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Episode 575: Henry Hatsworth in the Trip to the Shadow Realm

by James Jones, Greg Leahy, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - June 10, 2018, 1:40 pm PDT
Total comments: 3

Sometimes I don't even remember why I made note of a possible title.

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In less than 15 hours I'll be on a plane to E3. This is my fifth one. I don't think I can classify these trips as "mistakes" anymore.

Nevertheless, our last episode before the big shindig sees regular absentee Jon "AWOL" Lindemann reprising his award-winning role, so we're instead joined by former host Dr. Jonathan Metts. Greg starts New Business with a look at the "beta" for Mario Tennis Aces. He also has some concluding thoughts on Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. Jonny then joins in our discussion of Yoku's Island Express, echoing Gui and Karen's praise for the game. He has also been playing Sundered, a Metroidvania from the developers of Jotun that is not currently announced for Switch. Guillaume closes out New Business with some impressions of the adorable PixelJunk Monsters 2. He has good things to say about the demo, and it sounds like the main game delivers. James skips New Business this week, as he's still reviewing garbage and taking notes on how to celebrate if he ever wins the Stanley Cup like his Washington Capitals just did.

After the break, we have our RetroActive on Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. We talk a lot about how the game's stages feel, and if the hybrid puzzle/platforming works. This game got a lot of coverage on RFN when it first came out, so it's interesting to see how it holds up these days.

BREAKING NEWS: It's time for E3. NWR is doing a ton of live video coverage, mostly being run by our Home Team. However, there will be check-ins from the crew attending the show, including James, Jonny, and TYP. As always, we'll strive to have the RFN reaction episode up on Tuesday, but given that James is at the show this could be tricky. There might even be special some guests!

This episode was edited by Guillaume Veillette. The "Men of Leisure" theme song was produced exclusively for Radio Free Nintendo by Perry Burkum. Hear more at Perry's SoundCloud. The Radio Free Nintendo logo was produced by Connor Strickland. See more of his work at his website.

This episode's ending music: Heavy Metal (The Destruction), from Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. All rights reserved by Gene Rozenberg.

Talkback

ShyGuyJune 10, 2018

the live video coverage link is a 404

Fixed. All about those forgotten slashes.

ClexYoshiJune 21, 2018

I know, I know, a bit late to comment on this one, but like... I got unreasonably frustrated at trying to play Henry Hatsworth, and my posts in the thread when lead aloud sound like Trump-level eclectic rambling.

I've had time to gather my thoughts a little bit better than I did when I was shutting my 3DS off in anger and flying to the forum to let the raw salt flow. Really, that's the key ingredient that I feel Hatsworth is missing.

Flow.

Henry's jump arch is protracted and floaty. his movement speed is plodding. most of his melee attacks and even some of his ranged attacks seem to lock him into animations. he doesn't feel agile, and that becomes exacerbated by tea time, a mech that makes the jumping even floatier and makes Henry Hatsworth an invincible but unwieldly mess to control. If the game was better designed around this lack of pace, it could still flow well together. Mutant Mudds is a laboriously paced game where most of the enemies are more agile than your character and still, that game has a rhythm to it that was deliberate and methodical.

Henry Hatsworth's design does not support any sort of real flow to it. There are large section of level that are just "here's a bunch of small platforms with no height difference between them but they start falling when you get on them so just hold right and hit jump a bunch to win" and leaps of faith with no real mitigating factors like in games that have similar problems like Shantae on the Gameboy. That game I'm willing to forgive because there was at least an effort to properly signpost lower platforms to jump down to individually along with the float muffin item that made leaps of faith ones you could take in comfort knowing that Shantae could bounce up out of a bottomless pit a few times. Also, in that game, you'd get checkpoints every time you went through a screen transition. There's also at least one instance in Henry Hatsworth of a moving platform not coming back if you accidentally trigger it and fail to get on.


bosses are wait and dodge affairs that in addition to their difficulty, feel as if they drag on and on, especially since they posess kill room elements to give you enemies to fuel the puzzle with. It's tedious, especially considering that the enemies are at best distracting juggle fodder and at worst hyper-durable menaces wo stand at a distance hucking projectiles from behind the safety of a projectile blocking shield. sometimes this is set up so that these bullet sponge enemies camp ledges where melee attacks are ineffectual and often times you are playing the waiting game to shoot them. Even at it's most assholish, I cannot think of a single Megaman game that has ever perched a Sniper joe on your only platform forward  without any room for Megaman to platform around him without facing instant death from a pit. Further, the frequency of enemy spawns in the kill rooms in The Puzzling Adventure tends to make the fights hard to handle because Hatsworth lacks the proper swiftness or effective crowd control without seriously leveraging the puzzle.

Which is the worst part of the pace-breaking thing in this game; the puzzle. I can't help but mess around with it to top off energy or clear blocks in an OCD sort of manner. Even still, as a Tetris Attack clone, it fails to keep the Panel De Pon frenetic feeling thanks to the fact that when you pause the game, the puzzle doesn't go invisible. This lets you do any of what normally would be mental gymnastics to figure out what active chains I can and cannot perform given the current state of the board.hiding power ups in there is nice and all, but overall, it's pace breaking over... y'know, picking up a power up and just getting instant use right then and there as you find it.


Mix all of this with the steep money grind to improve so many small little bits of the character in any hope that the melee or bullet damage up stuff will expedite the exploration of a normal stage, and... no. Henry Hatsworth is a disjointed mess with bad checkpointing to boot.

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