Overlooked Games

In a never ending attempt to have a list of lists here are my considerations for games that have generally been overlooked for whatever reason - be they timing, taste or obscurity. So while you're enjoying Call of Uncharted Creed: 2015 World Cup Edition spare a thought for those lost along the way.

List items

  • Xbox

    Imagine if DMC was made by From Software with a little bit of Shinobi from the ps2.

    WELL IMAGINE NO MORE

    Otogi is a slightly less stylish, rather obtuse hack and slash centred around Japanese mythology. Apart from the normal weapon and item selection you also unlock spells that can be charged - but watch out, those spells use your life essence and when that's gone you're back to the afterlife. One of the really cool things about the game is that most scenery can be destroyed by hitting it or throwing enemies through it - this includes buildings. This and it's sequel are great games as long as you have the patience to learn their systems.

  • Ps2

    A 3d reboot of the timeless Sega property, Shinobi is rock hard. Apart from the terrible terrible camera (with horizontal axes been swapped) tough platforming and tough bosses you also have to deal with a sword that's constantly draining your health unless you're feeding it the souls of your enemies. Not a great way to start huh? Well, let's add that Tate system - kill 4+ enemies in a row and you get a bonus and cutscene, but there's more..each time you kill an enemy as long as it's within the combo time limit you continue the Tate and your sword powers up. If you're skilled enough you can one hit bosses.

    Looked at separately each of these elements look terrible, and some will not be able to look part those elements, but those that stick with it will find a hell of a game. I managed to complete the game and get all the coins when I was younger - now I can barely finish the first 4 levels.

  • Ps2/Wii/Pc

    It's a danmaku/bullet hell game. If that's not your thing, don't rush off yet. Unlike most bullet hell games (a la cave) this isn't that tough. Playing as a psychic or magical anime cliche you dodge, weave and graze past as many bullets as you can while holding down that shoot button. Going as close to a bullet (grazing) makes your shot more powerful and thus there's a risk/reward system going on that gives you more options than most of these games. There is a storyline but, even having played this game as many times as I have, I couldn't tell you what it was. Relaxing more than taxing Shikigami no Shiro 2 is a hell of a game to look at as well as play.

  • DC/PSX

    A fighting game like no other (well apart from the X/1999 game) in which you fight in the air, in a cube..with psychic powers. It's really difficult to describe but once you learn the rules (moves work on the basis of where the enemy is rather than your character's facing) and the characters quirks it's incredibly fun and very different. The PSX version has an RPG element to the game I think.

  • Ps3

    This..this one actively annoys me. For those who don't know Saint Seiya is of an age with the original Dragonball and is almost as important in Japan (much like Hokuto no Ken and JoJo) and is almost as popular in Europe. While previous games were mostly 1v1 games this added a side-scrolling beat-em-up system. Not so much Musou as Streets of Rage with Musou amounts of enemies. This tied into the levelling aspects of the characters - raising their health etc allowing you to tweak their abilities. On top of this was the cosmo system - by holding a button you could charge your cosmo (ki) to regain energy and power up you base attack (0%-500%)thus giving you some amount of strategy in how you used it. There were also items/accessories that you could buy with in game money/exp and power ups to your special moves. They ripped this out of the sequel and nobody cared..which was sad. The other let down in the sequel was the fights vs the Gold Saints (think..ermm..Captains in Bleach I guess)which were impossible if you didn't use your seventh sense (dodge offset, like bayonetta) as you didn't damage them..which is true to the series. My first fights against Aldebaran and Muu were legendary due to me finally learning the dodge offset. Each boss threw something different at you and then Saga just threw everything into ANOTHER DIMENSION as he's won't to do. None of this was in the sequel..it was just 1v1 button mashing. Granted Sanctuary had many issues (no 1v1, not enough characters, poor levels) but it was a far better game than the sequel and one of the best anime games there is.

  • Ps3/360

    A Tri-Ace RPG with a very different method of storytelling (some hate it, I loved it) and an emphasis on guns rather than swords starring Nathan Drake, Robin and Leanbell. Like dressing people up? It's got that. Like grinding? It's got that. Like arena battles and a poorly explained combat system? Yup. Do you like innermonologue dancing? HELL YEAH YOU DO. If you're looking for something different to your average RPG and have a lot of patience (difficultly spikes are rough in the end game) than this might be for you.

  • Ps3

    Originally released as an episodic download game, Blood Curse is a reimaging of the original Siren game. A horror game with a twist - you sightjack your enemies to see through their eyes, thus creating a stealth horror system that works quite well. Only problem I had with the game was pacing due to it's download nature - it's worth checking out at least.

  • Various

    While not as deep as Samurai Showdown 4/5 this is a great fighting game with gorgeous sprite backgrounds..it can take a while to get used to the change in tempo but it's worth looking at and is available on many different platforms.

  • Xbox

    Yeah, I know it's not Mechwarrior but it's a great arcade stompy robot game which had a great online at the time of it's release. Set in the Battletech universe you get mentions of Wolfs Dragoons etc. Great fun to squish the poor bloody infantry.

  • Megadrive

    Dark Souls if it had been made in 2d in the early 90s with a Shinobi twist. A platformer with weird mechanics it's something that should at least be tried once. I have still no idea what half the alchemy things do. Only real problem is that controls and movement are a little stiff..which can cause problems with the platforming.

  • Megadrive

    Part of Compiles Aleste series this is one of the best shooters on the Megadrive/Genesis. It's a vertical shooter (because any other is heresy) that doesn't go as far as bullet hell but is damn tough in places. Your subweapon can act as a shield before you get taken down permanently. Well worth looking up on Wii VC.

  • SNES

    As I understand it one of the most expensive carts to buy these days: Hagane is like a chunky crazy version of Ninja Gaiden with powers ups, slides, rolls..all sorts of crazy stuff. It's a shame this hasn't been seen more often because it has a ton of interesting ideas - like how the weapon system works.

  • Xbox/Ps2/PC

    Based on the film (and opening not long after it's ending) The Thing does something that you rarely see in a video game. It gets in your head. A Third Person shooter with a twist - one or more of your 3 companions may not be what they seem. It suffers from the fact that the hardware was nowhere near enough powerful to really do the idea justice..still a fun survival horror type game.

  • Wii/Arcade

    Just a really fun light gun game. It doesn't do anything revolutionary but that's not always necessary.

  • Ps3

    A real shame this was never released in the West as it probably would have sold more than the usual Yakuza games purely for it's setting. Set during the Edo period of Japan (Samurai) where you play Miyamoto Musashi (or Kazuma if you prefer). This is an action adventure rpg fighter in the style of Shenmue (Yakuza is what Shenmue wanted to be..deal with it). Beautifully presented with a great story and tons of..cough..swordplay it's great fun even if you don't understand a word of Japanese.

  • Ps3/3ds

    Yet another 'Why didn't they localise that?' question. Ex-Troopers is set in the Lost Planet universe after it had been given a lick of SUPER ANIME paint. While the previous games were a little clunky (to say the least) this game streamlines that all down to Monster Hunter style missions, Co-Op and crafting. You do get mechs, but you can zoom around the area so quickly they aren't really necessary. Good fun.

  • DS

    Ouendan. I hesitate to put this on the list because those that know it love it - but the fact that we don't have EBA 10 by now says that not enough people bought the game. You have no idea how sad that makes me. Osu! might be a PC freeware equivalent but nothing matches beating Ready, Steady,Go on the hardest setting in Ouendan..nothing.

  • PC/360/Ps3

    Rarely mentioned, thus I would place it in this category. The immediate predecessor to Forza Horizon - in that they share a lot of the same concepts and mechanics (though thankfully not the driving ones) - TDU2 is an open world driving simulator..I hesitate to call it a racing simulator as it's arcade as it gets, the racing is pretty terrible and the handling is not the best. However it has buckets and buckets of charm, a first person mode for interacting with people in buildings, daft avatar stuff and best of all - a really terrible story with rival racers. I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to show your tailpipe to the other characters in the game and then watch them throw a fit when they lose. It's a tiny thing but it makes the racing personal enough to keep you going. I'm not an online racing kinda guy so I have't tried the online stuff but I hear it's not great - with servers being flakey as hell - but you do have..cough..Drivatars or whatever they're called and random AI in the open world segments. Oh and the driving schools are terrible - they don't tell you how to do stuff they just expect you to know...and you can't unlock races until you pass them. It doesn't look terrible on PC and there's a QL on the site to give you an idea, though it's a Brad QL so YMMV.

    Buy on sale for a laugh..you will probably be amused.

  • PS3/Wii

    The third in the series originally known as Devil Kings. This is Capcom's Musou series set in Japan rather than China - Staring Troy Baker is Mitsunari and shredding his vocal chords while doing it. While Dynasty Warriors has faaaaar more characters, Basara has characters that are individual and have that 'Capcom' combat spice. I.E it's DMC Musou and it's gloriously insane. It takes a much less serious look at the time period and has great amounts of fun with the characters. If you're looking for a fun hack and slash with a vast amount of depth for what it is - you can't do much better without importing.

  • PSX

    Probably one of my first experiences of a rhythm game, Bust a Groove (Move in Japan, changed for obvious reasons) is similar to DDR but much simpler and you have a dancer on screen at all times that..well busts a move depending on your input. I actually still have my disc lying around somewhere..one of only two psx discs I own after all these years. It also has some great tunes, so check it out if that's your kind of thing.