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Review: Angry Birds (PSP)

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 by

angry birds

Wow, talk about an overrated game. After five minutes, I was mad at the mechanics and luck. After ten, I was pissed that I had even purchased Angry Birds.

In case you haven’t played it or heard about it, Angry Birds pits you – the birds – against some pigs who stole your eggs. You slingshot your birds toward structures in which the pigs are hiding, trying to kill them either by a direct hit or via falling debris. The structures are made of different materials like glass, wood, and stone, each of which react differently to collisions. Most birds have various triggered abilities, such as boosting speed, blowing up, or splitting into multiple birds.

angry birds

The frustration comes with the mechanics, precision, and luck. Unfortunately, though you can scroll the screen between the slingshot and the targets, you can’t see the targets when actually taking your shots. This means your first bird is kind of a tracer, since each one leaves a dotted line as it flies. You’ll often find yourself taking a few shit shots just to check things out and then restarting the level manually.

Once a bird takes flight, the decently realistic physics engine causes the blocks to fall in a manner that not even Rain Man (the Dustin Hoffman character, not some rejected Mega Man boss) could fully predict. This leads to even more level restarts, whether manual or not, as you try to woo Lady Luck into smiling your way. Trust me, she’s playing hard to get.

angry birds

What you’re basically left with is a version of the great Wii game Boom Blox that removes a large portion of the strategy and replaces it with a puke-inducing serving of luck. I cannot understand why this game has grown so popular. People must be more generally masochistic than I had imagined.

This is a prime example of a game that disappoints. When I saw the $4 price tag and coupled that with the high-energy buzz the game had churned up, I broke my normal rule of reading reviews before buying. It’ll be a masculine day in the life of Justin Bieber before I make that mistake again.

angry birds

Image Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

We feel our scores are accurate in reflecting a game’s general satisfaction of play but understand that some might prefer to see a more detailed explanation of our rating system. Click here to learn more about our game rating methodology.

See Angry Birds in action:

Platform: PSP
Also available on: PS3 | iOS | Windows | Mac | (various other mobile)

About the Author

Markham Asylum is a founding member of Delta Attack. His tier-1 favorite genres are role-playing, puzzle, and strategy. His tier-2 are adventure, shooter, and platformer. He strives to provide spoiler-free postings whenever possible.

Markham Asylum has written 422 posts on Delta Attack

6 Responses to “Review: Angry Birds (PSP)”

  1. mulletsaurus says:

    Huh. That’s a shame, it kind of looks fun. Maybe it suffers without the touch interface.

    • Markham Asylum says:

      The touch interface is actually even worse because it’s less precise.

      • Fade to Slack says:

        Are you assuming or have you went through it? I like the tactile feel and cannot imagine it any other way. The best example or equivalent that I can think of is the Trauma Center series. On Nintendo DS? Outstanding. On Wii? Eh. It’s just a little bit of immersion, but it makes a huge difference.

        I happen to have Angry Birds on my iPhone. I rather like it. Though I do agree that some of this is trial and error, I also feel that is what makes it work so well. I like to identify a spot or two and plan around that for a level. Also, if I choose to do so, a simple pinching motion or spreading motion zooms the screen in and out, respectively. I can see the entire map when I am playing.

        However, I think the biggest thing is that you are playing a port of a portable game in a non-portable environment with controls that differ from the original. This game is meant for short bursts, as most mobile gaming is, and works within that environment. Prolonged gaming sessions just aren’t in the cards for most people. It will lead to exasperation. This game is tough and some of it is the questionable physics.

        You paid four times as much as I did for the game, as well, so you’re entitled to four times the disappointment at the very least. However, I find that the amount of content that I got for a dollar is very satisfying.

        Most of the games that I suggest for iOS gamers? They aren’t traditional games. Fruit Ninja, for instance, wouldn’t cut it (pun unintended) on a console. But, as a portable game meant for very short bursts, it’s terrific.

        • Markham Asylum says:

          To be fair, I haven’t played it with touch controls; that was a gross assumption on my part.

          I’m glad you like the game, but the controls really take back seat to my complaint about strategy vs. luck.

  2. Adam says:

    Angry Birds is a casual game that is enjoyable..for me. I’ve played it on the PSP and rather enjoyed my time with the game. 66 is way low, meaning according to your rubric that the game is below average, verging on bad. I’d say for this type of casual laid back game that has a lot of things going for it, it deserves a bit more praise.

    • Markham Asylum says:

      I’m glad you like it, man. It’s just not my bag.

      Our rating system is broken down into ten categories and I feel that 66 is spot-on for my experience with the game. Certainly many other people would give it a higher score, yourself included, and that’s just fine.

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