Game Zone: Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, Bombastic, Wrestlemania XIX

By Jae-Ha Kim and Misha Davenport
Chicago Sun-Times
October 10, 2003

BILLY HATCHER AND THE GIANT EGG (Sega, E for Everyone, Gamecube)

Sometimes, a game comes along that makes you wonder just what the developers were smoking. “Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg” follows the adventures of its title character — a blond-haired, blue-eyed, overly-optimistic boy — as he dons a magical rooster suit and battles to save the world from the evil Crow King, who has vanquished daylight. Billy’s weapon of choice is eggs, and he rolls them over enemies and feeds them fruit so he can hatch them. This probably comes as no surprise to fans of Sonicteam’s work — they also developed the successful “Sonic” games which feature a blue hedgehog in sneakers. Beneath the offbeat characters and concept, “Hatcher” is at its heart a standard platformer. You run, jump, smash crates, solve puzzles and use power-ups to destroy bosses. Its colorful graphics and quirky game play set it above the rest. Finally, a GameCube title that gives players something to crow about. — Misha Davenport

WRESTLEMANIA XIX (THQ, T for Teen, GameCube)

Playing wrestler here is about as fun as watching the WWE on TV. Take that as you will. More compelling is the mode where wrestlers are taken out of the ring and given assignments to sabotage Mr. Vince McMahon’s WWE franchise.          You get to beat up everything, from security guards to cars. The violence is about as real as an actual WWE match — bone- crunching but not nail-biting. — Jae-Ha Kim

BOMBASTIC (Capcom, E for Everyone, PlayStation 2)

This is like a weird game of Yahtzee, only with exploding dice, cutesy round-eyed creatures and a decent enough 3-D feel. Basically a puzzle game, “Bombastic” allows you to play as one of five characters. The roll of the dice determines your fate. Will you detonate or escape the dicey minefield? There are seven levels for which to strive, including the quest mode where you have to out-think enemies and scamper off before blowing up. — Jae-Ha Kim

CHICAGO’S TOP 10

The hottest games sold in Chicago on amazon.com last week:

1. Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire    GBA

2. Jak II (Advance orders; available Oct. 14) PS2

3. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance    GBA

4. Madden NFL 2004    Xbox

5. NBA LIve 2004    Xbox

6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City    PS2

7. Bionicle: The Game (Advance orders; avail. Oct. 17) GameCube

8. MLB 2004    PS2

9. Dance Dance Revolution Max 2    PS2

10. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004    Xbox

Biz bytes

Everybody loves a bargain–especially gamers. Nintendo reports that GameCube sales have quadrupled since they dropped the price to $99.99.

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