The Ninjabot

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:22 am by Stephen Janes

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is now available on Steam and offers a fantastic indie-experience.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken was originally available on the Playstation Network, but has made a seamless transition to the PC market. Boasting incredibly smooth graphics, easy controls and a motivating soundtrack, this is definitely a title worth paying attention to.

Set in an anthropomorphic setting where a penguin army has control of the world, you play as Hardboiled Chicken, a child soldier who has risen against his leaders and is aiming to assassinate the penguin leader, Putzki. The game is a side scroller featuring many different weapons and accessories that will aid in your quest to destroy everything fowl (obligatory bird joke).

The graphics are very clean and animated. The backdrops and foreground are fairly static and rendered in a 3D feel, but move along with your character to add a nice depth of field effect. The art style for the characters looks more of a traditional hand-drawn cartoon, so the game really ‘pops’ when you are playing. The style reminds me of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Story with the foreground versus background and this is meant with very high regards.

This game offers tons of mayhem and bloody penguins. In other words, lots of fun.
(Image taken from www.rocketbirds.com)

The controls aren’t perfect, but they are forgivable. They are not tight, but they are simple enough to follow. You can either use the traditional “WASD” keyboard control scheme and the mouse to fire your weapon, or you can use a game controller instead. I would have preferred that the mouse had the capability to act as your crosshairs for added accuracy, but this feature isn’t exactly necessary. I would have also liked to have a dedicated melee button to help conserve ammunition, but you can use melee when close enough to the enemy. I do seem to have some trouble precisely aiming my jumps, but again these are minor aesthetic changes that will vary from player to player.

The soundtrack features original songs from the band New World Revolution. The songs are dark, but perfect for this game. They almost have a Green Day vibe to them, which is appropriate considering the ‘rise up and destroy the leader’ mentality of this game. The timing to some of these tracks are perfect, beginning right as an alarm has been raised and not letting up until you begin to walk away from the aftermath. Towards the end of my playthrough, I really became eager for the next cutscene just to hear the next awesome song in the soundtrack.

There are several different weapons that aid in your quest of destruction and freedom. Basic gun types such as handguns, machine guns, shotguns and rifles are your basic weapons. You will eventually gain different projectile weapons such as grenades and brain bugs, the latter being my favorite. When you throw a brain bug near an enemy penguin, you take control of that character until he is deemed exposable. When this moment occurs, you switch your weapon to “suicide” mode and eliminate the penguin, releasing control back to Hardboiled. The control method of using your projectiles is a little unorthodox, however. Traditionally, you would switch to your secondary weapons (in this case grenades or brain bugs) and use the mouse to aim and fire as you normally would, but instead for Rocketbirds, you are required to hold the right-click button down and then release when you want to fire. It’s a little untraditional, but not terribly difficult to get used to.

I must have replayed this level five times. I have never had so much fun with a jetpack before.
(Image taken from www.rocketbirds.com)

There are a few segments where you get to fly around in a jetpack, and I almost wish there was more emphasis here due to its great change of pace and fun factor. It can be a tad difficult trying to aim in one direction and fly in the other, but to keep things simple a crosshair controlled by your mouse is added, despite the fact that I think it should have been included in the entire game and not just here. The jetpack sessions even offer different enemy types that include homing rockets, making it more challenging than ever. To make matters even more tense, health and ammo pick-ups will float to the bottom of the screen until they disappear from the map and don’t appear too often.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken also features a co-op campaign that I didn’t get a chance to play during the construction of this review, but all indications I could find of it suggest that it’s the same as the single-player campaign, which is a good thing.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is very easy to pick-up and play for any duration of time. I originally told myself to give it an hour or so for initial impressions, but I found myself going back to the game multiple times in a non-review capacity. This game is very fun and most definitely worth the money. This game has been available for the Playstation Network for about a year, so it’s a bit difficult to recommend that you purchase it again for Steam, but it’s also difficult not to recommend this game again. I had a lot of fun with this game and would highly recommend it to anybody looking for a quick, simple, darkly humorous and quick-paced game. Somehow, obliterating a penguin army with shotguns is more fun than you would think.

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken. If you hate this game, you hate America.
(Image taken from www.rocketbirds.com)

Review Rating: 4/5

In Short: If you didn’t pick this up on the PSN before, get it now. It’s indie-fun at its finest.

Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenkjanes and let him know he’s a very special young man.

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