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#1 Posted by supermariobrah (51 posts) -

There have been plenty of threads about underrated/overlooked games. What I would like to ask here are what overlooked games are not only great, but you feel they should be considered some of the best games out there. Whether they were poorly reviewed, not picked up by the public, or have sat in some dark corner of the gaming kingdom, what are these secret masterpieces and why do they deserve recognition? Here are some of mine:

1. Killzone(PS2)

Why it was overlooked:

It is hard to believe, but before the release of Killzone 2 on PS3 it didn't seem that the Killzone universe or possible franchise appeal was really a viable option. The original game released on PS2 was hardly critically acclaimed although the sales were admirable. Labeled as a "Halo killer", it's always foolish to say a game is going to kill a major franchise, it was released to what seemed to be a unanimous shrug. While the world it took place in was a griity war torn planet that had plenty of character, many complaints were made as the hype machine had driven a tank over expectations as the games ambitions often exceeded what the technology being used was capable of. Some poor draw distance, occasionally muddled graphics, and other issues made the game seem unpolished upon release. In a way, Killzone seemed to come and go without much interest at all.

Why it is a masterpiece:

For what faults it did have, Killzone is amazingly innovative and fascinatingly well done. The first thing to note is that the game contains four playable characters with different skills that allow you to tackle most of the games missions in truly varied ways. You could take the game on in stealthy fashion with the spy Lugar, find a nice middle ground as Templar, go balls out as Rico, and be an all around badass with Hakha. It was something I found that really changed my desire to replay the game, along with the very enjoyable story that followed these characters.

The next thing that makes me see Killzone as a masterpiece is how the developers tackled warfare in Killzone. The game is almost like a compilation of different types of warfare, which begin in the first mission fighting in the trenches. We are led immediately into a WWI scenario with the trench fighting, which leads right into urban warfare. We get to storm a beach reminiscent of D-Day in WWII, end up in a jungle that represents the Vietnam War, and eventually we find ourselves fighting in space as if its a nod to future warfare. For the developer to take these scenarios from all of the major wars of the last century was an awesome way to make Killzone something of a history lesson in terms of what type of battles were in fought over many eras of warfare.

2. Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (Xbox, PC)

Why it was overlooked:

This is one of those games that I have a really hard time understanding why it has mostly been forgotten and why it wasn't more celebrated when first released. It is not that the game didn't score well, although there is some disparity as it scored something like 8.1/10 from Gamespot only to score 4/10 from Eurogamer, but that it never seemed to find an audience. The fact that the game ran on the Halo engine seemed to get more attention than the game itself ever did.

Why it is a masterpiece:

Stubbs is one of those games that creates an unrelenting vision of its world and also brings great gameplay variation to the table as well. The city of Punchbowl is fashioned as the type of future imagined in the 50's, completed with robots and a gee golly attitude. Its world is very absolute in its quirky representation, something that has been heralded in later games such as Bioshock. The cars, the buidlings, and the people seemed to have stepped right out of the Twilight Zone. It has the same type of charm as something like Psychonauts, at least in my opinion. On top of great atmosphere, there is also a very pleasant tale of a many wrongfully murdered that comes back from the dead as a zombie to find the woman he loves in a crazy new future. It is funny and engaging through out, which brings us to the game play. Throwing entrails as bombs, detaching your hand which you then take control of to attack people and solve puzzles, and making undead armies to help you fight against the town are just some of the awesome things you do as Stubbs. Using a collection of powers you find through out the game is awesome, and although it had been used before in games like Metroid it somehow managed to make the game seem fresh and varied. Part third person adventure, part strategy game, and all awesome, Stubbs the Zombie should be looked back on as a unique masterpiece of a game but has instead seemed to have fallen into obscurity.

3. Driv3r

Why it was overlooked:

Alright, you may not be able to take me seriously anymore if you ever did at all. Dirv3r, the 3rd game in the Driver series(obviously), was released to such an amazing mix of absolute disdain and mediocre to horrible reviews that it is hard for any fan of the game to argue why it is even remotely good. It had glitches, some rough on foot sections, and driving controls that seemed to put off most people that played it. Other than a positive review from EGM I remember reading when it was released, I don't know of any other publication that saw it as anything more than "okay". Fans weren't any more accepting, and the game remains on many "worst games ever" lists to this day.

Why it is a masterpiece:

Driv3r should never have been seen as a GTA clone, but as an effort to blend hollywood style storytelling with a action game. While the story is basically Michael Mann's Heat with a focus on stolen cars, which was still something to behold at the time. Actors Micheal Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Ving Rhames, and Michelle Rodriguez lead the voice work for the game as one of the first celebrity driven casts ever. Now we see names like Brian Cox and Martin Sheen doing voice work, but when Driv3t came out this wasn't all that common unless you count some old school FMV PC games. They also employed Iggy Pop to develop the soundtrack with various artists, which is to this day the only game soundtrack I own. Driv3r is a awesome globe trotting crime saga that hit the mark in many ways. The varied cities and actual need to develop skill at playing the game to beat the missions isn't something found in many modern games. Was it frustrating at times? Yes. Was it perfect? No. Was it a great example of creating a game on an epic scope that was equal parts cool and compelling? I sure as hell thinks so and will defend Driv3r until I die.

#2 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Neir /end thread

#3 Posted by jozzy (2041 posts) -

@xaLieNxGrEyx said:

Neir /end thread

Yes!

Why it was overlooked:

It had a weird mishmash of different gametypes that don't all work that well really, it even has a text adventure, and has bullet hell bits. It didn't look that great, and had really boring and frustrating sidequests. But most of all: most reviewers only did one playthrough and assumed the next ones would be the same.

Why it is a masterpiece:

The story in the game is amazing, maybe I was extra affected because I have a daughter. The combat is actually extremely fun if you dig into it a little bit, and the world was really interesting and different from your run of the mill fantasy fare. It's not the most deep game ever, but the "spells" were really fun to use. But most of all: it blows your mind in the second playthrough by showing you a different perspective, and builds on that in the third and fourth.

#4 Edited by verticalstripes (33 posts) -

1. Super Mario Stikers (Gamecube) - Reviews of the game were fairly good, but I thought the game was amazing.  Single player was alright, but where it really shined was its multiplayer.  I thought it was one of the top MP experiences of the last generation.
 
2.  Viva Pinata (Xbox 360) -   While the game got good reviews, it seemed like the game was mostly overlooked by people and quickly forgotten.  The game is fantastic to play and I use this game as proof that Rare has made good games since being bought by Microsoft.

3.  Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (Gamecube) -   I think this game gets lumped in with later 3D Sonic games unfairly.  While the Tails/Dr. Eggman sections of the game were meh, the Sonic/Shadow and Knuckles/Rouge levels were a blast.  Also the ending was surprisingly touching.
 
4. 1080 Avalanche (Gamecube) -   This game's only flaw in my eyes was it's length, I actually preferred it to SSX.  It could be beaten fairly quickly, but it the racing was so fun it was worth playing over and over.  Plus the game had a great soundtrack as long as you turned off some off the unlicensed music.

#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (35982 posts) -

Hey

#6 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Hey

Will be happy to!

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon

It is quite possibly Grave of the Fireflies of video games. It is sadness given form and what it feeds on is your own tears!

The game is fucking amazing and I recommend people to buy it if they have a Wii and 20 bucks on them. It is easily the number one buy game on the entire system. Voice acting is great, writing is great and depressing as hell, gameplay is quite fun and it is REALLY atmospheric.

It follows a kid named Seto as he journeys through a seeming wasteland of Japan filled with no other being until he meets a silver haired girl who promptly runs away from him. He follows meeting new friends along the way.

That may sound nice... but trust me, your heart is going to be ripped out of your chest and beat upon with a spiked baseball bat, then it is going to be put back into your chest until the next moment that is going to happen... it is that devestating and emotional. If someone says video games aren't art in front of me again I am going to punch them in the face with this game in mind.

@xaLieNxGrEyx said:

Neir /end thread

This game is awesome too. Buy it.

#7 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers for the NES. If you look back at the massive library of NES titles, this game doesn't immediately stand out. It's a character platformer. It's based on a Disney property. It was made by Capcom. And there are at least a half-dozen games I can think of that fit each of those individually before I think about Chip 'N Dale. There were just too many games like it, and it was drowned out of history.

Why does it deserve recognition? Two-player co-op where you can actually interact with the other person in the game. Before New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Zelda Four Swords, and LittleBigPlanet, there was this game where you could be an absolute jerk to the person sitting next to you on the couch. Imagine the terror at seeing the other guy throw a box your way, knowing that if you didn't catch it, you'd get stunned just long enough for that mechanical dog to push you off a cliff. Imagine the glee at catching up to your "friend" and picking them up so that they flail about helplessly as you carry them through a stage, pleading not to get thrown at an enemy.

Yes, you could work as a team, stacking blocks and tossing each other up onto otherwise unreachable ledges, and the goodies that sat there. Like that would ever happened.

Chip 'N Dale was one of those early games where the second player wasn't just along for the ride, assisting in the push for that high score or that last level. That game gave you all the tools you needed to be a complete asshole during co-op play, and was all the better because of it.

#8 Posted by JoshuaN (65 posts) -

Far Cry 2. A lot of people didn't like it, and while it had its flaws, it is stilll a game i go back and play for at least 20 hours since it came out. Brad has been mentioning the "feel" of games recently, and for me this game has that.

#9 Edited by NTM (7263 posts) -

Why was I thinking "Killzone" just before this? And in that same five seconds before this, I said "No, not exactly". Then boom, you have it as number one. While I don't think that's a masterpiece, I remember having a very, very fond time with that game when I got it on Christmas of 04. I mean, artistically the game was great to me, I loved the atmosphere, Vekta was a great place to visit, but there were bugs (though they didn't really have that much of an effect on my experience). I didn't really like the fact their wasn't any music during the game play, but it probably helped the atmosphere, maybe, and that was really about it. I also loved the characters. It seems like in two in three it just got worse, but those are still great games, but different. I'd love to see them remake, or HD=ify the original with no bugs and a smooth frame-rate. To tell you the truth, when it came out, until Half-Life 2 came out on Xbox, it was my favorite FPS, and one of my favorite games ever made. My interests have become bigger since then, very much so, but when I think back to that game, I still think it was great for the most part.

#10 Posted by Inkerman (1449 posts) -
#11 Posted by Fearbeard (824 posts) -

Viking: Battle for Asgard

I don't know if I'd call it a masterpiece, but I thought it was pretty fantastic

#12 Posted by N7 (3573 posts) -
#13 Posted by EVO (3863 posts) -

Vanquish. There may be better looking games, there may be better stories, but if there's better third person shooting, I haven't played it.

#14 Posted by joshth (500 posts) -

the game off of my little avatar here, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. If you care about stories in your games, look no further because this is the best story I've ever seen told in a game.

#15 Posted by SAC (105 posts) -

Manhunt

I wish I could type out why on my phone but I really couldn't be bothered to do so.

#16 Posted by TheActionFigure (23 posts) -

The Dishwasher games - Dead Samurai & Vampire's Smile are two of the best beat'em ups ever created. I would say that the combat system rivals even that of the first 3D Ninja Gaiden. Sure there's some wonkiness, but that all has to be forgiven when you realize that these games were created by a handful of people.

#17 Edited by _Zombie_ (1462 posts) -

Darkwatch. Seriously, I will never stop recommending this game. The gameplay was awesome, the story was engaging, and it was overall just a very balanced, fun game. One of the absolute best shooters to ever be released, let alone on the Xbox. And considering how it seems like I'm the only guy on the internet that appreciates it, or even really remembers it? I'd say it's overlooked.

#18 Posted by supermariobrah (51 posts) -

@NTM: I was very excited when it looked like it was going to get the HD treatment, but recent news leads me to believe that it has been put on the back burner if not outright canceled. While I do like Killzone 2 and 3, both single and multiplayer, it seemed like a departure from where I thought the series was going to head. The last games lacked a certain sense of class and seemed to strive to be more like other games in the FPS genre instead of striving to be unique like the first installment did. The characters in K1 were far more interesting than Sev and the crew, and the varied mission types kept the game on point. I actually just bought Killzone 3 about two weeks ago, which in turn makes it pretty evident that I wasn't exactly running to the store when it came out after playing K2. Killzone: Liberation on PSP was also quite a good game and I felt it was more in line with the original so every fan should check it out. I would love to see what someone could do with the Killzone universe if it received some stellar writing and went back to introducing fresh ideas like the original.

#19 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4281 posts) -
FUCK YEAH
#20 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

Viva Pinata and Skies of Arcadia.

Skies had trouble because it was a Dreamcast game and for some reason no one really paid attention to the Gamecube port, but it had an amazing premises and is easily one of the best RPG's I've ever played. Hopefully the inevitable HD remake gets a bit more attention.

Viva Pinata was just flat out one of the best games this generation. It's a shame all the Rare backlash lead to it being pretty much ignored by everyone.

I can think of a few other really great games that were totally overlooked.. but masterpiece is a strong word.

#21 Posted by Ares42 (2572 posts) -

Resonance of Fate. While on the surface it seems like a very traditional jrpg almost every single core mechanic has unique and interesting twists on them, and most of them are executed well. The most obvious is the combat, which at first might seem overwhelming but it takes the standard turn-based combat and makes it more about movement and placement rather than just picking the right spells. Then there's the loot/crafting system which might be the most interesting system I've seen in a non-crafting game. And then there's stuff like the overworld and levelling which are more traditional, but still has some minor twists. The game is just unlike anything else out there, and not in a bad way.

#22 Posted by DeF (4799 posts) -

I love these kinds of threads :D

#23 Edited by Humanity (8801 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

Resonance of Fate. While on the surface it seems like a very traditional jrpg almost every single core mechanic has unique and interesting twists on them, and most of them are executed well. The most obvious is the combat, which at first might seem overwhelming but it takes the standard turn-based combat and makes it more about movement and placement rather than just picking the right spells. Then there's the loot/crafting system which might be the most interesting system I've seen in a non-crafting game. And then there's stuff like the overworld and levelling which are more traditional, but still has some minor twists. The game is just unlike anything else out there, and not in a bad way.

Such a good game with such an innovative combat and upgrade system. Really wish for a second even though it will probably never happen.

Also Vashyrons line about ripe grapes and how they only have raisins, complete with stare, was simple genius.

#24 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

For me, it has to be AvP that released back in 2010. It wasn't exactly a "masterpiece" perse, but a massively over-looked game and while it still boasted flaws, it offered some of the best multiplayer action of this generation.

The sheer enjoyment of taking on 17 other players online as three distinctively different races, all with their own strengths, advantages and weaknesses brought a fresh addition into an FPS genre smack full of modern-military shooters such as COD, Medal of Honor and Battlefield. I'm not saying any of those are close to being bad, it was just nice to have a different take on the FPS genre again.

#25 Posted by imsh_pl (3295 posts) -

I don't think I've ever played a game with such an amazing creepy atmosphere as Puzzle Agent. I could literally feel the gradual loss of sanity experienced by the protagonist.

#26 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Lock's Quest on DS - a quirky combination of tower defence and action RPG, Lock's Quest was easily the best game I played on DS. Great mechanics, nice artstyle, and a surprisingly engaging story made it a really worthwhile experience, and one that I have rarely heard mentioned.

Dark Reign on PC - a 2d RTS from a little Australian studio that released just as Total Annihilation hit and changed the genre forever, Dark Reign was oft overlooked and quickly forgotten, which is a damn shame as it was an incredibly tactical, intelligent RTS that did things that other games had never even considered to that point; stuff like varied terrain, which affected line of sight and which units could traverse which terrain, as well as opening up the possibility of units which deformed terrain themselves; the ability to customise the AI of your troops, setting up surprisingly robust automated behaviours; and a single player campaign that was unique in that it allowed you to play each mission from the perspective of either side; and a very powerful map editor and scripting language that allowed you to create your own campaigns and units.

Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun on PC - the much maligned second game in the Tiberium setting, this game copped an absolute shellacking for its ugly graphics, grim storyline, weird FMV, and overly complex mechanics compared to its predecessor (such as many units having alt modes or secondary abilities, funny how times have changed). Me, I loved this game, even with the weird direction it took the franchise compared to the B-grade military camp of the first game. It was quirky and strange, just like C&C;, Red Alert, and even Dune 2 were back in the day. It is truly amazing how many of the features everyone bagged in this game have gone on to become genre standards.

X-Wing: Alliance on PC: TIE Fighter had the better story, and X-Wing vs TIE Fighter the more robust multiplayer, but Alliance had one thing going for it: scope. From flying an R-41 Starchaser at the head of your rag-tag pirate fleet in multiplayer, through to the Battle of Endor in singleplayer, Alliance was a gorgeous game that offered unprecedented submersion into the Star Wars mythos. It is a game I still go back to occasionally, usually with the addition of graphics packs and mods, and it still holds up very well as a fun, not-quite-a-sim space combat game.

#27 Posted by nimbil (32 posts) -

Dragon's Dogma.

#28 Posted by AlisterCat (5480 posts) -

Viva Pinata and Phoenix Wright, a million times over.

Online
#29 Posted by Jace (1092 posts) -

Supreme Commander, Rainbow 6 3: Raven Shield, and Battlefield 2142 come to mind.

#30 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

Valkyria [ no need to say more] Chronicles.

#31 Posted by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

Man, I really, really Darksiders.

In fact, I unabashedly adore it.

The only things I thought it was missing was a more involving overworld, ie. NPCs and towns, which the sequel has been confirmed to have.

There's a solid chance that might stray into my favourite game territory if it successfully improves on everything the first game did.

#32 Posted by RadioactiveGazz (98 posts) -

Jet Li: Rise to Honor, PS2

Why it was overlooked:

It just seemed to slip well beneath everyone's radar for whatever reason, and got a bunch of average reviews. I just happened to be 14, and totally into dumb martial arts movies at the time, so I picked it up.

Why it is a masterpiece:

It was the most fun a beat-em-up game could be. Although it wasn't a multi-button game, it was all based on which direction you flicked the right stick in, and Jet Li would attack in the direction with appropriate combos. This made the combat shallow, but you always felt full in control, and most fights in the game put you in fights where you are circled by enemies, so timing was absolutely key. It also had some third person shooter sections which were less good, but it used a cover system much like the ones today, before Gears made it a standard. The story was exactly what it needed to be, a straight-to-VHS/DVD movie about a badass detective in Hong Kong who must save some lady or something, and for some contrived reason, this leads him to america. Awesome fun, it tried many things other games would not, and arguably was a success.

#33 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

El Shaddai. The visuals alone scream masterpiece to me. I've probably typed the name in a few recent posts but I can't help but continue to state how beautiful that game is.

#34 Posted by JonathanAshleyMoore (281 posts) -

Little Nemo: The Dream Master.

#35 Posted by MEATBALL (3057 posts) -

@DeF said:

I love these kinds of threads :D

The nice thing about them is that they're generally a chance to be nice and positive, rather than angry and negative.

#36 Posted by Jimbo (9772 posts) -

I think Prince of Persia '08 should be held in much higher regard than it is.

#37 Posted by Marcsman (3113 posts) -

Vagrant Story for the PSOne

#38 Posted by Cubical (637 posts) -
#39 Posted by Cubical (637 posts) -

Oh and rapelay

#40 Posted by Tesla (1905 posts) -

Clive Barker's Undying

#41 Posted by Cheesebob (1231 posts) -

@zombiebigfoot: Vampire cowboy game right? That was awesome.

I feel Asura's Wrath will go down as one of these games

#42 Posted by Gizmo (5389 posts) -

Rome Total War doesn't get talked about enough. For me, it is the ultimate PC game.

#43 Posted by VierasTalo (669 posts) -

F.E.A.R 

Why was it overlooked? F.E.A.R. wasn't really blammed by the critics, but as time went on the overall game soon became nothing but a footnote in the pages of history, and despite spawning a franchise, has become more of a cult favorite rather than something to glamor over. It's generally accused of having monotone levels, cheap jump-scares and one shitty plot.

 The closest I've ever been to little girls, no matter what the judge says!

Why is it a masterpiece? Simply put, F.E.A.R. has some of the best FPS-action I have ever seen. The AI is to this day a landmark in that category, as the enemies can outflank you, use cover efficiently and most of all use uncanny teamwork to make you screw up. They don't focus on shooting you in the face, but instead making you get yourself killed. The aggression here is to this day unmet by most shooters, as all the Modern Warfare in the world will never beat these Armacham-forces using team work no matter how much they run towards you hurtling bullets.

 The action is also greatly aided by your only true tactical aid - the ability to use bullet-time. Combined with an awesome amount of particles bouncing off of all surfaces when shot at, there is graphical beauty here of absurd proportions, as you run in slow motion through a hail of gunfire, breaking glass and sparks flying everywhere. Due to the limited amount of your bullet-time, you also have to apply it with great precision in order not to die really, really fast. The story may be somewhat subpar (although nowhere near as bad as in the sequels and expansions), but it's a good enough excuse to do some intense gunplay. The maps are somewhat monotone, but when you're constantly shot at you don't really pay much attention at how often Monolith reused the same textures in the cubicle walls. In consensus, F.E.A.R. is one of my favourite FPS-games, with a shooter mechanism at it's core that's gold to this day.


GUN

Why was it overlooked? GUN is ugly. It's really not a good looking game. For something released on the 360, it looks more like an early PS2-game with a rather good framerate and draw distance. The overall structure of the game was also called a bit off, with no western hallmarks such as duels being anywhere in the game.

 Horses! Didn't touch them either.

Why is it a masterpiece? It's a lot of fun. The storyline doesn't take itself too seriously, and the gameplay is reminiscent of something you might have seen back in the late days of the PS1 if the hardware would have bent over for a good old third person shooter. The western-mood is still strongly present in the milieu, and horseriding hasn't been this fun even in Red Dead Redemption. The action also has a very healthy amount of variety.

The Punisher

Why was it overlooked? It's a movie tie-in. It's easy to overlook these games, and that's what happened. Here's a short list of what the critics and the players seemed to dislike in The Punisher:
- Repetitive action
- Poor sound design
- The gameplay feels like Max Payne without bullet time
- The storyline is stupid and mundane, and the cutscenes suck
- The graphics are plain aside from the character models
So, whoa. That's some list right there.

 

 Frank Castle is one angry man.
Why is it a masterpiece? The Punisher is one of the more immersive games I've ever played. It makes you feel very much like The Punisher. After playing the game for a while, when you enter a room, you immediately learn how to pick your targets. You're there to punish some assholes who deal dope, guns, people, whatever. You quickly zoom your eyes across the room, checking the weapons and proximity of the people in it. Grab the nearest dude with the shotgun for a human shield, position yourself properly and take the other two out with headshots, then dispatch of the shield with a well-placed shot to the nuts. You take no prisoners. You're The Punisher. You kill. You stab people in the face, feed them to piranhas, throw them off buildings, anything you can. You're an unstoppable killing machine of bizarre proportions, and nothing, I repeat, nothing will ever stand in your way.

 This is the feeling the game actively enforces upon you. It scores you points depending on how well you play as The Punisher, using human shields, interrogation techniques and not biting the bullet until there are no more punks left to kill in the world. The game throws enemies at you with different weapons who require different tactics to overcome, and this keeps the experience fresh. You can play this like a bullshit shooter where you run up to everyone and quick kill them, or if you play this the way the developers intended, you will get one of the better third person shooter-experiences ever.

Silent Hill 4: The Room

Why was it overlooked? There is no long story behind this one; Silent Hill 4 was just plain different from all the others in the series. A vast amount of the game wasn't set in Silent Hill, the gameplay was more action-based and the overall difficulty was ramped way higher than before. The storyline is batshit crazy and no one ever explains it fully in-game, and the game is packed with visual and contextual metaphors which help you unlock the puzzle behind how the hell you got locked into your apartment. Thanks to the severe departure from the style of the previous games, this one was mostly called a nice try, but ultimately a failed attempt at making something new.

 Fuck those babies. Wait, I didn't mean it like that!

Why is it a masterpiece? Everything I said above. It's hard, scary and different. There is a level of excentricity in The Room which is rarely seen in horror games. About 1/5 of the game is composed of you just walking inside your apartment in first person, and uncovering gradually more and more disturbing things. As the game unfolds, you will notice fungi and other growth all over your walls, and eventually you might peek into one of those moldy patches to notice a hand reaching out to get you. The mood here is just so scary due to the fact that you never know what will happen next. The serial killer-storyline is fun to unravel in your own head and the sound design is some of the most superb in all the series, and for Silent Hill, that's really saying something. It truly is a shame that during the third person segments, the game really is sometimes too hard and cumbersome to play, because a little extra polish could've saved this one to a five-star status in my books.


Alpha Protocol

Why was it overlooked? Oh, Obsidian. Alpha Protocol was called out for not only being buggy, but also it's very core gameplay mechanics. When you shoot someone, aiming carefully at their head, the bullet might hit the body instead. This was something most people did not enjoy, but...

 The game also has the most hilarious romance I've ever seen in a game, with this lady.
Why is it a masterpiece? There's a reason for why it won't hit the head. Alpha Protocol is an RPG. It is not a third person shooter. When you take aim and shoot, the aim is only half the battle. Dice are thrown at the background, using your skill meter and aim as help to decide whether or not you hit that nogging of the bad guy. You need to learn the in-game mechanics by, I don't know, reading the manual, before truly getting into it, as this will help you play the game. It is as it was designed. You need to play Alpha Protocol on it's own terms instead of pretending it's Splinter Cell Conviction.

 And boy, if you do! This is possibly the closest game we've gotten since the original to a true Deus Ex-sequel (excluding Human Revolution). The story branches off in hundreds of directions according to your decisions and actions, and most levels have several ways of navigating the terrain. The skills you can develop already give you about five or six different ways as to how to get through any situation with guns, electronics, speech or fists. The story is peculiar in it's creation, as it is unbelievably witty and funny for something this serious. The main character actually comes off as a charismatic secret agent, and the whole game I would describe as a gorgeous blend of the tv-show Alias and Deus Ex.

 Also, as a footnote, I never ran into any bugs during my three playthroughs on the PC. As usual with Obsidian, the publisher yet again screwed them over, making them release not only a technically unfinished game, but also banning them of developing any patches for it despite their best wishes. In short: Sega, suck a dick.
#44 Edited by crusader8463 (14413 posts) -
#45 Edited by Xymox (2063 posts) -

In before Shogo MAD

My picks: System Shock 2 and Arcanum.

I think SS2 was overlooked only because Half-Life generated so much heat at the time. And Arcanum? Masterpiece. Why was it overlooked? I dunno, because of Fallout?

Will definitely check out some of the games mentioned. Love this kind of stuff.

@Marcsman said:

Vagrant Story for the PSOne

oh fuck yes. I just started playing this and I was like O_O.

So yea. This might make my list soon.

#46 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@BabyChooChoo: But that game raised some very important questions, without ever really answering them. Like, why was the Scarecrow wearing a Union Jack? And how did the Scarecrow manage to survive a south-west rural town in Ireland whilst wearing a Union Jack? And how did a Union Jack manage to travel so far inland, especially in such proximity to County Cork? It's stuff like this that breaks a game...

#47 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5806 posts) -

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in The Sky 
 
i guess the fact that nobody plays the PSP anymore means that we won't see the rest of the series in the US, and that makes me sad 

#48 Posted by BBAlpert (1369 posts) -

I don't know if I'd go as far as calling them masterpieces, but Ghost Master (see: profile picture) and Toonstruck are my main go-to surprisingly good games. I've actually been putting together a list of games like that, although I don't have too many at the moment.

#49 Posted by Irvandus (2817 posts) -

The First Two Penny Arcade games are amazing. The first one did pretty well but when the second one came out it sold terribly which is odd because the second game was vastly superior and honestly some of the most fun I've had on xbox live arcade.

FF9, best Final Fantasy, come at me 7 lovers! Only 7 though, people that like 6 and 10 aren't childish when they talk about them.

Viva Pinata is simply an amazing game for people of all ages. If you haven't played it go buy it now.

#50 Posted by NTM (7263 posts) -

@supermariobrah said:

@NTM: I was very excited when it looked like it was going to get the HD treatment, but recent news leads me to believe that it has been put on the back burner if not outright canceled. While I do like Killzone 2 and 3, both single and multiplayer, it seemed like a departure from where I thought the series was going to head. The last games lacked a certain sense of class and seemed to strive to be more like other games in the FPS genre instead of striving to be unique like the first installment did. The characters in K1 were far more interesting than Sev and the crew, and the varied mission types kept the game on point. I actually just bought Killzone 3 about two weeks ago, which in turn makes it pretty evident that I wasn't exactly running to the store when it came out after playing K2. Killzone: Liberation on PSP was also quite a good game and I felt it was more in line with the original so every fan should check it out. I would love to see what someone could do with the Killzone universe if it received some stellar writing and went back to introducing fresh ideas like the original.

Initially, since I loved the setting of Vekta, the change into Helghan made me kind of dislike it, but maybe that was the purpose. Anyways, yeah I agree with you about all of that. I thought Liberation was alright, and yeah, it did seem more in line with the original.