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Magical Hat Flying Turbo Adventure Review


It’s a well known fact that Super Mario Bros 2 is a butchered version of Doki Doki Panic, altered to sell to a Western audience because the real Super Mario Bros 2 is considered too difficult. The Westernisation of video games has been going on for quite some time but this instance is the most widely known.

Most people from the UK will remember a Mega Drive game called Decap Attack which saw you take control of the mummy Chuck D Head as you take on Max D Cap’s army of un-dead minions. It was a quirky little game with smart level design, great music and an approachable play mechanic that was simple to pick up. The graphics were a bit dodgy but this didn’t matter as the game was immortalised in a comic strip that featured heavily in Fleetway’s ‘Sonic the Comic’.

But did you know that Decap Attack is not an original title? Probably not because it never received a sequel and didn’t sell particularly well. The game is actually a reworking of Magical Hat Flying Turbo Adventure (yes, you read correctly); a game based on the anime series ‘Magical Hat’. Playing Magical Hat instantly makes you realise that what was done to the game for its’ western release was a huge mistake.

Magical Hat sees you take control of Hat, a child who takes it upon himself to save his home, Uson Island. The island is split apart via the surfacing of the evil world, Devildom and it’s up to Hat to stop the minions of Devildom from taking over his home.

Magical Hat is a very early Mega Drive title so at the time of release, multi-layered parallax-scrolling backgrounds and high speed weren’t the norm. Therefore, Magical Hat plays very traditionally and is very similar to Alex Kidd. Run and jump through each stage punching enemies and avoiding death from lava pits and baddies. Hat can float by continuing to press the jump button during a fall and can attack with his little, egg-type buddy once found by punching open the statues that litter the island.

Hat is very responsive and easy to control. It’s this that makes the game so fantastic to play as without the responsiveness, this could have become a clunky and fairly generic Japanese platformer.

Every stage is a joy to explore as they contain multiple paths, platforms and secret areas with many items to find to aid your quest. They are beautifully fleshed out with bright, vibrant graphics that despite the lack of parallax, look fantastic for a Mega Drive game of this age. The sprites are also quite large and show a lot of expression which is rare for any 2D platformer.

The stages play out in threes; the first two urge the player to simply get to the goal and the last encourages exploration in search of a specific item in order to proceed. Once the end-of-level boss is cleared then the island is brought back together, one piece at a time. Once the stage is complete a bonus-game ensues.

Throughout the third stage in each area are 5 gold coins which count for one Hat in the bonus game. All the Hats you collect then walk up a little path, crossing over at junctions and collecting items to use in the next stage. It’s a fun addition that encourages further exploration for more bonus items and extra lives.

Music and sound is typically upbeat and pleasant to listen to. It compliments the game well and rounds out the presentation nicely to complete the package.

There really isn’t enough great things I can say about this much overlooked Japanese exclusive. If a copy presents itself to you for a decent price then you shouldn’t waste a moment thinking about getting it or not.



10/10



Written by Sonic Yoda on 26/2/09


Box Artwork

Cartridge

Instruction Manual



Screenshots

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