it comes to this issue.

Eventually, you’ll get to a chapter, where the name “Rocketbirds” makes sense. Hardboiled Chicken has a jetpack that he can use to fly around and kill enemies or get to a certain point. When you’re shooting enemies the camera will zoom out, allowing you to see as much of the screen as possible. When you need to end the level, or if there is a marker telling you to land on a certain point, the camera will zoom in. In these situations as well, enemies you’ve killed will drop some ammo in parachutes, and health and ammo boxes will also parachute down randomly.

There are 15 single-player chapters to play and 10 co-op chapters, which are completely separate to the normal campaign. In the local co-op, the General’s daughter has been kidnapped and held ransom by the Penguins. You can select a bird from the dirty half-dozen Budgie commandos to undertake this task. Each chapter takes around 10-20 minutes to complete, so you’re looking at around 4-8 hours worth of gameplay, and considering the price of the game ($11.99/8.99EUR/£7.19), that is quite realistic. It’s also important to note that this game has a platinum trophy, and the trophies are on the whole quite simple. So trophy whores will be very happy, and if you think it costs too much, the developer’s promised a day one discount for PlayStation Plus users.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken looks great and it plays great, but the music is a little on the annoying side. Of course this is all down to personal taste, but I personally didn’t like the music too much. I found that switching it off though, meant that I could not hear the voice acting in the animated scenes. The voice acting is incredibly bad, but it seems to be done on purpose, and it will make you laugh. The story on the whole is actually pretty funny and quite good, I don’t want to spoil it, but I couldn’t stop laughing at several of the cut scenes. This game is not to be missed, it’s a great addition to the PSN portfolio.

For a 2D game, it looks amazing and even the stereoscopic 3D effects aren't really needed to appreciate the level design.
Music can be a little annoying and voice acting is intentionally bad, but dialog is incredibly funny.
Fantastic gameplay, puzzles become more prominent later on. The rocket gameplay could have been more accurate, but it is still quiet good.
Replay Value
Trophies give you a decent amount of replay value, and the local co-op will keep you interested for a few more hours. For the price though, the game is well worth it.
A great game, and recommended for everyone. Platinum trophy and amount of gameplay is well worth the cost.
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Rocketbirds: Hardboiled ChickenROCKETBIRDS: HARDBOILED CHI...
Publisher: Ratloop
Developer: Ratloop
Genre: Platformer
ESRB: Teen
Release: 2011-10-18
Wished: 0 Rocketbirds: Hardboiled ChickenROCKETBIRDS: HARDBOILED CHI...
Publisher: ratloop
Developer: ratloop
Genre: Platformer
ESRB: Teen
Release: 2013-02-12
Wished: 0
PCN Rating: 8.5