Hidden Gems of Gaming?

Discussions about non-Evangelion related video games, board games, card games and gaming in general.

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Hidden Gems of Gaming?

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Postby Rosenakahara » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:03 pm

So I've been kinda bored recently and i was wondering if anyone wants to share some games that they consider to be hidden gems (really freaking good but not so popular for whatever reason) over the years.
This way these games can at least in some small way get some more light shed on them, I'll start.

GrimGrimoire (Ps2)
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This fun little RTS game was brought to us by Nippon Ichi, the guys you probably know for the disgaea series.
I love this game, like i REALLY love this game since its one of the first RTS games i ever played and got me into the things as a whole, i wouldn't say its overly deep or particularly hard, since if you spam dragons you can win most battles pretty easily but the animations are good, the story is charming, the characters are memorable (though its nippon ichi, this is expected from them) and the game is what i consider perfect length for what its trying to do.
Oh also it has yuri, always a plus.

This game was overlooked sadly because it was released when the ps3 was already out and everyone's attention was on that, which is a damn shame.
Also i feel like i have made this topic before, please tell me i didn't.
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Postby xPearse » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:18 pm

Chase the Express. That's one awesome criminally underrated game. Also, Goblin Commander.
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Postby IronEvangelion » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:57 pm

Girls und Panzer: Senshado Kiwamimasu certainly qualifies. It's a Japan-only Vita exclusive that was released in 2014 and published by Bandai Namco. It will probably never be localized because of lack of demand, and must not have sold very well in Japan either seeing as how the collectors' edition is going for about $35 new on Amazon right now.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Panzer-Extremely-Rival-Treasure-Japan/dp/B00H1RLO1E/ref=sr_1_35?ie=UTF8&qid=1426483526&sr=8-35&keywords=girls+und+panzer

But anyhow, the development team actually got help to make this game from the guys who made World of Tanks, so the game plays very similarly to WoT. It has three modes: Story, Battle, and Gallery. Story Mode is where they excelled with this game: instead of making this a sequel or side story, they basically took the anime series itself and turned it into a video game. You get to play through all the major battles in the show and replicate key scenes (such as sniping Saunders' flag Sherman with your last shell or shooting out the Maus' engine while Duck and Turtle teams keep the behemoth immobilized). But you're not just playing as Anglerfish Team: each tank team gets their own story route starting with their appearance in the show and continuing until the end of the game, and sometimes you're required to rewrite GUP history (such as beating the odds as Duck Team by destroying the tank that's supposed to KO them in the St. Gloriana battle, or winning the battle against St. Gloriana in the canyon with Rabbit Team before your crew freaks out and abandons the tank). Of course you'll still clear the missions by losing the way the team canonically lost, but you won't unlock their next mission. Only Anglerfish Team is unlocked by default, but you can unlock the others for each chapter by getting specific ranks in certain missions.

Battle Mode is pretty cool as well, you can make a team of any tanks from the show (up to a certain total weight limit) and pit them against a group of any other tanks on any of the game's battlefields. Each battle you win earns you exp that you can use to increase your weight limit so you can use more of the heavier tanks. The Maus is FUUUUN! :D

Gallery Mode has something I haven't seen in a new game in years: You can actually take any tank you've unlocked, examine the model, zoom in and out, and even fire the main gun! Too bad the characters section is text-only.

The graphics are cel-shaded and really work well since the show itself used cel-shaded CG tanks. It really looks and feels like you're playing the show. There are a lot of nice little touches throughout, like Miho randomly popping her head out of the turret to look around, and each tank having its own unique sound when firing. The only flaws are that most of the (out of battle) cut scenes are stills from the show with text, and some cut scenes are way too talky in general. To their credit, the developers did use footage from the series whenever possible, and both the opening video and the ending are the same uncut op/ed from the show itself.

Overall it's one of the best games I've played all year.
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Postby Dima » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:20 pm

-Golden Sun 1 and 2 (epic RPGs, Nintendo is stupid that can't appreciate what they own lol)
-Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Versus (best fighting game ever)
-The World Ends with You (play it and don't forget to thank me later)
-Live A Live (one of the most original and interesting (and best) RPG)
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Postby Monk Ed » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:05 pm

Ephemeral Fantasia (PS2)

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(Don't let the box art fool you -- you'll barely see that girl and will totally fall in love with the red-headed one instead.)

This game was so obscure that back when I played it (years ago now) I only ever found one walkthrough for it and the walkthrough didn't even seem to suggest that the ending I wanted (in which a certain someone comes with me as I leave the island) was possible. Somehow, I got the ending I wanted anyway. I first played it as a Blockbuster rental back when it was new, then bought it years later to finally finish my playthrough, which I had really barely even started. Not playing this game again just to relive the great memories has been a long-term exercise of will.

In terms of gameplay, it's easy to see why this game never made it big. It's often unclear where you're supposed to go or what you're supposed to do, and there's a five-day time loop mechanic so finding something important is not just about being at the right place but at the right time -- I remember winding up relying on the one walkthrough I could find quite heavily. The whole game is a big open island with almost too many places to go, which is at times fun and at others frustrating. Unlike most RPGs, the size of the main town is actually quite credible, and you can wander around for quite a long time getting lost in different sections and discovering unique mini-games and the like.

It's the story and characters that made this game for me. I'm sure my age at the time I played had something to do with it (I had seen a lot less anime and Japanese video games by then), but I was utterly enchanted by this game, its little world, its events, and its characters. Even the protagonist oozes personality despite being silent (just look at his face on that box shot -- would you guess he was a si-pro?). Rummy in particular became special to me, and I was really happy when I left the island at the end and found that Rummy had escaped on-board with me -- against my character's intentions, but as she made clear to him before hugging him with a cute angry frown on her face, he wasn't getting rid of her that easily.

Character image  SPOILER: Show
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Rummyyy~ <3


Oh yeah, and your sidekick is a talking guitar.
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Postby NemZ » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:59 pm

Image

Maybe going back a bit far for some of you youngins, but Metal Storm on the NES blew my damn mind as a kid and still does today. There's just so much going on that the NES shouldn't be able to do... parallax backgrounds! multidirectional wraparound scrolling! huge sprites with awesomely detailed animation!

Why the he'll that game never got a SNES sequel I will never understand. Curse of being late in the system's lifestyle I guess, but it was a new IP for Irem that wasn't a shooter... such a lost opportunity.
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Postby xPearse » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:12 pm

How could I forget about Jade Cocoon. Check that masterpiece out.
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Postby Monk Ed » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:44 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Maybe going back a bit far for some of you youngins, but MetalStorm on the NES blew my damn mind as a kid and still does today.

:jawdrop: Metal Storm?! Another human being exists who has played that game? That was my first video game! Okay it's entirely possible that my first was actually Mario or Duck Hunt, and I can't verify the exact order in which I first touched the candidates for first, but Metal Storm was one of the first and exists prominently in my memory not just as one of my first video game memories but one of my first memories at all. I literally do not remember the world before Metal Storm.

But I can't say it holds any special place in my heart. :lol: It just happened to be my (maybe) first. I even tried to play it again more recently (within the past few years) and just couldn't keep myself into it. Really, I barely touch anything from the NES days anymore, and I've never been a particular fan of the NES after its successors came out. Its limitations are less than even what most retro-style games attempt to replicate.

View Original PostxPearse wrote:How could I forget about Jade Cocoon. Check that masterpiece out.

I rented that back in the day when it was a new thing and Blockbuster was still around. Couldn't into it very well at all, and I don't remember much about it, except for a lingering image of the MC playing an instrument to perform a capture and that old lady's song that helped you remember the elemental weakness pattern (not the song itself, just the fact that there was one).
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Postby NemZ » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:34 pm

Yeah, thinking about it more I suppose one problem is that it looks crappy in stills... it's only when the backgrounds are in motion that they are impressive. But yeah, I still have a working cartridge and everything.

Another one from the olden days comes to mind... Silpheed.

Image

A very nifty pseudo-3d bullet hell shooter that predates Windows. Features a customizable weapon system (and location-based damage to break them), a great challenge (you get shields but only one life), and a pretty damn epic soundtrack at times. I mean just watch this final boss battle. (starts with a boss rush, final boss appears at 0:56) And yes I know low-poly 3d games have aged extremely badly, but try to keep in mind this game came out 7 years before the first StarFox... by that metric this shit was AWESOME.
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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:23 am

I'm going to date myself with this ;)

Submarine Attack on the Sega Master System.

Gorgeous little shooter that is not too hard, has fairly diverse levels, good colors, very little slowdown, good music, and is fun to play.

IndyCar Racing II on the PC.

Racing simulation that has realistic damage (no flipping cars though), 40-car fields, tons of tuning options, Arcade mode, a very advanced replay feature with many different camera angles and a recording feature, a car editor to create your own color schemes and car sets (with import/export option for use in a more advanced drawing program), online play, etc. Did I mention it was brought out in 1995?
Two decades later it still has a semi-actived mod community, which has brought out many different circuits (oval and roadcourse), tweaks, patches, different car shapes (dirt oval, but also a Le Mans prototype set with realistic damage) and runs an online racing league.

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Postby NemZ » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:53 am

I just mentioned a game older than Windows. Dating yourself is not a worry. :lol:
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Postby Ophelia » Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:20 am

Off the top of my head: Okage Shadow King, Chibi Robo, Chulip, Magician's Quest : Mysterious Times, Jet Set Radio......
the genres are varied and some are partially based in childhood bias, so sorry about that.
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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:01 pm

Oh, another one: Major Stryker

Cool little shareware MS-DOS shoot-em-up by Apogee Software (now 3D Realms) that is already quite hard on the easy setting (fortunately you can save after each level) and which has good music and good controls.

The full game was rereleased as freeware by 3D Realms for recent versions of Windows. If you like classic vertical scrolling shooters, you'll love this game.

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Postby Ari » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:35 pm

Phantasy Star II

It's one of my favorite games. It's old, but the soundtrack is great and so is the plot. the only thing is that I wish there was more storytelling and also less grinding required. it's too bad the series (excluding spinoff a and the remakes) ended at PSIV.

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Postby unz » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:04 am

Apparently this one is pretty hidden
www.hardcoregaming101.net/cosmologyofkyoto/cosmologyofkyoto.htm

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Postby Alaska Slim » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:39 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:

Maybe going back a bit far for some of you youngins, but Metal Storm


.... Oh, that's why it sounded familiar:

Image


Was thinking of this game while I was watching Robotic;Notes.

Hadn't played a game like it since...

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Postby unz » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:46 am

It's been hard to find something actually hidden since 2009 but I guess Life is Strange is not popular around here.
Heavy spoilers ahead on the conclusion
https://killscreen.com/articles/impossibility-life-stranges-conclusion/

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Postby Tankred » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:49 am

Total Annihilation

The least well known but most advanced RTS of the late 90's, overshadowed by its far more shallow contemporaries and arguably more in depth than most modern RTS games.

The game is essentially Bio-machines vs. clones piloting mecha with a soundtrack created by Jeremy Soule.

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Postby jcmoorehead » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:00 am

I've always been a big advocate for the game Psi Ops, came out around the middle to the end of the PS2s life cycle. You played a guy who had various powers from Telekinesis to Pyrokinesis and so on. It was a really cool game, the powers handled really well, it looks good and was fairly solid in all corners.

It's one of those games that tends to be fairly fondly remembered by those who played it but I don't think it made much of a splash.

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Postby IronEvangelion » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:09 am

I can't believe I forgot to mention it before, but Spec Ops: The Line is severely underrated IMO. Of all the games I've ever played, this one was the most similar to NGE. It starts off looking like a typical oorah military third-person shooter, but gradually turns into a complete mindfuck deconstruction of the genre. The ending sequence is one of the best I've ever seen in a video game, delivering an EoE-style kick to the player's balls. In addition, the game takes place in a sandstorm-destroyed Dubai and is still one of the best-looking games I've ever played despite being 7th-gen. The environment and visuals are gorgeous. I really hope Yager makes a sequel some time.
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