I'm Lyle from Yorkshire England, I've been using destructoid for years now but never got into the blog scene...well here goes nothing! Got into gaming playing a NES when I was 2 and got a SNES for my 3rd Birthday with Mario All Stars. I was fairly strictly Nintendo until I got a PS2 and branched out to everything.
A few all time favourites of mine (not a definitive list but tried to keep things diverse) are Mario 3, Zelda wind waker, Viewtiful Joe, Snowboard Kids and The Binding of Isaac.
Last week I wrote a Blog about a load of awesome DS games that had managed to pile into the dark abyss of the backlog. I also asked the ever loving community of destructoid to pick 3 of the 6 games for me to play and thus “The ones that got away” was born! Today, as you may have already gathered, I will be sharing my opinions on puzzle platformer; Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure.
Henry Hatsworth is a treasure hunter by trade, and on an everyday tutorial expedition he discovers a piece of “The Gold Suit”; a magical suit wearable only by the best dressed of men, which of course also gives the wearer super powers. Thus an exciting adventure to obtain all the pieces before arch rival Weaselby ensues. All the games’ voices are heard as a series of grunts and noises (almost identically to N64 classic Banjo Kazooie) which adds a great deal of charm to the story segments, and not once did I feel that it got in the way of the action.
As I mentioned in my last blog, Henry Hatsworth (HH) is a classic 2d platformer and a puzzle game (think Panel de Pon, Tetris attack etc) combined into one bundle of joy. Enemies killed in the platformer on the top screen drop down into the puzzle on the bottom screen, where they become one of several types of block. You must match this block before it reaches the top of the screen or it will pop up and start attacking Henry. The two different games blend together perfectly and it never feels like a chore to have to switch to the puzzle and get rid of a few rising enemies. The transition is swift and seamless,; not to mention there are plenty of helpful powerups (health, extra lives, stopping time) and a nice boost to your special meter to help tempt you down to the bottom screen for quick burst of matching 3, and you’re going to need all the help you can get!
The platforming is classic bread and butter stuff, with tight controls that you will get to grips with instantly. Henry has a few tricks up his sleeve for the bad guys too, with a sabre in one hand and a rifle in the other he is ready for anything! The combat is kept nice and simple with one melee button and one ranged. Mixing these up is really fun and you can really get the combos going for some extra treasure. You may go through plenty of familiar platforming worlds but HH never manages to be boring. Both screens keep fresh with tons of new enemies, tiles and abilities as you go along. These are all introduced at a perfect pace and whenever a new enemy appears the game always allows you to fight it alone, meaning you get no nasty surprises the next time you see them.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that HH is even close to being an easy game, it’s downright cruel at times. The platforming starts out simple enough but by world 3 you will be dodging death spikes, artillery fire and all whilst hopping from one moving platform to another. Oh, and did I mention that most attacks not only damage you, but will also knock you back! It’s not just bottomless pits that will be the cause of all those game over’s though; the enemies are fierce, plentiful and out for British blood! Once or twice a stage you will be limited to one screen of movement and have enemies attack from all directions. These really ramp up in difficulty, and command great concentration and lots of screen swapping in the later levels.
The boss battles make sure there is no break in the action and one wrong move will cost Henry’s life. Every world ends on an epic (and usually pretty humorous) note with these fights, and there are plenty of unforgettable moments which I won’t spoil for you! Plenty of pattern memorising and retrying to be had here and I loved every second of it.
That’s not to say the difficulty is always a good thing. My main gripe with the game is how few and far between checkpoints are on some of the massive levels. It really impedes your progress in a game that otherwise has an almost perfect learning curve. I didn’t play the game for about three days after getting particularly annoyed at having to start a whole 15 minute segment again for the tenth time.
Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is (regardless of checkpoint hiccups) a bloody good game. If you’re not put off by a good challenge and are known to enjoy a good platformer or two then I can’t see why you wouldn’t love this game. In the words of Henry Hatsworth himself, “Good Show!”
My next blog will hopefully be up a little quicker than this one was, and will be my impressions of Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Watch this space!
Have you ever just not got round to playing the latest big release? Maybe the game is sat right in front of you in the dreaded backlog and everyone is talking about it except you. I know that feeling all too well, and it stops now!
I'm going back through it; not every game just the ones that I know are well loved, and I want you to join me. Not just to join me but to help; the power is in your hands! I'm taking on all my consoles, from N64 to PS3, and going back to finally beat some of the classics.
I'm thinking 3 for each console each in it's own category. One ridiculously popular (so probably pretty good), one that I really really want to play and one that's so hard that I'll cry tears of blood...and that's just on stage one. I'm gonna give you a choice of 2 in each category and play the one with the most votes. Right explanation time is over, it's game on...with DS games!
A popular choice
Option 1: Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon
I'm a bit worried I just don't "get" Harvest Moon games. Farming doesn't really grab my attention in game form. I'm hoping the mix up of the series into RPG territory will finally get me ploughing the fields like there's no tomorrow.
I've had this game ages but have never played it for very long, always getting distracted by other games that I just had to play. I know I'm a little late to the party with loads of sequels out already so maybe I'd better get a move on.
Option 2: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
The third Castlevania game for the DS had a lot to live up to after the fantastic Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin. It delivered, snatching up numerous awards and positive reviews. 2d platforming and exploring at its finest. You know what to expect from the franchise by now: big hard bosses, lots of level ups and cool new powers.
For some reason I never managed to get very far into this Castlevania and am yet to progress any further than the giant crab. Dawn of Sorrow is my favourite DS game of all time so I don't know what's stopping me from enjoying Order of Ecclesia. Maybe I just need a push in the right direction.
Your the one that I want
Option 1: Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure
I have an obligation to play this being an upstanding British gentleman much like Henry Hatsworth himself. It's a puzzle platformer in the simplest sense of the term, meaning that the top screen is platforming action and the bottom is tile sliding. An enemy killed on the top becomes a tile on the bottom and must be matched quickly to avoid them coming back to life.
I got this really cheap recently but just haven't been sucked into it's world of tea and crumpets just yet. I love a good bit of platforming and this could scratch the itch perfectly.
Option 2: Knights in the Nightmare
How can I hope to explain a game I really don't understand...lets see. It's sort of an SRPG with bullet hell segments for dodging attacks. Well known for having a ridiculously steep learning curve and huge tutorials. You play the soul of a king trying to reclaim his kingdom and body in what promises to be an epic adventure.
I really want to start playing this one! I just need the motivation to begin the learning experience. I've heard great things about Knights in the Nightmare and reckon I could really get stuck into this mash-up of genres.
WHY AM I PLAYING THIS?! I CAN'T DO IT!
Option 1: Contra 4
The prospect of having to try and beat this game terrifies me. I have never beaten a Contra game (although I'm hardly the only one!) and don't know if I'll actually manage it. In 2007 Konami decided it was finally time to bring back the series that strikes fear into the hearts of gamers. The classic run and gun gameplay was back, as was the extreme difficulty. Fans lapped it up and Contra was reborn.
I imported Contra 4 a few years back, as it never made it to Europe, but have never made it further than the third stage. I feel I owe it to myself to try and truly experience Contra all the way through...but do I have the skill?
Option 2: The Dark Spire
This is hardly the easy way out from having to play Contra 4. The Dark Spire is balls to the wall hard, at least for someone who never played Wizardry. The Dark Spire is a throwback to the dungeon crawlers of yesteryear with reliance on a little luck and a lot of patience. Probably the least well received game on this list, but those who got into the game really loved it back in 2008.
Another imported game (does Europe just not get the hard DS games?) that I have spent woefully little time playing and most of that was spent dying. I find it hard to imagine me seeing the end credits for this game but maybe I will surprise myself.
So what will it be? Will I be slaying vampires or planting turnips? Will I be drinking tea in my English manor house or reclaiming my kingdom without a body? Will I be crying on stage 2 of Contra 4 or sobbing on floor 2 of the Dark Spire? Comment below if there's a game you'd prefer to hear my musings on, or even if you just want to tell me you don't like the idea!