The Hardboiled Chicken fights back against the Penguin regime in this 2D shooter on PSN.
What’s This Game About?
Hardboiled Chicken is on a mission to take out the leader of the totalitarian Penguins that have taken over Albatropolis and free them from the tyranny that they’ve endured under their rule. The infamous commando is very much on a warpath towards his goal that emulates action heroes like Arnold and Stallone and has the cheesy one-liners to match his destructive capabilities.
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is a side-scrolling shooter, but not in the run-and-gun sense that you may expect from seeing what kind of game this is. If you rush into combat, you will probably not be alive for long, so taking your time and facing one enemy at a time are the keys to success here. To break up the action, there are jetpack sections where you take to the skies to bring down the propaganda dirigibles along with some puzzle sequences featuring an interesting possession mechanic that helps vary things up over the course of the campaign.
There is even a co-op mode that offers a remixed version of the main campaign with a set of Budgie commandos that set out to save their general’s daughter from the Penguins. That mode unfortunately supports just two local players despite offering six playable characters to choose from.
Why Should I Care?
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is the kind of shooter that does what it does with a deliberate style and pacing that sets it apart from most of the side-scrolling shooters that you’ll see on PSN and XBLA. The controls are designed to have a slower pace to them that can come off as being too sluggish for those that expect a run-and-gun shooter that is all about fast-paced action. There were some moments where the controls could have been more responsive, like when the game throws waves of enemies at you to defeat as quickly as possible in a few sequences. The combat focuses more on crouching to get an advantage against enemies and rolling to move around quickly, which makes it more of a tactical and deliberate pace than you’d expect at first.
The thing that anybody could agree on is the stellar soundtrack that is used brilliantly both in game and during the cutscenes. The music comes from New World Revolution’s Karmakaze album and it’s stunningly awesome to the point that I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of this band before, but I had to buy the album after completing the game so I could keep listening to it at any time. The most surprising thing about the music is that the cutscenes are specifically designed to match the lyrics, so you have to wonder whether the specific story beats came first or if the integration of the music was the driving factor for their design.
The only disappointing aspect of Rocketbirds is that it’s not a very long game at all. I’m not the type of player that blazes through games at all, so I was surprised to see that each of the 15 chapters took about 15-20 minutes to beat and that the game lasts about four hours at most. The only thing that’s potentially worth replaying the game for are the collectible signs that are hidden in each level for trophy hunters to find, but they’re not going to be compelling enough for most people once they’ve beaten the game. I didn’t have the means to complete the co-op campaign, but going off of my single-player time and how many chapters it offers, it’ll add a couple more hours to the total package if you have a friend to play with.
Why’s It Worth My Time And Money?
Despite my main issue being the length of the campaign in Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, it’s the game’s style that really sets it apart from the most of the games out there that makes easy to recommend downloading the demo to see if it’s your kind of game. The controls and gameplay are probably not going to appeal to everybody, but those that can adapt to them will find a lot to like here for the few hours that it’ll last.