Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken

A valiant effort.

By Daavpuke, Posted 18 Oct 2011

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (HC) is actually about a cock; a rooster for you infantile. The ever so slight transgender references aside, this concocted browser title sees developer Ratloop trying to hatch a full release. In style of Metroidvania games, platforming is met with backtracking and unlocking parts in a non-linear level structure in order to meet the goal. In the end, this adventure will lead a cock through 15 chapters and 2 smaller chicks through 10 co-op or coop missions for simple, but well-designed fun.

The communist theme along its presentation, which leads HC through compounds, bases, rundown subways and many shafts, blends the dreary vibe of socialism with red, black and white accents. As this title supports stereoscopic 3D, the background panels and cutscenes from this 2D side-scroller create a vision of depth with their subtle sliding motion. The heavily cel-shaded cartoon style completes the propaganda outlook perfectly, especially in the great cutscenes or huge blimp fights. Unfortunately, the voice acting is painfully dreadful to the point of probably being designed to be ridiculed. The electro pop musings of a band called New World Revolution soften that blow a little, by fusing some tracks at key points of heightened suspense.

The action will mostly be made up of shooting the penguin analogy of the Axis threat, with a select amount of foes, some having a striking resemblance to Nazi party members. By using several firearms, our hero HC can simply blast fools with a universal ammo and health mechanic, complete with pick-ups. He also has grenades at his disposal, but the real differential here are brainbugs. These tiny critters can be thrown to take over an enemy’s mind and make them a brain slave. That way, the penguin puppets can access parts of the area otherwise unavailable or even kill in the name of oppressed liberation.

The singleplayer also has some jetpack sections, where the grand scope of the penguin army takes over and HC needs to shoot down airborne assailants. It zooms out quite a bit, but there are arrows to indicate the general enemy direction. If anything, it creates a nice cutaway from regular platform action.

NoobFeed Review - Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
Who says the hero always has to be on top? Heroes get shot to pieces too, you know.

The co-op strangely enough has better written dialogue, even if the chapters are the same. But while the course is similar, the plans have been altered to offer more diverse puzzles, based on the 2 player dynamic. It goes just above the simple structure of standing on a button while the other player goes forth and with that, it at least displays effort in trying to mix it up. In particular sections that separate the two players into different parts of the screen can make for some great entertainment. But the best feature is the ability to jump on the other player’s shoulders and create a towering tag-team. As each player has a different weapon specialty, it can divide gameplay into different tactics, with each chick looking in one particular direction for instance.

There are different gameplay aspects within the side-scrolling elements; which switch action with puzzles such as finding door keys or having to dodge turrets. And while this does mix it up in general, the overall feel of Rocketbirds is just a tad too simplistic. In addition, controls are a bit odd, even if they’re not bad in any sense. In most cases, HC can just roll around in a ball, which is sort of fitting, as the game takes after Samus Aran’s Metroid. And finally, while the competent level design does structure itself in a free roaming way, the game isn’t actually non-linear, as the path is fairly set.

NoobFeed Review - Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
That, seriously, is a lot of fun to do in co-op.

Yet, Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is certainly good enough to entertain, even if for a short period only. A decent presentation, novelty action sequences and open platforming sections are enough for fans to enjoy and adding friends can double that fun. Even if it doesn’t boil down to being a golden egg, this title has proven to be a valiant effort in making a name for small developers trying to come out of their shell.

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Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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  • Looks like a super hilarious game. 


    Posted Oct 18, 2011

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General Information

Platform(s): PS3
Publisher(s): Ratloop Asia
Developer(s): Ratloop Asia
Genres: Platform
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2011-10-18

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