Here’s a pleas­ant sur­prise, and not just be­cause chick­ens are un­likely ac­tion heroes. A prod­uct of in­die de­vel­op­ers Rat­loope Asia,

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS - JOE GRIF­FIN CIARA O’BRIEN CIARA O’BRIEN

Rock­et­birds: Hard­boiled Chicken is an ec­cen­tric and fun lit­tle shooter. Un­der the (ahem) yoke of op­pres­sion, you play a re­bel­lious com­mando chicken who’s caught be­hind en­emy lines. The vil­lains are other breeds of birds, train­ing a pen­guin army. This is a 2D plat­form-puz­zle af­fair that echoes Shank and retro­clas­sic Con­tra. As well as shoot­ing and jump­ing, you can duck in and out of hid­ing places and even use some nifty gad­gets (rocket packs, mind­con­trol grenades).The char­ac­ter de­sign looks hand-drawn and cute, while the posters, uni­forms and story sug­gest com­mu­nist Rus­sia. It is all com­ple­mented by a funky in­die sound­track from New World Rev­o­lu­tion. Orig­i­nally on PS3, the Vita ver­sion has more co-op­er­a­tive mul­ti­player op­tions, added characters and ex­tra Vita con­trols. Ac­quire Corp, PS Vita, An­droid Su­mioni De­mon Arts has been a long time coming to Europe. It’s now here and has brought some rather nice art with it. In fact, the vi­su­als are the best part of the game. It’s based on Ja­panese ink ash art, or sumi-e, and cer­tainly stands out from the crowd of Vita ti­tles. It’s more mem­o­rable than the plot, which is a run-of-themill bat­tle against the usual bad guy. You con­trol ink de­mon Agura, who is tasked with de­feat­ing evil. You’ll prob­a­bly be too busy gaw­ping at the vi­su­als to crit­i­cise the plot too much. The game also uses the Vita con­trols really well. The touch screen is a far more in­tu­itive way to con­trol Agura than the phys­i­cal con­trols on the Vita. You draw on the screen to cast spells to de­feat en­e­mies and, in gen­eral, ma­nip­u­late the world around you. Some lev­els are more chal­leng­ing than oth­ers, but the game gets a lot of lee­way be­cause of the vi­su­als and the con­trols. Take those away and it’s fairly medi­ocre, though playable. 4 cert, Notabli Inc Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy has made cap­tur­ing and stor­ing pre­cious fam­ily mo­ments that bit eas­ier. But what do you do with the vast amount of in­for­ma­tion be­ing gen­er­ated? And how do you turn it into some­thing you can ac­tu­ally use rather than a a jum­ble of pho­tos, notes and videos? Notabli hopes you’ll choose its app. The soft­ware al­lows you to cap­ture im­ages, video and au­dio, adding quotes and sto­ries to mem­o­ries as you go along. This starts from birth, with the ca­pac­ity to add the length of a de­liv­ery (just in case you hap­pen to for­get that). Up to two peo­ple can add to notes and mem­o­ries cre­ated for a child, with de­tails such as lo­ca­tion and whether a par­ent con­sid­ers the moment a mile­stone also in­cluded in the “me­mory” cap­ture. The app links in with Face­book, but all “mem­o­ries” cre­ated on Notabli are pri­vate by de­fault un­til you tell it oth­er­wise, so you have con­trol over it. It’s a nice way to keep track of spe­cial mo­ments, es­pe­cially if you are not keen on Face­book.

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