I feel like everyone has a game or two that they think is just phenomenal, a real great time, that also didn’t seem to get a fair shake at all. I’d love to hear the community talk about all these underappreciated games they love, be they games that were painted as “bad”, or that just didn’t get the recognition they deserved. Maybe we’ll convince each other to give the games we love a fair shake or a second try.
Mine is Shin Megami Tensei: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. It seemed like it got good critical reception, but I genuinely think it’s one of the best JRPG’s ever made and people just kinda skipped over it for a few reasons. The combat’s encore system is fantastic and results in crazy long combos if you know what you’re doing, the party is endearing in an incredibly corny way, and it NAILS it’s idol aesthetic. If you still have your Wii U hooked up and can get a copy, I highly recommend it.
Waves might be the best twin-stick shooter ever made. I am a massive Geometry Wars fan but Waves is just so good in the hand and looks fucking phenomenal. It’s like a dollar during a steam sale and I’d put it over all the GW sequels.
I don’t have a different game to pitch but let me throw in my hat for Waves being massively underappricated and basically the perfect evolution of Geometry Wars.
I’m gonna lightly say Soul Nomad and the World Eaters because the reason it never took off in any significance is because it was so hard to find when it first came out in he west and years after. I doubt most people familiar with Disgaea know much of the studio’s other strategy titles, and that goes ESPECIALLY for this one.
But it’s honestly one of the best games Nippon Ichi ever released. It’s brilliant on a mechanical level with its room system, having you deploy small squads of characters as single units, allowing team up moves when multiple major characters shared a unit. The positions you placed your characters changed what actions they made during an attack, and this could radically change how you approached even the most basic of encounters. The story is also shockingly dark for such a tongue in cheek studio. It has a lot of that familiar Disgaea wackiness, but it’s often used to hide and misdirect towards some truly shocking plot revelations. That doesn’t even get into the demon playthrough on a second go, which allows you to listen to the evil entity within your sword (Gig) and go full bad guy to such an extent that even the actual villains can be shocked by your actions.
Like, if you’re a strategy RPG fan and you still haven’t gotten around to that one, you need to fix that. It helps the dub is fantastic, especially Yuri Lowenthal as Gig, who just hams up every single line to the most possible.
I am the number one Yuri Lowenthal hater and I will gladly admit his performance in this game is flawless. I only ever experienced it through LP, but it definitely left a better impression on me than N1’s usual fare.
Aside from being fodder for a now infamous Giant Bomb video, Age of Booty is a legitimately great pirate game. Taking place in a top down, pseudo-board game where you capture ports for the titular booty, it was a really compelling single and multiplayer standout in the early 360 era.
It’s basically Morrowind before Morrowind. You see things in Gothic that are staples of open worlds now. NPCs with routines, jobs, relationships, down time… You can see the local blacksmith hammer away at his steel all day, go visit the inn after work, then head to bed at the end of the day. And this wasn’t a random blacksmith spawned in, like how RDR2 does it. This guy had a name, and if you killed him, there was no more blacksmith. Gothic was completely ahead of its time when it came to that stuff. And honestly, it circumvented a lot of the jank Bethesda games are known for. A lot of it just felt natural. The animations felt a lot more fluid than Morrowind’s stiff character models. Plus, every character was fully voiced!
There was so many little things I LOVED in Gothic. If you got in a fight with an NPC that wasn’t traditionally an enemy, you’d only wound him. You’d have to finish the guy off to get a kill, which would be considered a crime.
You had to be trained to unlock better sword and combat techniques, so your combat style and controls would completely change when you unlocked new training.
I swear, I probably spent HOURS playing the demo they released of the city of Old Town. It was basically a functioning metropolis, independent of the player’s interaction. I pushed all the systems as far as they could go, experimenting in being a thief, making high-priced swords, murdering people in their sleep, trying to see if I could sneak past the inner city guards to see the king… All within this demo I probably spent a hundred hours just tinkering with.
Seconding this Gothic fuckin’ owns, Gothic 2 is great too.
Adding my praise to the Gothic, it was one of more formative games for me and it had an excellent dub.
I’m at this point repeating myself (though that thread might be a good place to look for inspiration), but Steambot Chronicles/Bumpy Trot for sure.
It’s got mech fighting! A dating sim! Like 5 different rhythm minigames for playing music! A working stock market! Branching narrative that lets you be the bad guy if you want! Characters named after food! On the PS2!
Now how much would you pay?
What you end up paying is it can get super laggy at times and the load times are atrocious. But still!
trying to think of a game I haven’t already gushed about on this forum
Have you ever thought to yourself “I wish I could play an RTS/tower defense game where you fought against a fluid simulation instead of individual AI controlled units?” Of course you have. Everyone has. Well I have good news, friend! You can, with Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal!
It’s still at least a year away (probably), but the dev is currently working on CW4 which will have a new 3D engine with waves and stuff, so I’m really excited.
edit: Side note, Creeper World 2 was also interesting because instead of the top-down perspective of CW1 and CW3, you played CW2 from a side/cross-section perspective.
Alpha Protocol may be flawed. The Disco Boss fight may be the most BS boss fight of all time. The controls may be clunky & weird. Some of the characters may be wrote . But that game had heart damn it! That’s all I really got sorry. It’s a very special game that is very flawed but I can’t really explain why atm.
First, I’ll second LaSauce on Tokyo Mirage Sessions. While I think that game is flawed, it’s still a great game that is worth playing. I really hope it gets ported Switch or PC or something because I feel like the main reason people skipped over it was that it was on WiiU and I think it came relatively late in the console’s life cycle.
Second, I want to say that TRI: Of Friendship and Madness is one of my favorite games ever. It’s a 3D puzzle platform with some really exquisite design to it. It’s one of the few puzzle games I’ve played where after nearly every puzzle I felt clever for solving it instead of feeling dumb because I didn’t see the solution earlier. The game’s aesthetic is really unique and the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic.
One last one I want to mention is Blue Reflection. It’s a magical girl JRPG and it is such a wonderful time. The battle system is a lot of fun, I think they have an interesting and clever way of leveling to avoid grinding, the boss and enemy design is really wild, the soundtrack is fantastic, and the story is really beautiful. It isn’t without its faults (it occasionally falls into some lame anime tropes) but I think it’s definitely a game worth checking out.
"Ok, so it’s like a teen horror movie, but not a dumb, over the top teen horror movie, you know? More like, a teen horror movie where the monsters are really, like, grief and loss and coming to terms with your past and stuff. But also there’s real, interdimensional beings that can, I dunno, manipulate time and possess your friends or whatever. Oh, and they can communicate through radios and old-timey double-reel tape decks. It’s neat, cuz sometimes you’ll just be listening to the radio for information, then it’s like ‘whoa, the ghosts are talking to me!!’
"The dialog is all done in real time, so none of this Mass Effect stuff where everybody just stands around looking like a Barbie doll while you try to decide what you want to say. You jump in the conversation or you don’t, but it keeps going either way. But you’ll want to jump in, cuz the writing and the voice acting are just out of this world. Also, it’s got a kick-ass soundtrack, really revolutionary stuff.
“It’s called Oxenfree.”
(I took the “Pitch Us” command a little too seriously.)
The world is going to end in five years. You’re the leader of an insular cult community. You can get into heaven but only if you purge your group of sinners. Find the sinners. Keep everyone’s faith up. Manage your relationship with the great houses while sacrificing their sinner relatives. Play The Shrouded Isle.
also Tokyo Mirage Sessions Sharp Eff Ee.
Every time I say ‘It’s the best Persona game’ I’m being slightly more sincere. It’s cute! The combo-chains are really nice! The dungeons are interesting and don’t (I don’t think) drag on too long! The texting is written much better than in Persona 5! The not!personas have lines, and characters, and relationships with their not!persona-users!
It’s so good yeah put it on switch so anyone plays it.
God that Disco boss scene is straight shit, but it’s the closest thing I will probably get to an Archer rpg so it’s basically a classic.
I always forget this game exists. Does it have any characters from Persona 1 and 2 in it?
It’s got bits of Invisible Inc and Superhot. It reminds me of a Hong Kong John Woo Movie. Or John Wick. Or the Raid. Or Crypt of the Necrodancer. Hitman 2016. Bullet Dodging like the matrix. Its conversational system is above-average visual novel quality. It’s got systemic gameplay. Cascading failuree. It’s more timey-wimey than Doctor Who and Looper combined. You play as a queer man with a robotic arm in cold war future berlin. it costs 9 dollars. the soundtrack is great. it’s called ALL WALLS MUST FALL.
EDIT: AND THE ENDING!!