Date: 09-18-2011 03:01
Author: Matt Gonzales

PDC profile: Matt

Ernest Hamilton ventures through 4 areas of the world, in Fatshark's new puzzle-platformer Hamilton's Great Adventure. Does Hamiton's quest end soon or will he be triumphant in his adventure? Read after the break...

Trusty Sidekicks
Hamilton's Great Adventure takes place during the first half of the 20th century, where Ernest Hamilton, and his trusty partners, search for a device. The story is narrated by Hamilton in the past tense, as he is recounting his journey to his granddaughter Amy. Hamilton's Great Adventure starts out after The Professor and Hamilton create the Transmorphanizer, where a key piece of the device gets stolen, the Fluxtron, by an unnamed group of thieves. With help of Hamilton's bird, Sasha, along with The Professor and Cecil, they adventure through 4 areas of world to find the Fluxatron device.

Venture Through the World

Throughout the game, Hamilton must overcome obstacles blocking him from getting to his destination. The gameplay sounds simple, get from point A to point B, but the inclusion of obstacles such as collapsing tiles and bouncing goats make it much more challenging. Since Hamilton's Great Adventure is a puzzle-platformer, there is a limited amount of spaces that Hamilton can move. The collapsing tiles were mainly what I saw throughout the game. The main objective of each level is to get a golden key and make it to the exit. Hamilton gets scored on how fast and how many items were collected throughout the level, and is given either bronze, silver, or gold rank.

I failed many times trying to complete a level on gold, as you can't exactly backtrack through the level because of the collapsing tiles. This is where Hamilton's bird, Sasha, comes in handy. By pressing the button, Sasha can fly through the level looking for traps or levers that she can pull. Sasha can also confuse enemies into going to another place, but she must run from flying blow-fish that are present in some levels. Sasha must also find Mystic Dust throughout a level, this is needed for Hamilton to use the gadgets. Pressing the button activates the gadgets, though gadgets are rarely used, some levels require them. I found it odd that Hamilton's Great Adventure doesn't provide a tutorial on how to use the gadgets. I went through half the game wondering why I'm collecting Mystic Dust.

Collapsing Tiles
Controls on the PS3 version are not that great due to latency issues, meaning unresponsive controls. For instance, the game takes almost half second to register a button press. This latency problem is quite noticeable, and is a particularly annoying problem when turning Hamilton while he is using the Boots of Celephais gadget. Another annoying problem is using Sasha, as she is very important into finishing levels. Sometimes a level requires Sasha at a certain area to pull a lever so Hamilton can get through a door, but you'll ended up dying or failing most of the time since Sasha flies back too you. (This is the best way I can explain it. Sasha flies to Hamilton after a certain time)

The camera is also a problem, and I honestly don't know how they could have screwed it up. There is zooming in and out, as well as panning side to size, but the game zooms out to the max while controlling Sasha, making it very hard since she is difficult to see. The difficulty can be really hard or just plain elementary, and seems to lack balance. The first chapter is very easy to complete, but the difficulty ramps up quickly. It became very tedious replaying levels over and over again before being able to move on. Restarting a level again happens because either Hamilton dies, or he doesn't make it to the exit in the set number of moves. Each level takes about 2-3 mins to complete, but as I said, I replayed many levels in-order to pass without failing.

End of the Adventure
In the end, Hamilton's Great Adventure does prove to be a solid puzzle-platformer. Even with its unresponsive controls, difficulty, and camera problem, this PlayStation Network title is still a fun game. There is a small learning curve, but after beating the second chapter, the game plays like butter. Art style is along the lines of a cartoony Tomb Raider, which is done quite well compared to other PSN titles. No voice acting is present in the game, but grunts every so often where the characters are suppose to be talking. I didn't much like the idea of no voice acting, but it's quite funny hearing Sasha's squawk. There are also 21 trophies present, so trophy hunters should be happy playing this game. Hamilton's Great Adventure is a great cheap puzzle-platformer that I would recommend getting.

Hamilton's Great Adventure is developed by fatshark and is available on the PlayStation Network for $9.99. I played around 3 hours when reviewing Hamilton's Great Adventure.

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