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In your opinion, what game is the epitomy of “hidden gem” (for any platform)?

Content of the article: "In your opinion, what game is the epitomy of “hidden gem” (for any platform)?"

For me, it will always be "Tomba 2!" for the Playstation. The Playstation library was massive, so all my friends who had one back in the day had pretty vastly different libraries (save for some of the big ones, like Crash or Spyro). I was a Nintendo kid, but one of my buddies had "Tomba 2!," and that game alone sold me on the Playstation.

I have recently been re-playing it as an adult, and I still think it's absolutely a hidden gem. In some ways, the game has not aged well–it's got kind of a 2.5 perspective, and in some areas you can move left-right or forward-back. Controlling the change in diretion is painfully clunky. The graphics have certainly aged (though I remember being pretty impressed back in the day) and some of the voice acting is abysmal. That said, the moment-to-moment gameplay holds up!

The platforming was never "Mario"-tight, but it's certainly strong. The combat is interesting with a variety of weapons you can collect and diverse enemy types, boss fights are cool, the clothing you wear will alter your abilities so that you can glide or run faster, puzzles are usually clever enough, there are some really unique mini-games hidden around the world, the music is great, and all the character designs are so vivid and memorable.

The best parts, however, are the environments. There's a whole industrial coal-mining town, a pretty seaside village, a super creepy forest, icy mountain tops, and loads more. Even though the graphics are showing their age, these environments are still stellar and they each have their own special vibe that makes them so fun to explore. There are also mechanics unique to each area, which really helps to mix things up and make both puzzles and platforming feel varied.

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This game was really special to me as a kid, so a lot of my love for this game is nostalgia-induced, but I maintain that this game is still a damn good time. I actually think it would be an incredible candidate for an HD remake, though I don't think the game was ever quite popular enough to warrant such a dream.

What do you guys think? What's a stellar, criminally-underplayed gem lurking out there that you wish more people had gotten their hands on? Any game from any platform, across all generations.


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