Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 6+
Posted: May 16th, 2005
By: Webmaster-Josh
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg is the second series created by Sonic the Hedgehog
creator Yuji Naka. How does this game do overall?
Sound

I usually find games with Dolby Pro Logic Surround to be a plus. This game actually wastes it. The game has some pretty
bad audio. We're treated to the same voice samples over and over, including enemy noises. The only time we're relieved
from them is the missions with other characters. Even then, we have to hear those characters make the same noises over
and over. Dolby basically spruces up the sound, which actually makes it sound bad.
The sound effects are quite bland. Although there is some detail, it all gets old and gets old fast. And Dolby allows you to
hear behind you. You never have to hear what's behind you, which is why I feel it is waste. You'll be hitting the ground
with your egg a lot, and that same old bonk sound is repeated over and over. Other sound effects make the game sound
more kiddish than it should be. That isn't to mention the music.
The main menu theme is kids vocalizing to the main theme. It's a bit rambunctious and not needed. All the worlds have a
couple different tunes, although they all follow a main one. I can't say any of the music is great but I can't really say that
any of it is terrible. It's basically average video game music, none very hummable after the game, but nice to listen to
during the game. Nothing including Dolby can save the sound from being much worse than what it could have been.
Overall, this game could have had more.
Control

The game revolves around moving an egg around, running over fruit to make the egg grow and then hatching it. How fruit
makes an egg grow, I'll never figure out. You're basically defenseless and offenseless without an egg. When you hatch an
egg, an animal, item or clothing comes out. If an animal comes out, you can press X to shoot the animal straight out.
There's animals that make ice, water and even wind. They will help you get past some obstacles. If there's fire, than use
the water guy, for instance. Each animal can be used around five times before it disappears. Using animals is probably the
most effective control you have.
You can attack by running over animals. That's your only attack. Animals are best for harder enemies, although they
can't be used during boss fights. You can press R to speed up your egg and if you jump while speeding, you will roll. This is
also used for jumping long distances, but also effective when squashing multiple enemies. Pressing A and A will spin the
egg, allowing you to reach a little more height. This will allow you to get to higher platforms, but sometimes your egg will
get stuck up there, and you'll fall off. Basically staying attached to the egg is somewhat hard.
Then again, detaching from the egg is frustrating. You can press A and the B to stick the egg to the ground, or you can
move one direction and then tilt the control stick a different direction to pull the egg back and detach. This can lead to
trouble in tight areas. Here's a really annoying scenario. You sometimes have to put your egg down a ramp to roll. You
have to carefully pull back to the egg to reduce speed so that when it goes down the ramp, it won't go as fast as normal.
The ramp has a hole in it at the beginning. Yeah, a hole. For some reason, the egg sometimes doesn't catch the ramp rails
and it falls through the hole. Wow, a hole! Could that be any stupider?
This game is frustrating, partially due to the weak control style. The camera control is also slowly responsive and hardly
helps. Holding L to lock-on to enemies can get sore after a while, and this isn't exactly the type of game that works well
with the lock-on system. Overall, I don't know what this game is trying to pull because the mix of a decent control style
with the frustrating gameplay mechanics makes for a bad control scheme.
Graphics

The game sports a lot of places that you'll visit. This
includes a lava land, a pirate level and even a forest village.
The themes are spread well throughout each area is well
developed. In terms of detail, there isn't a whole lot. The
game also has a couple of neat effects, but none out of the
ordinary.
Still, for a third-party game, I am slightly impressed. These
graphics are good in Progressive Scan, but the resolution
doesn't make them look anything better than decent
otherwise. There are no framerate problems, which helps a
little. Overall, I like the themed levels and how the
graphics reflect it, but the game doesn't reach its full
potential I suppose for this type of game, it is expected.
Replay

There are 7 worlds each with 5 Billy missions and 3 missions for the unlockable characters. That makes for a total of 56
missions. Each missions takes an average of 10 minutes, with some taking several tries. However, to beat the game, you
only need to play the first two for each level. These are always the longest and most challenging. In terms of beating the
game, you probably only will take about 5 hours. The extra missions add about 5 more hours. 10 hours isn't too much of
replay. If you actually find the game enjoyable, you can go back and try to get all A ranks.
You can also do an egg search for all 72 types of eggs. An egg gallery shows all eggs hatched. There's not much incentive
to finding them all. The same goes with all 280 gold coins. Why would you want to collect all of them (5 per mission) for no
incentive. If there is one, I really don't care. What is an incentive is hatching special GBA eggs. If you hatch it, you'll
unlock a special game that can be downloaded to your Game Boy Advance, provided the necessary stuff (GBA, and cord).
The only one I am familiar with is Puyo Pop, but boy is it fun. Taking the time to hatch these eggs is worth it.
The game also features a highly addictive multiplayer mode. It's quite random, but it's fun and adds even more hours to
the replay. Overall, the game is pretty big and will last a good amount of time for those who can tolerate it.
Design

Billy Hatcher is an adventure game, and it's one of my favorite genres to play. I must say for an adventure game, this isn't
too good. The design is all about the egg. You can't do much without one, and it makes our hero seem a little weak. You
have to hatch an egg usually to help you through the level, and that means getting rid of the one thing you need to keep
going. Whenever you are egg-less, you need to find one. This can cause trouble if there are enemies nearby, and/or no
eggs nearby. The developers have done what they could to try to eliminate this dual scenario.
The game also is timed and has missions. That doesn't make for a good style. Why can't we continue to explore for
emblems. Why do we have to exit levels every time we find an emblem. It worked for Super Mario Sunshine, but this
game strives for free-form and going into missions doesn't push the freedom that we deserve. This game is fun, but it
doesn't have the same tact that other game have.
It's original, I'll admit, and there are some cool places to visit. But these fun moments are few and far apart. Forest
Village and Sand Ruin are the most fun, and those are the first and sixth levels. It's not enough to make this game
worthwhile. The multiplayer is a lot of fun, but doesn't save the single-player experience. And the kiddish gameplay, which
I didn't anticipate and should have, is rather annoying. I can tolerate Mario, but this gets really ridiculous. The kiddie
style is too redundant for this reviewer and definitely doesn't make the game any more worth playing. The mixed flaws are
enough to make the design lower than what it should be.
Scores
Sound

6.7
Control

6.1
Graphics

7.9
Replay

8.0
Design

7.4
7.2
Final Words

This is a good game, but not nearly what I expected it to be. I really thought that this would be a great game, but the fact
is that the game has weak control, decent design and not so good audio. The replay isn't so bad, but what good is replay if
you can't stand to play this game. It will be frustrating, but this game is a good rental. Some people will really like the
multiplayer, which is surprisingly fun. That probably won't be enough for most people, and for single-player adventure,
Super Mario Sunshine is a very good choice.