Disney's Chicken Little: Ace in Action
Reviewed by Michelle Brenner
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2007-01-16 Wii Action/Adventure E10 (Everyone 10+) Buena Vista Games

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a... flying barn? Yes, that is the case if you are playing Disney's Chicken Little: Ace in Action. This is the game about the movie with a not so little adventure. Just as the movie is a movie within a movie, the game is a game within a game.

Chicken Little and his friends are playing the video game about themselves. Well, it is sort of about them. Chicken Little is called Ace in the game and instead of being a puny eyeglass-wearing chicken who plays video games, Ace is a Hollywood-style muscle man (rather muscle chicken) with an intergalactic crew perched to save the world.

Ace is partnered with the Hollywood version of Abby and Runt, Chicken Little's out of game friends. Abby, the ugly duckling, is turned into a sexy love object with a voluptuous body and an enchanting voice that is completely opposite of the non-game Abby. There is also the alter ego of Runt, who is an enormous and neurotic pig with Chicken Little and normal sized, confident tank driver with Ace. Chicken Little, Abby and Runt are sitting in their living room ready to play their new game when Chicken pulls out his Wii nunchuk and remote. I mention this because the graphics were so realistic and beautiful and the image of Chicken Little with a Wii remote in hand was priceless.

Disney's Chicken Little: Ace in Action flips back and forth between the interactive space quest of Ace to defeat Foxy Loxy and Goosey Loosey and the many incredibly humorous and adult friendly cut scenes with Chicken Little and his misfit friends in their living room.

The cutscenes are really quite adorable and humorous. The trio of characters are playing the game with typical gamer quirks. Some of my personal favorites were when Chicken Little decides to skip the in game cutscene. He wanted to get to the part of the game where he actually plays and his friends whine that they missed the cutscene. This scenario is definitely played out in my living room so I was laughing out loud! Then Runt is too nervous to play, in fear of losing the level so he starts to hyperventilate. Oh, and my favorite "girl gamer" moment was when Abby's in-game character is about to play but Chicken Little makes a comment that the out of game Abby can't play because, "Girls don't play video games!" Abby immediately retorts with a montage of reasons why girls are playing games including very scientific reasons such as ?—?Ž??™pattern recognition!

One of the best parts of this game is the voice acting. It's very well done as it parallels the movie quality. Disney was able to get the original Batman, Adam West, to play Ace, Zach Braff (best known for his leading roles in Scrubs and Garden State) to play Chicken Little and Joan Cusack as Abby. Having the original voices in the game made for a truly interactive experience. Kids who watched the movie will get so excited when they hear the opening scenes due to its familiarity.

As far as the gameplay goes, there were three different types of play, each related to a character. All characters were shooting both a common gun and a missile weapon at a group of spacey bad guys on four separate planetary bodies: Pluto, Saturn, Mars and the Moon. Ace plays on foot and navigats through areas on the surface of various planets. When things get tough on land Runt comes in with his tank and takes over, often to bust through doors and break everything in his path! Finally, when fights are taken off planet and into the air, Abby enters the story with her ship and causes some damage. All three types of play were fun, although they felt very unrelated to the story. Yeah, they were all chasing these bad guys through space, but as a player I lost track of the story and felt like I was just playing a level. That is, until the cute Chicken Little cut scenes!

The controls for all of these characters were very similar and very simple. The controls (A and B buttons to shoot) were appropriate considering that each one was representing a gun, however I was kind of hoping for something more unique from the Wii. It was adequate, but could have been better. Abby?—?Ž??Š—s ship used the nunchuck movement up and down to control the level of her ship, but even that wasn?—?Ž??Š—t very well done. I was very frustrated when the ship wouldn?—?Ž??Š—t go any higher and I was reaching high onto my tiptoes!

One thing that I really enjoyed in the game was the ability to level up weapons, ships and shields as well as purchase music and multiplayer games. As you go through the game you collect coins to do so. This made some levels easier to play and added another dimension to the basic adventure game. This aspect reminded me of Ratchet and Clank, but the purchases were not nearly as cool and developed as in Ratchet. Whereas Ratchet had options to purchase plasma guns and mine guns, Chicken Little gave three upgrades to the gun- each seemed to be a more rapid version of the original.

The ability to unlock multiplayer games was fun- that is until I played them! Each multiplayer level is a player versus player death match. The idea is to find and kill your opponent as frequently as possible in the given time. This was fun for three minutes on one level. Each subsequent level looked different but was just as small and quickly boring. If it was online or in larger rooms it may have been fun, but as is it was barely adequate.

Overall, this game was a very fun adventure game. The beautiful graphics, star quality voice actors, humorous cutscenes and a generally fun gameplay overshadow the few merely adequate aspects. Both kids and adults would find enjoyment in Disney's Chicken Little Ace in Action.

Special thanks to Katherine Lollar and Buena Vista Games for providing a copy of this title.