Title: Chicken Run   Developer: Blitz   Type: Kids Strategy
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Chicken Run
"Set in England during the 1950’s on a Yorkshire chicken farm. It follows a group of chickens as they attempt to break out of their confinement in a style that’s often been associated to the classic war film The Great Escape. "
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PSone REVIEW:
 
I suppose it would be only fair to begin this review of Chicken Run by saying that I haven’t seen the hit movie, but I have glanced at a number of clips and read much about it’s critical acclaim. The reason I mention this is because when playing a game with a movie tie-in it’s very easy to fall into the trap where emotions become over-run by nostalgia. With this in mind I feel as though I can comment on Chicken Run purely as a computer game and not get too over-excited by many of the themes and ideas linked to the hit movie.

For the uninitiated among us the game is set in England during the 1950’s on a Yorkshire chicken farm. It follows a group of chickens as they attempt to break out of their confinement in a style that’s often been associated to the classic war film The Great Escape.

Tasty clips from the actual movie, as well as in-game engine cut-scenes, serve to set the scene before the player eventually takes control of the finger-lickin’ chicken Ginger, cooped up in Hut 17 along with her fellow flock. Rather than divide the game up into individual levels Chicken Run uses the idea of finding sections of a map, which serve to expand the current playing area. The game is played out in several 3D polygon constructed playing zones, which may be fairly small but they do include a tremendous amount of detail.

Now creeping around some old farmyard in the dark may not seem like your idea of fun gaming, but I have to say the atmosphere is greatly increased by some excellent lighting effects. All around searchlights constantly pan the playing area, lampposts are strategically placed, while guard dogs and the farmer can be spotted constantly patrolling the grounds. To assist in your task there is a Metal Gear Solid style on-screen radar indicating the enemies scope of vision, which adds an element of stealth to the gameplay.

You quickly realize that Chicken Run is going to be one of those games where the player must constantly run (sneak) back and forth around the farm gathering items that will allow further progress. For example, working from a devised plan Gingers first task is to escape through the wire mesh fencing that leads into the farmyard. A butter knife and broken shears must be found somewhere within the present enclosure. These are then combined to create a new tool to cut through the rusty wire and therefore open a new playing area.

Moving further into the game various items must be gathered to construct gadgets that will allow an escape attempt to take place. Should the chicken ever be discovered out of its hut then it’s back to the start of the present area with one of your collected items taken away and put back into it’s original finding place as a penalty.

Once a task has been satisfactorily completed a Boss style mission must be completed before a new scenario is then set. Tips are available by conversing with fellow chickens whose voices are acted out brilliantly along with legible text at the foot of the screen. To further increase the atmosphere you are constantly aware of the ‘prison camp’ music constantly playing in the background, which has that ‘Great Escape’ feeling to it.

FEATURES:
 
Huge detailed 3D immersive environments

Characters, voices and locations based on the movie

Highly involving gameplay and an easy control system

Something for everyone including stealth, puzzle-solving and arcade elements

Control different characters throughout the game including Ginger, Rocky, Nick and Fletcher.

Unique sub-games using catapults, fireworks and seesaws to enable the chickens to escape

The ability to interact with the environment, objects and other chickens.

OPTIONS:
 
• 1 Disk(s)
• CD Media
• 1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 1 Players (without Multi-tap)
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility

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Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Martin  "Although Chicken Run has the makings of a great game I found the incessant tracking back and forth across previously covered ground soon become boring.

I also noticed that when one of the guards discovered my wayward chicken they could be shaken off easily by simply dodging into one of the many ‘loading’ doors scattered around the farm. This meant that rather than using the sneak button I began running around out in the open like a headless chicken just to hurry the game along, which kind of ruined the objective.

Chicken Run is not a bad game as such; it just struggled to hold my attention after the first few levels. "
Graphics  15/20
Playability  34/50
Sound  9/10
Lastability  15/20
73%
This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.
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REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:

OUR PLEDGE:

We promise that we have fully played 'Chicken Run' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)

00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.

60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.

70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.

80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.

90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:

It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.

A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.


READERS REVIEWS:


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