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B-Listers and Hidden Gems Pt. 1


Today I'd like to discuss some more obscure, or maybe just underrated games that I personally loved for one reason or another. The list will cover multiple systems, multiple generations, genres and even levels of awesomeness.

Illbleed: (Dreamcast) A very campy, straight B-Rated horror game that literally no one else I know in real life has ever played, and even very few I've talked to online to have played it. The premise is a simple, outlandish one. You start as a horror enthusiast who's tasked with going to a new horror theme park with interactive attractions based on horror movies. You just need to survive to win tons of money...only no one else has. Including another friend who proceeded you.

Some of these attractions are more serious than others, while some are flat out insanity. But one thing is for sure, you'll have never played a game quite like this one. First things first, the game by all merits is honestly not good at all. Terribly stiff, unresponsive controls, shitty graphics laughably bad voice acting, convoluted, maze-like level designs, and it's nearly unfairly difficult at times to boot.

That said, this game is on the level of greatness in it's badness as Deadly Premonition.  The camp is huge, and if you're a horror fan, especially one who either grew up in the 80's, or appreciates 80's horror camp then you'll love it. I can't accurately describe the insanity of this game, bur do yourself a favor and look into it on Youtube at least.

Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals: (SNES) This game isn't absolutely unheard of, but it's seldomly discussed and criminally underrated. It DID get a reimagining on the DS that was...not nearly as good as the original. It's an RPG with a rich story, characters, fun battle system and brain busting puzzles within the dungeons.

This is honestly one of my favorite games ever made. I find it near perfect. Characters I loved and genuinely felt attached to, a good story to tell, and even some good romance to be had. It has a fairly simple, but fun battle system, charming sprite graphics, a nice soundtrack. And those puzzles I mentioned, some of them were devious, but always felt so crazy satisfying when I'd finish one. It's just a really solid, complete package of a 2D JRPG. The game it proceeds is solid too, but I prefer this one due to it's characters and their development.

Incredible Crisis: (PS1) Where to start with this one? Well it's the very idea of a crazy Japanese game that someone made it overshores, I'm still not even sure how, but glad it did. It's essentially an interactive story about an average (not really) Japanese family's day to day life, the gameplay sections are all mini-games. Button mashing, rhythm games, etc.

I mean...you'll survive your way through a strong arm robbery by men in animal masks by dancing and singing your way out of it. You'll have to keep yourself from falling into sinkhole of sand to become the meal of a giant Ant Lion and it just goes on and on. The game oozes charm though, and it's ONE of the weirdest games I've ever played. Insanely fun though and laugh out loud ridiculous. This is another one that I just cannot do justice, you'll have to see or experience for yourself. And if you're into quirky Japanese games I highly recommend you do so.

Mister Mosquito: (PS2) Speaking of quirky, absurd Japanese games... How about the one where you literally play as a cute, cartoon mosquito trying to just live within the home of the average Japanese family. Each level is comprised of a different room with a family member doing their daily thing while you're buzzing around. You collect things, drink blood, complete little objectives, etc.

You even get to visit the teenage daughter as she's taking a bath in the bathroom, yep. This one is actually a really fun, addicting game. It had pretty good controls, nice graphics for the time and is still pretty damn unique. I highly recommend it, it's a blast. And to top off the weirdness you can even activiate a secret two player mini-game at the title screen where you and another player take the roles of two old men on old time bicycles on an elevated concrete sumo ring with the intent to knock the other player off. Hell, why not?

Bomberman 64: (N64) This is probably one of the more well known games on this little list, but it kinda just slipped under the radar for most people. It's a 3D platformer starring Bomberman, but not only is it actually pretty cool but it has a big difference from the average platformers. You can't jump. Instead you stack timed bombs you can hop off of up a level. You have to get creative and make bomb stair sets, it's neat.

Of course being Bomberman this had fairly traditional Bomberman multiplayer included too, and it's an absolute blast with a few buddies. What made this really cool for me was that you can create your own Bomberman character to play in multiplayer by mixing and matching pieces and accessories to dress them up. These are found in the single player game as your main collectable, and they are pretty touch to find overall. It makes searching every nook and cranny in the ame that much more important.

The Nintendo 64 was known for many awesome local multiplayer games, and this one is rarely ever brought up, even though it deserves to be.

Theresia: (DS) This one is pretty obscure, and another one that I've never really met a person to have played it. It's essentially an atmospheric horror game, but there's no combat, and you never really run into any living threat, or even undead ones to kill you. You are alone in this game. Utterly alone. In fact I can't think of any other game that has made me feel quite so miserably alone than this one. You CAN fail, there are traps all over the place and you will die if you're not careful.

I really don't want to discuss too many details about the game other than mechanically speaking, because it's a morbidly traic story that horror fans should experience. Gameplay wise though it's more or less a visual novel that you walk around interact with. Be warned though, this is a very depressing game. And it gets far more so as you go further. 

As a cool bonus there's a second story to play through after the first, they connect together and are both absolutely worth playing through. Though I prefer the more foreboding, hopeless atmosphere of the first better. You can probably (I haven't actually looked, just assuming here.) find this one pretty cheap online, and if it sounds like something you might be interested in, give it a go.

Well, there's my first list. I have more and would love to discuss them if you folks are interested in doing so, and when I have a bit more time to post them up.

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About Xeoone of us since 1:36 AM on 02.21.2011