Underappreciated game you wish more people loved?

I'm sure we all have one game that we absolutely love and have logged countless hours into even though the gaming press and public have sadly ignored it or just swept it under the rug. What's yours?

My choice is Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. That game was the reason I bought an Xbox 360 and I don't regret it one bit. Reviews were average, with complaints of it being too different from its predecessors, and sales were extremely mediocre, so it seems the general population were amused by it for a few weeks before continuing to whine about the decline of Rare (which is sadly true).

I view the game in a very different light, however. First of all it was beautiful. The hand-crafted aesthetic oozed beauty everywhere I turned in the game, and everything just felt so touchable and real. I know technically it is nowhere close to the best looking game this generation, but no game has recaptured that feeling of awe for me since, with the possible exception of Super Mario Galaxy 2. The game also retained the classic Banjo Kazooie humour, which is almost worth the price of admission alone. Even the game's intro sequence, which involves a morbidly obese Banjo waddling around trying to collect every shiny object in site in, as the game puts it, "classic Banjo Kazooie fashion" had me laughing pretty loudly. All of the game's dialogue is ridiculously meta in a very over the top way, and it's just awesome.

Gameplay-wise, where most people seemed to have problems with the game, I still thought it was great. Sure, it's not a platforming masterpiece like the original two games, but that isn't what it set out to be. The game is a weird vehicle/platforming hybrid that is loaded with customization, making it unlike nay other game on the market. A player could literally create any vehicle they could dream of, and see it come to life while attempting to complete ridiculous challenges. To this day I still find myself booting up the game just to make some stupid looking vehicle just to see what I can do with it. The vehicle building was smooth thanks to its use of Loony Toons-esque physics (ie five engines will make a vehicle faster than one engine). The built in arcade game starring Klungo is awesome as well, and surprisingly quite challenging and addicting.

I know this weird rant gives the illusion that I have sick, sick fantasies about Banjo and Kazooie driving cars, but in reality I just love this game to death and it really bums me out to see the overwhelming "meh" that the gaming press and majority of gamers gave it. In a world of corridors, quick time events and 9 year old kids shouting racist things at me over Xbox Live despite the fact I am the same ethnicity as them, it was refreshing to see a game have puzzles that can be solved almost any way you want, regardless of how the designers wanted it to be completed. It was refreshing to see a game say "Hey. Here's a sandbox. Here are some tools. Play in it". This game was a breath of fresh air. So again, is there any game you absolutely love that just doesn't get, in your opinion, the respect that it deserves?

Banjo-kazooie-nuts-bolts-20080513111951537-2394464_640w_medium

via assets2.ignimgs.com

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