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4 Games That are More Than the Sum of Their Parts


In the past I've talked about the benefits of diving in the bargain bin and in doing so I described a few games that I found to be outstanding, despite not gaining much mainstream traction. These games have been buried through hectic release schedules or lack of advertising/promotion, but offer so much that it is a true shame they weren't more successful. I narrowed this list down to these 4 titles that I feel exemplify a seemingly run-of-the-mill title that has a lot under the hood. All of these titles can be purchased for under $10 each, and I hope that most of you at least check out one you haven't played before.

Spec Ops the Line

Spec Ops

If there were ever a game that deserves way more recognition than it received, it is Spec Ops the Line. The developer of The Line, Yager, was able to take a franchise known for producing mediocre bargain titles and deliver what is possibly one of the best, at least it is my favorite, war based story throughout any medium. The amazing thing is that it delivers this gripping tale through gameplay that is, honestly, sub-par as far as modern cover-based shooters go. Yager saw that they had very little to work with in terms of tech, but they made every single piece of this game work to make the experience gripping. Even the loading screens were powerful in the Line. I remember a distinct chill arch across my spine when I was halfway through the game and a loading screen, which usually had the standard control tips(press X to reload, etc), displayed "How many Americans have you killed?", "Do you feel like a hero now?", and "If you were a better person, you wouldn't be here." The game had a way of turning the genre on its head and confronting the player directly about why they viewed these horrible scenes as just a game. Enough cannot be said about Spec Ops the Line.


Binary Domain


Binary Domain is the best Terminator game I have ever played. Imagine Gears of War as a base, set it in a future that is prosperous and lively, throw in a dash of Blade Runner, and bada bing bada boom. You've got yourself a steaming hot serving of Binary Domain goodness.  Binary Domain offers stellar gunplay with a very interesting view of the future, but where it shines is the focus on companions and squad commands. The fantastic companion mechanic is based on a trust system, very similar to the game The Thing that came out in the early 2000's. Your companions react based on how much trust they put in you. This system is very vital to the gameplay and even changes the ending you can achieve. One of the coolest ways you can build up trust with your squad is by giving them orders that they agree with through a microphone. This lets you feel closer to the team as you actually talk them through situations. I remember actually losing trust with a teammate after I told them to fuck off after a firefight that they were useless in.

PS: It also has this!



Ghost Recon Shadow Wars


The sleeper hit of the Nintendo 3DS launch. I bought this game because I wanted to see how the handheld could handle a shooter, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a solid strategy game. While it doesn't hold a candle to the Fire Emblem titles that came later, Shadow Wars can deliver a fair share of intense strategic moments at a very modest price tag. Shadow Wars is very accessible, and that's why I try to make it a point to recommend this game to everyone with a 3DS and at least a passing interest in strategy titles like Xcom or Fire Emblem. Bottom Line, this game gives you hours of strategy goodness for chump change. The bang for the buck can't be beat.


El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron

El Shaddai

It's very rare that a game absolutely stuns me with its beauty, while confusing the ever living shit out of me, but El Shaddai delivers this in spades. I would try to hit on some of the key story points here, but, honestly, at no point did I have a solid grip on the story. However, at the same time, I didn't care at all. It's vibrant and colorful with fantastic music, a beautiful style, and engaging combat. El Shaddai is an absolutely bonkers acid trip of a game that everyone should play as soon as possible.

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About Garett Meffordone of us since 4:41 PM on 01.20.2016

My name is Garett. I play a lot of video games and write a lot of stuff about video games. I try to play as many different games as I can and I enjoy a bit of everything, but some of my favorite series are Metal Gear, Resident Evil, Pokemon, and I guess Assassins Creed? I mean, I've played them all, I must be a fan.

Anyway, I'm a pretty rad dude and it would be pretty rad of you to read some of my stuff and give me some feedback.I also write over at thatvideogameblog.com
Also I have a YouTube channel and it would be swell of you to come check out some videos.: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYukWA_cU7sSWNuU2-NG_LQ

Currently Playing:
Pokemon Silver
Titanfall 2
Final Fantasy X