Wot I Think: A Hat In Time


Where Yooka-Laylee attempted to revive Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie formula, A Hat in Time [official site] strikes at a different vein of nostalgia. The 3D platformer attempts to split the difference between the open-ended adventuring of Super Mario 64 and the more guided point-by-point platforming of Super Mario Galaxy. The result is a work of obvious grace and imagination that never attempts to rise above its obvious inspirations, but still consistently delivers the same kind of warm fuzzies that its favorite Italian plumber deals in.

Like the games that came before it, the schema is open-ended – after a dust-up with a mafioso sucks all the time-bending fuel from Hat Kid’s cuddly spaceship on her way back to her home planet, she takes it upon herself to recover each of the shining stars hourglasses that power her craft. This involves descending to four different planets, each goofier than the last, and prying the goods from a wide variety of enemies, including owls, crows, a weird kid with a mustache, and – strangest of all – a gang of mafiosos who might (or might not) constitute a veiled meta-reference to the true meaning of Mario’s “goombas.”

A Hat In Time 1

This isn’t a Rare-style collect-a-thon – though the vast levels filled to the brim with different detours might fool you into thinking so. Instead, like Super Mario Galaxy before it, the particulars of the levels shift with the mission you select. For example, a Times Square-esque city block complete with skyscrapers and storefronts fills with adoring fans in a latter mission, forcing you to take to the rooftops to avoid the mosh.

Other goals do allow you to free-roam and scour the environment for the two auxiliary collectables: yarn balls, which stitch together to form classic Jumpman abilities like a butt stomp or a magical projectile; and “pons,” which you can trade for badges that augment your existing abilities, such as turning your ever-useful sprint into a moped. While this encourages you to explore every dark corner and tall tower of these pastel planets, the fact that the game keeps the collectibles to a (relative) minimum – as well as mixing in more linear challenges to leaven the loaf – ensures that the collectible-grabbing never reaches the point of exhaustion, unlike many Rare platformers of the era. (Anyone who has tried to gather every character-colored banana in Donkey Kong 64 knows exactly what I mean.) This compromise approach blends all the best intentions of the two design philosophies that girded the crop of 3D platformers that Hat In Time seeks to emulate, and, as such, it feels like a charming, well-considered fusion between the two.

A Hat In Time 2

“Charming” is the word for A Hat in Time; every micron of its soft-hued universe seems tuned precisely to make you chuckle. The music jaunts along as you hop, mallets dance up and down the vibraphone, and encouraging tones ring out every time you grab a collectable. But while all this scene-setting is well-enough, a platformer is only as creative as its stages, and it’s only after the first hour or so in the rather trite Mafia Town that Hat Kid starts to find her jumping legs. The second world pits you in the middle of a feud between two eccentric filmmakers, DJ Grooves and The Conductor, on a planet populated entirely by birds. The Conductor wants to make Hat Kid the star of his Westerns. His first mission, which casts you as the detective in a “Murder on the Orient Express”-style mystery, is a real highlight, featuring clueless owls and crows that attempt to phish you for personal information.

DJ Grooves – pitched somewhere between Elvis impersonator and disco daddy – seeks to make you a pop diva. You run around his mock-Times Square, taking pictures with star-struck penguins and filming brazenly-false ads of Hat Kid saving cardboard kittens as Grooves croons about your skill and talent. Though both these encounters are mostly set-dressing, they’re followed in turn by two of the stoutest platforming challenges in the game, with the Conductor making you race through the train to defuse a bomb and DJ Grooves hitting you with an onslaught of rockets and streamers as you lead a parade through his Potemkin New York.

A Hat In Time 3

Your performance in these tasks – evaluated through a credit roll dripping with film grain that plays upon their completion – feeds into a real point total for each, with the winner receiving the Bird Oscar at the end, and the loser taking you to task for your inferior acting.

While that entire stage is pitched as comedic, the very next sees you selling your soul to an evil demon and doing his chores for your hourglasses, which includes duking it out with an evil commode and crawling your way through a surprisingly-effective haunted mansion. Though the moment-to-moment running and jumping might be typical fare for a platformer, the sheer charm and creativity that Gears for Breakfast brings to every hourglass kept me smiling.

A Hat In Time 4

There are foibles, of course. A Hat in Time makes little effort to transcend the usual problems of the genre, and I found their presence occasionally discouraging. In particular, fixed camera angles are used just a little too readily, especially when it comes to the trickier leaps and wall-kicks. A Hat in Time isn’t a difficult game – far from it – but at times it feels like the Hat Kid’s platforming moves work against you. Between a sprint, a double-jump, and a dive, the impressive range of movement seems intended to prevent the sort of pixel perfect-platforming that the likes of Meat Boy popularized, and at times it feels imprecise.

This is especially true of the Mario 64-inspired dive that gives you just an extra bit of horizontal oomph, but can often leave you drowning in the drink thanks to a sudden swerve of your camera’s view. The Ratchet-style hook/swingshot you obtain in the second half of the game feels quite satisfying, but skillful use of the dive and wall-jump allows you to skip many of the sections that make use of it – grappling would merely slow you down. Jumps onto small, curved surfaces like pipes never quite resolve correctly – add a fence into the mix and the Kid will occasionally auto-leap over its tiny height and into a bottomless pit.

A Hat In Time 5

And then there’s the nasty business of JonTron – equal parts charmless and incongruous. Developers Gears for Breakfast gave the YouTuber a voice cameo in the game as part of its Kickstarter campaign back in 2013. Earlier this year, JonTron outed himself as a racist and bigot in a series of videos where he, among other things, claimed that Mexicans were trying to conquer American land, that “wealthy black people commit more crime than poor whites,” and that the term white supremacist “is a racial slur.” For what it’s worth, JonTron’s actual vocal role in the game boils down to a handful of lines – I missed it my first playthrough, and I was listening for it. Still, the fact that the part is so minor makes you wonder even more why the developer didn’t just cut it and recast the role, which is exactly what Yooka-Laylee developers Playtronic did in March when faced with the identical situation. It’s ultimately up to you whether or not this impacts your purchasing decision.

But though these hiccups sometimes frustrated me, the vibrancy and dynamism that Gears for Breakfast brings to every goal, every level, and every character of A Hat in Time made the journey worth it. This is a game that, despite its derivative nature, manages to delight in the details enough to make me remember why I loved the games that inspired it to begin with.

A Hat In Time is out now on Windows and Mac via Humble and Steam for £23/$30/€28.


  1. milligna says:

    JonTron? No way am I supporting this.

    • pepperfez says:

      I’m inclined to want everyone everywhere to stop associating with avowed racists, but the more I think about it the less I’m willing to condemn the developers here.
      They were backed into a corner: leave the asshole’s voice in or volunteer to be punching bags for the far right. The risk to them and their jobs is hugely disproportionate to the scale of the statement they’d be making.

      Of course I would judge anyone who chooses to make publicly racist youtubers part of their project now, but when they ran the kickstarter back in the halcyon days of 2013, there was no reason to think it would suddenly become popular for video game personalities to pitch ethnonationalist propaganda.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Honestly, while we made quite the stink about it in the last Rock Paper Shotgun comment thread, by and large I don’t think anyone really gives a damn that JonTron has a voice cameo on the game.

      I look at the Steam reviews and cannot even find him mentioned once. The game is at 1500 “Overwhelmingly Positive” votes. The pimply social justice warrior in the back who shouted, “I refuse to support this game because JonTron has a cameo on it” just got drowned out by overwhelming praise for the game.

      So good job, vocal minority, for raising enough of a stink to confuse RPS to think his involvement was even worth a sentence, let alone a weighty paragraph, when talking about this game.

      For what it’s worth, I really doubt JonTron is much of a white supremacist. He might have a little inkling there, but probably less than the Boy Scouts of America. I don’t think you’ll ever find him at a KKK gathering or even actively harboring a genuine dislike for non-whites. He largely got polarized, another victim of radical 21st century paranoia-based politics.

      • pepperfez says:

        He said a bunch of extremely racist stuff during a scheduled interview — it wasn’t off the cuff bullshitting. I don’t think that literally joining the Klan is necessary for someone to be a white supremacist if they keep defending statements like those. Like, unhinged conspiracy theories and racial pseudoscience aren’t more respectable than racial slurs just because they’re wrapped up in neutral-seeming language.

        e: I agree that beating up on the developers isn’t fair, but in a just world no one would accept an outspoken racist’s involvement in their project. It’s not on any individual to make that happen at their significant personal expense, though.

        • geldonyetich says:

          He said a bunch of extremely racist stuff during a scheduled interview — it wasn’t off the cuff bullshittin

          Are you referring to this interview? I gave it a listen, and I was honestly more triggered by the interviewer than JonTron, because he was constantly reinterpreting JonTron’s logical claims in emotional, unfair terms. That interviewer worked very hard to polarize JonTron.

          The trouble is JonTron is trying to make a logical argument that demographics matter, and people are kneejerking that we have no demographics and shouldn’t have a demographic. We want sincerely to be a fantastic good people who can wave away all demographics as having an impact. America’s the melting pot, where it doesn’t matter where you come from, you’re here and now you’re American! Great ideal. God bless America.

          But, speaking very logically, an ideal will vary from reality, that’s why they’re ideals. Demographics do have an impact, depending on what “impact” is. You don’t call a person, “American” and it reformats their lives. They’re still those people, and they still bring their background with them.


          Of course it will. In fact, they use their impact to their advantage. “It’s not my fault, I was born in an impoverished background, that’s why I thought nothing of murdering that guy to get money for my drug addiction.” You pretend it doesn’t have an impact, that you can wave away their bad habits through virtue of an ideal, you’re just a sucker. It may not be their fault they are who they are, but they are who they are.

          But, people read that and immediately think it’s written by a white supremacist. “If you believe a person’s background will influence who they are and what decisions they will make, you must be racist. You’re the kind of people Martin Luther King Jr was talking about in the Letter from Birmingham Jails! You hate and resent non-whites! You’re the reason racism exists! FREEDOM!”

          That’s a kneejerk and it’s pathetic. All I said was a person’s background will have an impact. You’re the one who started imagining all this other crap about me. I believe that’s what’s happening to JonTron here.

          Just like arguing abortion and religion, the only way to win an argument on race is not to make it. People say JonTron’s a stupid man who believes in racism. I would say that the truth is he was unfortunately too logical and all the stupids would rather make their judgements with their emotions. Considering the interviewer spent so long fighting downhill on the easy emotional front,

          I’m really surprised JonTron lasted as long as he did. He slipped up, he damned himself a bit, but that’s because it’s really hard to logic under those circumstances. You put yourself in his chair in a debate where it’s your job to point out that demographics have an impact, see if you do any better.

          • MajorLag says:

            I wish there were more people like you on the internet.

          • patstew says:

            I wouldn’t say he comes across as particularly logical. He seems to have swallowed a load of ridiculous hype about Europe being some kind of disaster area and unsubstantiated claims about crime levels that have warped his viewpoint. The main problem is that he keeps coming back to the idea of preserving the country for a white people, because he views whiteness as synonymous with the good parts of western culture. That’s a fundamentally racist way of looking at things.
            He could’ve made a relatively uncontroversial argument about demographics, crime, voting patterns, culture, civil rights etc if he wasn’t so keen on putting it in terms of whiteness.

          • hamilcarp says:

            If you fail to see the explicit racism in his comments, then you yourself are part of the problem.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Well I’m a half-asian in Europe and I don’t give a damn about political correctness, whining minorities and bullshit activism.

        Rascism is fought by being a model person in real life not by passiv-aggressive backbiting on the internet and moral entitlement about some unknown JonTron dude who probably said something also on the internet and is absolutely irrelevant.

        • geldonyetich says:

          I’d say your view was closer to his sentiment than theirs. JonTron was the one saying real people in real life should endeavor to be model people irregardless of their background.

          People heard that and said, “Hey! What about their disadvantageous background?! It’s not fair to expect them to be model people. What an ignorant, white-supremacist view you have there.”

          Of course, the truth is not at either extreme. You don’t expect a person to be who they’re not. You don’t expect a person to slack off without trying to be better. Either extreme is not reflective of reality.

          That’s not a true or realistic way to bring about equality. It’s an emotional fixation on an ideal independent of reality. But it wins, because people love an emotional appeal and hate logic. Emotion is fun, exciting, and empowering. Logic is hard.

    • ElVaquero says:

      Same! No way I’m supporting this dev

  2. Chicago Ted says:

    JonTron? Instantly purchased.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      Well that means you immediately and completely support all of his views, past, present, and future.

      • DinoSteak says:

        Exactly, plus everything is binary now ipso facto buying this game means you’ve outed yourself as a white supremacist and deserve doxxing, losing your career, and to be shunned from society.

  3. Ejia says:

    Strange; I could’ve sworn there was another game that had this title, or an extremely similar one. I wonder which one it is I’m confusing it for.

  4. Avioto says:

    JonTron? But I already bought the game.

  5. icarussc says:

    I personally do not understand the boycotting impulse in a situation like this. To me, it feels like refusing to patronize a shop because the stock boy treats his girlfriend badly. Just seems like an overreaction to an unpleasant dude at the very fringe of a project.

    • milligna says:

      Or I could just play Mario games and not contribute to rehabilitating a racist jerk.

      • DarkFenix says:

        The racist jerk said a few lines and has already been paid. Whether or not you buy the game now only affects the developers.

  6. tsff22 says:

    “Its ultimately up to you whether or not this affects your purchasing decisions.”

    It doesn’t, personally. While I do find what Jon said in that stream abhorrent, his “role” in this game is so minuscule (Less then a few seconds of dialogue from a bit character) that I don’t think it has any impact on the game.

    Plus, its clear that Gears For Breakfast poured their heart and soul into this game, and they deserve to be rewarded for that alone.

  7. satsui says:

    Wtf is a JonTron?

    • tsff22 says:

      A popular youtube reviewer who recently professed some very, VERY…well, let’s be charitable and call them questionable beliefs.

      • Faxanadu says:

        Jontron racist jontron white supremacist…

        Yes, yes, but can someone finally quote, word for word, WHAT DID HE ACTUALLY SAY?

        Propaganda 101 is saying a person MEANT something without actually quoting him. Not saying it’s so here, but a lot of people are driving the case really hard.

        • Mithaldu says:

          “You can’t make the argument that whites should be okay with them becoming a minority in the country their ancestors built if it doesn’t apply to other countries.” link to youtube.com

          “Destiny: So what if whites became the minority but most brown people assimilated to the culture. Would that be okay then? Jontron: Yeah, but if they assimilated, they would enter the gene pool eventually and would just… you know…” link to youtube.com

        • TheBetterStory says:

          In addition to the comments in Mithaldu’s reply, those quoted in the article would already be enough for me to spot someone I don’t want to support. That said, I don’t think it’s the developers’ faults that he turned out to be such an awful person after they’d already hired him, so I don’t think a boycott is necessary here. (I suspect the reason they didn’t remove his part is because they were worried about angry Kickstarter backers.)

    • int says:

      What you get when you combine Garfield’s owner with the computer program Tron.

  8. Pliqu3011 says:

    Saw a prototype of this a few years back. Really impressive what it has since become.

    Looks cute and charming enough to ignore the JonTron nastiness and buy it, though only just.

  9. zaldar says:

    Wait is what you have in quotes exactly what he said? I mean I can kind of see saying Mexicans are trying to invade the land as you can have a cultural invasion (Euroeans did that to the Native Americans) still a questionable thing to say of course. The others – just wow. Crime has nothing to do with race unless you have some real good data to prove otherwise which I certainly haven’t seen – and unless white supremacist is used to describe ALL whites not a slur (now cracker…). Sigh I mean I know youtubers are basically shock jocks but seriously…

    • Bluestormzion says:

      No, it’s not exactly what he said. I would encourage you to watch the interview in question for yourself before making any judgment. Destiny railroaded him down specific alleys of discussion, and the majority of “quotes” of the debate are either misquotes or specifically chosen without context to vilify. Jon can lean toward the conservative and some can’t separate the idea that “You should come into this country the right way” with “I hate everyone who’s brown!” I mean, the guy’s Hungarian, Croatian, and Persian, for God’s sake, hardly the stereotypical white guy.

      And yes, calling people “White Supremacists” can be a slur. People have said it about me, and I sure as shit am not a White Supremacist. I’m a complete mongrel, the only DNA that’s not in me is the Oriental Asian kind (I do have a bit of Russian, you see.) It’s fashionable to throw that title around these days. Guy wearing a hood and using the N-word left and right, yeah, probably a white supremacist. Someone who wants to be sure that the people who are going to be living among him and his family are not drug runners, gang leaders, and rapists? Something tells me he’d have just as big a problem with white drug runners, gang leaders, and rapists.

      People get emotionally charged about things, and they like to create villains to fight. It’s like how everyone was screaming that Jeff Sessions was a Klan member for months… and then we see that, wait a second, as a Prosecutor, he actually brought charges against the Klan, and prosecuted them in open court. Whoops.

      Judge for yourself, but also look for yourself. It’s inherently wrong to take what’s already a third-hand opinion and build your own opinion of the source on it.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        That’s not the only place he’s said those views. He also did a stream with Sargon of Akkad right after Trump’s inauguration and spouted the same far-right bullshit along with a bunch of Tweets he’s since deleted.

        As soon as his views began hurting his subscription base he tucked his balls inside his pelvis and asked everyone to stop talking about it.

      • hamilcarp says:

        If his comments don’t immediately jump out at you as wrong, you might just be dense or are a white supremacist apologist

    • Crafter says:

      I don’t have a lot of context either (learned who is jontron when I read about him on a hat in time articles) but it does seem in line with the kind of stupid shit he said :

      link to time.com

      There is a link to the infamous video in this article. It is 2 hours long mind you.
      To be honest 30 seconds were enough for me to form an opinion.

  10. Bluestormzion says:

    Jon Tron? You’re misquoting and mischaracterizing without giving any context and injecting politics into a game review about a game that does not deal in politics at all, reducing a website that before now I saw as impartial into just another preachy liberal rag.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Seriously? RPS has always been vocally left. How did you miss that until now?

    • Premium User Badge

      calcifer says:

      RPS has always been openly and proudly leftist, and their attitude towards people like JonTron have always been clear: We don’t want you here.

      Judging purely on your use of the term “liberal rag”, I feel you won’t find yourself welcome here either.

      • Faxanadu says:

        I think he tried to use the esssjeeeway word but RPS has banned it. (Which is ridiculous…)

    • geldonyetich says:

      Out of respect that my last comment was a little out of line, I’ll tone it down a bit and restate.

      First off, a point I forgot to make before, I’ll say that this commenter probably shouldn’t have mentioned the term, “liberal rag,” it has too much connotation of red versus blue. I think what you’re trying to say is you don’t want to get overly festooned with political shouting patch when you’re here to read about games and you get politically shouted at every time you turn on the TV these days, right?

      Second, I respectfully disagree with the writer’s sentiment that, “JonTron outed himself as a racist and bigot.” I feel that is an opinion shared by a drama-loving vocal minority, and does not reflect the opinion at large. By making that statement, the article is basically ramming that opinion down the throat of the rest of us.

      I’m not going to argue the writer should be unbiased. We’ve been down that road and it was forever a silly demand. Rather, I request he consider trying to be a little more objective with his phrasing. You’re a games writer, not judge and jury. We forge a sad world when these are one and the same. Though, given the current state of sensationalist media, perhaps I’m trying to dam the tides.

  11. Kitsunin says:

    What Jontron said was awful, but he’s not getting any money from sales of a Hat in Time, and what tiny amount of voice acting he did for the game, is great.

    Honestly, does anything else need to be said? Removing his voice acting like in Yooka Laylee just comes off as petty to me. Especially because he’s a comedian who has never let his political beliefs slip into his videos. He’s a complete moron for stating them, but he’s not a politician, and he’s not spreading hate through his work, so why does it matter?

    So ignoring all that. A Hat in Time is my Game of the Year.

    • Bluestormzion says:

      They didn’t slip into his videos. He was interviewed by Destiny, and Destiny completely railroaded him.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Right. That’s precisely what I mean. He was pushed into debating something and then said some really stupid crap. It has nothing to do with the work he does, so has no reason to even be a factor here.

        • pepperfez says:

          He was pushed into debating his defense of white supremacy, and while doing so reaffirmed his racist beliefs. It may not make his videos more or less amusing, but it should affect people’s willingness to work with him. “Political differences” are only excusable so far, and ethnonationalist fearmongering is far past it.

          • Kitsunin says:

            But he had already done the work. They didn’t have to work with him after they found out he’s racist. Considering this, removing him would involve going out of their way, which as I said, seems a bit petty. Even dealing with a bigot, that doesn’t make it less petty.

          • Bluestormzion says:

            He was not “defending White Supremacy,” nor is he a racist. You’re using overreactionary hyperbole and denying disagreement by trying to equate liking one’s own culture with hating other cultures AND the people who have them.

          • pepperfez says:

            I wouldn’t conflate “minor” and “petty”. “We don’t showcase white supremacists” isn’t a petty reason for cutting someone out of your project, even if their part in it is minor.

          • Kitsunin says:

            But why does his being a white supremasist even matter? It hasn’t got anything to do with his work.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Jontron didn’t become a bigot. He’s always been one. And many other Youtubers and voice actors definitely are too. Only difference is that they are smart/lucky enough to have never actually stated their beliefs.

            So what, should we have a political test before anyone can get any job? Wouldn’t want a racist delivering your mail. Wouldn’t want a sexist making food at McDonalds.

            If you ask me, as long as he never allows his political beliefs to slip into his comedy, Hitler himself could be a Youtube comedian and voice actor, and that’d be just fine. Better than being a politician, for damn sure.

  12. BeowulfDragon says:

    To add my two cents, while I feel that the inclusion of JonTron isn’t the greatest choice, it doesn’t feel like they’re advertising it too much, and it could be justified as fulfilling kickstarter promises. I’ll wait and see what they do next before making a full moral judgement.

    Just to add, this is my opinion, and I don’t think that people should be attacked for their opinions on meta matters like this.

  13. sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

    It’d be nice if there was some comments about, you know, the actual game.

    • EasyStar says:

      Right? The release announcement post was full of comments complaining that they didn’t mention the JonTron controversy or arguing that they didn’t need to mention it. Now that they mentioned it in the actual review, this page is full of comments from people about why they did/didn’t think it was OK to buy the game in light of the JonTron stuff.

      So as not to add to all the pointless controversy nonsense (more than I already have): I’ve adored this game so far. Good style, fun platforming, great difficulty curve. My only complaint would be that the first planet feels somehow more coherent than the rest of it. The sort of thing that another year in development might’ve fixed. But then again, I had a great time so I’m happy they released it when they did.

    • Crafter says:

      With a new Mario game just around the corner, I wonder if it is the right time to launch a competitor.

      Personally I am going to wait a couple of weeks and almost assuredly take the nintendo game instead.

      I have no attachement to the nintendo franchise, if anything, I would like to see new characters, heck I am not even sure that the Mario ones qualify as such seeing how empty they are. Nintendo does know how to make great platformers though.

      • Kitsunin says:

        A Hat in Time is better than any Mario game except potentially Odyssey, though. Well, in my opinion. It’s never even close to as frustrating as some parts of 3D mario games, and there are far more surprises and charm.

        The double-jump + dash + dash-cancel gives you as much control in the air as Sunshine did, but without the extreme anachrony of the hover nozzle.

        Those complaints stated in this article are nowhere near as bad as the control problems present in Mario Galaxy even, but especially any mario game before it.

        • abstrarie says:

          Different strokes for different folks I guess, because I don’t think this game is half as good as any proper 3d Mario games (64, Sunshine, Galaxy).

  14. Scurra says:

    I backed both this and Yooka-Laylee because I like the genre and the PC has hardly been a hotbed of these type of games; I have loved both although this is far more accessible (in that e.g. even the Boss battles feel fair.) They both have the same camera and control issues, and the sense that whilst the level designs are never less than clever, they are sometimes less than fun. (Again, I’d also like to give a shoutout to Poi which came out earlier in the year.)

    aHiT does go into some dark places at times (the noose is especially weird) but it never looks less than charming, and the script is very funny, even if the voice-acting veers between quite decent and really terrible. (I have zero idea which character this “JonTron” is; I still don’t because I can’t be bothered to find out and even the credits don’t tell me.) Oh, and it’s got a text adventure game hidden in it. Now that did make me smile.

    • pepperfez says:

      Hey, would you talk about Poi? I’ve seen a lot of screenshots and mentions of it but not much from people who’ve played it.

  15. treat says:

    Can we talk about something even more offensive than a tactless racist? I’m referring to the grotesque depth of field settings. It looks like it was disabled for every screenshot after the first two, but the fact that disabling it completely isn’t a native option from the advanced video settings–instead requiring you to edit the .ini settings file–implies that this was something they thought people would like, or, god help me, something they felt actually looked okay.

    Instructions to disable DoF and motion blur should be stamped right on the front of the box, preferably over the face of the kid.

    • RichUncleSkeleton says:

      Using DoF and motion blur to hide terrible textures: a trick as old as time itself (or at least DoF/MB itself).

  16. RichUncleSkeleton says:

    And then there’s the nasty business of JonTron – equal parts charmless and incongruous.

    I know you just included the spiel about JT to get your little pat on the back from the enlightened lefty brigade, but all the VA I’ve heard in this game is charmless and incongruous. Rare-style gibberish talk has never sounded so good next to this crap.

    • Premium User Badge

      calcifer says:

      > the spiel about JT

      > enlightened lefty brigade

      I feel like you took a wrong turn somewhere on the road to a different website and ended up at castle shotgun. Perhaps you should try again?

      • RichUncleSkeleton says:

        Editorially, RPS is usually pretty good about keeping a safe distance from the “unctuous liberal” threshold. Its commenters, on the other hand…

        • Premium User Badge

          calcifer says:

          I don’t want to patronize you and link to a definition of “liberal”, which would clearly explain it as a right-wing phenomenon so I’m just going to assume you are an American and by “liberal” you mean “a bit less right than the Republicans”.

          Back to the topic on hand, RPS has never shied away from proudly publishing their left wing politics, so I’m not sure that “unctuousness” (if you can call it that) is limited to commenters.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I didn’t like the voice acting in the movie zone (Scottish bird was ‘aight though), but otherwise I thought the acting was somewhere between good and great (Mustache Girl and the Mafia were excellent)

  17. mcgiants says:

    A bigger issue to me than the Jontron thing is it sounds like the lead developer isn’t paying his artists fairly. link to twitter.com

    Still, instead of boycotting, I’m going to try to go out of my way to look up some artists and throw a few bucks their way. Still, not fun to find out.

    • Crafter says:

      That’s indeed pretty disturbing (if true).

      That would be a good reason for me not to buy this game.

  18. abstrarie says:

    RE: Jontron (because no comment section following this game can talk about anything but him)

    I don’t think he actually understands what he is saying (or rather implying). The guy is clearly out of his depth and just parroting some nonsense that appeals to his social position. Why he thinks that he is a part of the productive part of society by posting videos of himself playing videogames and saying funny things is beyond me (just because you make money doesn’t make you productive) but his views are pretty half baked. I don’t really see why people who have little interest in studying and understanding the complex and nuanced topics surrounding race relations feel a need to share their completely ignorant opinions on them. It is ok to just shrug and say “I don’t know” sometimes. I guess you can come back and say “well how do you classify someone as knowledgeable enough about a topic to be worth listening to” and that can be a difficult question in its own right, but at least in the case of Jontron I think it is pretty clear he isn’t giving this stuff too much deep thought or research. He is just saying the theory that most easily slots into his pre-established world view and felt that was worth sharing with the world for some reason. That is how it reads to me anyway.