Seriously, like! How is it that no one in the gaming community talks about the marvelous gem of a game, brought to us by Sonic Team in the long-forgotten year of 2003?
Billy Hatcher was a brilliant little game for Nintendo's Gamecube that focused on the titular protagonist Billy, a young man who is thrust into sudden adventure by an unexpected turn of events involving a chicken.
Yes, you read that correctly. Billy and his friends are sucked into a perilous adventure by a young chick from "Morning Land," which faces terrible danger at the hands of evil crows, guided by their leader, the Dark Raven.
Billy and his three friends are gifted with the powerful and legendary Chicken Suit, which allows Billy to manipulate, grow, and ultimately hatch various different eggs around the world. These eggs contain things like animal helpers with special powers, extra lives, or equipments that Billy can use to accomplish specific tasks.
Billy is tasked with releasing the six Chicken Elders from their captivity within Golden Eggs. Travelling to different regions around Morning Land, Billy must fight his way through hordes of monstrous crows in order to collect courage emblems and to ensure that the day is saved.
Billy ultimately confronts the Dark Raven, who is trying to use the power of the Giant Egg to inflict eternal darkness upon Morning Land and Billy's homeworld.
As far a E-rated games go, this is a pretty solid final boss. He's a two-stager, meaning that once you beat his first health bar, he powers up again into his 'final form'. By using eggs on the stage where the fight happens, you ultimately triumph over the evil raven, using the power of your courage.
It's a pretty good narrative for a game who's main demographic is younger kids.
While I really liked the single-player storyline, what really sold me on this game was the multiplayer. I don't even think honestly that it was all that inventive or varied in its options, but the game has a special place in my heart.
Why? because it is one of the earliest multiplayer games I'd managed to get my brother to play with me at that point.
(there exists no photos of me and my brother playing games together, so here is an image of some random kids so that the idea is made clear)
He wasn't, and isn't, much of a gamer. But we did play a few sessions of this mutliplayer together when we were young. It might be the cartoon violence, or the low level of required skill, but he (at very least) tolerated it enough to play.
I wasn't able to really get him interested in Halo, but Billy Hatcher? Yeah.
So this game is sort of a personal favorite of mine, for personal reasons. Yet, it was still such a well put-together and enjoyable E-rated title that I'm surprised that it is all but forgotten in the annals of gaming history.
I think it's time for a reboot. Hell, it'll give Sonic Team something to do, at least.