Probably some of the most clever design I've ever seen in a video game. I'm at a loss for words. Stop playing Breath of the Wild, stop playing Elden Ring, literally any game you can think of as the "greatest of all time"; Gertude's Secrets is where it's at.

this happened to my buddy eric

blew a hole straight through my sd card because I patched it wrong. but i was persistent and eventually got it to work, and I'm glad I did, because: bnuuy

marketed as Nintendo's Greatest Bits, but sure felt more like Nintendo's Greatest Desperation

idk i just remember this taking upwards of 5 minutes to load on my OG 3DS just so i could maybe get an unrecognizable DS/N64 cartridge badge or two

like, i get nintendo was hurting for cash at the time. but microtransactions for PNGs you can put on your home screen? haaahhh no.

Still holds up extremely well despite being uh (checks notes) "PC Game of the Year 1998"

This was my first playthrough. I honestly had no issues with Xen for some reason, but I must've played this wrong because I relied heavily on quicksaves (and was kinda forced to do so; many areas felt super unfair without a good place to restart from). That being said, Nihilanth really isn't a good final boss- super easy to break, and pretty much a pushover once you know what to do.

I played through AHiT back when it first released, coming back briefly to check out the DLCs as they came out. I was going through old reviews and saw I'd marked it as a 4/5, which felt a bit high for a game I technically last played 6-ish years ago. Maybe I was looking at it with rose-tinted glasses? So I did a new playthough and... this still sorta holds up? Not as well as I'd remembered, mind you, but to sum it up: It's Alright. Flawed, but alright.

I suppose I should start with a quick overview of what I liked, because if I went into this playthrough with a more critical lens, I'm obviously going to have more complaints than the initial praise I gave this game.
- I still think the cast of characters gives this game a really good amount of personality, even if some of them are a bit derivative (no offense, Snatcher). The voice acting didn't have me immediately scrambling for a volume slider either, so that's something.
- Hat Kid controls really well- and despite her moveset being a bit limited, recovering from platforming mistakes was usually a viable option. But in cases where it wasn't, it was easy to tell it was from mistakes I made, and not from a fault with the game's controls.
- There's a good quantity of music, but it's not without any quality; not once during gameplay did I feel like the tracks were getting too grating.
- The visuals are nice, even if they feel a bit busy and inconsistent at times; there's not much you can do in that department when you're an indie studio using an outdated engine, I guess.

Now onto my first complaint: this game is absurdly easy. If it weren't for a bullshit death from a one-off enemy in Subcon (I could write an entire paragraph about how garbage the statue enemy is from a game design lens, it made me that mad), I would've only died once in the entire base game. One could chalk it up to me having played the game before and knowing what to expect, but still- there was a 6 year gap! And I'm not even that good of a game player in the grand scheme of things!

It really puts into question the target audience of AHiT; who is this game for? Looking back at the game's Kickstarter trailer, it leans heavily into a theme of "remember N64 platformers? we wanna make a NEW one!", so okay, the target audience is older gamers, right? But the complete lack of difficulty leads me to believe otherwise. The only real challenge to be had here would be from being younger and having less experience with games. And before you ask: no, the one-hit badge and Death Wish are not substitutes for actual, well thought-out challenges.

Moving on from difficulty, I'd like to ask: what the hell happened with Alpine Skyline. Actually, don't answer that- I know it's because it was quickly built from the ashes of a scrapped chapter before release, but still: Alpine Skyline is such an unbelievably weak chapter, carried only by the fact that its platforming comes closest to being remotely challenging. I think part of it stems from the fact that it feels so divorced from the rest of the game; when I played through the first 3 chapters, they all felt like they belonged together. I forgot those 3 chapters existed once I started Alpine Skyline- it just felt wayyy too thematically detached in comparison to those other chapters.

To address something I mentioned in my original review: the game continues to suffer from bizarre issues here and there. I thought most of these would've been ironed out, so it was pretty disappointing to see a similar number of bugs as I did in the release build. They weren't anything too major (clipping through geometry, getting warped back to the last solid surface for no reason, very obvious z-fighting on some objects, etc.), but combined they really do remind you that you're playing a game with a decade-old codebase. The game also hard-crashed my Steam Deck twice but I'm inclined to blame Proton for that

I could go on and on about other nitpicks I have with this game, but... damn it, it held my interest just enough to 100% it a second time. 3.5 stars. sure.

Definitely stands toe-to-toe with the base game's chapters, unlike The Arctic Cruise, which was just disappointing.

That being said, I feel like the finale was a bit disappointing. The base game's first 3 chapters have pretty good "traditional" boss fights, whereas chapter 4 and 5's finales are both what I'd consider "advanced fetch quests". Nyakuza's finale falls into the latter camp, but with less fetching- it's mostly just running through a linear cut of the metro while avoiding projectiles. It would've been neat if that sequence led into an actual fight with the Empress.

the absolute shortest, most frustrating chapter of the game, and a giant band-aid over the base game's (lack of) difficulty. I offer my condolences to those who paid full price for this

it's a shame that Dark Souls fans can't call themselves true FromSoft fans, because unlike Dark Souls you need a friend to play this one

lost my copy of the game. my shaymin is stuck on a pokewalker and hasn't seen its family in a decade please send help

Interesting, addictive concept, but I felt no reason to keep playing after getting a watermelon for the first time.