Barnyard - Review|
Written by Phil Thompson
There are a lot of things you donít know about cows. They donít just stand around in a field all day, munching on surrounding greenery. No, theyíre up and about, always moving.
They ride bicycles, protect crops, joyride, play golf, and according to certain advertisments, theyíre on a constant crusade to increase the level of Calcium in childrensí
bodies. See, loads of things. Absolutely loads.
Barnyard is frankly, one of the most hilariously silly games on the market. The fact that male cows can squirt milk from their udder ( which, by the way, they shouldnít actually have, being male )
should be indication enough that this is a true kids game, but THQ obviously had to go one further, giving life to an outlandish cast of characters. Something to note would be the
fact that every character with even a drip of significance is fully supported by ( rather impressive ) voice acting, something rarely seen in licenced games. Dogs, sheep, cows, racoons,
chickens and pigs all feature, each as irritating and lazy as the last. The chickens, however, have an excuse Ė theyíre probably too scared to go out. Damn you, bird flu.
Damn you straight to hell.
|Bovine thugs on cycles|
Barnyard is almost sandbox-style, using a similar engine to that of Hit and Run Ė youíre given an objective, you solve it, you get another objective, you solve that one. The game certainly
suffers as a result, often feeling very generic and linear. Many objectives are simple clones of earlier objectives, usually just with a different name. Youíll certainly find yourself
searching for a list of items more than once, which can be very tedious and, well, boring.
Graphically, Barnyard is far more impressive than many games on the system thus far. Obviously nowhere near as good looking as the likes of say, Zelda, however Barnyard
still manages, albeit just, to impress with few aliased textures or edges. Frame rate is virtually solid, with a few exceptions, and the whole game appears to run fairly
smoothly, with short load times throughout.
The control method is questionable. It isnít bad enough to ruin the game, but there are a few features THQ have decided to exclude in the development of Barnyard,
in particular, the speaker. There are various ways to use it, superfluous as they are. While pretty noises coming out of a small speaker on the controller are hardly going to make
or break a game, thereís potential to add real novelty value, especially in a game like this. I would certainly be amused by squirting noises coming from the controller,
although itís probably a good idea to note that I spent nearly ten minutes squirting milk from the roof of the barn in a moot attempt to reenact the
Sony Bravia advert with the coloured balls and Josť GonzŠles. You know what they say about simple minds.
Unfortunately, Barnyard doesnít seem to follow a plot as such. It feels very linear, set out as a sequence of events combined with a vomit-inducing bunch of over-used minigames,
and as such, suffers immensely. While the game does last a good 10-15 hours, with more missions than you can count, it simply isnít difficult enough to keep anybody over the
age of seven interested. Nearly all objectives can be completed with a single attempt which, while typical of a kids game, isnít all too impressive, especially when stores are asking £39.99 for it.
Itís quite good fun, but excruciatingly easy. Barnyard offers little to older or experienced gamers, and isnít worth the asking price.