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Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (GameCube) artwork

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (GameCube) review

"This game has to be the biggest disappointment I've had in a long while. When I heard about Billy Hatcher, I was immediately convinced it was going to be a great game and I waited for it to come out, expecting a great hit from the makers of Sonic. What I thought to be a hit, was finally nothing more than a mediocre and linear platform game. "

This game has to be the biggest disappointment I've had in a long while. When I heard about Billy Hatcher, I was immediately convinced it was going to be a great game and I waited for it to come out, expecting a great hit from the makers of Sonic. What I thought to be a hit, was finally nothing more than a mediocre and linear platform game.

-Story- = 60%
A little boy named Billy is one day transformed into a chicken boy thanks to the Chicken Suit, for helping a chicken from getting hit by a crow. The crows are turning the land into eternal night so they captured the chicken elders because only them can bring morning back to the land. Billy must now help the chickens to defeat the crow tribe and prove that he is courageous enough. Isn't that mediocre enough for you?

-Music- = 60%
This is one of the most annoying and boring music I've ever heard. The same music will repeat in every level, continuously playing over and over without any change in the beat, and will only change in each world. The music playing in daytime is different than the one playing in nighttime, but the night music only plays once in a world. Not only is the music somehow kiddy, not orchestrated a bit, repetitive, but it doesn't even fit every level. The only decent music was the one in the last world, but even here, it wasn't perfect. I even almost turned off the volume while fighting the final boss, because it was so disturbing that it was deconcentrating me.

-Graphics- = 70%
I couldn't say the graphics are bad, they are good in their own way, but the overall graphics don't exactly look good. If you examine each bit of graphics, you'll see nice textures that make the blocks in the rock wall look like real ones and the grass and water look nice, but the look you'll have to the overall level will seem to have very poor graphics because of the way the levels don't have any unique feel or look and also because of the way the levels are very repetitive and linear, always offering the same thing over and over. Just a look at the graphics is bad and I don't think anyone will want to stop playing and examine the rare textures. Another thing I must complain about is the draw-distance. The objects (that are eggs here) can only be seen when you are at some feet of them. The egg will just pop up in front of you when you are near enough, you can't see what type of egg it is by looking at it from a long distance. This also happens with portions of levels that can't be seen from too far. Too bad the demo at the start was so sweet looking, if only the game was that way too...

-Gameplay- = 70%
In Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, you take control of a kid wearing a chicken suit and go through 7 linear worlds divided in 8 levels each. Each level is referred as a ''mission'' and has its own goal. The goals are always the same and could be resumed as ''find the 8 chickens'', ''defeat 100 enemies'', ''collect 40 coins in 2 minutes'' and ''find the Emblem of Courage''. The levels are linear (I insist on this point) and become repetitive after you've seen all the different goals. There is no open areas, and no puzzles as some people seem to think. The only puzzle I can think of and that repeats in every level is pressing a switch (that somehow is always just next to the door) to open a gate. Not that the game is easy, there are some frustrating levels and the game introduces some of the most annoying enemies, but there's really nothing that will stuck you in any level. The repetitiveness of the levels will make in sort that world 1 is no different than world 7, except for the graphics and music.

Of course, the eggs are the center of the game. To go through the levels, you always need to take an egg with you and roll it around the levels to get past the obstacles. With eggs, you can jump, dash and destroy enemies. You can also hatch these eggs by rolling over fruits and grow them. What you'll find inside the egg depends on the color of the egg. Hatching the eggs doesn't take a big place into gameplay and is only fun to see what will come out of the egg. Controlling the eggs is sadly very frustrating for the most part. Every time Billy jumps with an egg to a higher ledge, the egg will most of the time stay stuck on the ledge and Billy will drop it and fall back. You then have to wait for another egg to pop out and this becomes very irritating when that problem occurs a lot of times.

I first thought the idea of hatching many different eggs and using the animal inside to solve puzzles was a cool idea, as well as I thought you would actually use those animals... On the 72 total eggs, only less than half of the eggs contains animals. The rest are items that give some useless power ups for a short time. On the other hand, the egg animals all have the same attack power (meaning that a fire animal does the same thing as an ice animal for example) and only serve for some out of place 'puzzles' in a few levels. There is no strategy in the case of using the items or animals, as the eggs could have had nothing inside and it wouldn't have changed the game a bit! Hatching the eggs is a useless feature, strangely, as you could be inclined to think that the eggs make the game. For insistence, one of the eggs gives you a 'Fire Comb' (there's also water, wind and others) which add fire power to your egg. In that example, you may think that it serves something to have a fire or water egg, but it absolutely does nothing. As for the egg animals, all they do is follow you around. There's nothing strategic in that game and that's a shame, considering the main idea of the game (the eggs and their content) isn't even properly used.

-Longevity- = 80%
The main quest can be finished under a few hours, but the overall one could take you a lot of time. There are some collectibles, Chick Coins not to name them, to find in each levels and you can try to find and hatch all 72 eggs to complete the Egg Gallery. You can also try to get S-Ranks on every mission by making a lot of points in each. Some eggs contain special Sonic Team featured characters and it can be fun to discover them. There's also the multiplayer mode for those wanting to have a good time with friends and the Gameboy Advance downloadable mini-games. This makes up for a good replay value (which doesn't last that long...).

-Overall- = 60%
Rent the game, see if you like it, then buy it if you like the concept. The game isn't that bad, but I really find nothing in that is particularly fun or pleasant.

wishingtikal's avatar
Community review by wishingtikal (November 08, 2003)

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