Headquarters' Greatest Games You've Never Played But Should If You Only Knew About Them
|Article By: Headquarters|
|Written [ 12/12/01 ]|
Of course, this list could be very long (I mean, think of all the Saturn titles alone!), but I'm going to list a couple of titles for each major system of 32-bits or higher (excluding Xbox and Gamecube). These games (domestic) are just my opinion--I'm sure there are games that are phenominal that I've never touched; however, hardcore gamers know how difficult it is to play everything that is good considering the sheer number of titles being released weekly. At any rate, here they are. Other opinions are openly accepted. Feel free to write me.
= PlayStation 2 =
[ Silpheed: The Lost Planet ] = Developed by Treasure, Produced by Game Arts, Published by Working Designs =
Not much to argue about this game. Those that have played it know of its tremendous 3D visuals, unequaled special effects, and smooth gameplay. And get this, it's a SHOOTER! Yes, shooters are great games. I'm amazed to this day of how many people purchase the Namco Museum for Galaga and yet they don't play the newest shooters. Well, if Silpheed won't get you into shooters, then I'll just leave you in a curled fetal position with your Tekken Tag Tournament and your WWF Smackdown.
Silpheed brings back an all-but-dead genre and utilizes the PS2 hardware to its extremes. The backgrounds are just as eyecatching as the action on the screen are (I've died numerous times because I was engrossed on what was happening all at once). The levels are of gorgeous design and well-paced difficulty. Although seemly not nearly as difficult as its Dreamcast offiliates (i.e. Giga Wing (2), Gunbird 2, Mars Matrix et al), the true difficulty lies in getting on the damn top score list. The points in this game are determined by how close you are to your enemy when it is destroyed (the closer you are, the higher the points). See the problem? This is a Treasure shooter, people. By the latter stages, trying to get in close for the kill and avoid being hit is like trying to make out with the end of a gatling gun and not get hit by the bullets. I don't know about sucking face with a gatling gun, but Silpheed is still fun regardless. Even if you're not going for a score, Silpheed has, get this, a great plot. Shooters can have great plots too, and without the word "fantasy" in the title.
Enough said. Play it for the visuals, play it for the challenge, play it for the plot--whatever. Just play it.
= Honorable Mentions = Armored Core 2, ICO, Guilty Gear X, Unison
= DreamCast =
[ Sword of the Berserk: Gut's Rage ] = Developed/Produced by Yuke's/Ascii, Published by Eidos =
Most of the Dreamcast's 2D fighers and shooters could win this one, but SotB:GR should be played on the fact that it's a side-scrolling beat'em up. You know, like Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, Knights of the Round, Punisher etc.. If there ever was a more stagnant genre than shooters, it would have to be the beat'em ups. They just don't make games like they used to...
...except Yuke's does, and, love em or hate em, Eidos did a great job with the localization. SotB:GR is heavily plot-oriented with extended scenes between every stage (some are close to ten minutes long). The voice acting is very well done (except for Puck, but all heros need a goofy side-kick apparently), the plot is dark and twisted, and blood flows from your enemies like it's going out of style. The 3D stages are diverse, and the action never gets old. Part of the reason for this is that the level structure and enemy AI don't allow for too much button-mashing. Various combos and items are available for you to take advantage of and urge you to use. Mashing the attack button over and over again will only get you killed. Throw in the fact that the boss halfway through the game is the most difficult, and you have yourself a title that gets challenging quickly and is very satisfying. There are also unlockable movies and artwork.
Albeit one player, SotB:GR sells new for about ten bucks, giving you Dreamcast owners (those that are left) no reason not to buy it.
= Honorable Mentions = (here we go...) Bangai-O, Giga Wing (2), Gunbird 2, Mars Matrix, Last Blade 2, Samba de Amigo, Record of the Lodoss War, King of Fighters Evolution, Skies of Arcadia (many have played this, but not many enough!), Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves, Seaman, Red Dog.
= Nintendo 64 =
[ Ogre Battle 64 ] = Developed/Published by Atlus =
Have you ever heard this before, "So I'm the biggest fan of RPG's there is! I've played through all of the Final Fantasies..." If you haven't, try working any kind of software retail and I'm sure you'll hear it at least once a week. The fact of the matter is that some of the best RPG's have been graciouly brought to you by Enix, Sega, Working Designs, and of course, Atlus. Don't get me wrong, Squaresoft is (was?) the goods--up until Final Fantasy X. But there are better companies out there. There's no denying that the true diamond in the rough was Atlus's Ogre Battle 64.
If the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time didn't convince you of the N64's power, then OB64 should. Artistry in motion defines this game's expertly crafted character design and animation. Its colorful mix of 2D and 3D visuals go hand and hand with a vicious plot and a masterfully handled translation, making you wonder why people were spending money hand over fist to get Final Fantasy Tactics (pre-Greatest Hits) on E-Bay. Of course, Ogre Battle fans ate this one up, some owning a N64 just for this game. And considering that the only other traditional RPG on the system is the burning, dripping ass sensation of Aidyn Chronicles, OB64 is a no-brainer.
"If this game is so amazing, then how come I've never heard of it?!?" Well, it's simple Syphon Filter Guy. This game came out exclusively on the N64, in November, of 2000, after the PS2 launch. Making sense? At that time, "gamers" were too interested in watching DVD after DVD on their new PS2 and then wondering why melted processers don't work. Anyway, Ogre Battle 64 is a gem, and that's being modest. Unfortunately, this game is difficult to find--especially new. But please, you owe it to yourself to experience this game. Just try to remember not to get any ejaculate on the system and/or the cart while playing it.
= Honorable Mentions = Turok Rage Wars, Mischief Makers, Star Soldier (that's for you, BAD)
= PlayStation =
[ Metal Slug X ] = Developed/Produced by SNK, Published by Agetec =
Shit! With over 1000 games in the PS library, this one was hard to think of (you can expect a decent "Honorable mentions" list). However, Metal Slug X gets it due to the fact that a game by SNK, late in the PS existance, should have never made it domestically out of the arcades. Enter Agetec. Oh, and they added tons of mini games and an unlockable art gallery. Agetec didn't have to do this. They knew this game wouldn't sell well. They knew that people would hear "Metal Slug" and think "Harvest Moon sequel" (ba-dum tshhhh). But they still brought it. And you should buy it.
Ever heard of a series called Contra? If you have, consider MSX the Contra on the PS that is actually good. Six LONG stages accompany hand-drawn graphics in this two-player side-scrolling blast-fest. Add in a sense of humor, and you'll find out why flame throwers were always in the coolest games. There are also four characters to choose from, completing your asthetic preference.
I can imagine the SNK meeting surrounding the creation of this game: "...along the way you'll blast nazi-esque soldiers, aliens, and the undead as you collect gems, eat food, reload shotguns, and save P.O.W.s, all while dodging relentless fire from camels, bats, tanks, choppers, and any other creature capable of producing death via cannon fire..." That's this game to a T. And I'm sure that you're at the very least curious to see how accurate I really am. More than enough reason to play game, if merely for spite. Screw that, this game owns.
= Honorable Mentions = Trap Gunner, Silent Bomber, Guilty Gear, Darkstalkers 3, Deception III, Front Mission 3, Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, Vanguard Bandits, Strikers 1945, Ghost in the Shell, Raiden Project, Thousand Arms, Saiuki: Journey West, Klonoa, Strider 2, and many more I'm sure
= Saturn =
[ Enemy Zero ] = Developed by Warp, Produced/Published by Sega =
Since no one has played the Saturn (exaggeration to make a point), pretty much any title is one you've never heard of. Enemy Zero is no exception. The wierd thing is is that this title cators to the masses with its cinematic presentation and its gruesome content. And yet, this title sold horribly. Interestingly enough, this game is actually quite good, and is worth playing a few times through to catch all he different nuances.
The game itself is a combination of a first-person shooter mixed with puzzle elements. So basically, there are two parts of the game. The puzzle aspect has you moving around rooms of cinematic quality and detail, finding useful items that you'll need in other areas (a la Resident Evil). The FPS part involves your heroine, Laura Lewis, running between the rooms which have other items and puzzles, only the shooting part is really a sensing part, and what you do shoot usually only deters "it" from killing you.
Doesn't sound too great? It shouldn't. That's because its the environment alone makes this game outstanding. I've never been so terrified walking down corriodors and going into rooms and opening drawers. The hallways are quiet, no one is physically around you, and they layout is spooky--not to mention that everything is dark. In fact, this game mimics the movie Alien in many ways, right down to the space isolation with the limited, unarmed, and rapidly dying crew members. The only difference is that this alien is invisible and is only detected orally by a VPS (motion tracker) system: the faster it beeps, the closer "it" is.
Play it in the dark and you'll understand how a slow-paced game with little action and somewhat choppy gameplay can be so very engrossing.
= Honorable Mentions = Shining Force III, Panzer Dragoon (pick one), Darius Gaiden, Magic Knight Rayearth, and any other great Saturn title (by the way, the Saturn is the reason why people started importing games)