Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
First impressions upon starting the game, you would be forgiven for thinking of Shank as it has a similar style and when you get into the gameplay, you begin to see where Ratloop Asia have taken some inspiration, maybe they didn’t, but there’s an unmistakable similarity.
It’s a nice scrolling 2D shooter, it doesn’t get much simpler unless you count the controls, then it’s not that simple. Starting off is rather fun as you trot along and shoot enemies, pick up a better weapon, shoot more enemies and then regain your jetpack, that’s when you may as well try controlling your chicken with your face.
Taking to the air was a problem and what made it worse was that the game didn’t focus on my character, but rather the enemy that I was trying to shoot while I’m trying to figure out which way I’ll even be facing when I eventually reappear on the screen. Once that was over, it was back to the action and popping the droppings out of enemies.
A nice little touch is that it’s not just a case of run and shoot, being able to hide in recesses and watch as enemies walk past is a chuckle and adds more to the fun element of the game. The fact that the characters are two-dimensional doesn’t really register while looking at the environment and while that may not be anything special, the backdrops can be quite nice.
The gameplay would have been more enjoyable if it wasn’t for the frustration of trying to control the chicken while whooshing through the sky and failing many times at the end of the first level. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, taking one part of a game to base the score on would be a bit silly, but it does lose marks for having moments which would cause some people to put the controller down and turn the console off and no game should really give you that feeling.
It’s not so much that the difficulty is too high, the moments where it can spike from simple to tricky leave you wondering what’s going to come next so you know whether to relax or keep your wits about you, although I guess you should always be on the alert, this isn’t one of those games that should require you to be any particular state of alertness except normal.
It does try not to be classed as casual and I suppose it does sit just outside the doors of casualness, but that’s mostly to do with the lack of replayability, going back to play through the game again isn’t high on the agenda once completed first time around.
Graphically, there’s nothing to fault, but then it’s nothing too spectacular. Sound felt a bit empty at times and while the intro music is rather down with it, other effects and whatnot are nothing to shout about. The controls can be a bit funky, but the gameplay is there.
If you want a quick blast of fun, it may be something to last a little while in between sessions of the AAA titles that are around right now, it’s not something to place on any must-have lists and rather put on a ‘check out the trial version’ list. Great name for a game that didn’t quite deliver.