Chicken Little: Ace in Action review

  • Lengthy campaign
  • Challenging enemies
  • Power ups and weapon types
  • Enemies appear right in front of you
  • Controls are wonky
  • Boring level design

Based upon the movie-in-a-movie ending to the Chicken Little film, in which the main characters were all studly and sexy, this top down shooter puts you in the drumsticks of three main characters. The bravura Ace runs ‘n guns, Abby pilots a spacecraft and the heavy, Runt, commands a tank as the team blasts through the space-y armada of Foxy Loxy and her forces of banal evil.. All three pretty much control the same, except for Abby who can only shoot forward.

The aim of Ace in Action is to proceed through all intergalactic levels and collect aliens to power up your shield or blaster power - oh, and to blow the stuffing out of everything in between. The most use you'll get out of the stylus is selecting from four different weapon types and that's about it. You're gonna need all that firepower though, 'cause you'll get bombarded by a surprising amount of tough enemies and bosses for a kids game.

The controls are where Little first starts to peck at us. While you use the d-pad to move in every direction, the face buttons correspond to the direction you shoot. Hit X and shoot upwards, A to shoot right and so on. This makes for some frantic action but gets frustrating when you need to shoot something diagonally, in which case you hit two buttons to do so. This turns into a mess as you need to get directly in the path of your target while being hit from all sides. Why no lock-on?

Action was nice enough to give you a radar for the bottom screen, but it's useless 'cause enemies will spawn right in front of you, behind you and sometimes right on top of you, getting in cheap hits and threatening to undo your anger management therapy.
And how come fighting aliens and robots in space is boring? When you have to run down the same damn paths over and over, it's a breath of fresh air to see beautiful graphical touches like flowing magma. These parts are few and far between and like the film, the game becomes a test of patience and willpower to endure it all.

Wi-Fi multiplayer is a yawn fest. Battle another opponent by using the stylus to drag aliens around barriers. Each level creates a new barrier configuration, which does nothing but makes us long to play the single-player game.
Chicken Little: Ace in Action is a lame attempt at beating as much money from the Chicken Little franchise corpse as possible. While elements of the campaign are fun and challenging, they are offset by the monotonous levels and boring hold-the-shoot-button gameplay. We'd rather watch the movie again.

More Info

Release date: Nov 21 2006 - DS (US)
Dec 01 2006 - PS2
Aug 24 2007 - Wii
Nov 17 2006 - DS (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2, Wii, DS
Genre: Action
Published by: Buena Vista Games
Developed by: Buena Vista Games, Avalanche Software
ESRB Rating:
PEGI Rating:


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