A while back, I wrote about a bunch of 3D platformers that were either in development at the moment or coming in the foreseeable future. Based on this, I then said they were start of a genre revival, and that the 3D platformer may be seeing a grand return as a result of all the new titles coming out.
Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case. FreezeMe did okay, but its reviews were very much on the average end of the spectrum, with critics not really seeing it as a revolutionary title. Yooka-Laylee did some things well too, but again got mixed reactions from fans and critics alike.
And where some of the others were concerned… well it’s probably best not to talk about them. Anyone remember Fur Fun? Nah, didn’t think so.
Either way, the 3D platformer revival people hoped for didn’t seem like it was coming any time soon.
But it seems the tides may be changing here! Why? Because as my review round up shows, A Hat in Time has been well received by fans and critics alike!
For instance, Destructoid’s review gives the game a nice 8.5/10, saying it’s a game that ‘makes them smile when they’re playing’. Similar sentiments have also been expressed by Eurogamer (who said it was pretty magical), Digitally Downloaded (who said there’s little it can’t do as a classic platformer) and various others like them.
Heck, even the most negative review I’ve seen (Gamespot’s) was pretty positive. They gave it a nice average 70% score, saying the first level was a bit uninteresting but that it got much better as the game went on.
Video reviews are also pretty positive with the title. KingK’s review here outright calls it better than Yooka-Laylee and a good homage to 3D platform games of yore:
And Haedox’s review is an extremely positive one too:
It’s good news for the game all round, especially given how the title also sports a nice 90% positive Steam rating on top of all this.
This is in part because of something A Hat in Time does really well. Something which every review up to now has pointed out.
How it’s got a unique personality with interesting worlds and characters.
A unique personality with interesting worlds and characters.
Seriously, look up some of the levels and set ups in this game. You’ve got a haunted mansion you have to explore while avoiding an eldritch abomination in survival horror style. There’s a movie set level where you’re doing missions for two rival directors and whoever’s levels you do best on wins the day. Heck, there’s even a stage where you select missions by signing contracts with the devil in exchange for your soul. The game is just jam packed with creative worlds and memorable characters that sell the experience.
And that’s why this game has caught on whereas others like Yooka-Laylee and FreezeMe have faltered. It’s not just a good 3D platformer with solid controls and fantastic aesthetics.
It’s a 3D platformer with tons of original ideas and quirky characters to interact with. The Banjo-Kazooie or Conker’s Bad Fur Day of the 8th or 9th generation. A Hat in Time realises that 3D platformers are as much about the world as they are the gameplay.
So, where 3D platformers are concerned, this is the next great one. However, it’s not just 3D platformers A Hat in Time seems to be fighting for here.
It’s Kickstarter backed games in general. Cause let’s face it, recent Kickstarter releases have not been all that promising. Oh sure, Shovel Knight was amazing. And a fair few lesser known titles did well too.
But as far as the big projects go, it’s been flop after flop. Ouya? Failed. Mighty No 9? Failed. Yooka-Laylee? Well it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t exactly a big success either.
Either way, Kickstarter has become associated with failed video game projects. With overbloated, overhyped games and systems that ended up being boring and generic upon their actual release.
A Hat in Time isn’t like this, and it may be what helps savage the service’s reputation as a whole. It’s a genuinely good crowdfunded game, and is part of a genre fans have wanted to return for years.
So, kudos to Gears of Breakfast. Not only did you make a good game that fans and critics have responded well to, but you may have helped salvage the reputation crowdfunding sites have gained after well-known failures in the market.
Let’s just hope the game does well in sales too!
It’s getting to be a new month and you know what that means! New games for PlayStation Plus members and for the frightful month of October you get the following for free:
- Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain – PS4
- Amnesia: Collection – PS4
- Monster Jam Battlegrounds – PS3
- Hustle Kings – PS3
- Hue – PS Vita (Cross buy with PS4)
- Sky Force Anniversary – PS Vita (Cross buy with PS4)
Back in June this year, WayForward Technologies announced The Mummy Remastered for major console platforms like the Switch and PS4. This game was meant to be a companion title to the new Mummy movie, and would feature a sprite based art style and Metroidvania gameplay, with your character having to save the world from the evil Princess Ahmanet.
The sole screenshot looked amazing, the concept sounded promising and hopes were high. After all, this is WayForward we’re talking about. The company behind such amazing titles as the Shantae series, DuckTales Remastered and Mighty Switch Force.
This was the type of game they excelled at making.
Then things went quiet. Months came and gone, and the game was nowhere to be seen. Was it cancelled? Was it just taking longer in development? No one knew, and worries were growing about the title.
Fortunately though, the time for worrying is now over! Because as the title suggests, WayForward have now released a new trailer for the game, showing off all kinds of gameplay and mechanics involved in it! Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it already:
It looks amazing. Indeed, with its amazing sprite work and great looking Metroidvania gameplay, The Mummy Demastered seems to be the Castlevania spiritual successor we may have been wanting for years. It’s like the awesome GBA or DS Castlevania game we didn’t get in the late 00s.
And what’s more, it also looks signficiantly better than the movie it’s based on too. Seriously, look that one up on Rotten Tomatoes if you get the chance. It’s only got a 16% approval rating among critics, with audiences not being any more generous.
So, it seems we may have another Ecks vs Sever on our hands here. A terrible movie backed up by amazing licensed game that overshadows it in every way.
Kudos WayForward. Thanks for putting so much care and attention into the game, and making it as good as it can be regardless of the source material.
When it comes to gaming journalism, ethics are generally lacking across the board. We’ve seen writers fired for giving negative reviews to heavily publicised games. Websites have exchanged great scores for early access (as seen in the Drivergate scandal). And well, if GamerGate proved anything, it’s that a lot of journalists seem to band together like an internet fraternity. That gaming journalists have almost become an internet priesthood dedicated to protecting its own.
In a world like that, a media controversy in the world of gaming journalism is almost irrelevant. I mean, how can you possibly top fired reviewers or dodgy scores?
Well, by taking down negative review scores on behalf of the game publisher, that’s how! Which is exactly what The Sixth Axis did with their NBA 2K18 score after 2K games got in touch.
That’s because (as you may know), NBA 2K18 is a bit of a trainwreck. It’s got save files that are far bigger than they have any need to be. It’s plagued with poor game design elements like artificial difficulty. And like so many triple A games nowadays, it’s filled to the brim with microtransactions and pay to win gameplay elements.
So, the The Sixth Axis’ reviewer slapped the game with a deserving 3/10 score. Exactly what you’d expect for a poorly designed game like this.
But obviously not a score that sat well with 2K Games. As a result, the company contacted The Sixth Axis to ‘discuss’ the review, leading to the score being removed from the article in exchange for a note saying the following:
Update: In discussion with 2K Games, we’ve temporarily removed the score pending a statement with regard to our criticisms, at which point it will be reinstated. Additionally, a draft conclusion was posted that incorrectly characterised our score as a protest vote, and has been reworded to reflect that our criticisms are rooted in the effect that VC and microtransactions have on the gameplay.
It’s extremely dodgy on every level. What’s more, it’s not a change the actual writer had any say in either. Oh no, 2K games just went straight to his editor, as he mentioned himself on NeoGAF:
Hello. Reviewer here. After review went live I’ve had no direct contact with 2K, instead their PR is chatting with my editor. All I know is that 2K are to issue a statement of some sort regarding issues raised in the review. Of course, the real issue is what updates the 2K18’s VC system gets. Just think of this as a review now in progress. If things remain unchanged so will my opinion.
So not only have we got a site removing scores because of negative from the publisher, but they’re not even working with the actual writers when they do so. Real respectful guys! How nice of you to annoy your reviewers by editing their work behind their back.
It’s really bad news all round really. And you know what else it is?
A better late than never post my fellow gaming lovers, but now that I have myself a new laptop that I can type on lets post some news. We are nearly half way into the month but if you haven’t heard, here is this month’s free PSN+ games:
- inFamous: Second Son – PS4
- Strike Vector Ex – PS4
- Truck Racer – PS3
- Handball 2016 – PS3
- We Are Doomed – PS Vita (Cross buy with PS4)
- Hatoful Boyfriend – PS Vita (Cross buy with PS4)