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Konoko

Relatively Unknown/Underated games you enjoyed.

Kinda an odd question, but 'twas something on my mind. Theres a lot of high profile games and such over the years, but theres also a lot of others that people have no doubt enjoyed greatly. For example, when people mention good games on the SNES, things like Super Metroid, Link, Chrono Trigger...all tend to come to the fore. I will admit, the list is much bigger than that, (To say nothing of Contra, Starwing, Earthbound), but considering the number of games around, there has to be more.

For examples of the games I personally enjoyed but were mostly relegated to somewhere at the back, its mostly SNES games, but thats because when I was younger, I had the SNES, my half brother went for the PS and best friend the ol' Sega Megadrive.

Snes: Rock N Roll Racing, Utopia: Creation of a Nation, Mickey Mania (Don't judge me till you play it.). On the slightly further side, Yuu Yuu Hakusho Tokubetuhen. Least, I think that was the name. Technically a fighting game, it played unlike any other I've seen, it had a lot to it and mastering become my temporary addiction. Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinstrals, too.

For other systems, Body Harvest for N64 (Actually a love/hate relationship, but damn I still played it a lot.), Crimson Tears for PS2 (Part of me knows its not a good game, but I still played it through 3 times.)...Starship Troopers and Oni for PC. If anyones actually played Oni, my username might have hinted this. Along with the fact that my computers desktop icons are STILL Oni themed, despite half a dozen formats/computer changes. Embarassed

But yeah, thats about enough rambling from me for now. Anyone else got some games, new or old, that are not popular but that you enjoyed a lot or played to bits?
Skybait J

Has anyone here played Beyond Good and Evil? Yeah, apart from the ending, that game rocked. It was challenging, but not too difficult, and with a great racing game and plenty of replay value.

Another game I never owned, but loved to play was Orphen. I don't know why exactly I liked to play it (since I havnt played it since I was what? ten? eleven?). The battle system was pretty bland, but bosses were puzzling and fun to fight in a non godmodding way. And the stories with the three different charactors really got to my heart (ESPECIALLY little Mar, the child bard of cuteness). I suppose if I played it now I might go "Why the hell did I ever like this?" but whatever, I liked it XD.

And, really old game for the origional Gameboy I came across. Boomer in ASMIK World. No idea what was going on with that game, but it was an addicting little treasure hunt.....
Captain Gamer

One company that has gone tragically under the radar is Wayforward. Yes, they make games of cartoons, but their original games (with animations by the amazing Matt Bozon) cannot be ignored for much longer!

First, we have the GBC game, Shantae. This game blew the GBA out of the water with competent level design, tight controls, fluid pallate-swaps, and the innovative dancing system that allowed transformation on the fly. Tragically, the onset of the GBA overshadowed Shantae anyway. Gameplay-wise, this is Mario meets Metroid, combining run-and-jump action with new skills that are immediately put to the test, as well as completely-traversed areas, no maps, but there ARE warps. This game is devoid of a real storyline other than a chase to find mystical stones, then facing the ultimate villain at the end. The characters, however, are diverse, colorful, and a joy to see interact. What this game lacks in epic plot twists it makes up for with the immersive world it creates.

Next, we have the GBA game, Sigma Star Saga. This title, too, was overlooked when the next-gen DS launched. Truly, the last of the great GBA games alongside Gunstar Super Heroes. This one retains great spritework and a memorable cast, but adds to it a twisty-turny storyline! It opens with a Gradius-style side-scrolling space shooter with all your comrades falling behind you and an epic boss fight against a mothership several times your size! After the story shuttles you from one side of an interstellar war to another, you explore an overworld with tall, well-animated sprites, and do battle with monsters in a Zelda style. Randomly, you are called up to your ship to do battle with air monsters. The kicker is that you can level-up yourself and it will affect your ship by making its blasts stronger and giving you more HP! There is plenty of exploration to do, but not all of it is available until certain parts. The game boasts a branching storyline, but that's not fully the case. You can affect the ENDING by picking up a certain item or defeating a certain boss in a certain manner. Otherwise, the storyline is unchanged all the way until the final "dogfight."

Not a Wayforward game, but certainly not to leave out the DS, I bring to all your attention Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. If you have played Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, gameplay is very, VERY similar. This is because both belong to the 'Roguelike' genre, meaning one of the first sprite-based random dungeon games was a historic title called 'Rogue.' Hence, random-dungeon games are Rogue-like. This game is hard. It's as if you were meant to have a whole party of characters, but decided to go it solo as just one the entire time. You're initial strength is such that you take out an enemy in three hits while just one can take you out in four. Thus, strategy, items, and movements are all key while in the dungeon. Thankfully, it's all turn-based so you can plan if needed. You have weapons and armor all with special abilities and immunities. Magic comes in the form of SP and talismans. You need to pick up a talisman to use them, and you need SP (like MP from so many other RPGs... or 'chakra' for some of you). However, SP also dictates how you give and take damage, so you can't just use talismans willy-nilly. Weapons have their own SP and you can attach talismans for your attack, the chance to paralyze, or even double-hits! If you get knocked out in a dungeon, anything not stored away in town is lost. Money, weapons, items, talismans... poof. All you retain is the EXP earned by whacking monsters.
I say: Excellent! A challenge and a gruesome learning curve! You start with just the shirt on your back and your bare fists, and build yourself up from there using weapons and armor you find, heal up using found items, and get yourself out of tight spots using talismans. HP is gained by the turn, and skipping turns is done by holding the shoulders, so you literally walk-off the damage from a particularly damaging ordeal... or just stand around and skip turns to get it all back!
Once more: This game is HARD. It also hates the player. There are traps that will burn up a talisman, have you forget the map, or make you lose turns so that any monsters in pursuit will catch up and beat you down. This makes the success-to-failure rate favor the latter, but it makes it so much more of an accoimplishment when you win. There are six dungeons in the main game, each deeper than the last with stronger enemies. After the game, there's a extra dungeon which I am sure is where the bad gamers go after they die.
Story is once again sparse, but this game was made by ATLUS, which only translates to the greatest quality localization a game could possibly get. (Disgaea, anyone?) You've got Izuna, well-endowed mash-together of Final Fantasy VII's Yuffie and Naruto's Sakura, who's morally bankrupt except when it comes to her family. When she angers some gods by taking a jewel, she takes to action to get to those gods and have them lift a curse on the whole village. Everybody from the shrine maiden at the storehouse to the blacksmith all have unique dialogue that is not dependant on their profession, and certain actions weild hilarious results. Just like before, the lack of a storyline is offset by the people who surround you in this game.

... And THAT is my obscure game watch for the initial post. Drive safely!
Skybait J

Oh! I remember Rouge! I played that when I was big on those free DOS-based games. But actually, I played the Nethack Rouge-like alot more. I was just....better. At least to me it was, not graphic wisethough XD

Wait? Does Nethack count as an obscure game? I mean, I just didn't count unprofessional stuuf (else the list would be lots longer).

Um, I like Nethack. Find the magic talisman at the bottom of these dungeons, and sometimes run into puzzle rooms for free stuff, the Gnome mines, and stores where the shopkeepers can kill you DEAD. I've never been able to beat it, because it's like that ninja one up there. Way difficult, with traps, monsters, stuff that can insta-kill you if you're unlucky...but it's an increadbly expansive world. I find myself finding new things each time I play it, what with the 15 different jobs five different races and three alignments, and I've killed off over 150 charactors there too. Woo, now that I think of it, I think I mighta killed off Captain Gamer in there once. Not on purpose though! I read this cursed genocide scroll which summoned a swarm of killer bees, which I fought off continuously until I died. Definitly one of my more interesting deaths....most the time I just die of hunger or something. I've learned my lesson though! If you're dying of hunger: eat your pet doggy! ^^
Konoko

Beyond Good and Evil, heard of it, all good things really, yet it really did just never seem to quite get the attention. I was thinking of it too, but Project Zero 3/Fatal Frame 3 and Hajime no Ippo 2 slipped onto my 'get' list first.

Orphen...hadn't heard of, but I checked. Damn, that thing seems to get some mixed reviews. Like 5 1/10s then a couple 6 or 7/10. xP Boomer seems kinda fun, can see why you liked it.
*makes note to definately try to pick up Sigma Star Saga and Shantae*
Izuna, huh....sure sounds challenging, which is one of the two things I look for. The other being completionism, such as in Project Zero, or just about every epic sized RPG around. ^^

Nethack, heh, I actually have on my computer, right now. =D I wasn't sure if it counted either, since its still suprisingly well known. Damn though, I've lost count of how many I've lost in there...so damn huge. I still recall the time I tried to go down floors as fast as I could, not exploring beyond finding the stairs fast and avoiding fights. I actually made 9 floors, I think, then got horribly swarmed and beaten to death by slime.

There is other mildly obscure games I could mention...*cough* Princess Maker 2. Yeah, I really like it. Even if the first time I played it, she went off to rule the underworld and the second time she married the butler. Rolling Eyes Third time I got royal coutesan or something though, so much better! Very Happy
Ok, I'm done being girly. XP
Skybait J

Hahahah, I've played Princess Maker 2 as well. So has my mom. She tries to find all the evil endings, and made her daughter a cheap prostitute once. My mom scares me sometimes...

First time I played it, the girl became a general, second best job in the combat area. Which is effin awesome XD
Jenia

WHAT THE FLUX! SOMEONE KNOWS PRINCESS MAKER!?!!
MUST TYPE IN CAPS TO EXPRESS HORRO-ERR, AMAZEMENT!

Now get a hacker to transfer the scripts to the memorial box version.
The polished graphics looks AWESOME...

Did I mention I have Princess Maker 4? Awesome game.
MAOU-JUMP-ROPE!

You tell 'em, Jj!
Konoko

I got the prostitute ending too...Hoping for something RELIGIOUS this time though. Smile

Was looking at Princess Maker 5s official site just earlier, checking the preview thing they had, not sure if I like how it looks or not. xP

But yeah, PM and True Love, both with that stat thing and choosing what to do, I really like it. Sorta a forerunner to The Sims genre, I suppose...but I think I actually prefer the simpler version with the stats and timeslots, if only because you can actually get some completionism in, reach an ending, do the best run-through you can and such...wish they did more games like that and proper english releases would be nice...xP

Oh, and this is partly unrelated to the topic, partly very related. I picked up Dragon Quarter and the first 3 dot Hack games for PS2 from a friend, and downloaded Sanitarium and Starship Troopers: Terren Ascendancy.
So, the black sheep/odd one out of a fairly popular and very good RPG series, the majority of another fairly epic one, a pretty quietly obscure point and click adventure game with a dark twist and a sort of squad based RTS spin off from another squad based RTS game, half based on a book and half on a movie. So...uh, yeah, I think those last two count. =D
8-Bit

Has anyone played Zombies Ate My Neighbors on SNES? Man that game was hard! Never beat it though, I'd always die. Sure I get passwords but you lose all your items, and theirs a really hard boss battle where you need them.

Also Tinstar. Think a futuristic yet old style Western. Future for robots and old style western for the settings and theme. I liked this game, though found some of the duels annoying as well as some as the levels. It was a shooting game on the SNES, I think you could use a super scope but I only had a controller which was also used. It was fun blasting those evil western robots, while I was the robotic sheriff.
Skybait J

I've been playing Zombies Ate My Neigbors, but like you, I can't seem to beat it. But I've never been very good at older games. Those things are effin HARD ;o;
Koji_Tsunami

I enjoyed RTS "Army Men" for the Gamecube.
Konoko

I completed Zombies ate my neighbour. Took a while though. <.<;;
But then, I also completed Ghosts n Goblins (the going through the game again with the fairy ring bit too.), which everyone says is really hard. ^^;; And yet, the games that get my attention and really cause me to sink a lot of time and effort into them, are story intensive things with lots of exploring...Legacy of Kain series, Breath of Fire series, Castlevania series...
Course, I did all those hard games quite a while ago now, my reactions are probably completely shot. xP

Currently playing Starship Troopers: Terren Ascendancy...not sure how well known that is. The Book, CG series, movie, all of which are very different are much better known though. But yeah, its kinda interesting to describe...a sort of squad based RTS, where you equip them beforehand, your tech goes up after various missions, otherwise you're stuck with the group you've got. Usually in the realm of 12 guys, against upwards of 10 bugholes which pump out various warriors, hoppers and whatnot...let alone when a tanker shows up and makes its own one...or the mission I'm doing at the moment, which re-enacts something from the movie, with outpost getting totally overrun and tanker popping in the middle. I've already completed it a couple times, but its just so much fun. x3

Whiskey Outpost shall be littered with bugs! Come on you apes, kill em all! Surprised
Konoko

I've got another, that I can't believe I didn't mention. Its pretty unknown, a game for the SNES called Legend. Its a pretty challenging game...I could say the controls are unresponsive, but thats not entirely true, things like the shield and magic are without the slightest delay, its just other things. Your attack combo is slow enough that some enemies can actually attack you in the middle of them, parts of the scenery tend to block your view of things and you walk around slow, too slow to dodge some attacks, like the dragons dive. You can do a jump kick that can get you from one side to the other very fast, but theres a short delay after the landing. Theres a similar delay while picking up items...its almost infintesimal, but the enemies AI is such that even that is likely to get you poked in the back by a spear. Although, that'll happen a lot anyway, since pretty much all the enemies will try to get to both sides of you, to the point that its almost impossible to stop them. Furthermore, most of the bosses, with aggressive attacks and being untouchable to most attacks during them, are equally frustrating. On the plus side, its a pretty visually great looking game, the sprites are all large and nicely done, even if the enemies repeat a bit, the tree boss and dragon boss in particular. The rain in the second level for instance.
I actually like the game, if only for some nostalgia from when I repeatedly played it when I was younger...and got my ass kicked by the first boss many times, then barely survived to the second boss and eventually got past that with prudent use of magic, before getting to the next stage and getting horribly killed barely halfway through.
I have since completed it, using a rom, since I sold the old copy, so its not all THAT hard and in fact quite possible to complete it without dying. Although, on completion, I discovered something. After the final boss falls, you get a large The End logo, with sword background, scrolling up past a nice misty landscape view, followed by this text:
Quote:
Congratulations.
You have defeated Clovis and banished Beldor from the kingdom of Sellech.
Now all around the world there are many troubadours who sing the praise of the knights and their glory.

The Staff
Game concept and design
Carlo Perconti
Lyes Balaidouni

Background and Animations
Lyes Balaidouni

Music and Sound FX
Carlo Perconti

Special Thanks to
Seika Corporation
Nintendo of America Inc.
ECM
GamePro
Game Players
Factor 5
VC and CE
Die Hard Game Fan
Christophe
Francoise
Leslie
Ben and Marie
Chafika


So, the whole game was made by two people? Impressive.

If anyone wants to check it out, heres a rom, although it seems to be missing the sound. http://www.megaupload.com/?d=F2HBE5O2
Chocolate Ninja

There was this old game for DOS that I played in middle school that I couldn't remember for the life of me for years. Whenever I would describe it to people they would say, "Zelda II?" or "I know that game! Crystalis, right?" It didn't help that I couldn't remember whether it was a DOS-based game or an NES/SNES game that was played on an emulator. It was one of those things in the back of my mind that I absolutely needed to find out.

Luckily for my sanity, I found it in senior year of high school, thanks to intarwebz.

Zeliard is your typical sort of old-school 2D sidescroller at first glance. You play this guy named Duke Garland who, having been sent forth by holy forces, must defeat an evil sorcerer-type called Jashin and revive a princess from her stone state. You are a small redhaired man with a viking helmet armed merely with a crappy sword (which can be exchanged for other ones in the shop) to start with. Along the way, you get to fight enemies like snails, frogs, rats, bats, and a GIANT CRAB. And that's only the first dungeon.

There are plenty of interesting gameplay elements. First off are the variety of different swords and shields you can buy. Shields have a certain number of uses before they wear out, and it's a general rule that as well as blocking better, pricier shields can take more wear and tear. Luckily, enemies drop these glowing orbs that can be exchanged for valuable cash. Different colored orbs have different costs, and different towns have different conversion rates in terms of monetary value per orb. Orbs and other valuables can be found hidden in various parts of the dungeons as well.

There are plenty of useful items as well. Certain parts of the games are made easier or possible through the use of various types of shoes scattered throughout dungeons. A type of stone purchaseable in the magic shop proves very useful in easily defeating the first two or three bosses. There is also an oil which can increase the killination power of your sword tenfold, and of course various healing potions.

The dungeon will throw various sorts of terrain at you. There are the usual floating platforms, yes, but then there are the slopes you can only go down, the ice, and the goo that steadily takes away your hit points. Luckily if you die you just get sent back to the sage in the first town.

There is a sage in every town. (S)he serves a variety of purposes, including increasing your hit points when you've gained enough experiences, giving valuable advice, and saving your game. (S)he also revives you when you fall in battle, though that means you have to pass through all the dungeons and towns again.

This game is, on reflection, pretty awesome. I would take up a whole page just trying to summarize every aspect of it. This site is a good place for information and downloads, along with some interesting tidbits. If you get the chance, get DOSBox, download this game, and play it. The graphics aren't the best thing in the world and the music is shrill, but the gameplay is fantastic.
8-Bit

Not sure if its unknown but I say Jackel for the NES.

Wow this is a good game, lots of action, explosions, boss battles.

The game has you a jeep rescuing hostages and destroying all in your way with your grenades and machine guns and missles.

...

ACTION!
firemastrr

I completely loved Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 for the GCN. It had excellent graphics, a great storyline, and the best replay value I've ever seen. The best part: It's also an excellent multiplayer game.
Koji_Tsunami

I don't know... NiGHTS into Dreams may only be sorta unknown, but it hasn't recieved much publicity, so it might qualify.
I really liked that game.
firemastrr

Hmm...Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup for the GCN is relatively quiet. It had a tiny bit of publicity upon release, but since then it's kind of disappeared into oblivion. It was really fun for a while, though it gets pretty boring after you've played it for about a month. But the controls and all were smooth and there were some cool tricks you could pull.
firemastrr

Koji_Tsunami wrote:
I enjoyed RTS "Army Men" for the Gamecube.


I didn't. I loved the concept, it was excellent. But the control scheme was just pathetic. I think it was mainly becaues RTS games require a cursor, and for the GCN (and just about every other console), that means using the analog stick to control it, and that was painful, at least for me. I say, let's save the RTS games for the computers, where they can be played much more easily and smoothly. The possible exception is the Wii. Because of the nmotion sensing, you could more easily control a cursorm therefore making the comtrol scheme much more fluid. I await the first RTS for the Wii to see how it turns out.
Konoko

firemastrr wrote:
Koji_Tsunami wrote:
I enjoyed RTS "Army Men" for the Gamecube.


I didn't. I loved the concept, it was excellent. But the control scheme was just pathetic. I think it was mainly becaues RTS games require a cursor, and for the GCN (and just about every other console), that means using the analog stick to control it, and that was painful, at least for me. I say, let's save the RTS games for the computers, where they can be played much more easily and smoothly. The possible exception is the Wii. Because of the nmotion sensing, you could more easily control a cursorm therefore making the comtrol scheme much more fluid. I await the first RTS for the Wii to see how it turns out.

<somewhat off topic thought related to that>
I'm not so sure that it would be too simple, and there might well be a relative failure of an RTS first. A lot would depend on how well the motion sensing is integrated, since it would be a fine balance still. But yeah, definately could be interesting, plus I hope the motion sensing ended up being used for more than just the equivilant of a mouse to move the cursor. I do suddenly recall Black and White on related things, with its intrictate movements and how they could be used for quick actions for various extra things....

Oh, and I recently picked up Fantavision. I'm not sure if it counts as obscure or underrated and I'm not even sure if I'm really enjoying it. I'm pretty sure I prefer Rez, but it does have this odd charm....even if a lot of it provokes a vague 'wtf' feel. And the tutorial bits are....a little remedial in feel, but still giving the hard info...but with odd pauses now and then and the whole thing ends up hilarious when in the right mood and right company. xP
Anomaly

Well... I don't know how under- or over- or at all-rated these games are, but I'll mention them anyway.
Firstly, the online Flash game "N". It is, quite simply, pure awesome, even without a story.
Basically, you play as a super-fast, super-agile ninja, with the goal of running, jumping and climbing your way through the stages, collecting items, until opening and leaving through the door in each stage. The item collection is somewhat similar to Jetpack, though the main item, gold, increases the ninja's "life span" (ie, time limit), and only one item each level is needed to open the door.
The game is very difficult, and very frustrating at times. Death happens often, not just because of the many different enemies in the game, but also because of the physics; if you hit a surface going too fast, you splatter. That simple.
However, the game is still very good fun, especially after you get the hang of some of the flashier maneuvers the ninja can do.

Second, the old DOS game Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games. I'm not sure if that counts as an under-rated game, I only found it years after its time, but it's still good. Basically, it's a squad-control team-based strategy game, and you control a squad of mercenaries in their various missions: assassination, extermination, demolition, retrieval, all kinds of things. In the campaign mode, the mercenaries can improve between missions, and you can actually use the money rewards for completed missions to do things like pay your mercenaries (which you always have to do), hire better ones, upgrade your equipment, that kind of thing.
It has a random campaign and mission generator, which I've always thought adds a ton of replayability to a game. Unfortunately, all it can generate are the enemies and objectives; it only uses the actual maps you already have. However, there are enough of those that come shipped with the game to keep from getting stale for a while, and even if they do, there's also a level editor you can use to make your own.
firemastrr

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System for the GCN is a great RPG/shooter. You play as Glitch, a strong robot with an arrray of weapons that you use to blow up enemy robots. It's challenging, yet almost mindless as you get later in the game, being that you basically shoot anything that moves. The graphics and plot are nice, and the controls are fluid, once you get used to them. If you can tolerate the swearing every five minutes, this game is very, very good.
8-Bit

Well I have a new game... It's a NES! That means unknown for most of us Very Happy.

Blaster Master... Oh man... This is one really hard game, a must beat in one sitting because... Seriously I swear... No saves... No passwords... And man its long! I have to hope my NES doesn't overheat before I beat it. About a 1 1/2 hour game to play through, longer or shorter depending on if you know where to go. And man! That last boss is haaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrddddddd....

Story is... Well... Lacking... I shall tell it in kindergarten style storybook form!

See Jason (Me?) and his frog.

See the frog jump away from Jason.

See the frog land on random radioactive box?

See the frog grow about 10 times in size.

See the frog jump down random hole.

See Jason is shock!

See Jason jump down hole.

See Jason see a tank.

See Jason get in convient battle suit.

And the game starts!


It plays like Metroid, except you have a tank. You go around to different areas collect items then backtrack. But the kicker is you can exit the tank and go on foot. You need to do this to go into random dungeons. One dungeon in each area has a boss (3-4 dungeons per area) and deafting the boss gives you a new item. But another kicker is when you enter the dungeon you go to an overhead exploring shooter style game.

It rocks. Seriously check it out!

Also I sure do like "..." today don't I?
firemastrr

It may not be as obscure as the other ones here, but The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is the best RPG I have ever played. They have a fourth installment now that I haven't played yet, so I'm not sure how that one is, but it recieved a lot of hype. Probably because people figured out how awesome Morrowind was. The graphics are beautiful, the storyline is excellent, the music is wonderful, and the gameplay is very fluid. The game is very in-deapth. Also, it fits the RPG class very well because it's free roam and you don't have to follow the storyline. There are tons of other things you can do that are very fun. Also, you can do basically whatever you want. You can kill Anyone, no exceptions (It does alert you if you've killed someone essential to the main story). You absolutely must play this game.
Koji_Tsunami

I still want that game, but cannot get ahold of it.
Konoko

Two people I know were into that and got a bunch of games in the series too...I never really felt the interest so much. Just never really hooked me.
I prefer the Fallout games for open ended civilian killing and free-roaming with story and sidequests. x3
Chocolate Ninja

Mmm, sandbox games. Very Happy

Fire Emblem 4 isn't obscure now that everyone knows about the Fire Emblem series, but it's good. Really, really good. The gameplay is a bit more complex than in most FEs, and half of it involves getting the right people to pair up (if you ever play it through, you'll see why). It can be a bit cheesy sometimes, but there are some heart-wrenching moments, especially towards the end of the first half. If you ever get the chance, download it, patch it, and play it. It never got released here, so it's legal. Razz

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