A Hat in Time: Nyakuza Metro

released on May 10, 2019

DLC for A Hat in Time

Welcome to the deep underground Nyakuza Metro! It's the perfect place for a little lying, a little cheating... a little stealing. Join the Nyakuza and become mad rich - joining a gang never turned out bad, right?

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Definitely the better DLC out of the two. The Nyakuza Metro level is extremely fun, especially with two people. Plus is ads tons of cosmetic items you can buy. Super fun and worth the price.

DLC pra agradar a fanbase rica dos Furry's. É muito boa no geral.

I fuckin hate cat trains. Everything else it's very enjoyable.

This review contains spoilers

The first DLC pack extending the short length of A Hat In Time, “Seal the Deal,” was not exactly what I anticipated. The “Seal” part was underwhelming, and the “Deal” part was anything but enjoyable. If I wasn’t a console bumpkin and experienced “Seal the Deal” upon its initial release, it would’ve soured my overall experience of this lovely game. Fortunately, A Hat In Time graced us with another DLC pack, and I didn’t have to have a year of disappointment hovering over me like a perpetual raincloud. I didn’t even know there was another A Hat In Time DLC pack other than “Seal the Deal” when it was released for consoles. “Nyakuza Metro” is the DLC content from A Hat In Time that I yearned for to prolong the short experience.
“Nyakuza Metro” becomes available very late in the game, and it is hidden under a door near the laundry room, accessed through an underground door via ice hat power. The title card for the area is a wide shot of the metro, highlighting the scope of the DLC. “Nyakuza Metro” is a free-roam chapter similar to “Alpine Skyline” from the base game. I mentioned in my review of the base game that the only chapter I felt was underwhelming was “Alpine Skylines”. The free-roam direction didn’t exude the same character and charm as the more linear chapters. In the case of “Nyakuza Metro”, this DLC content makes up for the last chapter in the base game. There is something about the metro that makes it a grand spectacle. It’s a sprawling concrete playground covered with a myriad of beaming neon lights that cover the colors of the rainbow. If you couldn’t tell from the title, this chapter is heavily inspired by facets of Japanese culture. As far as I can tell from the Persona games, the metros of Japan must be the meccas of convenience and 21st-century commerce. These Japanese metros make the dingy subways of America look like Las Vegas. Not only does A Hat In Time replicate the resplendent qualities of the Japanese metro, but Nyakuza also has a certain “Miyazaki magic” to it. Roaming around the area as Hat Kid reminded me of Spirited Away, a child acting as a stranger in a strange land that offers both wonderment and danger. One could argue that this is conveyed through every chapter in A Hat In Time, but I felt this more strongly in Nyakuza Metro. Of course, it could be because of the Japanese influence and the enormous cat chariots pulling the subways.
The open-world design of “Nyakuza Metro” is much better executed than in “Alpine Skyline”. Alpine Skyline’s open world was a small hub with several branching paths that never connected with one another. Each path also had a different theme ranging from avoiding lava and climbing a gargantuan bird house to navigating a bell tower. These themes of all these different acts are so different from one another that it hardly feels “open-world”. Nyakuza Metro has a central hub with color-coordinated stations the player unlocks one by one. Each station consistently retains the metro setting while offering unique platforming challenges per section. The design of the metro is much more consistent with its setting than “Alpine Skyline” ever was. If there’s any more indication that Nyakuza Metro is a prime example of open-world design done correctly, I had to use the map offered in the center of the hub to navigate the metro.
I criticized “Alpine Skyline” for lacking the same quality in narrative and supporting characters compared to the other chapters in the base game. I now consider it an indirect cause of having an open-world chapter. Nyakuza Metro has a more involved narrative, but it’s so weak that it makes me wonder why they even bothered. In the metro hub, there is a jewelry store that sticks out like a sore thumb among the dazzling neon glow. This is the base of operations for “The Empress”, the mob boss of the metro. When Hat Kid collects a timepiece, her cat goons accost her and take it to The Empress. The Empress then compensates by giving you a large sum of cash, something completely useless to Hat Kid. Once you collect all of them, the final act involves Hat Kid breaking into The Empress’s backroom and taking all of them back. The Empress sees this and sics all her minions on Hat Kid, resulting in a chase throughout the metro. Once Hat Kid escapes them, she encounters The Empress in an elevator, where she makes idle threats to Hat Kid. There is no boss fight with The Empress afterward, making all of this feel anticlimactic. Perhaps having somewhat of a narrative was the only way to incorporate the Yakuza, something prominently Japanese, into this chapter. It ends up being a giant detriment to the chapter as a whole. I would’ve rather focused on getting lost in the marvelous setting, listening to the mundane conversations between the feline denizens of the metro as background noise.
Nyakuza Metro is the clear winner between the two DLC packs of A Hat In Time. Unlike the vexing affair that was “Seal the Deal”, “Nyakuza Metro” was, in contrast, consistently fun. The narrative may have flopped, but I was too busy basking in the radiant neon glow of the metro to care. “Nyakuza Metro” is exactly what I wanted to extend the playtime of A Hat In Time.

somehow, this could be canon in the yakuza universe