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Review - Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken

PCN Review: Rocketbirds (Vita)
Posted on March 26, 2013 by Shak

You shouldn't expect any new story content, but simply new ways to interact with the world. These include general menu navigation, using the rear touch pad to line up grenade throws, which i found to be needlessly complicated, i would have preferred a simple "touch the enemy you want to hit with a grenade" feature, as catchy as that sounds (!) A further Vita addition gives you the option to tilt the vita to tilt the camera slightly around the 2.5D world. It is a novel feature; however it is almost never needed, and adds nothing to the enjoyment of the game.

The game looks gorgeous on the PSVita's 5" OLED screen, and for the most part everything is scaled up perfectly, i did find that the helicopter enemies on the jetpack stages were hard to make out on the smaller screen and could have done with a complete redesign.

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 you can chapter select to find the hidden collectables.

The Vita's OS makes Rocketbirds even easier to jump in and out of at a moment's notice. The difficult puzzle sections may require you to throw the game into sleep mode for half an hour to recollect your thoughts, and jump straight back in, whereas it was not possible to do so in the PS3 version. A slight negative are the oddly long load times, and for a game that is downloadable only, and running of a solid state memory card, this is simply unforgiveable, but at least the checkpoints are fair. If you missed this game on the PS3, it is definitely still worth trying out, but after a year and a half, the bar has been raised and no longer rates as high as it did back in 2011.

Still looks great for a 2D game, and the motion sensing movement in the backgrounds adds an extra appeal.
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, but is slightly dated as there is nothing really new here.
Replay Value
Ad-hoc and online co-op will keep you interested for a few more hours, and trophies are challenging but achievable.
A great game, but if you've already played it on PS3, there's not much new to look at.
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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