Review by AWing Pilot

"*Lays An Egg*"

Alfred Chicken for the Nintendo Entertainment System is one of those games any serious fan of platformers would do well to pay some attention to but only if a serious challenge and test of patience is sought. Sure, the material may seem a little wacky but it's no stranger then a plumber or a purple dragon. You take the role of Alfred Chicken, who else, on his quest to defeat the evil Mech-Chickens that are attacking his home Wild World. Along the way he'll jump, glide, dive, peck, swim and run around your not so typical fantasy settings in four standard stage with a bonus stage waiting in the rear if the player finds all four watering cans scattered about the first four stages. The main goal in each stage is to find all the balloons scattered about. Peck them all to release them and once all have been release Alfred will be whisked away to the next stage. At the end of each regular stage is a mini bonus game where a flying Alfred must catch as many gifts as he can before starting the next stage.

Scattered all over the stages are a robust set of enemies that are some how related to the setting of the stage. For example in the cheese stage you may see rats while on the tow stage you'll see things like...what else, toys. Regular obstacles include floating mines and lasers that stand to ruin Alfred's day. Though as dangerous as the enemies are the jumps Alfred faces are even more so. More often then not you'll have to direct Alfred to jump to or towards something that you either can't see or aren't sure of it's intent. Now the difficulty isn't found in the enemies or the stage layouts but rather the controls of Alfred himself. Put simply it's a sloppy mess. Our bird friend never seems to turn right as you tell him to and his jumps are hard to control; especially at great speeds. Even more frustrating is the fact that the stages are all so cramped and crowded that you'll find Alfred falling to his doom on top of some unseen spike or some enemy will come out of a blind spot to pull his feathers. So while difficulty translates to fun for some gamers, including me, it might not for others; especially those who didn't grow up on mind bending 8 bit platformers.

Visually Alfred Chicken is actually one of the Nintendo Entertainment Systems finer looking titles. Alfred and his enemies are all very skilfully drawn and animated. Alfred himself actually looks like no chicken I've ever seen but more like a Rocko's Modern Life reject but hey, it's fun and it works. The environments all look great and have that fun, silly style that goes well with controlling a chicken. Audibly the game continues its childish, whimsical vibe with some all too addicting tunes that you'll find yourself humming all day even when you don't want to. The game doesn't use the sound or music to aid Alfred in anyway so feel free to turn it down or off as it can get annoying to more grown up gamers.

Don't let your old school chicken prejudices win out. If you consider yourself a skilled gamer or are just looking for a difficult challenge on the Nintendo Entertainment System then give Alfred Chicken a shot; you might just find a fun game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 02/20/07

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