Chicken Shoot review
Arcade style gameplay sounds like the ideal treat for handheld gamers to play on the go and Chicken Shoot aims to deliver such an experience, but the end result somewhat overshoots the intended goal. Any initial enjoyment is quickly diluted due to sheer repetition, leaving little left to enjoy. Thanks for reading the review.
...oh, wait, I need to add more to this?
Let's start with a visual display so horribly outdated that the DS hardware barely notices it there. Every level is basically a mostly static 2D backdrop that some of the elements sitting in the foreground so that chickens can fly behind them, but that's about as impressive as it gets. There is nothing all that interesting to draw the player into the scenes, which makes the idea of multiple locations somewhat moot. The chickens are pretty much low res animated sprites that might have fared well on the older GBA but not the kind of thing we want to be seeing this gen. It is nice to see them sporting slightly different appearances from one level to the next, but that really isn't a whole lot to save what is a fairly boring look. If anything, the dated basic looks are the kind of thing you might expect from a novice flash game. Certainly not DS material.
Music is bland at best and irritating at worst, attempting to cycle through what they consider to be farm-ish music while assaulting the ears. Sound effects are no better, as between the chicken cry (which sounds exactly the same for every single chicken you hit) and gun shot you'll be driven mad.
The main game in Chicken Shoot is to gun down poultry that flap by on the screen. Your movement is limited to aiming across a 2D screen with either the D-Pad or the touch screen. There honestly isn't a whole lot of difference so use whatever you want. Press a button to fire your gun and another to reload. Pretty straightforward stuff.
Each of the levels has an army of chickens swooping back and forth along a 2D plane. The area is wider than the DS screen so aiming to the sides will get your farmer to turn so you are required to keep track of the area for point scoring chances, though thankfully the game doesn't often backstab you with attacks from parts of the level you're not looking at. To its credit as well is that the level designs do bring in some complexities like chickens flying around behind objects or popping up from behind scenery but not a whole lot of it due to the levels themselves being fairly small.
You'll have quite a few targets to blast and they will toss eggs your way at times that you need to blast out of the air. Your basic handgun has unlimited ammo but only holds 5 bullets at a time, forcing you to reload and prevents mass gunfire spamming. To boost your chicken firing abilities are other guns you can collect by shooting the relevant icons. These guns will be switched to automatically but will only possess limited ammo and this discarded when they run out. Collect multiple guns and the farmer will cycle through them in the order collected. Unfortunately there is no option to manually cycle through them. These weapons really do help as wide blasts or rapid fire makes shooting down targets easier but then this is only because the targetting itself is somewhat broken.
That is where the good stuff ends. See, Chicken Shoot is fun for about 5 minutes before the horrendous problems and sheer repetition wreck it.
The first and most crippling problem is the crappy hit detection. The hit boxes of the chickens are smaller than the sprites themselves and it leads to some irritations where shots that clearly hit the body result in a miss. The problem is compounded when trying to shoot down eggs flying at you and you're trying to find a tiny hitbox in there somewhere. It really nukes the idea of trying to go for the high scores because there's too much miss potential that shouldn't exist.
Despite that, the difficulty becomes something of a joke. There is virtually no risk of losing through death by egg and if you're mass firing then you'll eventually hit the point or kill quotas to move on to the next stage. Even changing the difficulty from easy to hard does not provide much in the way of additional difficulty, with the only real challenge being to stay awake for all the levels.
Then the sheer repetition sets in. Sure there's a variety of levels but they all play out more or less the same way. The chicken army looks different but don't be fooled as they are the same enemies every single time. Hell, the levels themselves just seem to loop around endlessly until you move on. Chickens spawn on painfully obvious preset spots and fly along preset routes and the whole thing feels so formulaic as to be insulting. There's also nothing more than what you see. Point cursor. Fire gun. Hope the hit detection doesn't *bleep* you over. Rinse and repeat as far as your sanity holds out. Even the two primary games modes are practically identical; differing only in the conditions needed to move between levels.
There are a few other aspects to cover that do nothing to save this from disaster. You can grab a friend for multiplayer blasting, but instead of helping to enrich an experience it instead serves as an effective means of cutting off friendships. The idea that someone who pick this for multiplayer over almost every other multiplayer enabled title on the DS is outright hilarious. You're not competing against each other so much as experiencing the same dull trash at the same time. There's also a minigame where you catch eggs from chickens, which has about 2 minutes appeal itself before monotony sets in as all you do is press one of the four diagonal directions to move the basket. Yawn.
That's it, pretty much. I am fortunate in that this isn't my game but then someone else still paid for this and that is somewhat insulting to us as gamers. This is a shorter review than usual, but then there isn't a whole lot to this game to begin with. There are many DS titles that would actually be worth your money - Chicken Shoot is not one of them.