Backlog update: I've finished 3/12 games from my list so I'm quite happy with that.
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Didn't age well. The controls, particularly the camera, are very unrefined and downright frustrating at times.
The goofiness of the writing didn't strike a chord with me, but the story never got in the way for long anyway so I didn't mind it.
The level design isn't bad, there's a few interesting sections/puzzles, but every good idea is dragged down by the controls or camera angles.
I just find it very hard to enjoy a game like that after playing any 3D Mario game really.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
That was a weird one! I really enjoyed the world, as well as the plot which I found quite original, at least in its first half. Then it... certainly goes places. A bit too wild for my taste at times but I always remained engaged, and surprisingly invested in the Squall-Rinoa romance. And I loooved all the Laguna sections, I'd play a full game with those 3.
The combat system tries interesting things too but ultimately fails to ever feel truly tactical. It mostly boils down to drawing 100 of every new magic you find (thank god for the x3 speed), junctioning it to the best stat, and then spamming attack in combat. If you do that, you'll get through 90% of the fights without a sweat. It feels both too easy to abuse and too hard if you don't.
I probably spent 25% of my playthrough playing Triple Triad and I regret nothing! That tune will forever be engraved into my mind.
Cool anecdote: the final boss fight couldn't have been more epic (no story spoiler but "gameplay" spoiler).
My setup was to max out Squall, Rinoa and Zell, and give almost nothing to the others. Because the boss picks your team at random, I started with Rinoa, Zell and Quistis, who promptly died, was replaced by Irvine, who spammed all the special ammo he could to beat the second form before dying too. Selphie helped a bit against the third form, eventually died too. So Squall showed up last and it was such a Dragon Ball Z moment, like Goku finally joining the fight after all his friends got taken out. Then I messed up, Zell died and I assumed because I was on my final 3 characters he wouldn't be zapped away, so I didn't revive him immediately and was left with only Squall and Rinoa for the entirety of the final form. The two main characters, the power couple, it was so suitably romantic! I struggled so much, got very close to being wiped many times, but eventually triumphed with one last ditch attack from Squall. Couldn't have written it better!
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Pleasantly surprised! I'd never played any Mario RPG, or Paper Mario, and I found it very entertaining.
The combat system is a lot trickier than I expected, you really have to learn the attack patterns of all the enemies. I assumed the attack and defense bonus would be minimal but I doubt you can finish the game without learning to dodge efficiently. The final boss was brutal, it took me a few attempts and I raged quite a bit.
The story and writing are genuinely funny, especially since it's so rare for Mario and friends to poke fun at themselves. It's fun to see so many cameos from more obscure characters. The sprites and animations are excellent too, very expressive and lively.
The world and puzzles are pretty imaginative, it doesn't feel like a cheap RPG at all (shame on me for assuming that I guess).
If a new one comes out on Switch, I'll probably get it.