Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg - GameCube

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Also for: PC
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Sonic Team Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: SEGA (GB/US)
Released: 31 Oct 2003 (GB)
Sept 2003 (US)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card


For some reason, Yuki Naka is the most despised studio head at Sega. We can say this because it’s true and everyone knows its true. However, when we met him, he was very nice. Strange, eh?

Anyway, his latest offering is the wonderfully-titled Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, a game whose existence was mysteriously leaked by Sega Europe in spring of 2003, when it just carried the mystifying title of Giant Egg. What could this Sonic Team Giant Egg be, the world wondered. Then, as regular as erm, May, E3 came along, and all our questions were answered.

Billy Hatcher is a boy who wears a chicken suit - something we all do on occasion - especially at the weekend when the girlfriend’s out of town. A bit of talcum powder, and it’s feathers all round. But we digress…

This platform puzzler shows Sonic Team’s main facets off to their fullest extent, combining Sonic the Hedgehog action with Chu-Chu Rocket-style puzzling, based around the globally-recognised game mechanic of egg-rolling. Really.

Billy’s home of Morning Land has been overtaken by an evil force (sound familiar?) which has turned the entire country dark. Not good. The perpetrator of this evil deed is Dark Raven, overlord of the game’s baddie contingent, The Crows. As you can imagine, he wants to take over the world, enslave its population… the usual. Summoned by the Chicken Elders, Billy is charged with saving Morning Land, equipped with his Rooster Suit, and sent on his way.

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg is controlled using the GameCube’s analogue stick. He has a variety of abilities. He can run, jump, pull himself up and so on, but it’s when you give the little tyke an egg that he really comes to life.

The gameplay is entirely reliant upon Billy having an egg at his disposal. They act as weapons, (eggs as it turn out, are the perfect ammo for chinning crows) and they hatch out a variety of helpful creatures, all of which have different, predictably elemental properties. Fire creatures are hatched from red eggs, water creatures from blue eggs, and so on. Water eggs can put out fires, ice eggs freeze water, etc. So the player must locate and experiment with a wealth of eggs, which must avoid being cracked, in order to progress through the game.

It’s a funny old world created by Sonic Team. This is a must for all Sonic fans - the spiky one’s DNA is indelibly splattered all over Hatcher - as well as anyone looking for a truly original platformer.

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