Review: Chicken Blaster (Nintendo Wii)

Chicken Blaster
Genre: Lightgun Game
Developer: Frontline Studios
Publisher: Zoo Games
Release Date: 9/15/2009

You know, I have a personal hatred of chickens. At least the living kind. I love the dead kind. They’re super tasty. Fried, grilled, with hot sauce or teriyaki sauce, dead chickens are fantastic. But live chickens? I just can’t stand them. Heck, I’ve been choking the same chicken for years just for the satisfaction of the matter. So you’d think a game where you do nothing but kill chickens would be the kind of game I’d love.

You’d be wrong.

To be clear, I love lightgun games. Love them. One of my favorite things about the Nintendo Wii system is the fact that it has revived the entire genre. Dead Space: Extraction, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Ghost Squad, The House of the Dead: Overkill, etc. I think it’s fantastic that lightgun games have made a comeback. But with every good game in a genre, there are several bad ones.

Chicken Blaster isn’t one of the good ones.

As a lightgun game it is extremely basic. I mean very, very basic. We are talking Flash game basic. The graphics are bad. The backgrounds are blocky and simple with little texture, and the chickens that you have to shoot come in a couple of different varieties. The chickens are all very poorly animated and lack any real detail. During the game the chickens just sort of appear and once you’ve shot the quota for that area, all of the remaining chickens just completely fade away. Same with the chickens you kill. In fact the game has no blood and all of the chickens sort of disappear instead of exploding in blood and chicken guts. Not sure what is up with that. Maybe it was because of the age rating, but considering you can kill hundreds of chickens with pistols, grenades and shotguns, you’d think blood wouldn’t be a big deal.

The sound effects and background music is just as bad.

The game progresses likes this:

There are eight levels. In each level you start in an area and have to kill a preset number of chickens. Once you’ve killed the amount of chickens required, you have to hit up on the D-pad to move to the next area. Every two levels there is a boss character that has two separate health bars. Repeat until finished. There is a Quest mode where you can tackle specific level challenges and a survival mode where you kill chickens until you run out of health. There are different weapons in each level that can be obtained by shooting boxes.

The standard pistol has infinite ammo, but there is a shotgun that can take out clusters of enemies. A uzi that you can hold down the trigger and just pray and spray. Also there is screen clearing weapons like a grenade and a firework for some odd reason. The uzi was my personal favorite weapon as it required no effort to just hold down the B button and wave the crosshairs across the screen. With the uzi the game practically played itself.

chickenblaster

Of course the game is short, as are most lightgun games. In a way this is a good thing, as it’s a boring pointless game that is better when it’s over. Of course if you spent $20 on this game, that might not be a good thing.

The game isn’t hard and never gets harder. It takes about 40 minutes to complete the Career mode. It will take longer to do the Quest if you decide to put up with more suffering. The Quests are almost pointless as you have to do one at a time and have no option of doing multiple goals at once.

The worst thing about the game is the fact that the game says it’s Zapper compatible, and as someone who uses that and the Perfect Shot (which is a must own for lightgun game fans), the control decision for the game is awful. Horrible. You have to press A to reload and use the D-pad to continue and switch weapons. This was an extremely bad idea on top of an already bad game. You can use the Zapper or Perfect Shot with these controls but either option is awkward due to the reload and weapon switching options. It’s pretty much impossible to play with the Perfect Shot. The only other option is holding the remote and even though the game is short it will cramp your hand and wrist very quickly.

chickenblaster2

Essentially the game is just poor all around. It doesn’t do the lightgun part right, the graphics are bad, the game is repetitive, and the gameplay essentially is just a bunch of targets that fill the screen requiring you to point and click until you meet a specified goal. I compared it to a Flash game, but in reality I’ve played deeper Flash games than this.

Chicken Blaster at least isn’t false advertising. There are chickens and you blast them. That’s all. The game is a discount game, but like several other discount games for the Wii, just because it is cheap doesn’t mean you should spend money on it.

The Scores
Modes: Bad
Graphics: Bad
Audio: Bad
Gameplay: Bad
Replayability: Below Average
Balance: Awful
Originality: Awful
Addictiveness: Awful
Appeal Factor: Awful
Miscellaneous: Awful
Final Score: Dreadful Game

Short Attention Span Summary:
The game is awful. Do not buy it.