Collection Part 7: The Rare-naissance

This is the seventh part of my collection. It is split into multiple list due to list length restrictions. This list covers the period where I was very optimistic about a second coming of Rare due to Rare Replay and the Yooka-Laylee kickstarter. I ended up hating Yooka-Laylee so that really didn't pan out. Specifically this covers from August 2015 to December 2017.

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.

List items

  • Switch (December 22nd, 2017) - 2/5 - I had a code for Switch in addition to PC since I paid a ton of money on Kickstarter. Hey, remember this bad game? Now it has a bad framerate! You should replay Mario Odyssey 5 times before playing this, or play Hat in Time.

  • Switch (December 22nd, 2017) - 3/5 - Only buying this for Drawful so I can run some Drawful during Xmas. I'd rather do Drawful 2 but... not on Switch yet and my old old laptop can no longer do Jackbox properly. The rest of these games aren't worth playing.

  • Xbox One (December 21st, 2017) - 4/5 - A great slow burn. Love the midwest setting, they make fantastic use of it. Perfect writing, characters are more natural/relatable than literally any other video game I know? The gameplay is okay. Serviceable platforming with load screens and one off mechanics thrown in service of the story. There's a bit too much platforming for how basic it is, but it's ok. What's not okay is the audio bug I got on Xbox. Songs would slow down, and you'd hear clicks. Like when a bad SNES emulator has framerate dips that affect sound. Still, an extremely memorable and impactful game. I'd suggest giving it a go. Maybe stick to PC.

  • PC (December 21st, 2017) - 3/5 - Cool, but not for me.

  • Switch (December 9th, 2017) - 5/5 - Still a fantastic roguelike, fun to replay again, now on the Switch, a better console! Controls are a little awkward since the default controls make B the confirmation button and A the cancel one and you can't switch them without switching the jump button. Other than that it's as good as ever

  • Xbox One (November 22nd, 2017) - 4/5 - Seemed good, but never finished.

  • Xbox One (November 21st, 2017) - 4/5 - Well done walking simulator, its only problem is that it doesn't hit as hard as Gone Home or Edith Finch. The story is well written and the world is super interesting but... It's all very okay. Interesting story, interesting world, fairly good new mechanic used to tell the story, that's all there is to it. Perfectly adequate.

  • Switch (November 5th, 2017) - 5/5 - Oh shit I feel into a Stardew Valley hole despite having nearly beaten it before on PC. It's an extremely compelling game, really makes you want to keep going for hours on end. Highly recommended, makes me want to rebuy other games folk have rereleased on Switch.

  • Xbox One (November 1st, 2017) - 3/5 - This is a bad game filled with phenomenal moments and sequences. There's an hour in particular that is just mind blowingly good. The 5 before that hour, though... Those I spent running out of ammo, getting lost, dying, asking "who's shooting me", failing at stealth and feeling generally shitty. The game finds its footing halfway through, but the issues never fully go away even while the set pieces start blowing minds. Be ready to push through hours of bullshit to get to the amazing bits.

  • Switch (October 27th, 2017) - 5/5 <3 - This might be the best game ever made? Okay, sure, the motion controls are an issue, but other than that it's perfect? Playing this game it's clear that the developers have 20 years of experience with the genre behind them. This is a game that has learned everything there is to learn from every previous 3D platformer, open or linear. It's the culmination of 20 years of experience and also the best.

  • PC (October 24th, 2017) - 3/5 - Was kind of fun at first but very quickly you're doing a lot of the same things over and over. As cool as the worlds themselves are I'm very quickly bored. The missions are pretty long and most of them feel very very unremarkable. I can't justify spending time on this game with how average it is.

  • PC (played October 23rd, paid 5$) - 5/5 - Really great. It's a really specific and personal game that I really enjoyed. I really like the way the characters are developed, and the things the game has to say about the world are smart and interesting. The writing is solid and works throughout, even when it tries to be bad by abusing references and memes. It somehow works, coming off as authentic to being young in a charming and knowing way. Anyway, it's short and worth seeing.

  • PC (October 5th, 2017) - 5/5 - This game managed to impress me despite coming out right before Mario Odyssey. There's not a lot of main collectibles, but each individual one has a great premise (like chasing Mafiosos around pretending to be a zombie) that often comes with a lot of great writing and gags. It reminds of Psychonauts, but using the structure of Mario 64. The platforming isn't super tight, but it's really thrilling often enough. Overall game plays to its strengths and is very different from Odyssey, which it really couldn't compete with it if it wasn't.

  • PS4 (September 26th, 2017) - 5/5 - This still has a lot of the problems previous games had. Some characters are bad, some good characters die early, sometimes what the game wants from you isn't obvious, but... The twists, yall. The twists in this one are the most buck ass wild twists I've ever seen. Some made me say "goddamn it" and despair, some made say "goddamn it" and laugh. They're something else. Also the individual cases are very very good mostly. I have one big issue with the game having do with a missed opportunity, but it's so well done I'm conflicted about it. Great finale to Danganronpa trilogy.

  • PC (September 23rd, 2017) - 3/5 - Seems good, but honestly didn't play enough of it to say. Certainly didn't hold my attention for long.

  • PC (September 21st, 2017) - 5/5 <3 - I love this game a lot. It's really fun to start a new character, roleplay a bit, figure out a new strategy for breaking into spaceships for them, and go on daring heists until it's time to retire them. It's compelling as all hell. I just want to keep playing it. Really good pace to it, love to get into trouble.

  • Xbox One (September 15th, 2017) - 3/5 - It's Life is Strange only without the amazing hook, the amazing mechanics and also you already know what it is. Maybe give it a pass, I'm finding it hard to justify spending 4 hours on it or whatever in this crowded September.

  • Switch (August 29th, 2017) - 4/5 - Better than XCOM by, like, a lot. They've taken out a lot of the bullshit XCOM does and upped the mobility a fuckton. It's very entertaining, only downside is that the time between missions gets a bit much later on and also it takes some time to get back into the game when the game has been closed/reopened. I never finished this and probably won't but that's true of like every tactics game like this for me.

  • PS4 (August 20th, 2017) - 5/5 <3 - Still great! Only criticism is some of the controls that were natural on a keyboard feel weird on a D-Pad.

  • Switch (August 11th, 2017) - 4/5 - This is a really really well made platformer, the only problem is that it's a Sonic game and the bad decisions that series made haunt this otherwise great game. The game over system is annoying. Drowning is bullshit. Getting crushed is bullshit. A lot of bosses are bullshit. Put simply, this game has a lot of bullshit. In a really great platformer when you die you always can say "that was my fault." Sonic Mania is not that. No 2D Sonic is.

  • Switch (July 28th, 2017) - 3/5 - I've really enjoyed the 2 times I've gotten enough people around a TV to get this to work, but that's happened twice in over a year. Not ideal.

  • PS4 (July 25th, 2017) - 5/5 - This game is Oregon Trail mixed with NBA Jam. It's super out there. And yet it works. It works really well. The characters are solid, the gameplay (the ceremonial rites you perform by dunking an orb into a flame) is really compelling, and it all works together really well. It's really cool getting together your crew of outcast ballers, going down their skill trees and bringing the thunder to the court. For a game that is so far out there, it is very coherent and solid.

  • Switch (July 21st, 2017) - 5/5 - Really fucking good game. The single player is very well made and has a lot of variety both due to various weapons and also one off mechanics. The multiplayer is good. I stuck with it longer than with 1 and also there's a coop mode which is really cool. My only criticism is that sometimes Splatfests are wrong.

  • Switch (July 6th, 2017) - 3/5 - Fun little Roguelike for your Nintendo Switch. Not a lot to it though and it's hard to get deep into the game. Worth getting if you want a distraction on your Switch, hard to say if it'll distract for long.

  • Switch (July 5th, 2017) - 4/5 - Solid and compelling Megaman like with really neat custom weapon system. Said system, while flexible, is really really clunky and hard to use, but using custom made weapons is fun and it's fun to replay levels to increase your budget/find better stuff to use. I hope they sort out the problems if they make a sequel.

  • Switch (June 16th, 2017) - 3/5 - Probably the best motion control I've ever played (note I've never played any VR), but the content is a bit light... no, that's being too kind, it's extremely light. It's charming and what you'll play of it is fun, but it did not have legs for me.

  • PS4 (May 24th, 2017) - 5/5 <3 - It's not perfect, but the things NieR: Automata do are incredibly compelling. It plays with its themes, mechanics and characters throughout. It's surprising, it's whimsical, it's very cool, it's heartbreaking. I would suggest you take the 40 hours to beat it and see all 5 main endings. It's worth doing and will leave you thinking.

  • Switch (May 20th, 2017) - 5/5 - Still the best Mario Kart by far, now on a new platform with all the DLC stuff from the start. I won't say that paying 60 dollars for a game I already bought + DLC I already bought didn't hurt, but I like playing it on the Switch and the Tournament stuff Dan is doing is very cool.

  • Xbox One (May 9th, 2017) - 4/5 - Xbox One version is unfortunately incomplete at the moment, but it has pottential. Mechanics are very fun, the characters are fun, and it offers good idle entertainment. I don't really like fighting online, but what else is new? Beating computer players idly is fun enough since, again, the mechanics and characters are good.

  • PC (April 29th, 2017) - 5/5 - A great short game. It's like Gone Home but with the Weasley House and also a variety of small sequences which tell side stories in really creative and diverse interactive ways. If you're willing to buy games that are two hours long this is worth seeing.

  • Switch (April 26th, 2017) - 4/5 - Really good puzzle game, lots of personality, good tutorials, the only thing I'd knock is that sometimes the CPU players are too good and destroy you, and changing their difficulty level is confusing to do.

  • PC (April 12th, 2017) - 2/5 - Real rotten. A pale imitation of the original games, the changes to the formula and to their level design sensibilities have ruined it.

  • PS4 (April 4th, 2017) - 5/5 <3 - The best Persona game. Brilliant plot that's grounded in a very cool way and has a very cool fantasy to it of defeating corrupt adults who cannot be dealt with normally. On top of that, the dungeons are great instead of bad, which is a huge plus! On top of that, the new Social Link system (Confidants) has bigger bonuses for leveling them which change the game so much it's incredible. Fucking love this game, I wish I'd been able to finish every social link though.

  • Switch (March 28th, 2017) - 4/5 - Pleasant and novel. Could use a quick save option so you could switch to Zelda without losing progress.

  • Switch (March 4th, 2017) - 5/5 - This game turns any living room into a Switch ad. I had one myself! That alone is worth 5 stars.

  • Switch (March 3rd, 2017) - 3/5 - Oh yeah, I remember everything I hate about Shovel Knight now that I payed 25 dollars to play it (and a new expansion) on my Switch! I hate how long levels are and how you feel locked into finishing one once you started even if you're past wanting to play Shovel Knight. I feel like if this game had a quick save so I could, like, quit out and play Zelda in the middle of a level without losing progress I'd like it more. I just wish there was another indie platformer on the Switch I could play.

  • Switch (March 3rd, 2017) - 5/5 <3 - Wow. They put a lot into this and it all somehow worked. Damn. This game is special.

  • PC (January 4th, 2017) - 4/5 - Somewhat nice, uh, base building game? Interesting mechanics with daylight. Also it's Frog Fractions 2? Seriously though, good and memorable bits. I don't care for the overworld or 1980s-ness of it. Some of the content was too much effort to get at.

  • Xbox One (November 23rd, 2016) - 5/5 <3 - Wow. Goddamn, I knew it was awesome watching Brad and Dan play, but having now dived into it myself I think it's incredible. Honestly, I even like levels 3-5 somewhat, and no one likes those three! I had some amazing kills in those 3. I put an exploding watch on a Target then, a bit later, realized he was 2 feet away from another target. I rushed to the button to get a double kill. What a cool ass game.

  • PC (November 19th, 2016) - 5/5 - A really good pack this time. Only one of the five games sucks, the rest are either amazing (Tee K.O.), great (Trivia Murder Party & Faking it) or good. (Guesspionage) For Jackbox Party Packs that's way above the usual hitting average! Plus the way you can buy shirts made in Tee K.O. is super cool.

  • Sun 3DS (November 18th, 2016) - 5/5 - A very good Pokemon game. It's usually the case that a New Generation Pokemon game is better than its predecessor, but this one is more than that. All the pokemon are great. All the characters are great. The changes to many details, both minor and major, all work really well. Except for wild pokes calling reinforcements. That aside this game is fantastic.

  • Xbox One (November 11th, 2016) - 2/5 - Lost interest. Stealth too hard this time. Felt like there were no good higher paths. Enemies too smart to be any fun, non lethal options do not include good combat stuff. Disappointing. Now that I'm playing Hitman I'm unlikely to return.

  • Dungeon World (First played November 5th, 2016 through Roll20) - 4/5 - Great system, though... I think that it's really slow to start off (all the games I've played or listened to started off on the wrong foot) and I think sometimes loot and combat can be cumbersome. Still, amazing moments can be had playing this.

  • Xbox One (October 30th, 2016) - 4/5 - I really don't like the multiplayer this time around. Partially it's the changes they made but also Overwatch exists now and playing this game just makes me want to play Overwatch. That said this game is still worth getting because the campaign is very good on its own. It's a competent campaign with a ton of great segments. You'll like it a lot.

  • 3DS (September 11th, 2016) - 5/5 - Great Picross game. Great puzzles, the two color thing is great, it's fun to play now and again for reasonable chunks of time.

  • AM2R on PC (Fan Remake, got in August, 2016) - 4/5 - Handles very well, controls very well, really good options, looks really nice. A lot of work went into this. That said the structure is really weird. Building the game around repetitive boss fights seems like a mistake. It's not a deal breaking mistake though, just an interesting one.

  • PS4 (August 9th, 2016) - 4/5 - Saw some stuff that was interesting, named some things. I wonder if anyone will see the things I named.

  • 3DS (July 28th, 2016) - 4/5 - Charming, but the timing is hard to me.

  • 3DS VC (July 28th, 2016) - 3/5 - Didn't play it yet. May never. Doesn't matter.

  • Xbox One (June 29th, 2016) - 4/5 - It's a very well made game that is sometimes annoying. It ends shortly after it gets good.

  • PC (June 28th, 2016) - 5/5 - Really great sequel. On a basic gameplay level the new "two colors" feature makes the game feel fresh. Additionally the Custom Games feature is great and has many applications even beyond making a super in jokey game. All in all this is a sequel that's more than just a content pack, it offers a significant upgrade over the first game.

  • PC (May 24th, 2016) - 5/5 <3 - Just an immaculate game full of personality, love and polish.

  • PC (June 27th, 2016) - 3/5 - Just never played it after getting it on sale other than for like a few hours. I know I said for Uncharted 4 cover shooters aren't cup of tea, but mindless old shooters aren't either. I used to think shooters weren't for me back in those days because the level design was so dull/needlessly complex in games like Perfect Dark or Goldeneye. I dunno, maybe this is okay.

  • 3DS (June 4th, 2016) - 5/5 - Still great.

  • PS4 (May 10th, 2016) - 4/5 - Better than the previous Uncharted games, but not nearly as compelling as The Last of Us. The stealth is a great addition to combat loop but you really don't have many tools for it and often you just end up regular gunfighting which I really don't enjoy. That said, it's a gorgeous game and it has a really memorable and entertaining story, I just wish that the way to get health back wasn't hiding from bullets but something fun like killing or moving. Cover shooters aren't my cup of tea.

  • PC (May 9th, 2016) - 4/5 - I'm deeply frustrated by just about every system in Stellaris. It's just not where it needs to be. On any level. Still, I've really enjoyed my time with it. Building an empire is super fun, even if all the edges are rough. - LATE GAME EDIT - I've continue playing and ran into a crashing bug before I could conquer the galaxy. I wish I could continue playing. Be warned, if you buy this game you may put 90 hours in and be unsatisfied with stopping. I hope they fix the issue soon... I'm less frustrated by the rest of the game now.

  • 3DS VC (April 14th, 2016) - 5/5 <3 - Still one of the greatest games ever made.

  • 3DS VC (April 14th, 2016) - 4/5 <3 - Has issues, but it's still a great time.

  • PC (March 20th, 2016) - 5/5 - All the elements of Harvest Moon plus elements from Minecraft and Animal Crossing mixed together perfect. The elements lock together really well. The crafting system of minecraft gives even the most mundane farming object weight. From sap you can make fertilizer for instance. You're always building towards something and it's hard to put down. Full marks.

  • PC (March 19th, 2016) - 4/5 - Seems good, but didn't have the time to invest to get into it proper.

  • PC (February 25th, 2016) - 5/5 - Perfectly normal excellent game which is very exhilarating. If you're not sold just go to Killstagram and look at the replays, they're incredible. Making them is also incredible. The campaign is short, but the challenge modes after are substantial.

  • PC (February 9th, 2016) - 4/5 - Good short story. Very pretty.

  • PC (February 7th, 2016) - 3/5 - Didn't get very far, lost interest due to being unfinished at launch. The game has cool bits but it's less fun than it should be given the length of missions/campaign.

  • PS4 (January 26th, 2016) - 5/5 - It's a really fun puzzle adventure exploration game. Perhaps the only Myst-like that's not total shit. It's super cool how you can find puzzles you're not prepared for until you find the tutorials for them. The story is wank and some areas are shit but you can ignore those parts. Some puzzles I got quickly. I loved that. Other puzzles required Paint.net. I loved that too. I think that warrants full marks.

  • Wii U VC (January 24th, 2016) - 5/5 - Probably the best 2D Zelda. Very fond of it.

  • PC (January 1st, 2016) - 4/5 - This an exceedingly cool game set in an exceedingly cool and well realized world, the only problem is that the genre of "go slow there's spooky monsters about" is lame and this game doesn't fix that. Fortunately I was able to use a mod to effectively remove the slow parts of this game leaving only annoying but harmless stalker monsters. Even without consequence the game is tediously slow but still, really fascinating ideas all the same.

  • Xbox One (December 1st, 2015) - 4/5 - Really good idle destruction and wing suiting but... that's sort of it. The missions aren't interesting and only the Wing Suit bonus missions seem worth doing. It's pretty lame how a lot of upgrades are behind the bonus missions especially when a lot of them ask the world of you and really aren't worth the effort.

  • Xbox One (November 24th, 2015) - 5/5 - It really nails a nice reasonably open world through most of the game. Running around, collecting stuff, exploring a tomb here or there, checking out some commie bases, shooting stuff with arrows, it's all fun! The beginning and end both play out like boring linear Uncharted but it's hard to hold those parts against the game the rest being so good.

  • PC (November 10th, 2015) - 5/5 - It's surprising how fun StarCraft II still is after doing a MOBA. The campaign is as sharp as ever but what feels most interesting is the Co-op Missions which give you the sort of overpowered campaign stuff you'd see in the campaign but let you do it with a buddy. Artanis gets 200 supply to start off with if you level him up, I want that. This Starcraft II will have the longest tail it's ever had for me and that's a wonderful surprise.

  • Xbox One (November 10th, 2015) - 3/5 - Eh, it seems mechanically better than previous Fallouts and I like a whole lot of what it's going for but... I simply don't have the patience anymore. Everything in the game seems to take about an hour longer than it should and that's a problem for me. There's a lot of busywork in this game and that's a problem for me. I don't think I'll get back to Fallout 4 and finish it honestly. Seems very unlikely.

  • Xbox One (October 27th, 2015) - 4/5 - It's a reasonably exciting campaign with a multiplayer, honestly, I'll never play again. Why? Well, while the weapons not being free is super gross it's more that everyone playing Halo knows how to play Halo well. I'll have no fun at my level. Campaign's fun though. The combat feels really good and I like how it's reasonably forgiving. Also it has a lot of fantastic set pieces.

  • PC (October 17th, 2015) - 5/5 - It's a walking simulator but... It really spoke to me since it touched on a lot of stuff I was dealing with making Mario Maker stages at a fever pace the month before. It's not the All American Walk and Gawk but I enjoyed it.

  • Wii U (October 16th, 2015) - 3/5 - This is a well crafted game for sure but it's not terribly exciting at any points. Plus it has some weird frustrations here and there that make it hard to recommend wholeheartedly. Still, it's alright.

  • PC (September 26th, 2015) - 5/5 <3 - A lovely game that's a thing of beauty. Brilliant, hilarious, surprising, human. Undertale is a delight. Like inFamous there's a lot of satisfaction to be had knowing you went out of your way to do right. The fact that evil is so evil makes good doubly good even if I never see that ending firsthand because I couldn't stomach it.

  • Wii U (September 11th, 2015) 5/5 <3 - I've made 24 levels in Mario Maker and I'm fairly proud of all of them. I think you should buy the game and play them. Vanity aside this package is amazing value, easy to use and only suffers from minor discoverability issues. Check out my stages!

  • Vita (August 16th, 2015) - 4/5 - Really good plot game. Shame about the gameplay. Some minigames are more annoying, some are less annoying. I'd say it's a wash. Still, very good time, glad I played it. Very shades of Metal Gear Solid 2.

  • PS4 (August 4th, 2015) - 3/5 - Fun but not a fan of the progression scheme. Lost a run with a lot of continue tokens to a bug. Haven't felt like playing it since then.

  • Xbox One (August 4th, 2015) - 5/5 <3 - They've made the best collection ever. The best collection that's ever been, ever ever ever, on any platform.