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Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (Game Cube)
Billy Hatcher & the Giant Egg (GC)
Member Name: m_illie
Billy Hatcher & the Giant Egg (GC)
Advantages: Fun, addictive, varied, suitable for children and adults
Disadvantages: Frustating, sometimes TOO difficult
Playing it on the Wii:
Having only in the past year bought into the Wii fad my love of the console was revitalised when I became aware that you could play Game Cube games on the console. A quick google search told me that to do so all one had to do was to fip up the top lid and plug in a Game Cube control. Luckily for me I found a controller (as well as a bag of vintage games I once loved) and so I was able to try them out as soon as the whim took me. Despite the disk being far smaller than an ordinary Wii disk, it still inserts much like a usual disk would and so beginning to play was very easy.
To access the game itself still required the use of a Wii remote and to click the game when it appeared in the top left hand corner of the menu screen. From there however it was simply a case of clicking the start button when "Click start...etc" appeared on the screen. After this the main page of the game appeared and I had various options to try out.
The menu screen:
After clicking start you see three eggs which you can choose from to start a game. Basically this acts as an icon for a 'save' meaning you have the option to have three different 'saves' on one console. Once you click on an egg icon you can choose to start a game, copy the already existing game or to delete it. As your progression moves up so does a liquid on the egg which means that say for example you have completed 3/4 of the game, the eff shape will fill up to 3/4. I like the option of having 3 different saves as it means that various people in my household could enjoy the game without having to delete or share one. This means we could compare our times and scores and added a little competition to gaming.
The game itself:
The basic premise of the game is to manuever a little boy named Billy around by grabbing onto over-sized eggs and running them into objects and enemies. To do so mostly involves the use of the analogue stick however you also have the option of using other buttons to complete more complex moves such as slamming the egg down onto enemy heads or propelling it at enemies from a distance. You can collect pieces of fruit which float in bubble shapes in order to size up your egg and once it has reached full size it is then possible to hatch the egg. From there you 'tame' an animal companion who has a certain power such as water, fire and electricity. For example you can tame an electric monkey which you are able to shoot at enemies from a distance.
The game involves lots of running around and lots of jumping. For this reason my boyfriend found the game a little boring and also a little too difficult. It is admittedly quite repetitive in terms of the buttons you press but the backgrounds and scenes are all quite varied with 5/6 levels per "world". The object of the game is to conquer enemies and complete a level where at the end you then hatch an "Elder Hen" who brings back sunlight to that world. This may sound a little whacky but children's games have been known to be more creative. Perhaps due to the repetitiveness it is a good thing that after completing a certain number of levels per world it is possible to then skip this world. This means that if you can't complete the particularly difficult levels you can still progress in the game, which is great as it means your gameplay doesn't have to end because you find something a little too hard to complete.
One particular problem with this platform game is the control of the egg. It is an awkward oval shape which sometimes means that when you have to complete complex jumps and turns, you will leave the egg at the top of the level you are standing on and be forced to get a completely new egg to attempt the jump again. This isn't too difficult to do as there are excess eggs stationed all over the worlds, but it is enough to try your patience. Similarly, as is common amongst most games of this time, the camera angle is most ALWAYS an issue. Well that is perhaps an exaggeration as there were levels early on in the game where it was suitable, however as the difficulty amped up the camera angle seemed to deterioate meaning it was not only necessarily to complete the level, but also to manuever the camera whilst doing so too. (This means toggling the 'c' button which works like an analogue stick, whilst pressing buttons and moving the ordinary analogue - as you can assume, this is quite difficult).
The visuals of the game are mostly excellent, particularly of a game of this age. The brightness and colourfulness is great for children and there are always interesting areas to explore across the map. The levels aren't grossly sized, but this also means they aren't overly complex which again is suited to child's play. However this game isn't only suited to children and I too enjoy playing it from time to time when the urge gets me.
The sounds however do not live up to their visual counterparts. Frankly they are annoying. The theme tune is repetitive especially if you leave the start menu open whilst completing another task and Billy and his companions speak only in a gibberish language with terms such as "Eegaay" which can be quite frustrating when trying to focus. However this adds to its childish appeal and is suitable pertaining to the child like appeal of the character design as well as the cuteness of the animal figures and costumes.
Overall this is definitely a game I would recommend. It is varied and interesting on all parts if not a little frustrating. I must admit as an adult it is difficult to enjoy this game and escape the dreaded swearing fits that seem impossible to avoid if one is to complete the game. Certain levels are especially difficult but this adds to its complexity and will definitely suit certain types of gamers. Similarly the earlier levels are not too easy and yet work with an entry level gamer as you are advised throughout by small chicks you offer you advice. This is a nice way to ease a child into the gameplay and may help to reduce some of the frustration. I must admit though it is incredibly difficult and a game I come back to all these years since we bought it.
Summary: An excellent game of a gone-by era for gaming