OK, so many people will disagree with me that this is more of a true platform game than Mario 64 and every, so called, platform game that followed it; these people are, however, wrong!
This is what platform gaming is all about. In recent times games have gone running scared from words like "linear" and "2D" and "short", and whilst running away they've accidentally left "fun" behind too. Being in 3D doesn't makes games better, or more fun, and in many cases makes them overly complex, difficult to control, and, as a result, much less fun. The same can be said for games where you're free to "explore" openly, and which take hours and hours of dedication to complete - there's nothing fun about these things, and, in my opinion, games should be fun, that should be their soul purpose in life, just to be fun.
This game is pure, unashamed, fun. Yeah it's pretty linear, but that's a *good thing*. It means you don't need to spend ages aimlessly wondering round trying to find what to do next, you can just get on with it. Yeah it may be 2D, but it has some of the most luscious and characterful graphics of any game ever, and being in 2D makes it simple to control, and removes the annoying frustrations of many 3D games.
It's also pretty short, but like platform games from the golden ages, this is another good thing. Games didn't used to be designed so that you'd only play them through once. So that being long meant value for money. Value for money used to come from re-playability, where you'd complete a game over and over again, trying to beat your previous score, or time, on number of items collected. Most games these days are so long, and tedious, that you'd never do that. This game isn't, and is fun enough to bring you back to complete more than once.
Everything about this game put a smile on my face, from the graphics, to the music (which is excellently excellent), to the pure, unadulterated, fun of playing it.