I came dead last in the Laser Time fantasy football league. Here is my punishment.
As I drink a can of Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale, I question myself as to what led me down this unfortunate path, where the destination seems to be writing about a forgettable video game. As it turns out, when you’re a team owner in the Laser Time Sports Talk Fantasy Football League, draft players are out for season-ending injuries, and all the while you’re spending your days talking trash to everyone, hubris comes at you with the force of a Mack truck. Since my team, the Quarryville Gritmasters, was dead last, the ordained rules of fantasy football state that the biggest loser has to do something humiliating to appease the league. Fortunately, the league is merciful and honorable, so I’m not going to do something like mow my neighbor’s lawn in my wife’s Sunday dress. However, I will write a consistent and open review on Alfred Chicken for the Super Nintendo. Without further ado, my punishment.
So it’s come to this.
When it comes to forgettable mascots of the early 90’s, there are enough of them to fill a dumpster, with just enough space to toss a lit match inside said dumpster and casually walk away as nothing of value burns to a cinder. One of the charred remains of that dumpster fire is none other than Alfred Chicken, a poultry-based character who was created by the developers at Twilight, a development team out of the UK. Twilight had worked previously on games based around Hanna-Barbera characters in the early 90’s like Yogi’s Treasure Hunt and Atom Ant, so clearly they’re on the cutting edge of what people want out of video games.
A story as deep as a puddle
The story behind Alfred Chicken is explained in the intro of the game and nowhere else.. Throughout the town of Peklesville, eggs are being captured. However these eggs are sentient, and for reasons unexplained also attend schools, drive cars and can swim. Please try your best not to think too hard about this, you have other things in life that should concern you. Now for no other reason, you’re told that the only one who can rescue these egg people is none other than Alfred Chicken. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. So it’s up to Alfred Chicken, and no one else for no other provided reason, to travel to an assortment of random-ass locations to save the town from peril. It’s as captivating tale of heroism that everyone should aspire to achieve one day.
As I pressed start to begin my gaming experience, I was greeted with what I can consider to be a terrifying premonition. The haunting face of a derpy moon, that should not exist on any plane of existence. To make the first level leave a lasting impression on me, it also featured the worst MIDI of oompah music I’ve ever heard. Normally the first level in a video game in the 16-bit era should be a strong and proud start to what the rest of the game has to offer, instead I get this.
Dawn of the Final Day: 24 Hours Remain
The goal of every level is quite simple, it’s not just getting to the exit but to also pop a number of balloons as listed in the upper right of the screen. Seems easy enough, except in this, the game will find a way to kill you, be it actual enemies or the environment itself. Fortunately the game offers up enough checkpoints in each level to not make the trudge to make it back to where you died not nearly as bad.
As exciting as watching a wet sponge dry up
Alfred Chicken is lucky enough to have an array of moves that gives him the advantage he needs to traverse the levels. He can jump, he can peck button and balloons with his beak, and can dive down onto enemies to kill them. The last move is quite possibly one of the most finicky moves to perform, as it requires the player to jump and then press the down button like the traditional Yoshi butt stomp, except it requires pretty good hit detection on your behalf because if you’re off by a few pixels, you’ll miss and the enemy will walk into you and you’ll die. After completing the level, you’re greeted to this score screen where your points are tabulated based on how many diamonds you collected and time remaining, all while a living flower named Mr. Pekles stares into your very soul with its judgemental eyes.
You have nowhere to go. It’s just you, me, and Alfred.
After finishing the first level, it was made apparent that nothing makes sense for no reason provided, as the second level was a toy-themed level, which had nothing to do with the prior being about space or the moon or something. Also for no reason explained or put into detail, but now there are enemy snails because they’re in on a humanoid egg abduction racket for reasons unexplained.
The game plays as boring as this screenshot looks.
But the fun didn’t stop there, as it turns out there are levels with everyone’s favorite concept, water levels! So you get the brain jarring monotony of the music, the level layouts where everything can kill you, and the controls that are as bad in the water on land, topped off in a boring level layout that’s sure to lull anyone to a deep, deep slumber. Acting without hyperbole, this is one of the most milquetoast gaming experiences I’ve ever played.
Why did I waste my picks drafting 4 QBs and two RBs that got injured early in the season…?
Is It Better Than…
Super Mario World?
Bubsy (In Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind)?
Having played both Alfred Chicken and Bubsy, Bubsy at least has an edge in terms of better music, level layout, and has enough mental stimulation to make the overall game experience seems better. They are both challenging games by way of their one-hit and you’re dead methodology, but at least Bubsy can be more evasive and faster than the slow and sluggish gameplay that Alfred Chicken offers. If you gave me an option between the two, nine times out of ten I’ll play Bubsy. Sure it’s a more annoying mascot, but what could possibly go wrong?
Skuljagger: Revolt of the Westicans?
This is a video game? For real?
Alfred Chicken is not a good game. Let me repeat my statement once more, Alfred Chicken is not a good game. If you’re the type of person that assumes that the game has ironic appeal in playing it, let me be the first to tell you there is nothing of value in this game. It’s dull, repetitive, uninteresting, and a forgotten piece of work that should remain forgotten.
Verdict: 1.5/5 (Terrible)
I hope this satisfies the Laser Time Sports Talk Fantasy Football League. After this pungent review I will return next season with the Quarryville Gritmasters, and grind your teams to dust. Tom, Kyle, and the rest of you guys, you’re all screwed come next September. This time I’m going to consult real statisticians and make better picks, at least get more than two wins. Come next year I’ll be hoisting the Duke Lombardi Trophy. Then I’ll go too far, and get corrupt and shiftless, and the Japanese will eat us alive!
Article by contributor Aaron Chados.