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Feedn' Chloe

Score: 50%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Arush Entertainment
Developer: Sunstorm Interactive
Media: Episodic/5
Players: 1
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Feedn' Chloe goes for the cel-shaded look that's become popular recently, and while it pulls it off, the game still feels a little rough around the edges, graphically. The trees are all sprites, and rotate with you when you walk around--disconcerting at best. The various 'animals' that you have to hunt are fully 3D, which is a plus, and easily distinguishable. But the engine itself seems to put the draw-in rate pretty low, so that you can't see as far as I would have liked as you play the game. It's certainly bearable, and you can see any beasties immediately in front of you, but the draw-in is somewhat distracting when you play.

The voice acting in the game is very, very base and irreverent, and actually made me chuckle a few times for a change. It's about as low-brow as they come, though, so don't expect any deep puns or anything like that. The characters are 'spot on', if mimicing the stereotypes of rednecks can be considered something to aim for. There's banjo music on the main menu, but not in the actual game, which is for the best--if I had to hear that menu music for the entire game, chances are good that I'd have to kill someone. The sound effects are pretty typical--shotguns, 'squirrel sounds', the roar from the bear as it charges you, and so on--but the sound itself cuts out occasionally, especially during the scripted voiceovers at the beginning of each level. Odd.


The problem with Feedn' Chloe is that it can't quite decide what genre it wants to be in, and ends up failing as both a hunting simulator and a first person shooter. While it may be amusing for a short while, in the end Feedn' Chloe is nothing you'd want to play over and over.

In the game you play a redneck named Ed, who is trying to get enough food for his grotesquely large wife, Chloe. There are five 'locations' that the game takes place in, each with three 'levels', and the locations are sold separately as episodes. You have to beat the first level before the second opens up, and so on.

Each level is timed, and at the beginning of the 'mission' Chloe gives you a certain number of animals of each type to kill for her, shown at the top of the HUD. As you kill the squirrels, possums, sheep, and so on, you gain a little time back. Kill a lot at once, and you'll gain a lot of time back. This trick is necessary on some of the levels, as there are too many things to kill and not enough time to kill them if you do it one by one.

Ed is given a number of different weapons to use. He starts with a weed-whacker and a boomerang hubcap, and can pick up shotguns, dynamite, a cardboard cutout of a woman wired to a bomb (to kill the rednecks), a potato cannon, and the inevitable Ultimate Death Gun. Along with a new weapon, each episode introduces a new beast to hunt--sheep, rednecks, buzzards, and aliens.

While at first glance this seems like an amusing, if basic, way to do a first person shooter, I'd have to assent. The problem is in the execution. Leaning from its hunting game roots, the levels are much more sparsely populated than the levels in a FPS--sprawling forests and fields and swamps--and keeping yourself oriented is very difficult. Even more difficult is finding some of the beasts you have to kill. This wouldn't matter so much if the game weren't timed, but since it is, it can be a frustrating experience to bag all of the beasties you need to get except for one type, and then you find yourself incapable of finding that last type. Urgh.


The higher levels in the game are a lot more difficult, as you have to kill more beasts faster than on the lower levels. Use of 'comboing' is necessary to get yourself enough time to complete the levels, and while memorization would work in a game world that's more structured, in Feedn' Chloe you basically need to wander around, hopefully remembering some landmarks, and hope to find the deer or the buzzards before time runs out. This isn't helped by a frustrating aiming system, which is way too picky about where the shots go, so prepare to be frustrated as you play the game.

Game Mechanics:

The basic controls of Feedn' Chloe are like those of a first-person shooter--use WASD to walk around, mouse to turn and shoot, and the number keys to switch between weapons. This is fine, but then the aiming mechanism seems to be straight from hunting games. It requires a stupid amount of accuracy, and at times is completely unrealistic--if I fire my shotgun at a beast, and miss them by just a tiny amount, they are going to get hit by some pellets, unless you're firing slugs. The creatures also take a crazy amount of shots to kill, and I found myself relying on the weedwhacker and the boomerang more than any other weapons for consistent kills.

It's sort of depressing--after the brilliant MonkeyBrains, Arush puts out a game like this that really makes me worry. It's not detailed enough for a hunting sim, and it's not interesting enough for a first-person shooter. While the humour is mildly, er, humourous, there's not much here to make you want to stay and play through all fifteen levels of the full game. You may want to try the free episode out and see if you like it, but chances are good that you'll be as unimpressed as I was.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Minimum System Requirements:

Win9x/ME, P2 266, 64MB RAM, 134MB HD Space, 8MB 3D accelerator, sound card, keyboard, mouse

Test System:

Athlon 1.1GHz running Win98 SE, 512MB RAM, GeForce 2 GTS w/ 32MB RAM, SoundBlaster Live!, 8x DVD-ROM

Windows Fate of the Dragon Nintendo GameBoy Advance Bomberman Tournament

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated