Sunday, March 06, 2022

Rodney v KFC


Zinger Burger anyone?

Rodney is a cool chap who loves his Atari ST and meeting up with fellow friends. One day, he was happily on his way to the Dullsville copy party until he had his compact disk collection stolen by KFC Gang. No, not that tasty fried chicken place but a mob calling themselves Klepto Foreign Chickens. So he went back home determined for justice! Grabbing an anti-chicken gun, he headed to their hideout for revenge - and his floppy disks!

In case you're wondering, they are ST compact disks and not CDs. ;-) Think Automation, Fuzion, Pompey Pirates, Elite, Dream Weavers and others that you can find over on Atari Legend.

The plan is to kill the chickens and reclaim his collection. But he's only got a few minutes before the bus drives off leaving him behind - and he doesn't wanna miss the copy party! Yep, this may sound like a lame dream but we must help Rodney get his collection back so he can meet up with his mates and copy some ST disks.



Chickens everywhere should be scared of Rodney with his anti-chicken gun!


Rodney should have locked his disk box!

As you've guessed, this is a platformer in a similar mould to the likes of Magic Pockets and others. Infiltrating the gang's hideout is easy, to begin with. This place is inhabited by the thieving scumbag birds who robbed your floppies and scattered them about their lair. Thankfully, one shot is all it takes to kill them and, if you see your disks, then grab 'em quick. Walk, jump, shoot, collect disks - that's about as complex as it gets.

Interestingly, Padman coded the game in GFA Basic for all 1MB computers. But it's best when run on an Atari STe thanks to the extra colours, DMA sound effects and gorrrrgeous music.

The controls are very responsive: left/right walks and pushing upwards leaps Rodney - with diagonal support. The fire button blasts a puny gun that sends the chickens to a slaughterhouse - I found it best pressing once, instead of repeatably bashing the button. Hey, these cluckers make a funny noise when dying which I love!

However, don't dawdle with idle exploration or listening to the chickens die. Remember that bus we need to catch? Yep, there's a timer and it's immensely restricting without any allowance for mistakes. So, if you need to backtrack after missing a ledge, don't bother. It's best to restart because you'll never make up the lost time.

Once all disks are collected, and the KFC dead, you can head towards the exit and then catch the bus to see all your ST mates at the copy party. This quest is straightforward: locate the disks and kill the KFC gang members along the way. I won't knock that simplicity because this is fun and the map is huge with a superb design.



I love how the chickens have those beady eyes and fall off the screen when shot.


Aesthetics

Graphically, this game is great with a murky palette that nicely represents the KFC's underground hideout. The sprites are few but humorously bright and perfectly drawn - I love those chickens so much! All animations are excellent and I adore how Rodney's quiff flaps as he walks (a ripped sprite from an unreleased Amiga game?)

The scrolling is smooth in all directions but sluggish which is disappointing, especially on the Atari STe. Perhaps I'm being harsh because Padman miraculously used GFA Basic so the results are outstanding in one respect. However, the cynic within asks why the Blitter/hardware scrolling wasn't used for a faster display.

For the audio, we have excellent sampled sounds used for dying chickens, disk pickups and an 'ugh' as we jump. Okay, it's no Death Chase but what we have, I like. However, it's the music that sets this game apart from the crowd thanks to terrific chiptunes. TAO's in-game music (Atari STe) is absolutely phenomenal.



Liking the subtle stamp Padman placed here. Let's turn that chicken into a curry!!


The CryptO'pinion?

I've enjoyed (trying) to help Rodney reclaim his Atari ST disk box but there are a few issues that obviously narcked me. For one, there is no indication of the outstanding disks left to collect so I felt blinded. Plus I wanted a better gun and more chickens to shoot. Worst of all, I hated that stupid time limit with a vengeance!!

Nevertheless, I don't want to be overly harsh as this isn't commercial and better than some of the dross we've endured by certain companies. Rodney vs KFC is actually very playable and, although it's doubtful I will find all the disks, it keeps dragging me back for that "one more go" and I love that aspect of this cool platformer.

Grab the floppy disk from Atarimania and check out a great video by Gears Of Games.



Those look like the unbranded disks we would all order by the 100s back in college :D
This is possibly the hardest part of the game, one slip and you fall into the fire!!

Can you beat my high score? In fact, this was my first ever attempt. So beat that! :p

2 comments:

  1. Amazing fun game, that keeps me up to late in the evening.

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    1. Glad you like it. It's a tough game (I hate the time limit!!) but it's so playable too. Cheers for stopping by the website matey :D

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