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#1 Edited by JasonR86 (9381 posts) -

I'm interested in hearing about video games, old or new, that are actually, truly unique. By this I mean games that have no real equal in terms of the gameplay experience. Let me give you an example of a game that I feel is still very unique.

Dune (1992)

This is a first-person adventure, strategy, resource management game. The game expertly mixes these genres into a game that, to this day, feels very unique to me. The game is based around pushing forward the narrative of the book Dune through simple adventure mechanics as well as managing spice production, simple military strategy and training, and vegetation growth. I've replayed it recently and I still can't think of a game that mixes these components together and this game does it really well.

So, what are some really unique games that might have been overlooked or forgotten with time?

UPDATE:

To clear up any confusion I'll try to better explain my meaning behind this thread. What I'm going for by saying 'unique' is the experience of playing the game. The question that should be asked when you think about a unique game, for this thread in particular, is, "Based on my experience with the game, is this game like anything that I've played before or since?". I don't mean to say the experience was unique when it was released but rather is it still unique now (so Wolfenstein 3D wouldn't fit this definition because FPS are certainly the norm since the game's original release). Further, the 'experience' could refer to the story, the gameplay, the presentation, or anything else. One's experience is entirely unique to the individual. The point is whether or not, to you personally, was the experience of playing the game in question unique and one that you haven't had with any other game since or before the game in question. Further, the hope is that one can explain why the game is unique so that we can all understand where the person is coming from.

#2 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5750 posts) -

Knights in the Nightmare is one.
 
It's like a Strategy RPG/Shmup hybrid.
 
See for yourself:
  

#3 Posted by Grumbel (910 posts) -
The Void - Resource management softcore game or something like that, really weird mix, kind of awesome and kind of fundamentally broken at the same time
Façade -  First person visiting a couple and discuss their marriage problems
#4 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (292 posts) -

@JasonR86: I remember Dune. That was such a great game. I thought I was the only one loving it.

There's still nothing like it.

#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (34650 posts) -

There are none. No games are unique or original.

#6 Posted by BeachThunder (11276 posts) -

Oooh, there was this one game where you go around and shoot guys and it was from a first person perspective. Hm, what was it called again?

Online
#7 Posted by jaymorgoth (242 posts) -

I've always felt Ecco the Dolphin was one of the most original games ever made. I mean, what other game is like it even today? I'm still trying to figure out how you brainstorm that idea and then green light it.

#8 Edited by TwoLines (2762 posts) -

@BeachThunder: Soldier of Fortune. Duh!

#9 Posted by JasonR86 (9381 posts) -

@Fear_the_Booboo:

Dune was a ton of fun. I only own the Sega-CD version so it isn't the best version of the game. But, it was a really good port and still had all of the content of the PC-version. I would put it in my top 10 games that I've played without a doubt.

@Video_Game_King said:

There are none. No games are unique or original.

Then this thread probably isn't for you.

@BeachThunder said:

Oooh, there was this one game where you go around and shoot guys and it was from a first person perspective. Hm, what was it called again?

Thanks for that.

#10 Posted by Aeterna (1112 posts) -

Sequence. Indie title by Iridium Studios.

It's a mix between ddr and rpg with very good storytelling.

#11 Edited by HellBrendy (992 posts) -

To what extent do you want them to be unique?

I think Okami really stands out, but it has some standard fighting sequences so it might not qualify?

Did I actually just use three Q's in one post? Wow.

#12 Posted by TwoLines (2762 posts) -

Anything by Bullfrog, really. Those guys made some great unique games.

#13 Posted by JasonR86 (9381 posts) -

@HellBrendy:

I was thinking more in terms of gameplay but I guess if you can explain how it is unique from everything else then go for it.

#14 Posted by Artigkar (189 posts) -

@BeachThunder: Wolfenstein 3D?

#15 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

Killer 7 is pretty unique. It present its story line maturely and mixes in some interesting concepts throughout the game. The characters are diverse and interesting, as is the dialogue. They didn't fall back on a standard gameplay style, but instead picked something that really evoked the core themes of the game.

Also, it's fucking crazy.

#16 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

I was going to say Catherine, but it doesn't have unique GAMEPLAY... So, uhn... I dunno.

#17 Posted by HellBrendy (992 posts) -

@JasonR86: Ok, I'll give it a shot:

The story is that you are born as the white female wolf named Amaterasu to bring back the life in the world. You do this by bringing the colours back, and that is done by manipulating the world with your brush. Amaterasu is one hell of a painter, and you can use her skills to bring what you want into the world once you learn how. It's a truly beautiful game, really aesthetic graphics full of life. Sadly, as I said in my last post, the game has standard fighting mechanics (well, as standard as it gets when there's a wolf involved) - it's basic light/heavy attack with some combos involved. You can also draw a slash (like a big katana just swept over the screen) to split enemies in two.

Here's a taste, IGN's rewiev of the Wii-version:

#18 Posted by Artigkar (189 posts) -

@TwoLines: Yeah, can't say I have seen many clones of Magic Carpet or Dungeon Keeper for example

#19 Edited by Elyk247 (361 posts) -

Killer7, Eternal Darkness, Rez, Katamari Damacy, ICO, and Vib-Ribbon to name a couple.

But the most original game I've played was definitely Loco Roco.

#20 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19175 posts) -
Ghost Trick. From the artstyle, to the mechanics, to the story... there's a lot to that game that I've not seen before.
#21 Posted by Grumbel (910 posts) -
@jaymorgoth said:

I've always felt Ecco the Dolphin was one of the most original games ever made. I mean, what other game is like it even today? I'm still trying to figure out how you brainstorm that idea and then green light it.

Aquaria, has some similarities, but overall Ecco really is a pretty unique game.
#22 Edited by Grumbel (910 posts) -
#23 Edited by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

There are none. No games are unique or original.



 
....and you call yourself a "King". Shame on you for not remembering the Seaman.
#24 Posted by Jeust (10344 posts) -
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
#25 Posted by Video_Game_King (34650 posts) -
@Buzzkill
 
Hey, you: Pikachu wants to say "hi".
 
Front cover of Hey You, Pikachu! (US) for Nintendo 64
#26 Posted by Khann (2622 posts) -

MW3

#27 Posted by JasonR86 (9381 posts) -

@Khann said:

MW3

MW3?

#28 Posted by BionicRadd (617 posts) -

Are we talking "when they were released" or over the test of time? Wolfenstein 3D was pretty damn singular when it came out, but obviously not so unique, now. the original Bionic Commando still stands out to me as being a pretty singular experience, since I cant think of another game that plays quite like it.

#29 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -
@Video_Game_King: Foiled by a yellow rat!
#30 Posted by Video_Game_King (34650 posts) -
@Buzzkill
 
Also by (I imagine) two Wonder Project games.
#31 Posted by TEHMAXXORZ (1199 posts) -

@BeachThunder:

Battlefield: Call of Honor: Modern Black Operations at War: 1943: 3

#32 Edited by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -
@Video_Game_King: I see your Pikachu and raise you
 

and don't get analog on me!
#33 Edited by Stingraymond (85 posts) -

Limbo, like oh my god that game is so god damn original! I mean it's in black and white for starters! Talk about crazy, right?! That's something only an indie dev would be able to think of cause it's so unique and special man!!

Just kidding, that game is about as unique as my ass.

I don't know... it's easier to call a franchise unique rather than one specific game. For example, Metal Gear games are very much in their own style and offer an experience you won't find anywhere else.

Calling shit like Vib-Ribbon and Killer7 unique is beyond retarded, they have flashy art-styles, that's not unique.

#34 Posted by GloriousDinosaur (423 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

There are none. No games are unique or original.

Are you a jaded gamer...?

#35 Posted by imsh_pl (3295 posts) -

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

#36 Posted by Video_Game_King (34650 posts) -
@Buzzkill
 
To Wikipedia!
 
"Irritating Stick...is a PlayStation video game...based on a Japanese game show, which in turn was based on a carnival game."
 
Bam! Two degrees of derivative. I'd have thrown Operation in there, since it operates on a similar principle, but that may be pushing it.
 
@GloriousDinosaur said:

@Video_Game_King said:

There are none. No games are unique or original.

Are you a jaded gamer...?

You make the same assumption that many gamers make: "original is good". That's a bunch of shit. There aren't any original games, so how can it be a description of the game's quality? I still enjoy games all the time; I just don't make the mistake of describing them as original (or at least I don't think I do).
#37 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -
@Video_Game_King: Failure due to disqualification. You went analog on me!
#38 Posted by Video_Game_King (34650 posts) -
@Buzzkill
 
What does that mean? I can't cite non-video-game examples? That's kinda bullshit logic, since by such logic, Pong is the most original goddamn thing ever. It really isn't; it's just a representation of tennis.
#39 Posted by JasonR86 (9381 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

You make the same assumption that many gamers make: "original is good". That's a bunch of shit. There aren't any original games, so how can it be a description of the game's quality? I still enjoy games all the time; I just don't make the mistake of describing them as original (or at least I don't think I do).

I know you weren't referencing anything I had said with this comment and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, I want to make it clear that I wasn't implying that original=good. You can certainly also believe that there are no original games. However, this thread is specifically geared toward raising awareness of and reminiscing over video games that people feel are original in their opinion. Whether you agree or disagree is your deal. Like I said, your opinion is as valid as anyone else's. However, based on that opinion, this thread is likely not for you because the point of the thread is to embrace the games that people out there feel are original.

#40 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
@Buzzkill:   What does that mean? I can't cite non-video-game examples? That's kinda bullshit logic, since by such logic, Pong is the most original goddamn thing ever. It really isn't; it's just a representation of tennis.
alrighty then, down the rabbit hole of analog we go...
 
#41 Posted by Video_Game_King (34650 posts) -
@Buzzkill
 
They were ripping off the Bible, and everybody knows that that book is anything but original. (Also, for Irritating Stick, I provide Crazy Balloon. WHAT NOW!?)
#42 Edited by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

 

 
I'm still waiting for you to disprove Jenga being a unique game. There's nothing else like it. REJECTION
#43 Posted by RetroVirus (1405 posts) -

Uplink: Hacker Elite. It's a game all about hacking. Made by the same people who made Darwinia

#44 Posted by BeachThunder (11276 posts) -

Just because someone has 16000 posts doesn't mean he's not a troll.

Online
#45 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7612 posts) -

While I don't want to sound as jaded as "no game can ever be original or unique!" I think there's slightly too many suggestions in the topic based on art style or story. Okami and Killer 7 are in no way unique gameplay experiences, even if you're solely looking at their stories or artstyle.. Good games, sure, but not even close to being unique, unless the rest of your gaming experience consists of Call of Duty, Battlefield and Gears of War.

#46 Posted by ViciousAnchovy (692 posts) -

Shadow of the Colossus is pretty unique.

I'll also say Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. I'd classify the Lost Kingdom games -- also by From Software -- as truly unique, being card-based action games for the Gamecube. People give these games a lot of flack, but I like them. There can be moments where you just don't have the right cards in your deck, especially in the first one, but it really didn't take long to get used to making decks for certain areas I thought.

Riviera: The Promised Land for the GBA had very unique combat and exploration systems. It's a jrpg, but the battle system basically had you pick from your list of equipped items, whether they were weapons or other kinds of items, as being attacks in themselves, each with unique properties. You had a certain number of points to spend on exploring each dungeon, whether that meant entering new rooms, opening chests or examining things that popped up on the map. You didn't actually have direct control of your character, rather, each room was like a menu.

There have only been two Pikmin games, which were unique, Little King's Story is the only other game I know of that goes after their style of gameplay, and what it does creates a pretty unique experience, even if not all of its concepts are original.

And I know Heavy Rain had similarities to Indigo Prophecy, but the way the controls were implemented were unique.

I wish I could think of some more obscure games; Riviera is probably the most obscure one I mentioned, followed by Lost Kingdoms, which I don't think a whole lot of people know about.

#47 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

 
Don't forget this unique title. I've never heard of another game using your music CDs as apart of the interactive experience.
#48 Posted by Video_Game_King (34650 posts) -
@Buzzkill
 
You mean that wasn't enough? Fine. To Wkipedia! Again! Wait, there's something on the page about it being a total rip-off. That was quick. Also, Monster Rancher is pretty much Vib Ribbon, at least the way you describe it.
#49 Posted by ViciousAnchovy (692 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Just because something is different from everything else in every conceivable way doesn't necessarily mean it isn't unique. Not that you'd be the first person in history to say everything's been done before (e.g., The Barenaked Ladies), but such an absolute definition "unique" basically renders the word useless. So that kind of stance just seems silly to me.

#50 Posted by GJSmitty (651 posts) -

I don't think that any game is 100% unique. Most games share at least a tiny section with another game, whether it's a mechanic, a feature, or a style.