Collection Part 1: Childhood

This is the first part of my collection. It is split into multiple list due to list length restrictions. This list covers the my childhood, specifically from the end of the SNES era through to the end of the Gamecube era. Specifically this covers from around September 1996 to May 2006.

I make a habit of putting a number (1/5 to 5/5) and about a paragraph on each game. You know, for posterity. A heart (<3) means I love the game and it's one of my all time favorites.

Keep in mind most of the takes here were written between 2009 and 2011 and are of a time.

(Note: My N64 broke in 2004. Shortly after I sold all my N64 games netting 50 bucks for the lot of them. These worth listing due to their part in my childhood are listed "formerly.")

List items

  • DS (2006) - 2/5 - Workable but completely forgettable and not really very fun as a platformer or a game where you unlock stuff. It's so mellow it forgets it's a game and supposed to be fun.

  • GBA (2006) - 3/5 - A game that was alright, but admittedly its additional mechanic (teaming up) did nothing for the platforming and just seemed like something to justify another Sonic game. It's average by all means. Not bad, but average.

  • DS (March 2006) - 1/5 - Bleh. Everything about this game is bad. The single player is horrendous, linear, and focused on dumb death matches which occur at random intervals and aren't fun, the multiplayer is stupidly unbalanced, and to top it all off it controls like an ass.

  • DS (February 2006) - 1/5 - I lost interest in this game not long into it. It's clunky, boring, obnoxiously difficult, obnoxiously designed, and just a slog to get through. I will never return to this game honestly.

  • DS (2006) - 3/5 - It's a competently done skating game that is a portable version of the console game of the time. It's not a very good one, but it sorta gets the job done if you really want to play a worse version of Wasteland on the go.

  • (First played in 2006) - 4/5 - While I'd mark it down for being a little tough at times and a little too slow at others, I give EarthBound credit for having a fantastic world, fantastic writing, and the ability to make the adventure feel just right. Plus, great music and the guy who tells you to say "Pickle!"

  • DS (December 2005) - 4/5 - While it was sorta just Animal Crossing on the DS, at that time the formula wasn't dry yet. Sure, it was really shitty that for a game with no ability to have multiple towns you had to share a house with anyone else who played, the online and the changes they made elsewhere (which were the right changes to make) made it perfectly fine.

  • DS (November 2005) (Lost at some point) - 4/5 - Probably the only Mario Kart I honestly enjoy. Easy enough to unlock everything, easy enough to jump in and do a few races with random CPU racers on a random track. For a no thought at all racer that's important. Also you can disable the blue shells if you're not doing a cup. That's great!

  • Gamecube (November 2005) - 2/5 - A bunch of bad ideas made into a game. Yo, Shadow has a gun. What more do you need to know? Well, I guess if you still were into Sonic the Hedgehog platforming (I was at the time) it wasn't the worst game in the world, but still.

  • DS (November 2005) - 4/5 - A decent Mario & Luigi game. Funny, well written, good combat, with some great locations. My only complaint is that the difficulty was unforgiving at times and sometimes it did get boring.

  • DS (October 2005) - 3/5 - It's Metroid Prime Pinball. It's pinball with a Metroid Prime theme. It's well executed, if a little short for content being, you know, pinball and all. A few more boards would've made a world of difference, or more emphasis on progressing through worlds or some sort of Metroidvania element where you're collecting something on one board to open a route on another. As it is it's just Pinball. With Metroid Prime.

  • DS (October 2005) - 4/5 - A fine sequel to Aria of Sorrow, though admittedly it doesn't bring a ton of stuff new to the table besides stupid touchscreen gimmicks. Still, it's another fun game that uses the soul system really well.

  • Gamecube (October 2005) - 4/5 - While today looking back the silly fake open world stuff it did it seems like an average game at best, back then the way the worlds were "seamlessly connected" did a lot to make this Tony Hawk game immersive and enjoyable. Sure, it was more of the same, and the missions weren't consistently fun, but the game had a great story to it, and it just felt good to see it unfold by your actions.

  • DS (Dachshund & Friends) (August 2005) - 4/5 - Ehhhhh... This is well put together... Let's say.

  • DS (June 2005) - 5/5 - The game that proved the DS's touch screen was onto something. A fun game with excellent touch screen use, great art, and some fine ass gameplay that managed to effectively explored both the uses of drawing tangible lines and the opportunities of Kirby's ability to absorb enemy powers. My only critique is for some of the minigames included and forced upon the player before bosses are poor, but that's a minor complaint honestly.

  • Gamecube (2004) - 3/5 - This Mario Party game wasn't bad. This is the point they started experimenting with boards making them more unique and introducing mechanics involving star distribution unique to each board. They also introduced a single player mode that wasn't terrible. Still, the maps they made were simple and flavorless, and at heart it was still just Mario Party.

  • DS (June 2005) - 3/5 - A puzzle game that the bottom falls out of when you realize you can just scribble on the touch screen and win. While it tries to offer some variety, varying how blocks behave on different planets, it really doesn't do enough to make it compelling.

  • DS (May 2005) - 2/5 - It's a rather tedious brawler with a space combat game that's rather vanilla attached. While at the time it was sorta cool to be flying around in 3D on a DS, I can't say this game is worth any consideration.

  • DS (April 2005) - 3/5 - Another dull puzzle game. I didn't like the main mode, I just stuck to the mode where you have time to think. In that area I suppose it's alright, but it's just not a lot of fun and there are only 100 puzzles. You can also make puzzles, but it's for its own sake really since there's no online to speak of.

  • Gamecube (March 2005) - 4/5 - As much as I want to hate it for not being DKC gameplay wise, continuity wise, tonally, etc. I have to give it a little credit - for being an unchanging score driven game it's legitimately fun, fast and flowing if you're willing to go after scores.

  • DS (March 2005) - 3/5 - It's a glorified tech demo. An incredibly simple yet insubstantial game only with replay value if you're desperate to play games on a DS.

  • DS (February 2005) - 3/5 - I finished this in a single day. Still it's fun and I enjoyed going for high scores and unlocking all the extra business I guess, still though a single day isn't great, especially since the microgames in any section play the same which makes replaying any given level boring.

  • GBA (January 2005) - 5/5 - An incredibly fun and well written 2D Zelda game. Its shrinking mechanic lends itself both to making the world a joy to explore and allowing for some really inventive dungeons, sequences and challenges. Additionally it has some great weapons, characters, and sidequests, which lend to the appeal of the Hyrule they make.

  • GBA (January 2005) - 5/5 - A fine Metroidvania that manages to deal with a great Soul system that facilitated both minor magic spells (introduced regularly) and major progression linked spells that made Bosses fun to beat. It also told its story extremely well, far far better than its sequel and its sequel's sequel, due to it's late game revelations.

  • DS (November 2004) - 3/5 - I know this is a classic, but I don't think it really holds up to the test of time, and more importantly, the test of being played by someone who loves the Banjo-Kazooie series. Honestly, playing this the only thing I could think was "Banjo-Kazooie is so so much better." Not a great sign for a game honestly. It's bland, unimaginative, and rather spartan gameplay wise.

  • Gamecube (November 2004) - 5/5 - A great Metroid game that managed to find the sweet spot between being completely guided and linear and being completely unguided and erratic. It's smartly designed to have most of the stuff you need to get within a certain region and when you do have to backtrack it's far easier to do it for various reasons. Also it's dark world light world stuff works great for providing the game with a great pacing/difficulty texture, and lends itself to making the worlds of Aether incredibly fascinating.

  • Gamecube (October 2004) - 5/5 <3 - One of the greatest goddamn games I have ever had the pleasure of playing. The battle system is refined, the story imaginative and witty, the characters a pleasure to listen to, and the locations perfect. This is a pitch perfect RPG and one everyone should enjoy.

  • Gamecube (October 2004) - 3/5 - It's fun I guess, but it's a little samey and the only thing they do to improve the game over Underground 1 is to make it less serious and more dickish and add an alternative to skateboarding with no moves. Fun for a time, however nothing special and it has the DK64 issue of splitting up duties pointlessly.

  • GBA (October 2004) - 5/5 - A solid Kirby game if only because it has a lot of exploration to it since the game is essentially nonlinear after a few levels. It allows you to basically spend the game finding the major regions, searching for the fast travel doors that allow you to get back to any area easily, and seeking out the boss fights at the end of each region. It's a really cool structure for a Kirby game and it works really well.

  • Gamecube (August 2004) - 5/5 - A well executed game that manages to improve upon Pikmin in a ton of great ways. It introduces timeless dungeons that allow for more methodical sections, it adds white Pikmin who are faster and Purple ones who are stronger, well complimenting the existing 3 colors, and removes the 30 day limit making the game a lot less stressful. Also 3/4 of the worlds are facelifts of the original game's worlds, but it's so well done you might not even notice.

  • Gamecube (June 2004) - 4/5 - It's fun, if rather simple.

  • Gamecube (June 2004) - 4/5 - It's got a good sense of speed to it and is a lot of fun. Sure, the missions aren't really fun and the combat isn't either, but it's still a lot of fun swinging around and collecting minigame tokens. Note: Aged rather poorly.

  • Gamecube (2004) - 3/5 - There's nothing really to say about this one, other than I don't think I really liked its maps and no unique minigames it had come to mind so I can't evaluate them. It's Mario Party.

  • GBA (June 2004) - 1/5 - This is a minigame collection of bad minigames. It's not very fun.

  • GBA (May 2004) - 4/5 - A cool retro type platformer with enough mechanics and variety to carry itself.

  • Gamecube (March 2004) - 2/5 - It's not a very fun Farm Sim. It's slow, tedious, and lifeless.

  • GBC (Silver) (2004) - 4/5 - I liked my time in Silver even though I only used a single Pokemon. It's a good RPG with a good story and good monsters to collect.

  • GBA (January 2004) - 4/5 - For a dumb Sonic spin off game for the GBA this game is fun. It's a little repetitive sure, and battles have very little to separate them besides different characters being involved, but the fighting is pretty fun and it's really fun customizing Emerl.

  • GBA (2004) - 3/5 - This game is alright. There are levels which you go through as Kirby. There's not much to the powers and the levels are rather plain, but it's not bad for it.

  • GBA (2004) - 5/5 - A fun and quirky platformer that often focuses on puzzles rather than platforming which works surprisingly well considering that there's not much to do with the rewards from the puzzling. The levels are all extremely solid as well, all of them being very different from each other both in terms of gimmicks and settings, which works really well.

  • Gamecube (January 2004) - 3/5 - The game is very much like other Sonic games, but I have to give them credit for making a game that focused on what was good in 3D Sonic games, the parts where it was a linear platformer. I enjoyed it at the time. There's no way I'd get back into it now though.

  • GBA (2004) - 3/5 - A game that adds very little to the formula it was derived from but a single mechanic whereby you can do a little aerial maneuver in midair after coming off a spring. Other than that it's just a level pack for Sonic Advance. They're not bad levels, but it's still just that.

  • GBA (2004) - 3/5 - I thought this was a little slippery for a platformer, a little dumb, and the way its multiple routes worked never clicked with me. It's not terrible, but it's also not great.

  • GBA (November 2003) - 5/5 - I've replayed this game so many times. While it's no Paper Mario, it is a really fun and really clever RPG that manages to execute a very clever combat system very well that manages to make every fight interesting.

  • Gamecube (October 2003) - 4/5 - At the time a more serious story based Tony Hawk game was a cool addition, and one that made this Tony Hawk game a real joy to play as your character went from rags to riches within the story. That alone, with the skating which hadn't gotten old to me at that point, I remember this game.

  • GBA (October 2003) - 4/5 - Mario Bros 3 is the one Mario All Stars game that I like. It has cool power ups, cool levels, and Koribo's Shoe. What's more to know?

  • GBA (September 2003) - 4/5 - While the game is a lot more shoddy and minigame focused than the N64 games it follows, it's still a lot of fun to explore its worlds , collect its Jiggies and perform its moves.

  • Gamecube (September 2003) - 5/5 - A really fun driving game. I never liked the previous Simpsons Driving games because they were all Crazy Taxi, but this one was a ton of fun because it was much more of an open world game than an arcade game. Also it had some great levels that were fun to explore and some great cars that were fun to acquire.

  • Gamecube (August 2003) - 5/5 - There are a few things I really love about this game. First thing is the location and the worlds, which while all being places you'd see on tropical islands, are packed with personality. Second is the void platforming sequences that'd later become the basis for Mario Galaxy. Third is the simple way the FLUDD works to assist platforming. Sure, a lot of the game is cleaning up shit, but I'm fine with that since it's so well put together.

  • Gamecube (June 2003) - 3/5 - I gotta admit, this game is sort of a mess. A complete and utter mess honestly. First off its story is devoid of cause and effect, often giving you keys arbitrarily for gameplay conceits, second off half of the characters have stupid bullshit that passes as gameplay for them, and third even if the game proceeded more logically and Amy, Big, and Omega weren't in the game, the platforming is slippery and terrible.

  • GBA (May 2003) - 5/5 - A fine way of applying a format to very small minigames. It also didn't hurt it had fantastic characters and framing devices, not to mention the minigames you unlock for doing well enough at the microgames, some of which are really damn good, like Dr. Wario.

  • Gamecube (March 2003) - 4/5 - A pretty cool Zelda game with a fantastic look and an even better world to explore and discover. While it's also got a lot of tedious sailing, the look of the world and the way the characters endear themselves more than make up for it.

  • GBA (Feruary 2003) - 3/5 - This platformer isn't bad, but it's kind of slow and dry. I can't say I'd recommend it.

  • GBA (February 2003) - 4/5 - Mario World is a pretty great game full of variety and fun.

  • GBA (Sapphire) (February 2003) - 4/5 - I liked this game though I didn't play it right until after I finished it. Before then I only had a single Blaziken who I fought every fight with. Still, the adventure was worth seeing, the plot wasn't too offensive, and I enjoyed the post game far more than I should've because it was totally barebones.

  • Gamecube (November 2002) - 3/5 - While this is a fine start to the series, I've never much cared for it. For one this its not very well streamlined, featuring a lot of backtracking that never really felt natural. For another thing all of the upgrades within the game are very vanilla, never really being all that exciting. Finally the game has a major difficulty problem with a lot of bosses and enemies just being obnoxiously difficult or hard to kill.

  • Gamecube (September 2002) - 4/5 - An interesting new idea at the time, I quite enjoyed getting a village, getting apples, and decorating my house. It was quite rewarding and a lot of fun.

  • Gamecube (September 2002) - 4/5 - While it's sort of a second rate Zelda game, I have to say, the atmosphere and writing of this game manage to bring it above its mechanical flaws, making it something truly worth experiencing.

  • Formerly N64 (2002) - 4/5 - This game is a landmark in the history of gaming, however I got it late and I honestly didn't dig it as much as MM. I never really liked the Forest Temple or the first 3 temples, which is a problem since that's half of the game right there.

  • Gamecube (February 2002) - 4/5 - A solid 3D platformer that succeeded in making linear 3D platforming a lot of fun long before Galaxy came around. Admittedly it also featured a heavy amount of wonky mech action and tedious gem collection, but the strength of the Sonic/Shadow levels managed to make those parts acceptable. Also Chaos Garden. That was good stuff.

  • Gamecube (December 2001) - 4/5 - This game is a little hokey, but it's still a lot of fun and honestly very tense at times.

  • Gamecube (December 2001) - 4/5 - A solid Tony Hawk game. Nothing more, nothing less, but at time of release that's all it needed to be.

  • Gamecube (December 2001) - 3/5 - A cool game that could be described as an experimental RTS variant, however it falls short in several key ways, first being the 30 day limit which makes it such that the game is impossible to play without very strict time management in mind at all times. Also, due to the limit, the game is impossible to beat on a first go without a guide and a lot of luck, making it hard to approach. Finally there's just not a lot to the game, featuring a handful of enemies per world more or less with a handful of parts.

  • Gamecube (December 2001) - 5/5 - A solid and fun fighting game that improved on Smash Bros 64 a ton.

  • Formerly N64 (2001) - 4/5 - I want to give Nintendo for credit with the Mario Party series, it was a brilliant way to make Minigames a core part of a game. That and Warioware stand in contrast to today's lazy minigame collections which just throw them out there for anyone to enjoy however they want. This one was the one I had, and this one was the one I played, and I really dug it at the time.

  • Habitual N64 Rental (2001-2003) - 5/5 <3 - This is one of my favorite games of all time. It's brilliantly designed, brilliantly crafted, and has literally some of the best atmosphere a video game has ever had. I rented it dozens of times and beat it every time I did. Even now I try to replay it at least once a year.

  • Formerly N64 (December 2000) - 5/5 <3 - Man, I love this game. It was my first Zelda game, and as a result I've never really loved any other 3D Zelda games. In defiance to OoT's example, it focused on building a phenomenal working world, with vibrant and lovable characters, and utterly amazing side quests. Not to say the four dungeons weren't also great of course, they were also quite inventive, but by no means were they the focus of the game, and the game was so fine because of it.

  • Formerly N64 (November 2000) - 5/5 <3 - One might say this is my favorite game of all time. I love the humor, I love the story, I love the worlds, I even love the backtracking. I love the moves, I love the egg types, I love the way when you're Banjo alone you can jump in midair in the middle of your pack whack. I love the way it lasts 20 hours if you know what you're doing unlike Kazooie which lasts more like 10 when you know what to do. I should stop listing these, I could go on forever.

  • Formerly N64 (2000) - 3/5 - You know, I really like this game, but I gotta admit it is one of the most second rate platformers out there. It's weird, clunky, unpolished, and at times impossible without a variety of cheats. But still, I really enjoyed it and would like it if you were to give it a chance.

  • SNES (2000) - 3/5 - Again, acceptable. It's a little slow and I'm not really big into a lot of the gameplay decisions, which thinking back on it, seem really stupid. Like, really stupid. It's slow, clunky, and not charming in the least, but it gets the job done I suppose.

  • Formerly N64 (2000) - 3/5 - It's alright. You take pictures of Pokemon and a gif of professor oak judges them.

  • Formerly N64 (2000) - 5/5 <3 - This is the best Kart Racer that was ever made. It has great controls and item balance, but more importantly it has a ton of personality, with really helps bring the world to life with its cast of characters and suite of worlds.

  • Habitual N64 Rental (2000-2003) - 5/5 - I love this game, it is my favorite Kirby. It's combining mechanics worked for me, as did it's massive amounts of charm and very simple platforming. It is a delight whenever I decide to revisit this game.

  • Formerly N64 (December 1999) - 3/5 - While I got into it at the time, it has not held up over time. Its a game that comes off as lazy with its emphasis on switching between 5 character who played the same and had a lot of bananas that were earned very similarly.

  • Formerly N64 (1999) - 4/5 - This game is broken from a gameplay side, and its mission structure is agonizingly stupid, but I still enjoy playing it and I still enjoy thinking about it. It's weird.

  • Formerly N64 (1999) - 4/5 - A really fun and fast racer. Really, while Episode 1 was shit, I really have strong feelings for this game because it had such fun tracks and such fast gameplay. Then again I always did cheat because the game was really hard to play without crashing constantly, but I was fine with that at the time, and I'm fine with it now.

  • Formerly N64 (1999) - 3/5 - Lacks most of Pokemon's appeal for me now, which has become the journey and the sensation of being a bad ass. The fighting alone and a few minigames are no excuse for a game, although I did enjoy the minigames.

  • Formerly N64 (1999) - 3/5 - All I can say is I enjoyed it for what it was. Please note this appraisal of it is colored by how great Melee was and how it blew it out of the water.

  • Formerly N64 (1999) - 4/5 - An amazingly goofy rail shooter, Star Fox 64 is a lot of fun for its goofy story. However, the gameplay would be a little plain if it weren't for its engaging storyline, as demonstrated by later Star Fox games.

  • Formerly N64 (1999) - 4/5 - A remarkably strong platformer that manages to do a focus of collecting right by making it the way you progress through the game in more ways than one.

  • Formerly N64 (December 1998) - 2/5 - Again, never liked the handling. Also it wasn't charming in the least, unlike the other N64 game it had to compete for time with.

  • Formerly N64 (December 1998 and November 2008) - 4/5 <3 - A really solid, funny, atmospheric, and charming adventure. My first 3D game, and the second series I feel in love with. I only wish it lasted longer now I've completely mastered it and it didn't make me feel like I had to speed run it since everything's just so... doable. Still, it's a great game and I love it to bits.

  • SNES (~1998) - 3/5 - I never got down the art of driving a Go Kart in this game. Everyone slides around so weird! Still, it's probably the most fair of the series.

  • SNES (~1998) - 5/5 <3 - While DKC2 fixed something that was broke, DKC3 had the task of fixing something that was not broke, and avoided issues by going in a different direction, going for a more puzzley feel than a speedy feel. Daring, but I feel it payed off.

  • SNES (~1997) - 5/5 <3 - This is my favorite game. It recognized everything that was bad about DKC1 and fixed it. The is literally nothing wrong with this game.

  • SNES (~1996) - 2/5 - Wasn't a fan of 3/4 of the games in the pack, however SMB3 was alright.

  • SNES (~1996) - 4/5 <3 - Fantastic on its own, but in the grand scheme of things it is unimpressive due to a few rough edges which Donkey Kong Country 2 later smoothed out and built upon.