Review: Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, an enhanced version of the flash game Rocketbirds: Revolution, is the story of one Coq-of-War and his journey to take down an evil penguin army and it’s leader Putzki. This version of the game features new chapters, cut-scenes, weapons, upgraded visuals and a brand new co-op mode. I never personally played through the flash game but I’m more than comfortable in saying that the added content in Hardboiled Chicken is top notch making this version an absolute no-brainer.
It’s hard not to immediately get pulled into Hardboiled Chicken just on it’s looks alone. The game uses a combination of paralax scrolling and what looks like some sort of level rotation that goes a very long way in making this game stick out, literally. It’s clear that a lot of effort went into putting in even just the smallest of details throughout each level. The use of depth among other things honestly had me wishing for a 3D tv if only just to see what this game would look like. Luckily the rest of the game lives up to the high standards set by the visuals alone.
The gameplay in Rocketbirds isn’t anything that’s entirely new. You control Hardboiled through various sidescrolling locales as you shoot penguins and solve puzzles. Your arsenal includes a pistol, machine gun and shotgun with upgraded versions of each weapons available in the later portions of the game. Shooting penguins feels solid and each kill is followed by a ‘popping’ sound and feathers flying into the air.
Thinking about how trophies take into account the importance of sound cues you’ll understand that the same applies here. With each popping sound comes instant gratification as well as making it easy to tell when you’ve successfully killed an enemy penguin. (This is especially useful when juggling.) As Hardboiled you can also kick penguins into the air and juggle them with your bullets. This is something that I can assure you never gets old.
Aside from killing penguins you’ll also need to search around for different colored card keys to open locked doors to progress through the chapter. Sometimes you’ll need to do this through the use of mind control. Hardboiled is capable of throwing a small bug that allows him to take control of any unsuspecting penguin standing nearby. While using mind control you can freely walk throughout the level without getting harmed or take out all opposing penguins without worrying about consequences. Once you’ve finished doing whatever needs done with your mind controlled penguin all that’s left is getting rid of him. This is simply done by forcing the penguin to point his gun to his head and end it. The puzzles throughout the game aren’t very difficult at all but I absolutely love the use of mindcontrol. Using penguins to do your dirty work and then entering suicidal mode is just plain awesome.
A few chapters in the game sees Hardboiled strapping on a jetpack and taking to the skies. These sections never last too long and control mostly how you’d expect. Holding the X button boosts you through the air as you steer with the left analog stick. You’ll partake in aerial battles as you fire at penguins and use aerial manuevers to aim homing missiles at unsuspecting penguins. Jetpaction, as Hardboiled calls it, is a fun distraction from the main game and never outstays it’s welcome.
Rocketbirds features music from an indie rock band known as New World Revolution. Most of the songs in the game play during cut-scenes throughout the game with a few appearing in specific levels in the campaign. Obviously your taste in music will have a big impact on how much you appreciate what serves as a large portion of the presentation in Hardboiled Chicken. I found the music to be implemented exceptionally well and fell in love with quite a number of tracks throughout the course of the game. Double Agents in particular is a song that’s been repeating through my head over the past few days.
The co-op campaign lets each player choose a Budgie from the “Dirty Half Dozen” as they embark on a mission to track down the general’s daughter. Co-op takes you through the first ten chapters of the single player campaign with a few alterations. Levels are shorter than they were in the campaign and puzzles now require cooperation among players. One player can also carry the other through levels to reach higher platforms among other things. While the co-op campaign only takes about ninety minutes to complete my roomate and I had an absolute blast with it. Not to mention that any excuse to play more Rocketbirds is always a good thing in my book.
Rocketbirds isn’t anything that’s totally orginal. However it is a very polished game with beautiful visuals, an awesome soundtrack and some great penguin-killing fun. Each element of the game flows together naturally and works so well that it’s likely you’ll forget about it’s one fault, a lack of difficulty. In other words it’d be a good idea to not let this game pass you up.
It’s time for some Jetpaction.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Great use of paralax backgrounds and visual style
- Awesome soundtrack
- Mind controlling penguins
- Co-op campaign
What I Dislike:
- Not very difficult