Rocketbirds is a cinematic puzzle platformer, that is definitely fun, but has plenty flaws too. Puzzles get repetitive, the story is pretty bad and often doesn’t make sense, the combat can be very frustrating, and the game is pretty short. Platforming is fun, and is the heart of the game, but the other aspects are not as good. If you are able to overlook the flaws, you can find an okay puzzle platformer in Rocketbirds. But those flaws are unfortunately very hard to ignore.
The gameplay is simple, being a platformer. The puzzles are for the most part easy, except for near the end of the game. The puzzles don’t provide the same sort of satisfaction given from games like Portal, where you feel intelligent for solving them. Instead, they hide things from you, things that often feel too hard to find. You can spend buckets of time just looking for things that blend in. The art style doesn’t help this at all. While the art style is aesthetically pleasing, it makes seeing where you have to maneuver difficult. Some of the puzzles are fun, but most are bland and repetitive.
Combat in Rocketbirds is okay, but can get quite annoying and frustrating. When it works, it is a good and fun system, but sometimes the enemies just overpower you. For example, with this combat system, the final boss is ridiculously difficult. It took me far too many tries. There were times it worked well, and those were some really fun times in the game, but when it doesn’t work, and the level is too hard, it can get really frustrating.
The story is confusing, and with the limited dialogue, it doesn’t really explain what is going on at all. What I got out of the story is that Hardboiled Chicken was recruited by the penguins, and didn’t like that they were taking over innocent towns and people, and then quit and became a renegade soldier. He then goes and tries to liberate the town that the penguins have most recently taken over, Albatropolis. The story really does matter much in the grand scheme of things, and it didn’t get in the way much.
The amount of content is kind of disappointing as well, as the game is really short. There are 15 missions, lasting at most about 20 minutes each. That turns out to be about 5 hours, which feels a bit short. There are 3 signs, or collectibles, in each mission, for a total of 45 signs in the game. Other than that, the only things that will keep you playing are the Co-op campaign, and that lovely platinum trophy.
Speaking of the trophies, they are mostly pretty easy. There are trophies for collectibles, doing specific things in the levels, and that one trophy that prevents you from a platinum trophy. You have to complete the Co-op campaign. That shouldn’t be very hard, except you can only play online via invite only.
As far as sound design goes, the voice-overs are not great, but few and far between. But a real plus is the music, which is pretty great. The music is done by New World Republic, and pairs up really nicely with the gameplay. It was a sort of rock-techno band, and their stuff in the game is great. Especially at the end of the game is when the music starts to kick in, and I was rockin’ out on my little Vita earbuds.
Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken is a mediocre platformer, with a few too many flaws. A confusing story that doesn’t really matter, bland puzzles, not so great combat, and a lack of replay value. There are some positives, however; some decent platforming, a good soundtrack and a pretty art style. For ten bucks, you could do a lot worse, but there are plenty of better times to be had on the Vita.