|85 92%||Myst (1993) - Apr 21, 2019
"The juggernaut of computer game sales for the ensuing decade, Myst introduced a new style of adventure game centered on atmosphere, more mechanically conceived puzzles, and slow, contemplative pacing—and boy did it have all of those elements in spades. The papers hailed it as the Gospel that would draw all ages to CD gaming, and they weren't entirely off. (It was my first CD game, on Mac, though I probably would not have gotten very far without receiving the official guide the next Christmas.)"
|83 91%||Super Mario Sunshine (2002) - Apr 20, 2019
"Less balanced than usual, but still appealing. The pleasantly sunny atmosphere and the easy versatility of hovering and splashing around with the water cannon make this a strong entry with a distinctive personality over the rest of the series. The continuation of Mario 64's style of exploration is very welcome, though perhaps the greatest misstep was moving away from that model a little by giving you so little flexibility regarding just which challenges you want to pursue, and in what order."
|79 85%||Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (2002) - Apr 20, 2019
"A strikingly styled 3D platformer with stealth elements whose look made it a standout of its day. I wish I could say the gameplay was as consistently charming as the presentation. It's at its best when its actually about platforming, as you swiftly breeze through short, highly polished linear levels. It's the little mandatory side-activities added to draw out this experience where things fall short, as you wrestle with imprecise controls in tight time limits before being allowed to move on. "
|64 62%||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 29%||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 54%||Dr. Mario (1990) - Aug 22, 2018
"An above average color-matching puzzler for the time. The music's catchy. "
|63 58%||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 43%||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 67%||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 37%||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."