Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken has been available for PlayStation 3 and Steam, and is now available on PS Vita! Travis Blair spoke with Sandra Pondaag, director from Ratloop Asia, to find out if this version of Rocketbirds is of a different feather or if they flock together.
Travis Blair: Thanks for speaking with me! I’ve wanted this game to be available on the Vita for quite some time, so I was very happy to hear the news and am excited for the release.
Sandra Pondaag: Hiya Travis! We are super excited about the game as well. We have the PS VITA since it launched and love it; it’s super cool to create something for a console you like! We hope that you and the other gamers will enjoy playing this game on the VITA.
Travis: The ” grounded” versions of Rocketbirds on PS3 and Steam pack in some great features. What new content can Vita owners expect?
Sandra: Well, the best feature is portability! You can now play the game wherever you want. On the way to work, at work ;-), on your way home….And this is not a feature we put in so we can’t take credit for that!
We did add some levels and updated the ones we have. Not because we felt they needed improvement as such but more to make it look even better on the VITA. On the PS3 version we had the option of stereoscopic 3D which is not possible on the PS VITA so we rigged the motion sensors with screen tilting screen to give the game more of a 3D look and feel. Also, we have included a difficulty setting called HARDBoiled mode (yes, the name was too hard to resist!). Then we added 2 additional co-op characters which you can get if you have have downloaded the PS3 demo (get Sniper Guy) or the game (you also get the illusive Agent H). Also, you can now play co-op Ad-hoc or online.
Travis: Does the Hardboiled difficulty setting crank up the amount and/or resilience of the bad guys, or does it introduce any new gameplay mechanics?
Sandra: Hardboiled has limited weapons but a big knife. You need to get a lot closer to enemies in order to kill them. To survive HARDBoiled mode you need to switch weapons a lot more and much faster so we created a weapons icon on the touch screen to auto-switch between the pistol and the knife. And the end boss, Brno, will be in a quite different ‘shape’.
Travis: How has the experience been bringing the game to the PS Vita? What are your thoughts on the system after releasing Rocketbirds for the PlayStation 3 and Steam?
Sandra: We think that the game is fun to play on the PS Vita and the graphics look great. Using the rear touch pad for aiming grenades and brainbugs work well. We definitely want to create more games for the PS Vita; hopefully our next game, Rocketbirds II, can be playable on PS Vita as well as on the console.
Travis: Being that the Vita is a portable system, how does saving your progress work in a cinematic adventure game such as Rocketbirds? Is there any cross-platform continuation?
Sandra: The progress is saved on the VITA itself. Unfortunately we don’t support cross-saving with the PS3 version as we have made too many changes in the VITA version.
Travis: What about those who already own Rocketbirds on the PlayStation 3? Is there any cross-play involved, or any other incentives to purchase the game a second time?
Sandra: There is no cross play unfortunately because we made quite a few changes in the VITA game. We’ll do our best to include cross-play in our next game, promise! To thank the people who have the PS3 game we will include two new co-op characters in the VITA version.
Travis: Could elaborate on the coop – I mean, co-op aspect of Rocketbirds for the Vita?
Sandra: There are 6 budgie commando’s (or actually 7 or 8 depending whether you have the PS3 demo or game) with different weapons. The story is simple: the General’s daughter has been kidnapped, poor girl, and you guys have to save her. Trust me, mid game you will probably try to shoot her because she is so annoying! I am particularly fond of the budgies; they are tiny and seem to have an overwhelming need to compensate for that! Tough talking yet they can’t help being cute. Co-op is my favourite part of the game. It’s hilarious to play with a friend and you do need to work out the puzzles together. People overhearing us play didn’t know what to think when they heard us shout things like “Jump on me!”, “Get the heck off my back!” and “OK, my turn to ride you!”
Travis: I’ve got to say, not only is the music excellent, but the art style in this game is awesome. Any chance we can get the soundtrack on the PlayStation Store, some Vita wallpapers, or an additional avatar bundle?
Sandra: I will see what I can do about this! Thanks for the suggestion; I will definitely bring this up with the team here. We have an avatar bundle available on PSN which we might expand to include the new characters. The soundtrack you can find on iTunes; it’s the Rocketbirds OST from New World Revolution. By the way, the additional budgie, Agent H, is the talent behind New World Revolution and a good friend of ours. He told us he always wanted a photon blaster so we provided him with one in the game.
Travis: Thanks again for taking the time to speak with me, and congratulations on the success of Rocketbirds!
Sandra: It was my pleasure. Nice talking to you, Travis!