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Billy Hatcher and The Giant Egg
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Console: Nintendo GameCube
Region:U
Year: 2003
RFG ID #: U-076-S-00220-A
Part #: DL-DOL-GEZE-USA
UPC: 010086610147 (00100)
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Rating:
E (ESRB): Mild Cartoon Violence

Genre: Action/Adventure
Sub-genre:
Players: 1-4
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: GameCube Optical Disc x1
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Collection Stats:

  • 187 of 7302 collectors (2.5%) have this game in their collection
  • 16 of 7302 collectors (0.2%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 1 of 7302 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.
Review:

In the world of video games absurd is good, really good, and this year's top entry into goofy pleasures is Billy Hatcher, a boy in a chicken suit who rolls giant-sized eggs through intricate gauntlets of tracks and hazards, bulldozing monsters along the way. It's a great puzzle concept. Unlike with other games where you have full control of your character, your control here is split between Billy himself and his egg, which once it gets rolling, can have a mind of its own. There are many different eggs throughout the game and each one starts out small and grows bigger and harder to control as you roll it along, feeding it with bits of fruit, of all things.

Turns out, there's a hidden world of chickens. Like our own world it's divided up into little chicken countries, with each chicken country being managed by a rooster. One day, a dark invasion of crows enters into the chicken world and takes control by kidnapping each of the roosters. Now as you know, only roosters can wake the dawn with their shrill cries and so without the roosters, the world of chickens is plunged into cold darkness. Billy, our human boy hero, is magically transported into the world of chickens and given a magical rooster suit to act on the roosters' behalf, freeing them so they can awaken the sun and guide him to find and defeat the crow bosses before they do more harm.

Here's what a level in the game is like. After finding an egg resting nearby, you roll it along, smashing through crates, trees and other destructible parts of the game that might give up fruit pick-ups, until you reach a clearing where a group of monsters spawn in. After rolling the egg over each of the monsters and then collecting the fruit they drop, you'll move on to navigate a series of obstacles that might include steep slides, platform jumps over lava, roller-coaster-like tracks the loop and spiral dangerously in the air, and cannons, boost pads, and other devices that will launch you through the air. If they egg breaks, you're stuck having to find another egg to keep going, but if you can keep the same egg intact until it reaches its full size you can hatch it with a rooster cry, releasing special power-ups and cool creatures that can follow you around and supply support with water, flame, or ice powers (needed to get past water, flame, and ice obstacles). The goals for each level can range from finding and hatching a captured rooster to tracking down and defeating a Boss Monster, using an egg to attack the Boss' hidden weak spot.

With the egg you can hop, dash, bounce, perform a pile-driver attack, and even shoot the egg itself. Nothing new, these are actions you can say are stable in any Sega platformer, but the egg does open up new puzzle designs. In one level you need to first get your egg rolling on a roller-coaster track and then get Billy himself climbing and navigating a series of cliff jumps in order to get to the end of the track to catch the egg as it comes off. Missing it means watching the egg drop off a cliff edge to its doom. This is really tricky because depending on the egg's size when you do this, it can travel through the track at various speeds.

I like Billy Hatcher a lot, but can understand why it hasn't exactly taken the world by storm. The game's tough, Sega tough, and for a rolling game that can cover a lot of ground, it can be a little frustrating having to start a level again and again from so far back. The chicken wackiness tends to drown in platform formula with collectable eggs, pet creatures, puzzles that are designed around bombs and the four main elements of fire, earth, ice, water, plus as I'm getting to, the usual multiplayer "battle" modes and mini-game collections. What's missing is more chicken-themed elements and just off of the top of my head I can think of frying pans, stinky rotten eggs, egg beaters, runny eggs traps, scrambled egg mountains, basket-carrying rabbits, fox hunts, coop cages, pecking parties, you can see there's several absurd areas the game could have explored, but sadly didn't. Considering how much Sonic there is in this game, you have to wonder why they didn't just do another Sonic game.

As an extra bonus there's a Battle Mode for up to four players, each grabbing a character from Billy's gang of friends who then try to roll eggs over each other or over the most monsters or do the most hatching. It's a mode that really feels tacked on, added simply because they could not because there's a great idea behind it. The same goes for the mini-games that can be unlocked by connecting up a Game Boy Advance to the GameCube system. While on the positive side you won't have to buy a specific Game Boy game to use the feature, the games you'll unlock include some Chu Chu Rocket and Puyo Pop levels, good but we've played them before, y'know?

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg is a fun, snappy, wacky little platformer that's just original enough and clever enough to make it worth buying, but sadly I think Sega has really explored all that they could think of with this egg concept and I can't say I'm looking forward to a sequel. There's just enough formula and familiarity to make this a one-game franchise.

Extra Media:


Magazine Ad - October 2003Precautions Booklet (C/PM-DOL-USA-2)
Registration sheet, front
Registration sheet, back
Manual Back Cover
Variations:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo GameCube FI, SE, GB S Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Sega 2003 Action/Adventure
Nintendo GameCube Germany S Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Sega 2003 Action/Adventure
Nintendo GameCube Spain S Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Sega 2003 Action/Adventure
Nintendo GameCube France S Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg Sega 2003 Action/Adventure
Nintendo GameCube J S Giant Egg: Billy Hatcher no Daibouken [Budget Release] Sega 2003 Action/Adventure
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Last Updated: 2016-05-29 17:12:23
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