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Topic: Rocketbirds 2: Evolution

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Individual

Review of Rocketbirds 2: Evolution

Platforms: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation TV

Developer: Ratloop Asia Pie

Publisher: Ratloop Asia Pie

MSRP: $19.99

This one flew the coup

People watch action movies because they want to watch a hero kill waves upon waves of bad guys. However, because movie makers realize you can’t have a film that only has senseless action, they add in a reason for the hero to be killing said people and call it a day. This formula has worked to this day, but one developer dared to ask the question that no one was thinking: “Will people like a game where we emulate an action movie in the form of a side-scrolling action platformer with light metroidvania elements and make every character a type of bird?” Being as I received a code to review the game, it is my job to answer that question with a big fat NO!

In Rocketbirds 2: Evolution players take control of Hardboiled Chicken as he must once again track down and kill penguin dictator and antagonist of the first Rocketbirds game, il Putzki, after he has mysteriously come back to life. However, this is the only thing Hardboiled focuses on in the game. Despite the fact that Hardboiled Chicken witnesses the genocide of chickens firsthand and is literally told face-to-face by a villain that his DNA is going to be used to mass-produce Hardboiled Chicken soldiers that will be used to do the evil doing for the bad guys, the next line of dialogue will always be “I’ve gotta find Putzki!” This is what makes Hardboiled Chicken’s character, and the plot, extremely bland and one-dimensional. The plot throws in cultists and mystical bird enemies, but the game attaches onto Hardboiled’s mission to kill Putzki for dear life, that it doesn’t realize it would actually be better off if it took the center stage away from this evil anthropomorphic penguin. Thankfully, the lack of an interesting plot and main character can be redeemed by the amazing side characters and villains.

While all of the side characters and villains are funny in their own right, the two standouts are Metal Chicken and Putzki. Metal Chicken is an albatross that works for the organization S.A.R.S., located in the city of Albatropolis. Speaking in an Australian accent, there’s something about this character that just jumps out and says “I’m likable” and you can go agree with that without question. Il Putzki is equally likable, but an actual reason can be given as to why he is. Putzki is just a terrible villain (terrible meaning bad at his job) who’s silliness is one of the only reasons I beared through the entirety of this game.

The humour of Rocketbirds 2 would fall flat if it weren’t for the characters mentioned in the previous paragraph. Other than that, humour ranges from being crude to spoofing action movies such as the Terminator. These genres of humour are funny…at first. These types of comedy are like the Energizer Bunny because they keep going and going and going… Rocketbirds 2’s humour is at its best when it doesn’t try to fit into a specific type of comedy like it does with its crude and satirical humour. The unspecified (and best) humour of Rocketbirds 2 is seen when characters are just funny on their own. For example, there’s a scene when a boss is hiding from Hardboiled and keeps peeking out asking whether or not Hardboiled’s still standing out there waiting for him. Its small moments like these that stand out the most in Rocketbirds 2. While the humour had a chance to stand out and do well, the gameplay never had that same opportunity.

Each level of Rocketbirds 2 follows a linear gameplay formula that leaves little room for differentiation. This formula is to infiltrate an enemy base, kill any enemy you see, find the room that has an awesome boss awaiting inside, and repeat the loop. The first two steps of this formula hold nothing but boredom and frustration within them. The issues with the first step is how every base is exactly the same! The only difference between the bases in a level are some background objects and background colors being different. That’s not even the worse part of it as the levels are procedurally generated! This means that there should be no reason for the areas to look similar, but this game manages to take me by surprise once again! The problem with the second step is how every encounter is handled. Thank god that the enemies are actually varied, but my luck runs out with him as every room with an enemy in it (which is all of them) is locked down if an enemy sees you. This makes you kill every enemy in the room so that you can leave. At first this isn’t so bad, but go through six levels of it with god knows how many separate rooms in each stage, and you’ll wanna smash your remote and call it a day. This isn’t even the worse part of the gameplay as the bare fundamentals of Rocketbirds 2’s gameplay are terrible.

As mentioned before, Rocketbirds 2 Evolution is a side-scrolling action platformer with some light metroidvania elements. However, the platforming and metroidvania elements of the game fail to be anything beyond mediocre. The platforming of Rocketbirds 2 isn’t too bad where its not beyond manageability, but it is still floaty, unresponsive, and klunky. The metroidvania elements are sound as the map of a level can be viewed at ease by simply pressing the touchpad on the Dualshock 4 remote. The problem is what you have to use the map for. At first, the map is fun to use as you rescue prisoners in enemy bases and go back to get bombs and the like to blow up doors and unlock secret areas. These objectives are fun, but just like everything else in the game, they end up being a repetitive bore as their used over and over again. Unsurprisingly, the best part of the gameplay, the action, still has its flaws.

The action aspect of Rocketbirds 2 consists of you aiming a gun at a bad guy, pulling the trigger, and watching his blood spray all over the background of the level. While the aiming is surprisingly accurate, the problem lies in the guns themselves. The weapons one acquires at the beginning of the game offer a descent variety for beginning guns. However, as the game goes on, not only do the guns become uninteresting, (until the end of the game when weapons like flamethrowers, grenade launchers, and laser blasters start popping up) but they also run on the same ammo type. This makes acquiring new weapons essentially useless as if you run out of ammo on say, a machine gun, and want to use a another weapon such as one with a three round burst, your out of luck as they are now both out of ammo. This made fighting enemies and (especially) bosses so frustrating that it was just unfair. Another thing that’s unfair is how the variety in gameplay exclusively comes in small doses.

Each level in Rocketbirds 2 has some kind of gimmick. This gimmick can range from a jetpack segment at the beginning of a level, to a whole mission that has you rescuing hostages of the bad guys. These effectively change the gameplay and will give you the terrible idea of wanting to continue playing in the hope that this gameplay change up will last for long. Rocketbirds 2 has another game mode called Rescue Mode, and it’s just as bad as Story Mode.

In Rescue Mode, 1-4 players can team up either online or locally and play as members of the organization S.A.R.S. (the organization that was introduced through Metal Chicken in Story Mode) and unlock other members by rescuing them from enemy bases. Rescue Mode is basically the same thing as Story Mode, except now you go through even less locations that are still repetitive, fight bosses that are just enhanced versions of regular enemies, carry hostages that aren’t even smart enough to get out of the way of a grenade, and face unbearable lag if you try to do all of this online.

You better have some friends to play locally with because if you don’t, Rescue Mode is borderline impossible. Until you’re able to buy more powerful weapons (I’ll get to that soon), the only thing you can do is have perfect reflexes where every shot you make hits and every bullet aimed at you misses. In summary, playing alone in Rescue Mode is just unfair and too close to impossibility for comfort. Thankfully, if you’re able to bear through the unfair challenge of this mode long enough, then more gun shops will open where you’ll be able to buy more powerful weapons.

Being able to buy weapons solves the same ammo problem Story Mode faced as you are able to choose yourself what weapons you want to have equipped. Additionally, it also compliments the only use rescuing hostages have, obtaining more clothing. This is because clothing offers improvements to three stats: armor, ammo, and stability. Armor increases your defense, ammo increases the amount of maximum ammo you can carry, and stability loosens the recoil on your weapons. While this is a cool use for rescuing hostages, the best part of obtaining new clothing is dressing a character with the bad-ass name of Snake in a nurse outfit. However, this is the only good part of Rescue Mode as the game mode strings you along with the promise of an ending to this game if you do two things: collect all the collectables in the form of ancient artifacts and rescue all the hostages.

While Story Mode and Rescue Mode already had repetitive settings, it becomes more apparent when your forced to collect all nine collectables, and even worse, rescue over 20 hostages. For some reason, I decided to bear through this and what did I get? Absolutely nothing! There is no ending! I got a trophy for rescuing all the hostages in every area. There is a secret character whom I assume unlocks the ending to the game, but I have no idea how to get him. I literally 100 percented the entirety of Rocketbirds 2 and got zero closure on any of the plot! I don’t even have the energy to make a creative transition because this game has burned me out, so here are my thoughts on the graphics and soundtrack.

The graphics in Rocketbirds 2 are actually descent. While the character models are a bit outdated, they are a HUGE step up from the low quality paper cut out style of the original. Additionally, I also like how the backgrounds change when you move from left to right. This gives a sense that your in a three dimensional space even though you can only move from left fo right. Sadly, the soundtrack cannot be as highly praised as the graphics are.

Its not that the soundtrack in Rocketbirds 2 is bad, its that its misused. The meat of the music in the game is by a band called New World Revolution. While their music is OK, its definitely not something that should be playing during a boss battle.

Rocketbirds 2 Evolution just plainly sucks. There is no other way to put it. While there are a minute things about it that are descent, that does not even equivalate to the rest of the game that’s utter trash. With a terrible story that has no closure, a game that has poop for gameplay, and an unmemorable soundtrack, I can say without regret that Rocketbirds 2: Evolution is the worst game of 2016!

*A download code for Rocketbirds 2: Evolution was sent to me for review purposes

Individual

3DS Friend Code: 5370-0957-8341 | Nintendo Network ID: Ultimategamer132

Individual

Not trying to sound defiant, but if I'm told this thread is to be locked, my first time posting reviews on NL, I was told to make a new thread for them or post them in an already existing one.

If this must be locked please at the very least tell me why it must be.

Individual

3DS Friend Code: 5370-0957-8341 | Nintendo Network ID: Ultimategamer132

RR529

@Ultimategamer132, it probably will be, because I believe user reviews are againt the rules.

It's fine to discuss (and give your opinion of) a game in a thread dedicated to it's general discussion, but when you make a new thread solely to advertise your own opinion, it's best to leave that sort of thing to your blog/review site, which you are allowed to advertise in your signature.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Individual

@RR529

Not trying to sound like a rude smart butt, but I thought advertising meant posting a link outside of a signature. I'm just giving my opinion, not advertising anything. I'll see how it turns out, and if this is locked, I'll heed your advice for future reference.

Thank you (really, I appreciate everyone's POV and opinion).

Edited on by Individual

Individual

3DS Friend Code: 5370-0957-8341 | Nintendo Network ID: Ultimategamer132

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