Finally, Time For Hat

Happy Weekend TAY!

And a happy long weekend to those who have one. Not everyone in Canada is enjoying an extra day off this weekend, but many here in Ontario have Monday off (and that’s what really counts).

I finished off Void Bastards last weekend and the fatigue I felt with the repetition early in the game came back strong by the end. It is a fun little romp but I think some of the roguelike elements are unbalanced and the game doesn’t quite stick the landing. I would like to see Blue Manchu further explore the ideas in Void Bastards but the dull level design and all the repetition needs to be addressed. It does some cool things and I did play enough of it to unlock everything in the game. Unlocking everything likely contributed to the repetition, but I found it hard not to collect all the armaments. I tend to overcompensate for weaponry, especially when it comes to games like Void Bastards with lots of randomness and death. You never know what you might need.

An example of a mission in Void Bastards.

It is a shame, Void Bastards is almost something I would like to do a whole lot of if it was more interesting. It is a hard game to recommend but it is something you likely haven’t done before. Plus, if you have Game Pass it won’t hurt you at all to check it out.

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With Void Bastards done, I finally started playing A Hat In Time. I’ve been meaning to play this one since launch, but I need to be in a particular mood for most games and my platformer card is usually filled with Sonic games with the kid. Since my kid and I are still playing Breath of the Wild together and moving on to the new ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove after that, I felt it was time to scratch that platforming itch on my own.

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Our own resident Habboi (William T. Nicholls) is the Lead 3D Artist for A Hat In Time and is responsible for the game’s gorgeous look. This small team from Denmark have made an incredible looking platform game of a quality you rarely see outside of a Nintendo studio.

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I love platform games and A Hat In Time can stand with the best of them. It seems to get its inspiration from classic Rare platformers, the 3D Mario series, and masterpieces such as Psychonauts. It is this latter game that A Hat In Time feels most similar to. Both Psychonauts and A Hat In Time have wonderfully artistic levels, beautiful visuals, great controls, and a comedic flair with a dark twist to it that is a rare find.

A Hat In Time assaults all your senses right from the start. The first world you visit is incredibly colourful and disconcertingly dense. I pride myself on rarely ever losing my way in video games but I struggle to keep many of the complex levels in A Hat In Time straight in my brain. I love that the game is very light on the hand-holding and leaves it up to the player to navigate the levels on their own. It makes finding all those secrets (and secret levels) much more satisfying when you have to do the work yourself.

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Also, like Psychonauts, A Hat In Time loves to keep you on your toes with many unique environments and varied gameplay. While you might be doing a stealth world, getting lost in the Subcon forest, or taking down the Mafia, it is all built on top of a slick set of controls and some fairly hardcore platforming action.

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I’m having a blast with the game and it more than satisfies that core-platforming itch that doesn’t get scratched as much as it should. As the first outing for Gears For Breakfast, this is an amazing 3D platform game that belongs with the Marios and Banjos of the world.

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A very belated congratulations to Habboi and the team at Gears For Breakfast, you deserve every ounce of your well-earned success.

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I’m excited for more of A Hat In Time this long weekend and more Breath of the Wild with the kid. We’ve beaten the last of the four Divine Beasts and I think we’ve decided to make a run for the end. We’ve still got a lot of stuff to explore in the game, but it has been a long run and I think we’d like to play a different game together for a while.

So, what are you playing this weekend?