Between Super Mario Odysseyand Yooka-Laylee, 2017 is slowly ushering a return of the 3D platformer collectathon. But not many people may realize that another game was planting seeds of the genre’s revival years ago. A Hat in Time was Kickstarted back in 2013 by the developers at Gears for Breakfast, who were hoping to tug at the heartstrings of a generation who grew up with the Nintendo 64 and GameCube. I was excited about the game’s initial development, but it soon disappeared from the radar, and I had assumed the project was a bust. Thankfully, A Hat in Time made it out just in time to celebrate the genre’s return, and it’s worth the wait.
Decades have passed since Super Mario 64 introduced an entire generation to 3D platforming, and it holds a special place in my heart for that reason. Super Mario Sunshine continued the open sandbox formula, but after that, the series moved in different directions. Super Mario Galaxy took a more linear approach to 3D gameplay, while New Super Mario Bros. returned the franchise to its 2D sidescrolling roots. But I still longed for an experience like Super Mario 64, so I was beyond excited when I first learned that Nintendo would revisit that untapped well with Super Mario Odyssey.
Check out the Video Version for spoiler-free gameplay and some singing from your 1-UP Panda!
Super Ping Pong Trick Shot is not your average ping pong game. In fact, it has nothing to do with table tennis. It shares more similarities with the frat party pastime beer pong…except without the drinks.
Sparkle 2 is a match-3 puzzle game where you launch orbs into a steadily moving line of marbles. If this concept sounds familiar, you’ve probably played PopCap’s Zuma, which is essentially a clone of a much older game, Puzz Loop. In other words, Sparkle 2 isn’t at all original, but it’s still a decent way to pass time.
In an age when role-playing games continue to expand in size and scope, it’s a delight to see Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth hold on to its old-school, dungeon-crawling roots. As a first-person dungeon exploration RPG that asks players to draw their own maps, the game has a specific appeal. But for devoted fans and interested newcomers, this is one of the most refined sequels to date.