Operation Backlog Completion 2017

Sep 042017
 

I’ve been excited for A Hat in Time ever since I first saw it on Kickstarter, and the full release is almost here!

The void of 3D platformers has been filled somewhat since A Hat in Time was announced, but it still looks like one of the best!

The developers officially announced that A Hat in Time will be out on October 5, not only for the PC but also for the PS4 and Xbox One.

It will also feature mod support, including a full level editor. They also announced official mods, such as Raz’s helmet from Psychonauts.

Their list of mod partners also includes Gurumin, which I enjoyed a lot, so I’m interested to see what that will be.

They initially announced a fee to upgrade to the PS4 or Xbox One version, but later apologized and said it was a mistake due to their inexperience with consoles. They’re working on a solution.

Meanwhile, they’ve been posting comparisons on Twitter to show how far the game has come along since it was first announced.

A Hat in Time is estimated to take around 8-9 hours to play straight through, and over 30 hours for 100% completion. I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Are you going to play A Hat in Time?

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Jul 122017
 

From the moment I saw Super Mario Odyssey, I wanted it.

It’s the main reason I bought a Nintendo Switch, because I hope to play Super Mario Odyssey at launch.

I waited through the Wii U’s entire life cycle for a game in this style. While Super Mario 3D World was fun, it didn’t have the same style as Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and even Super Mario Galaxy (which itself was somewhat different). I kept waiting for one of those Mario games to be announced.

So when a 64/Sunshine-style Mario game was announced for the Nintendo Switch, I was ecstatic even before we got to see Mario’s new ability to “capture” enemies, which looks like it as tons of potential.

Super Mario Odyssey might not have a traditional hub area after all, as you use your ship to travel between worlds, but it looks like there will be plenty of places to explore and secrets to discover. We’ll be collecting Power Moons this time around, but you won’t be sent back to the start once you find one. It sounds like it’s really emphasizing exploration.

Six worlds, or Kingdoms, have been shown so far:

  • Metro Kingdom, which includes the realistic New Donk City first shown
  • Tostarena, the icy desert area
  • Wooded Kingdom, an area with forests and mountains
  • Luncheon Kingdom, the bizarre food world with sentient forks
  • Cascade Kingdom, the place where the dinosaurs live
  • Cap Kingdom, a mysterious world that might have some connection to the Odyssey

Nintendo also said there are more Kingdoms that haven’t been announced yet. These places all look expansive and unique, and I can’t wait to explore them.

Meanwhile, Nintendo has been tweeting about some of Mario’s new moves, like the Spin Throw…

…spinning Cappy in place…

and the Homing Cap Throw.

Meanwhile, the official Super Mario Odyssey Japanese account shared footage of Mario capturing a Lava Bubble (or Podoboo), which lets him safely travel through hot water and lava.

Everything I see from Super Mario Odyssey makes me more excited about the game. Are you looking forward to it?

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Jan 182017
 

Back in 2015, I wrote about five upcoming 3D platformers. I learned about several more after that.

Some of these, such as Ratchet and Clank and FreezeMe (stay tuned for my review later this year) have already come out, but many 3D platformers are still on the way.

If you miss the 3D platformers of old, here are 10 upcoming games to keep your eye on.

10. Fiona Frightening and the Wicked Wardrobe

The concept for Fiona Frightening sounds fantastic: a 3D platformer about a young witch who uses her Creep allies and the Wicked Wardrobe to fight a Boogieman intent on rewriting the story with himself as the winner. It was planned for the Wii U and would have music by Grant Kirkhope. Plus, Linkara voiced one of the characters.

Unfortunately, the reason it’s so low on my list is because it appears to be in limbo. The game is still being made, but progress seems slow.

I hope to see more of Fiona Frightening soon.

9. Lobodestroyo

Like Fiona Frightening, the much-anticipated Lobodestroyo, which stars a wolf named Mutt and a luchador spirit named Dorado, has gone rather quiet.

In fact, it went so quiet, many people worried this N64-inspired 3D platformer was dead until the developers explained their setbacks.

They have a new website and a new plan. Lobodestroyo isn’t dead, but it might be quite a while before we get to play it. Nevertheless, it should be a fantastic game when that day comes.

8. Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island

Unlike a lot of 3D platformers on this list, which style themselves after games like Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64, Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island has more of a Ratchet and Clank vibe to it. A cat and an owl team up to fight an army of robots, using upgrades and gadgets along the way.

(Ignore the “Coming 2016” in the video.)

It’s planned for the first quarter of 2017 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. So if you’re looking for a platformer more like Ratchet and Clank, Skylar & Plux might be just what you need.

7. Clive ‘N’ Wrench

Although I first blogged about Clive ‘N’ Wrench before its name changed, I continued to follow it through its unfortunately-unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign.

However, the developers continued their work on Clive ‘N’ Wrench despite this setback, and it’s still coming along nicely. The most recent update gave glimpses of its various worlds.

Clive ‘N’ Wrench will no longer be coming to the Wii U, but it is planned for the PC first, with Mac and Linux versions to follow.

6.Happy Hell

Meanwhile, Happy Hell (which I described as “a Faustian 3D platformer“) is also coming along well.

This quirky and spooky platformer about a cat trying to escape Happy Hell (with gameplay inspired by Nintendo 64 classics, although with a twist due to its soul-stealing premise) should be out this year for the PC, Mac, and Linux.

Keep an eye on the Facebook page for regular updates.

5. Funk Unplugged

Funk Unplugged is a 3D platformer for the PC inspired by Nintendo 64 classics and focused on the power of music. It was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and is planned for a late 2017 launch.

It stars an amplifier named Ampy and his friend Mik on a quest to save Rockhalla from the G-Men and reclaim the powerful platinum records. Yes. Rockhalla. It’s a paradise for rock and roll stars.

Funk Unplugged has gameplay styled after classic 3D platformers, and its wonderfully goofy premise just makes me more interested.

4. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Crash Bandicoot fans let out a collective cheer of delight when the N. Sane Trilogy was announced for the PlayStation 4. Although it’s just an enhanced remastering of the original three Crash Bandicoot games, it’s still fantastic news for fans of the genre… and it might pave the way for new Crash Bandicoot games in the future.

The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy will be out in 2017.

3. A Hat in Time

I’ve been excited for A Hat in Time ever since it was first unveiled, and I even recorded a few sections of the beta as I played through it.

This fun-filled adventure of Hat Kid and her nemesis Mustache Girl, with gameplay heavily inspired by Banjo-Kazooie, is due out in 2017 for the PC and Mac. It hasn’t lost any of its charm for me since I backed it on Kickstarter, and although it doesn’t have a definite release date yet, I can’t wait to play the full game.

2. Yooka-Laylee

I haven’t gone into great detail about the gameplay of most of these, because most of them are following a set model, the style of 3D platforming popularized by games like Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64 (with some exceptions, such as Skylar & Plux).

But Yooka-Laylee takes that further than any of the others. Created by former Rare developers, it has a Banjo-Kazooie vibe through and through.

Yooka-Laylee might as well be “Banjo-Threeie,” and it’s one of my top anticipated games of 2017. Best of all, it has a solid release date. The exciting adventure of the bear and bird chameleon and bat begins on April 11, 2017 for the PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and Xbox One.

A Nintendo Switch version of Yooka-Laylee will follow.

And that brings us to the one game that captured my attention more than even Yooka-Laylee…

1. Super Mario Odyssey

While Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie are my favorite 3D platformers, I love Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. And Super Mario Galaxy, but especially the 64/Sunshine style.

I waited all through the Wii U’s life cycle for a new Mario game in the style of those three, and it never came. But for the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo announced Super Mario Odyssey, a 3D platformer with open areas in the style of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine.

Say what you will about the Nintendo Switch, but Super Mario Odyssey looks fantastic. It’s the 3D platformer I’m currently most excited for, and I only wish it was due out sooner than Holiday 2017.

The 3D platformer genre might not be as strong as it once was, but it’s far from dead. These 10 games are all titles to look forward to, with many due out this year. From indie games to major titles, 3D platforming is still around.

Which upcoming 3D platformers are you most excited for? Are there any more I should be aware of?

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