Underrated & Obscure Games

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Underrated & Obscure Games

Postby Skateside » Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:50 pm UTC

I checked, this doesn't seem to have been done before - please correct me if I'm wrong.

Here's a place for everyone to mention the games that they feel just didn't get the push they deserved, were totally awesome, but always left you looking at your friends' blank expressions when you mentioned them.

The two I have for your consideration are:
Zone of the Enders (and the sequel - Zone of the Enders II), PS2 - Giant dogfighting Japanese robots - a game giving much kudos if everyone's been drinking and you're actually able to get through a tricky bit without throwing up

Space Station Sillicon Valley, N64 - very cartoon like action game involving a zoo in space that disappears for 1000 years only to return with homicidal robotic animals. My favourite animals, just incase this game isn't as underrated as I think it is, include the tortoise-tank, and the sheep, with its power of "baa"
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Re: Underrated games

Postby headprogrammingczar » Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:19 pm UTC

Riven is amazing, but almost completely unheard of. Very few people realize that it is the sequel to Myst. The few people who have heard of it discount it as a point-and-click, and therefore boring. It isn't until they realize that the world had to first be created in a 3D editor, that they appreciate the brilliant graphics.
In addition to the graphics, it is the only puzzle game I have ever played that was difficult without resorting to terrible tricks like pixel games and Rube Goldberg puzzles. It also has the distinction of being the only game in my (huge) collection that does not start the autorun if there is already a game in progress.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Ended » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:07 pm UTC

Ico for ps2. Probably the most beautiful game I have played. Beautiful as in both awesome-looking and incredibly moving.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:16 pm UTC

Ended wrote:Ico for ps2. Probably the most beautiful game I have played. Beautiful as in both awesome-looking and incredibly moving.

I'm pretty sure that game wasn't underrated, considering it got massive amounts of positive reviews, and had another game set in the same universe (Shadow of Colossus or something like that, I believe)

Also, underrated game: Darwinia. (Someone needs to combine that camera with the WiC camera for the greatest RTS camera ever.)

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Ended » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:22 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:I'm pretty sure that game wasn't underrated, considering it got massive amounts of positive reviews, and had another game set in the same universe (Shadow of Colossus or something like that, I believe)

eh, good point. I suppose I meant more in the "no-one I've spoken to IRL has heard of it, and when I show it to them they don't get it" sense.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Delbin » Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:41 pm UTC

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude comes to mind. The gameplay is meh, and the potty humor is a bit much, but it's a game that's genuinely funny and fun to play.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Serrin » Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:25 pm UTC

Dude. Uplink: Hacker Elite, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby trickster721 » Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:00 am UTC

Riven is amazing, but almost completely unheard of.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Aradae » Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:30 am UTC

I would have to say Beyond Good and Evil and Psychonauts.

Both were fantastic games.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby malec2b » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:02 am UTC

Aradae wrote:I would have to say Beyond Good and Evil and Psychonauts.

Both were fantastic games.


Yeah, I agree on both of those. Beyond Good and Evil is my third favorite game of all time (after LoZ: OOT and LoZ: TP). Michel Ancel (The lead designer of the game, whose name I probably spelt wrong) has made some great games, and always puts a lot of veriety in his games (as you can see in his more recent game, Rayman: Raving Rabids)

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Re: Underrated games

Postby FACM » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:37 pm UTC

Most anything made by Treasure deserves more attention that it received. Gunstar Heroes is what they're best known for, but everything they've done (give or take the Genesis McDonalds game) is fun and unique. I think Ikaruga was their most recent game.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby semicolon » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:58 pm UTC

Treasure did Gradius V, which came out way later than Ikaruga. I'm sure something has come out even more recently than that.

But Ikaruga is far from being underrated; it's probably one of the best known shmups ever.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby anoshinri » Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:05 am UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:Very few people realize that it is the sequel to Myst.


Isn't it literally called 'Riven: The Sequel to Myst'?

Aradae wrote:I would have to say Beyond Good and Evil and Psychonauts.

Both were fantastic games.


I wasn't a huge fan of Beyond Good and Evil, but it was a great game. Psychonauts, however, is about equal to Super Mario 64 in terms of genre defining.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby aion7 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:51 pm UTC

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars was cool. Take Fire Emblem, put it on Mars, give it an awesome story, and add a horrible real time mechanic for attacking and defending. That last one is the problem. If you just move the reticle around the screen over and over, you'll never take damage, ever.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Hench » Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:58 pm UTC

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for the GameCube is definitely underrated. Not very well known but wonderful third-person adventure with a great story. Out of print now, I think, but very very worth it if you can find it.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Skateside » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:48 pm UTC

Hench wrote:Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for the GameCube is definitely underrated. Not very well known but wonderful third-person adventure with a great story. Out of print now, I think, but very very worth it if you can find it.

How did I forget to mention that one?!?!

I love Eternal Darkness. And yes, you're right, iy's probably out of print now, but it means you can find it in pre-owned sections for a serious bargain!
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Re: Underrated games

Postby xenuphobia » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC

I've wanted to play that game since it came out, but I never got around to it. I don't think I will now. I'm a sad panda.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby HotSoup » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:12 pm UTC

Silkroad Online , not exactly under-rated, its played, alot, but its 7th most played game, 3rd most played mmo, and most played f2p game, people still refer to runescape and other EXTREMELY over-rated games, over it. Sorta annoys me, but nothing major.

Cant think of any others right now.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Benedict » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:23 am UTC

Serrin: Uplink: Hacker Elite was indeed a great game, thanks for the reminder. I had almost completely forgotten about it. Not a high budget game, or a very complex one, but still good. Probly could be considered a simulator more than anything. Hacking for people who don't know how to hack. Also, more rewarding; everything was significant, the trash file always contained the evidence of embezzlement, for those who know what I mean (heh, Angelina Jolie boob).

Also for all you Myst fans, Douglas Adams' (yes, that Douglas Adams, h2g2) Starship Titanic. That was the game Myst should have been. A truly amazing masterpiece. And if you can find a mac to play on, it's well worth the couple dollars it now sells for (I found my copy, brand new, never opened, for $3.99 at Ollie's, of all places). Buy it now.

However, the most underrated game of all time, bar none, is another mac game (I am not being payed by apple, I promise. In fact, mac games suck, in general. But there are a few shining jewels that stand out. I guess my point is, buy/build a pc, unless you're a loser, or it's a laptop.) made by Bungie Studios (yes, that Bungie Studios, hail them as your overlords) in 1994, called Marathon, later followed by Marathon 2: Durandal, and Marathon: Infinity. To give you some idea of how much I love Marathon, my desktop is named Durandal (and my laptop is named Cortana. I am geek, here me roar.). These games are what fps's should be. Dark, suspenseful, full of devilishly hard puzzles, great weapons, and intimidating enemies (did I just also describe Halo? My bad.), not to mention the greatest plot of all time (one species in a group of aliens warring against mankind defects and joins the humans? Hmm... why is that so familiar?). "I know who you are. You are Destiny." (minor spoilers ahead. just not the car kind: http://marathon.bungie.org/story/mifinalscreen.html) Marathon (1-3) has been ported to pc as AlephOne (free), and Marathon 2: Durandal is on the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace. Go. Play.
(Interesting point/trivia for all those interested in Bungie gnosticism: Durandal is the name of Roland's sword in The Song of Roland, a French epic poem about Charlemagne's nephew. Durandal had a "sister sword," a sword forged of the same temper and steel as Durandal, by the same blacksmiths. Can you guess? It's name was Cortana.)
(btw, the sword with which Britain knights it's, uh, knights is thought to be Cortana. Durandal was thrown into a poisoned stream and never found.)
(And now you now more than you ever wanted to know.)
(Truly sorry for the long post. <wince>)
edit: I started a Marathon thread under the Gaming topic: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=15820
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Twasbrillig » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:31 am UTC

Majora's Mask. Not many people loved it, but I think it may very well be the best Zelda game ever made. Buckets of fun over and over (and over and over and over and over...) again.

Also, EVO: The Search for Eden for SNES. That game rocked my socks off bigtime.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Benitosimies » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:22 am UTC

Twasbrillig wrote:Also, EVO: The Search for Eden for SNES. That game rocked my socks off bigtime.


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Re: Underrated games

Postby Nyarlathotep » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:37 am UTC

Benedict wrote:Also for all you Myst fans, Douglas Adams' (yes, that Douglas Adams, h2g2) Starship Titanic. That was the game Myst should have been. A truly amazing masterpiece. And if you can find a mac to play on, it's well worth the couple dollars it now sells for (I found my copy, brand new, never opened, for $3.99 at Ollie's, of all places). Buy it now.


I liked Riven better. more atmospheric. Less buggy.

Only bit of Riven I hated was that some of the puzzles were TOO hard. The Generator Puzzle with the marbles, anyone...? x_X;

Even so, it's still one of my favourite games, ever.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Hench » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:23 pm UTC

xenuphobia wrote:I've wanted to play that game since it came out, but I never got around to it. I don't think I will now. I'm a sad panda.

Now now, giving up is never a good solution. If there are any used game stores anywhere near you chances are they might have a copy. Probably not going to find it in a timely manner, but concentrated looking will result in success.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby segmentation fault » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:48 pm UTC

legend of zelda II. everyone hated it because Oh me yarm it was nothing like zelda 1. despite it being one of the hardest games ever it was actually a solid game.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby anoshinri » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:14 am UTC

segmentation fault wrote:legend of zelda II. everyone hated it because Oh me yarm it was nothing like zelda 1. despite it being one of the hardest games ever it was actually a solid game.


Time to make it fix'd.

segmentation fault wrote:legend of zelda II. everyone hated it because Oh me yarm it was nothing like zelda 1. despite it being not very difficult in any way but totally unforgiving of any minor mistake you may make due to the it was actually a game that deserves a playthrough to show that differenet doesn't mean better (or even equal).


The only thing they could have added to make the game more of a bad experience would be jumping puzzles. Jumping puzzles ruin everything.

It's not bad because it was different. It's bad because it wasn't a good game.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby BobMacDhonnchaidh » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:31 am UTC

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Re: Underrated games

Postby trickster721 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:43 am UTC

Benedict wrote:Also for all you Myst fans, Douglas Adams' (yes, that Douglas Adams, h2g2) Starship Titanic. That was the game Myst should have been. A truly amazing masterpiece. And if you can find a mac to play on, it's well worth the couple dollars it now sells for (I found my copy, brand new, never opened, for $3.99 at Ollie's, of all places). Buy it now.

Eww. It's cute and everything, but the puzzles are of the "guess which obscure thing you're supposed to say to the text-parsing robot now" variety. Worth playing for the jokes, but not a classic of innovative design.

Twasbrillig wrote:Majora's Mask. Not many people loved it, but I think it may very well be the best Zelda game ever made. Buckets of fun over and over (and over and over and over and over...) again.

Yes. See also, Link's Awakening.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:06 am UTC

trickster721 wrote:Yes. See also, Link's Awakening.

That is the single most awesome Zelda game ever for two reasons. One being no mention of that stupid triforce, two being you don't need to have your sword equipped all the time.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby clayasaurus » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:54 am UTC

shadow of the colossus
zone of the enders 1 and 2
gladius

all for ps2 8)

HotSoup wrote:Silkroad Online , not exactly under-rated, its played, alot, but its 7th most played game, 3rd most played mmo, and most played f2p game, people still refer to runescape and other EXTREMELY over-rated games, over it. Sorta annoys me, but nothing major.

Cant think of any others right now.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby trickster721 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:00 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
trickster721 wrote:Yes. See also, Link's Awakening.

That is the single most awesome Zelda game ever for two reasons. One being no mention of that stupid triforce, two being you don't need to have your sword equipped all the time.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Twasbrillig » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:15 am UTC

segmentation fault wrote:legend of zelda II. everyone hated it because Oh me yarm it was nothing like zelda 1. despite it being one of the hardest games ever it was actually a solid game.


Play Ninja Gaiden (both for NES and for Xbawks) and get back to me on that one.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:40 pm UTC

FACM wrote:Most anything made by Treasure deserves more attention that it received. Gunstar Heroes is what they're best known for, but everything they've done (give or take the Genesis McDonalds game) is fun and unique. I think Ikaruga was their most recent game.

They've made a handful of games since Ikaruga. Off the top of my head, Astro Boy on GBA was developed by them (published by Sega), Gradius V on PS2 was developed by them (published by Konami), and I believe one of the more recent Contra games was developed by them.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby i like pi » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:35 pm UTC

i think oracle of ages/seasons was a bit unapreciated, i thought they were awesome games, but my friend had never heard of either of them.
Or something to that effect. Hell, I don't know.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby Garm » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:33 pm UTC

The original Dark Reign. That was an amazing game. Stuff like user defined unit behavior was in that game. That stuff has only recently found it's way into other RTS games. It also had a good random map generator. That's always been the failure of the Blizzard games to me. The maps are always the same.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Felgraf » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:09 am UTC

Earthbound. A quirky, underlooked RPG for the SNES. Came with its own strategy guide, which may also be the coolest strategy guide ever made. (IT CAME WITH SCRATCH AND SNIFF STICKERS!)

It is one of the few videogames/rpg's to embrace the fact that it is a videogame, and the ending/final boss battle would not be nearly as powerful and amazing without this fact. I've also seen some people analyze this game and argue (rather convincingly) that it's almost a meta-game, in the way it sort of encapsulates certain RPG tropes (why do you have to go the long way around? Because buffallo are blocking the roadway. Why can't you walk between the cars? BECAUSE.) It is both amusing and lighthearted, and, at the same time, sometimes.. deeply disturbing and at still other times, quite philosophical. It is a *fantastic* game, and if you can find a ROM of it (or if they ever bring the @#Q% GBA adaptation to the US), I highly reccomend it.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby aion7 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:35 am UTC

Action/puzzle/platformers anyone. That's a genre that needs more attention.

The Lost Vikings by Blizzard (yes that Blizzard), and Mario and Wario (a very atypical Mario game) (Both were for SNES) were good examples of that great genre. As a bonus The Lost Vikings has been known to cause me, and others, to laugh, ans in out loud whenever the characters talked.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby Endless Mike » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:47 pm UTC

aion7 wrote:Action/puzzle/platformers anyone. That's a genre that needs more attention.

The Lost Vikings by Blizzard (yes that Blizzard), and Mario and Wario (a very atypical Mario game) (Both were for SNES) were good examples of that great genre. As a bonus The Lost Vikings has been known to cause me, and others, to laugh, ans in out loud whenever the characters talked.

Oh I loved those types of games. I played Flashback and that other one I forget the name of on the Genesis all the time. Oh, and the second Oddworld game (never got the first).

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Re: Underrated games

Postby i like pi » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:07 pm UTC

unappreciated games... alot of japanese games that never made it to america (I really like japanese games, except for RPG's. way too many of thoe in Japan)
Or something to that effect. Hell, I don't know.

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Re: Underrated games

Postby JayDee » Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:03 am UTC

I'm not sure how underrated I'd consider most of the games mentioned (if I've heard of them, they can't be that underrated, surely?) but, hey, they're good games.

My favourite PC platformer is Heart of Darkness. Played the demo to death and then bought the game. A fun, well made, well drawn platformer, with a Disney-movie-esque story.

Not sure whether it was, um, rated or not.
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Re: Underrated games

Postby panther3751 » Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:46 am UTC

Zork: Nemesis by Activision/Infocom is pretty awesome but underrated.

When released, it suffered in two ways: 1) Myst came out about the same time, and 2) compared to other Zork games, it's very dark and creepy.

Personally, I think the game stands out well on its own compared to the other Zork titles. Maybe it isn't like other Zork games in tone, but it doesn't need to be. It's got a brilliant story and excellent puzzles without having a grue pop out at you in the darkness. (Even though I love the tone of old Zork games.) Nemesis might not be silly, but its darkness and creepiness lends well to the story.

As for its first downfall, being compared to Myst when it was released ... I've played both games, and perhaps it's dependent on preference, but I prefer Zork: Nemesis. I actually gave a hoot about solving puzzles, the atmosphere was creepy and drew me in, and the puzzles were hard but not head-smashingly challenging. (Mind you, this was when I was younger, so perhaps your millage will vary.)

So I recommend Zork: Nemesis to all of you first-person-adventure-puzzle fans out there. It's an awesome game and it's extremely underrated. Play it!
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