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Faellin

Recomendations for more underlooked 3D platformers?

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I'm in a bit of a dead cycle for new game releases, with nothing really coming out that i'm interested in until june with crash team racing NF. And i've had a real itch for some good old fashioned 3D platformer titles.

So I thought i'd go back and look into some games I may have missed in the past., I already played most of the big name ones. So i'm more interested in checking out ones that typically flew under the radar. Any recommendations? I have played most recent ones like a hat in time, yooka laylee, and the crash / spyro remakes.

And i'm mostly looking for ones from the gamecube era, since thats when I typically enjoyed games like these the most. I have played pretty much big name titles of this genre like pretty much every mario game, ratchet and clank, jak and daxter. I'm more looking for ones that flew under the radar and never really got a fair shot by most.

Edited by Faellin

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If you haven't played it, Psychonauts. It fits pretty much all of that criteria. It's a tier or two below the big names, and it flew under the radar when it initially released, but strong word of mouth eventually made it more well known.

It's one of my favorite games of all time, and its sequel is coming out this year.

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1 minute ago, Slumber said:

If you haven't played it, Psychonauts. It fits pretty much all of that criteria. It's a tier or two below the big names, and it flew under the radar when it initially released, but strong word of mouth eventually made it more well known.

It's one of my favorite games of all time, and its sequel is coming out this year.

I heard good things about the game, and I may have picked it up on steam for like 2-3$ during a sale awhile ago, but never really played it. Definitely one i'll check out.

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Seconding Psychonauts. Though if you are in the habit of 100%ing these sorts of collectathon games, this game will probably ruin you. I haven't tried it myself, but nabbing all the figments alone sounds like a nightmare. But just doing the main campaign is great and doesn't ask a lot out of you as far as I can recall. My top pick using most of this criteria is Okami. Playable on everything, long lengthy campaign, sort of Zelda-esque level design rather than linear levels. My runner up is Wario World, that's a more Crash-esque kind of game. It rocks, but is probably expensive to nab a copy of, being a first party gamecube game. And also the first Sly Cooper is essentially Crash Bandicoot with stealth elements. It's sequels took a more GTA-inspired open world approach - just Like Jak's sequels did, but I think Sly's transition went much more smoothly. 

Spyro: A Hero's Tail is underappreciated. It still surprises me how often people mistake this game for Enter the Dragonfly, which is an actual mess. Hero's Tail is the real deal and reasonably stands up to the original trilogy in terms of quality. Similarly, I feel like Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is underappreciated and probably very cheap to find a copy of. Crash Twinsanity was fun and very creative with its bringing back all these classic characters, but it was buggy as hell and very short so that's a maybe tier of pickup. I know Spyro and Crash are big names, but I felt like these entries warrant mention because they fit the era and will reasonably never see some kind of re-release for people to notice them again.

The Prince of Persia games also fit the criteria. I've only played 1, 2, and Forgotten Sands. 2 is pretty throwaway, but 1 still holds up and Forgotten Sands was weirdly hated on upon release as far as I can recall. Probably because people were expecting an Assassin's Creed game with this franchise name tacked on. Ico is another good game. Definitely overshadowed by Shadow of the Colossus and its PS3 remaster is cheap. No collectables in that game though, and it's pretty short, but I like it.

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Sixth console generation 3D platformers

Ape Escape 3: Maybe it lost a little compared to the ps1 games (levels are less vertical, somewhat less bombastic comedy) but it's still a really solid game. Takes a few levels too many to ramp the difficulty up, but I really enjoy it. 

Vexx (gamecube has less slowdown than ps2 but I never tested). Somewhat weird "collectathon" style platformer... Best feature is REALLY extensive movement and movement combos of your different flips and rolls. Has really huge level sizes, sometimes moreso than even Mario Sunshine. Includes a few areas that are as "abstract" as the secret zones of Sunshine.

Dr. Muto - I just personally really love the music of this game. Weaker platforming, but has a good deal of humor. Large variety of minigames and sub-controls with the different gadgets/monsters.

Rayman 3 - I don't like it as much as Rayman2, and it kind of has a "flawed" attempt at replay value - the scoring/combo system that isn't really interesting enough to actually try for unlike something more direct (eg Yoshi's Island). The game does have a lot of personality and humor. Has a number of combat section with simple lock on combat schlock, but not hurt by this too much because of the humor of the enemy body/language expression making up for their simplicity. Has a couple really standout moments like an level where the entire thing is a mirrored surface.

Tak 2 the most linear and focused Tak game. Also thankfully harder than the too-easy Tak 1.  I think of it as "rayman2 esque,compared to Mario-esque in its level design.. Has a surprisingly large amount of levels (probably more than Jak/Ratchet tbh) It does mix in long and very short levels, but it works out In my opinion. Tak 3 has too much combat, stop here.

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg - Sometimes called a sega version of Glover. It has a mix of good levels and boring levels. It's a physics heavy game where controlling a giant egg is the focus of the game since your charather can't jump nearly as high without it, can't attack when separated, etc, etc. I actually feel like it's less "clever" than Glover, but it mixes in a lot of traditional platforming to supplement the unique oppurtinities that the egg provides (leaving it on a marble chute track and racing it, tossing it like a ball into things, riding on top of it to cross things you can't cross on foot, etc) 

Tokobot Plus -  I tried it out because I swear I saw it every used game store's ps2 section. It's a cute puzzle platform that is mostly based on a "ladder" mechanic where the number of tokobots you have with you vs forced splitting them is the main mechanic. Kind of short and has some annoying shit thiugh.

6th console generation non-platform games with heavy platform elements.

MDK2 - Third person shooter with extreme arcade focus. Has platforming to make you incorporate the "retractable" parachute. The other 2 playable charathers have "shorter" stages but still have a degree of platforming... mostly because of having very harsh fall damage and level design forcing you to take on thin platforms in high spaces.

Marble Blast Ultra / Super Monkey Ball / Mercury Meltdown - Yeah puzzle games, but all well made, based on physics, and where the biggest danger is falling out of the level. Marble Blast even has a dedicated jump mechanic and by far the most vertical stages of the three.

Ape Escape Pumped and Primed - A "party" game of sorts.. but the majority of stages are scrolling (still 3D though) stages with the full arsenal of Ape Escape mainline game mechanics given to all players. I think it works pretty well, and

Rayman Arena - a racing game, but with the rayman 2 mechanics and an all "on-foot" cast. Heavy use of slides and the rayman 2 grapple. I have a soft spot for this and I liked it even in singleplayer. The stages also encourage platforming during the race with most shortcuts hidden in vertical areas or having hazards around them.

I could go all day about 5th generation or give 6th gen dishonorable mentions (scaler/voodoo vince/sphinx:enter the mummy) but 

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14 minutes ago, Reality said:

Vexx (gamecube has less slowdown than ps2 but I never tested). Somewhat weird "collectathon" style platformer... Best feature is REALLY extensive movement and movement combos of your different flips and rolls. Has really huge level sizes, sometimes moreso than even Mario Sunshine. Includes a few areas that are as "abstract" as the secret zones of Sunshine.

I tried it about 10 years ago, and ran into a bunch of difficulty spikes in some of the very early levels, but that might just have been me sucking at the game. I'll definitely consider giving it another go since I did really enjoy the movement tech and such.

15 minutes ago, Reality said:

Tak 2 the most linear and focused Tak game. Also thankfully harder than the too-easy Tak 1.  I think of it as "rayman2 esque,compared to Mario-esque in its level design.. Has a surprisingly large amount of levels (probably more than Jak/Ratchet tbh) It does mix in long and very short levels, but it works out In my opinion. Tak 3 has too much combat, stop here.

Played the first Tak game, and it was ok. But sort of got bored around the tombs level due to just getting annoying. I'll look into it.

17 minutes ago, Reality said:

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg - Sometimes called a sega version of Glover. It has a mix of good levels and boring levels. It's a physics heavy game where controlling a giant egg is the focus of the game since your charather can't jump nearly as high without it, can't attack when separated, etc, etc. I actually feel like it's less "clever" than Glover, but it mixes in a lot of traditional platforming to supplement the unique oppurtinities that the egg provides (leaving it on a marble chute track and racing it, tossing it like a ball into things, riding on top of it to cross things you can't cross on foot, etc) 

One of those games I kept hearing about but never really saw any gameplay about. Definitely will look into it, sounds pretty fun.

Thanks for the recomendations.

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2 hours ago, Reality said:

I could go all day about 5th generation or give 6th gen dishonorable mentions (scaler/voodoo vince/sphinx:enter the mummy) but 

Just saw this bit, and actually found a copy of Scaler in my bin of ancient gamecube games. Don't recall ever playing it, or even remembering the game existed. Is it bad since you listed it as a dishonorable mention?

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9 hours ago, Gregster101 said:

Oh hey someone else remembers Tak :P Also I recommend Psychonauts as well

I remember the tv show it had on Nickelodeon.

And also the game where you had to fight giants based on gross things.

I also remember playing Tak 2, but I did not really get into it. Probably because I sucked, I dunno.

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41 minutes ago, Azure in a Roundabout said:

I remember the tv show it had on Nickelodeon.

And also the game where you had to fight giants based on gross things.

I also remember playing Tak 2, but I did not really get into it. Probably because I sucked, I dunno.

We don't speak about the TV show

And Tak 2 is the Tak game I played the most

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Rayman 2: The Great Escape is pretty good, although I don't know if it's "underlooked". I can't remember any others now.

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On 10/4/2019 at 1:59 AM, Faellin said:

I'm in a bit of a dead cycle for new game releases, with nothing really coming out that i'm interested in until june with crash team racing NF. And i've had a real itch for some good old fashioned 3D platformer titles.

So I thought i'd go back and look into some games I may have missed in the past., I already played most of the big name ones. So i'm more interested in checking out ones that typically flew under the radar. Any recommendations? I have played most recent ones like a hat in time, yooka laylee, and the crash / spyro remakes.

And i'm mostly looking for ones from the gamecube era, since thats when I typically enjoyed games like these the most. I have played pretty much big name titles of this genre like pretty much every mario game, ratchet and clank, jak and daxter. I'm more looking for ones that flew under the radar and never really got a fair shot by most.

i'm not familiar with GameCube games, but in terms of platformers, i know some for Playstation One from the '90s: Medievil, Klonoa, Tombi, Gex - Enter the Gecko.

also Rocket Knight Sparkster for SNES was very underrated.

Edited by Fenreir

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Pitfall: The Lost Expedition is pretty underlooked. While it's not a perfect game and is missing that "special something" that turns a great game into an amazing one, it's a fun platformer in it's own right that has several unique elements and items that I'm surprised I haven't seen in other videogames. It's definitely worth a look.

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If you are willing to go back as far as the N64 I cannot recommend Space Station Silicon Valley enough. In its gameplay themes it features a similar concept to Mario Odyssey, as you posses enemies and make use of their abilities to solve puzzles and carry out missions. It's has a cartooney, Pikmin-like presentation and quite a dark plot, making for a compelling and unique package. 

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