Crazy Chicken: Director's Cut 3D is an odd title, in that it's unashamedly simplistic yet reliant on gamers that perhaps have a hint of obsessive compulsive behaviour or, alternatively, those that cherish retro games that do little more than give you the same task repeatedly and stick your name on a leaderboard. What this does do is offer more than its similarly budget-priced predecessor Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D, but not enough to make it a blockbuster.
The Director's Cut in the title, to be clear, isn't to suggest that this is some kind of expansion of the original, but it's simply one small in-joke of many in which Teyon indulges. The idea is that two classic movie genres — Horror and Sci-Fi — are being recreated by the cartoon chickens in two large, completely bonkers sets. It's pretty cute humour, with the horror set including the likes of Frankenstein and a musical loop with more than a hint of The Exorcist, while the Sci-Fi scene incorporates examples such as Aliens, Star Wars, Men in Black and more. The presentation is simple but charming.
That 'simple but charming' description probably best summarises the whole experience. This is a gallery shooter in the most basic sense, as you look onto a flat plane — given a shallow depth on the 3DS — and simply move around the fixed scene to hunt down your targets. Like various other similar shooting games on the platform, you aim with the stylus while moving the viewpoint, reloading and shooting with a mixture of face buttons and L or R. Though the control options are optimised best for right-handers — with 'Up' on the D-pad a useful reload option — this does also accommodate lefties, with a touchscreen reload button serving its purpose. The resource-light graphics — this is also on DSiWare, after all — means that there are no dropped frames or laggy moments, so it's easy to be precise, accurate and quick with the crosshairs.
Though only the Horror scene is available at first, the Sci-Fi will be available within a couple of minutes, which means that you'll have seen much of both scenes within a first playthrough. Like its predecessor — and other games of this type — the focus is therefore on score chasing and making the most of your limited ammo. Each 'scene' gives you specific chicken types to shoot, while you have to cumulatively look after your ammo. With scenes being expanded with progress, it becomes an intriguingly strategic affair of learning which extraneous movie-related targets are just humorous — such as firing up Frankenstein's operating table by shooting a lever — and which reward impressive points. There's surprising depth to the scoring — which is partially explained in the digital manual — and based on the online leaderboards some gamers have mastered its intricacies.
That's one notable improvement over the previous entry, with online leaderboards automatically helping you to see how you stack up against players around the world; not very well, in our case. Score chasing is the primary activity here, so that therefore restricts its audience; if messing around with two scenes and strategically stretching your ammo as far as possible doesn't sound like fun to you, leave it alone. For those that like mastering these gallery shooters and boasting about high scores, this undoubtedly offers a bit of inexpensive fun.
Crazy Chicken: Director's Cut 3D is a relatively simple, short gallery shooter that, given the right gamer and attention-span, can offer a deal more. Online leaderboards and some complex scoring tactics for elite score-chasers to pursue make this ideal to an extent, though can't eradicate the feeling that, unless you're in that demographic, this is fairly shallow and unmemorable. It has charm, however, and certainly shouldn't be considered a foul up.