Chicken Little: Ace In Action (DS)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Thursday, April 3, 2008

Graphics: 7.50
Sound: 8.50
Gameplay: 8.50
Replays: 6.00
Gamelength: 7.50

Disney shovels out “Chicken Little: Ace In Action” for the Nintendo DS and it just so happens to be better than the original movie.

Okay, so most older gamers aren’t going to find much here. Heck, most people will be lucky if they can finish the first level without getting bored of the extremely repetitious nature of the game. However, for the younger gamers out there, this title is an A-List game that avoids all of the blood, guts, sex and swearing in favor of a more family friendly design. Forget the “Chicken Little” movie and join me for a venture into the heart of the universe in “Chicken Little: Ace In Action”.

The game follows the character “Ace” of the movie “Chicken Little”, who is in essence the main character’s own personal alter ego. The story is pretty basic and ultimately pits you against the evil villain, “Foxy Loxy” for a fun, even if generic showdown.

Visually, this game is on par with most other DS titles even today, but it’s more comparable to a mid-life PlayStation 1 title. It’s pixelated and the textures are obviously bad, but for what this game is, it looks good and there’s never a moment that will make any player stop playing and say “Ew. This game is ugly!”. The best part about the graphics are the character models, both player and otherwise. Everything is very clear and quite bright, which helps to make the game stand out at points. The graphics appear to be intentionally bland, yet also colorful. It works very well and I have to say, I like it.

Disney never seems to let fans down in the sound department and “Chicken Little: Ace In Action” is no exception. Every little aspect of the sound quality sounds great for a DS title. The music is all very epic and fits the space theme perfectly, which gives the game a sort of watered down “Star Wars” feel. The sound effects are a bit on the repetitious side, but they work well and they never get annoying.

If you’ve played Smash TV, you’ve played “Chicken Little: Ace In Action”. This game is not difficult by any means, but the combat feels exactly like a slower-paced version of Smash TV. It’s a very simple game to play and it’s almost as easy to explain. You move around, shoot things and eventually beat a boss, then move onto the next level. There are several various power-ups and a total of 4 weapons, as well as grenades. Each weapon is pretty useful, but none of them are more useful than the others. The grenades are limited to an extent, but this game makes it a point to keep throwing health, ammo and grenades at players around every corner. There’s also a simple shield mechanic, which is used to deflect some types of enemy fire. Aside from all of the usual action fare, players will also collect the game’s currency in the form of little creatures. In between missions, this currency can be used to permanently upgrade various aspects of any weapon. The game is easy enough without any upgrades, but it’s still a pretty cool addition to an already great game. To break up the repetition, players can take the role of Runt and Abby at various points for a change of pace. Even more still, there’s a basic multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode is actually extremely lame, even for a children’s title. In this mode, players guide alien creatures around to collect various objects. That’s about all there is to it. It’s about as fun as falling down a stairway. But still, this game is awesome, especially given that it’s based on an idea that came straight out of a big Disney CG movie.

Overall, “Chicken Little: Ace In Action” is one of the best action titles for the DS. That may be a bold statement, but upon playing the game, I was quite surprised to witness this myself. The only thing I could hope for is a cool 4-8 player deathmatch of some sort. That would sweeten the deal all too much.

Pros:
-Clear, crisp graphics.
-Nonstop action.
-Very, very child friendly.
-3 different types of missions keep the game fresh.
-upgrading weapons is cool, even if it’s not needed.
-Fairly long for a DS game with 15 full missions.
-Very epic and perfectly fitting music.

Cons:
-Sound effects can get a bit repetitious at times.
-Multiplayer could have been much better.
-For older players, this game will be far too easy.

Bottom Line:
If you like action games and you own a Nintendo DS, I recommend purchasing this title. It’s surprisingly cheap these days and is sure to provide a solid amount of entertainment.

Overall Rating: 7.50

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