|64 63%||Prince of Persia (1989) - Sep 23, 2018
"The founding title of the so-called "Cinematic Platformer" genre. With its stylish look, big puzzly level layouts, and rotoscoped animations, it certainly creates a strong impression. For better or worse, the animation method leads to some very exactingly precise controls, which make even the most action-heavy sequences a matter of very careful memorization and planning (hence the puzzly layouts). It's an undeniably bold design, even if it can feel frustratingly stiff to play."
|43 30%||Duck Hunt (1984) - Aug 22, 2018
"A lightgun game on your own TV felt like a crazy novelty at the time. (Though Nintendo had been making various kinds of lightgun toys since the 60s.) Did anyone really play this at the distance from the screen they were supposed to be? I wonder..."
|60 56%||Dr. Mario (1990) - Aug 22, 2018
"An above average color-matching puzzler for the time. The music's catchy. "
|63 60%||Diddy Kong Racing (1997) - Aug 14, 2018
"The mascot kart racer has been one of the most predictable and over-saturated genres ever since Mario Kart conjured it into existence, so I do have to give Rare credit for trying to breathe some more variety into things. It's an interesting novelty, at least, though I do honestly wonder whether this genre works better for pick-up-and-play anyway. The controls are... acceptable."
|53 44%||Conker's Bad Fur Day (2001) - Aug 14, 2018
"The scurry to find just the right flavor of "mature" to appeal to the adolescent audience would lead to some spectacularly silly games in the early 2000s: this, BMX XXX, the PS2 NARC, etc. Honestly, I find the fact of this game's existence more amusing than most of the humor in it. Gameplay's varied but generally a chore (though a more linear structure wasn't a bad idea after the excesses of the last few Rare games). Just watch the Mighty Poo, and you'll have had most of the fun on offer."
|65 69%||Banjo-Tooie (2000) - Aug 14, 2018
"The game that comes closest to recapturing what made the first one work, though the overdrawn cutscenes and less focused map design hold it back a little. All in all, I wouldn't even mind the overabundance of collectibles and outsized maps quite so much if the game gave a clearer sense of what you actually *need* to do to proceed."
|48 38%||Donkey Kong 64 (1999) - Aug 14, 2018
"Too much. Too many characters, each with too many moves. Too many big, oversized maps with too many different kinds of collectibles. Too much backtracking, wandering those empty-feeling maps over and over with each and every one of those characters to scrounge after all those little collectibles. More really is less sometimes."
|94 96%||Banjo-Kazooie (1998) - Aug 14, 2018
"The strongest of Rare's N64 platformers, despite being their first; their expressed need to make the others "new" and "different" compared to this often led them astray one way or another. Here, though, the levels fit together on a scale that's fun to explore without making backtracking a chore, the moves are numerous and varied but are introduced at a reasonable pace, and overall, it just works nicely. As successful an attempt to follow in Mario 64's footsteps as you could wish for."
|96 99%||Super Mario 64 (1996) - Aug 14, 2018
"In '96, the race was on to come out with the games that would define the platforming genre's direction in 3D. Unsurprisingly, Nintendo's entry was the clear front-runner. There are big, colorful environments, reasonably fluid controls, and the element most other developers would take quite a while to pick up on: a successfully exploration-focused structure. Its weakest point is something anyone familiar with the earliest generations of 3D games knows as their nemesis: awkward camera controls."
|60 56%||Balloon Fight (1984) - Aug 11, 2018
"Nintendo does "Joust". It's cute and playable for a while."