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 Obscure games you love...

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Taiyz
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:25 am

Rayman. I consider that franchise to be pretty obscure at this point, even though some of the games achieved high reviews in the past. I was introduced to the series when I randomly picked up Rayman 2 for the N64. One of the greatest platformers for the platform, and that's saying a lot because the N64 had a ton of great ones. It was a fairly straightforward game, although apparently the original version was pretty difficult (I can't remember,) and it had great music and an amusing gibberish language that the characters spoke, very charming.

I played Rayman 3 at a friend's house once, then Rayman kinda disappeared from the gaming industry. When he came back in Rayman Origins (which got a bunch of press,) I wasn't a fan. The game has kind of a learning curve, the controls are sometimes sluggish and floaty despite the levels being comparable to Mega Man or Super Meat Boy in terms of difficulty. I skipped it, and ignored the latest game, Rayman Legends, until recently a bout of nostalgia got me to play it.

Fuck. Rayman Legends is one of the greatest platformers ever made. What the hell happened!? They literally fixed everything, and updated the engine so it looks even better, and Origins was already stunning.

This got me back in touch with the series. I got the PS1 game via PSN, which is a really solid game, it's strange because it has a slow pace, but the platforming becomes frenetic because lots of things happen on screen (check out Cloudberry Kingdom for a good comparison, honestly the Super Meat Boy mention earlier made more sense after playing Rayman 1.) I got Rayman 2 for two platforms actually, since there are so many version differences between them. Rayman 3D on the 3DS features the gibberish, has been made a lot easier apparently, and has minigames after each level to increase your max health (they are alternate-between-mashing-two-buttons games and they suck though,) it's apparently a mostly direct port of the Dreamcast version but with minor framerate issues. I also got Rayman 2 for the PS1, again via PSN, this version benefits from being able to modify the controls because camera control was mapped to the shoulder buttons and inverted to boot. Now that shit's on the right stick. It's got actual voice-acting and while the actors are good, the direction is not. The game looks worse, generally, but the levels are different enough that I don't regret double-dipping at all.

I tried Rayman 3 HD via XBLA. Still wasn't a fan. It doesn't help that Murphy, basically the Navi of the game and the tutorial character, is really goddamn annoying. Voice-acting is way better across the board (except for Murphy,) feels like it could've been a pretty solid cartoon if it was more successful (they tried to do a cartoon for Rayman 2, but while these games got acclaim I don't know if they were ever truly popular in America.) Unfortunately the trial doesn't cover past the tutorial so I don't know if Murphy continues to appear after that point, I get the impression that he doesn't based on what he says at the end of the tutorial, but I don't want to pay like $15 to find out I'm wrong. Also wasn't a fan of the pointless score system they introduced, and dunno if there's an overworld or map or what.

Rayman Origins I ended up buying for my 360, just because I wanted one of the new games to play (and I'm gonna wait to get Rayman Legends for the PS4.) It starts out a lot easier than what the demos covered, and the gradual learning curve teaches you the mechanics a LOT better, so I'm enjoying it a lot. It's still nowhere near as smooth as Rayman Legends, but everybody should play Origins and Legends. Origins is mostly a throwback to the original game despite its new style. Lots of references to the original, following the same world themes and starting you off with only the ability to jump, giving you new abilities as you progress (Rayman 2 starts you off with more abilities, but not all of them.) Legends gives you everything right away. Both of these games follow the New Super Mario Bros. style of Asshole Co-op, offline only.

It's worth noting that the Wii U and Vita versions of Rayman Legends are different. Certain stages involve Murphy who is controlled entirely with the touchscreen. You have to touch the screen to move hazards out of the way so an AI character can navigate the stage in a scripted fashion. It works, but it's nowhere near as fun as playing the stage yourself, which you do in the other console versions. In those versions you just press B/O to have Murphy do stuff (or bumpers/shoulder buttons to rotate things) and it's really intuitive and actually makes him a fun gimmick, which is ironic considering that the game was supposed to be Wii U exclusive but was delayed and made multi-plat.

Note, avoid the 3DS version of Rayman Origins (Legends wasn't ported to it.) It's ugly and laggy and hurts to play. Origins and Legends follow the Assassin's Creed, Doritos Crash Course and Sonic Lost World modern platforming style of right trigger sprinting (they also all feature wall jumping, though so does NSMB,) which just isn't comfortable on the 3DS, but is absolutely awesome on every other platform (Vita is a little awkward but tolerable.)


So yeah. TL;DR: buy Rayman Legends immediately (there is a demo,) maybe rent Rayman Origins first and buy it if you enjoy it, the demo for Origins is a poor way to learn the game.

There's no demo for the Wii U though, Ubisoft removed all the exclusive shit they put out for that platform. Apparently there was a demo/"challenge app" that got you a costume, and a second bonus demo was promised just for the Wii U, but I don't know if that ever happened. Ubisoft really shafted Nintendo with that game, no 3DS port and all that shit? Man.

Edit: Oh yeah, Rayman Origins kind of brings back the gibberish in the form of pig latin.

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Last edited by Taiyz on Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:33 am

I agree with most all of the above, Rayman 2 was bomb and one of my faves, though I didn't find Origins to be that sluggish, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Funny, I was playing Rayman Legends at a friends house yesterday. God, that game is fun but annoying on multiplayer with two other people. Especially since we can hit each other and fuck up a lot if we have to be very careful when avoiding lava and shit, and I have ONE friend who takes things too seriously and tries to dictate us and my OTHER friend is just fucking around, smashing everybody around as Globox. Oy.

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:58 am

It's impossible to take Asshole Co-op games seriously. It's not too bad in the Rayman games though because Ubisoft realizes that lives no longer have value with the way games are designed these days, so they excluded 'em.

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:10 am

Txn wrote:
Zettai Hero Project: Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman
Yes for it being obscure. Yes for it deserving more love. And absolutely yes for it featuring overwhelming amount of customization. Despite being marketed as parody, the storyline is actually pretty heavy and heartwarming. I actually shed a tear for the MC in his story arc, so sad. I seriously loved this game ever since I saw the debut trailer, and I'm really a fan of 'casual' roguelike which brings me to this game:

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 (PS1)
I played this game in my 'FF is the best series ever' phase, and I was absolutely delighted by the game's mechanics, being my first roguelike of course.

I was flabbergasted by the things I could do, like kicking rocks towards an enemy, fill my used potion bottles with spring waters, kill enemy with empty bottles to get his essence, use that essence to empower my saddles and claws, fight Death with my sweet +9 equipments, fail to do so, dies and have my precious +9 stuff lost into oblivion, dig through walls into a dungeon shop, steal from the shopkeeper and escape; there's just so many things to do!


Anyway, I think most of obscure gems that I like is on PSP. PSP actually has a lot of good games, but people are always like 'lolpspnogaem' or 'ndsisbetterstupid', so most of them went under the radar like this game that someone mentioned before;

Hexyz Force (PSP)
I find that the resource management in this game is very wonderful. The equipment system is quite similar to Riviera or Fire Emblem (iunno, i dont play FE much), in which you can equip several different weapons that is split into two, Ragnafacts and Spirifacts. Ragnafacts ability uses RP that can be replenished in battle by guarding while Spirifacts have durability and will break after it is depleted. See how the resource management works here? You can't just bulldoze everything in this turn-based RPG, but it's not exactly too limiting either.

But of course, it doesn't mean that you have to go to town every single time your RP and equipments are destroyed (in fact, iirc there's actually very little town in this game). Every enemy will drop stuff that you can forge into weapons and items, provided that you have adequate Force Points. Force Points also can be used to heal the entire party and upgrade your Ragnafacts. Keyword: Resource Management.

Seriously this game is such an overlooked gem; the models are nice enough despite being chibimode, the soundtracks is actually pretty nice to hear, and you have two campaigns to play through that sometimes intertwined with each other and they all grouped up for the endgame. Although, I would rather have each campaign has its own (disc one)final boss and you have to play through the both campaign before unlocking a third campaign with the emperor as main character. Still nothing triumph Levant von Schweitzer with his manly pink sword.

Cladun (PSP)/Cladun X2(PSP, PC)
I know some people dislike 8-bit inspired games, but honestly, Cladun introduced a very interesting twist and mechanics for hack-and-slash and dungeon crawling genre. Magic Circles is a very good innovation and more dungeon crawling games should adapt this in their games. It provides a very vast customization option and the thoughts that party members being meatshields for your solo run is both funny and brilliant as it solves the problem of "what happens to my reserve party members that are not on screen". I also love the damage increment according to placement of your character, such as back attack giving more damage and running halves your defense - it just make sense and encourage you to experiment with different situation such as whether to run quickly from attacks or stay still so the damage won't be as heavy.

This game has some pretty good music, 8-bit or not (darn i cant find the normal version on youtube). Also, damage value with decimal points is hilarious, admit it.



Other than these, Ys and Trails series is very awesome, but it's hardly obscure nowadays.
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:02 pm

I really ought to take a look through my games this weekend and take inventory of all the great obscure stuff I have. Here are some that just crossed my mind; a trilogy that I wouldn't mind replaying for the umpteenth time.

Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, and Terranigma. Especially Illusion of Gaia as I played through that game countless times during my teen years. Terranigma's probably the most obscure of the bunch due to North America getting screwed out of a release. All three games sit on my shelf reserved for important collectables, including my imported Australian copy of Terranigma. Have to use an action replay to get around the region lock on that sucker.

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:16 pm

I doubt I've played any truly obscure games, especially lately. But anyway, does anyone remember this piece of shit game?



Seriously used to play the shit of this.
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:03 pm

So this is a little less relevant, but it belongs here more than it would in Today in Gaming.



This is an indie game that came out recently, but it's not getting much attention from the big YouTube personalities because it's slow-paced and not super wacky and you can't scream over it with a facecam, and therefore isn't getting much attention in general. The above playthrough, while unskilled and barely scratches the surface, provides a pretty amusing look into the game and totally sold me on it.

The Castle Doctrine is basically a roguelike (gotta hop on the bandwagon while it's hot) in which you create your own "dungeon" (your house) for other players to explore, and then you use a variety of tools to explore those of other players. Reaching a player's safe allows you to steal actual items from their inventory (though I'm assuming some are randomly generated, to make it consistently rewarding rather than finding out that you just robbed a guy with two meat pies and saw,) and if you die (or if somebody dies in your house) the dying player loses everything, their inventory, their money, and their connivingly-constructed deathtrap of a house.

I can't say I'm a fan of how they handled permadeath here, but it just seems incredibly fun to explore a variety of deathtraps, particularly when you stumble across one that has already been broken into and you can see the aftermath (or if you watch your own security tapes!)

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:32 pm

Tai Fu: Wrath of the Tiger needs more love.

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:05 pm


Don't let the dutch words fool you, this is merely the cover of the Dutch release. It is available in English as well; as Gazillionaire 3.

Gazillionaire is an extremely addicting economy-strategy game in which you travel from planet to planet in a far off solar system making your fortune by exploiting supply and demand on increasing scale. You build your own imperium from scratch (or less than scratch even) building your company all the way up to the top of the economic food chain. Along the way, you'll have ample chances to upgrade your spaceship, sabotage your rivals, speculate on the stock market, invest in aspiring artists, give your crew a day off and get an insurance for your cargo just in case you do get hit by a meteor shower.

The game is simple, awesome and has a surprising amount of depth. I have played the game so much I more or less know how all the game mechanics work. In order to win this game on higher difficulties, you need luck. And luck can be stacked.

For those of you who are interested in this game and feel compelled to learn more about it or even play it, I'll leave you the link to a Let's Play of it right here:

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:46 pm

Taiyz wrote:
The Castle Doctrine

Oh yeah! That's definitely on my "To Play" list. The designer Jason Rohrer has made some fantastic little minimalist games that draw heavily from his personal life. The two big ones are Passage and Gravitation, which both deal with issues of balancing artistic and professional ambitions with with enjoyment of life and personal relationships. He also made a nifty little two-player story telling game called Sleep is Death that I've long meant to check out, but haven't yet.

While Passage and Gravitation are free to play on the computer, they are also available on the 3DS as part of a package called "Alt-Play," which also includes a two-player game called "Between." I've only spent a little time with "Between" personally and while interesting, I've yet to really parse it. Anyways, "Alt-Play" cost, like, two bucks or something. It's worth checking out if you're into the whole "fostering an environment wherein games are able to grow as a creative and expressive medium."
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:59 pm

Tenshigami wrote:
Terranigma's probably the most obscure of the bunch due to North America getting screwed out of a release. All three games sit on my shelf reserved for important collectables, including my imported Australian copy of Terranigma. Have to use an action replay to get around the region lock on that sucker.
It's a shame that NA had such a ridiculous policy on religious themes back in the 90s. Like we get Illusion of Gaia; which imo has stronger religious elements in it but we couldn't get Terranigma. >.>

Terranigma has one hell of a plot and a really emotional ending. :/

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:23 pm

warriorangel01 wrote:
I doubt I've played any truly obscure games, especially lately. But anyway, does anyone remember this piece of shit game?



Seriously used to play the shit of this.
I always wanted that game, but they didn't sell it in my city.  Sad 
Same goes for Mischief Makers and that weird shooter game where you control a bee.  Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:59 pm

RIGHT ABOUT NOW IT'S TIME TO ROCK WITH THE BIGGITY BUCK BUMBLE

Bump to the bump to the bump to the bass,
bump to the bump to the Bumble!
Bump to the bump to the bump to the bass,
bump to the bump to the Bumble!
Bump to the bump to the bump to the bass,
bump to the bump to the Bumble!
Bump to the bump to the bump to the bass,
bump to the bump to the Bumble!

Bump to the bump to the bump to the boom-boom,
Bump to the bump to the bump to the bass-as-as-ase!
Bump to the bump to the bump to the boom-boom,
Bump to the bump to the bump to the bass-as-as-ase!

Itty-bitty bup, itty-bitty bup,
Itty-bitty bup, itty-bitty bup, (Ie shay)
Itty-bitty bup, itty-bitty bup,
Ie shay monda moola dip DIP!

Itty-bitty bup, itty-bitty bup,
Itty-bitty bup, itty-bitty bup, (Ie shay)
Itty-bitty bup, itty-bitty bup,
Ie shay monda moola dip DIP!



DoubleL wrote:
Taiyz wrote:
The Castle Doctrine

Oh yeah! That's definitely on my "To Play" list. The designer Jason Rohrer has made some fantastic little minimalist games that draw heavily from his personal life. The two big ones are Passage and Gravitation, which both deal with issues of balancing artistic and professional ambitions with with enjoyment of life and personal relationships. He also made a nifty little two-player story telling game called Sleep is Death that I've long meant to check out, but haven't yet.

While Passage and Gravitation are free to play on the computer, they are also available on the 3DS as part of a package called "Alt-Play," which also includes a two-player game called "Between." I've only spent a little time with "Between" personally and while interesting, I've yet to really parse it. Anyways, "Alt-Play" cost, like, two bucks or something. It's worth checking out if you're into the whole "fostering an environment wherein games are able to grow as a creative and expressive medium."
It's more just because it's an interesting asynchronous gameplay concept, and something that kind of hearkens back to games where you could create stuff, like imagine if a real person could come and visit your roller coasters of death in Roller Coaster Tycoon. These days Minecraft-style games have taken over that category, not that there's anything wrong with that because we get bizarre gems like Rust occasionally.

To be frank I'm not a fan of the whole indie game scene right now, particularly with all the minimalist and 8-bit-style games.

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:41 am

I had a lot of fun with Riviera: The Promised Land.

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:15 am

Suikoden wrote:
Threads of Fate <3
That's a favorite of Dr. Casey and myself. Rue was so fun to play as!
3:34 onward fer monster forms.

Yep. It's a game with a lot of sentimental appeal, that's closer to my heart than just about any other videogame. A pet peeve of mine has actually always been the many, many randomers out there who act as though Mint's the only good thing about the game. Dirty casuals, gtfo of my Threads of Fate. All the characters in the game are great and worth loving.
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:29 am

Does Eternal Darkness count as obscure? I think it is the closest to an obscure video game that I have played. That game still gives me terrible nightmares when I play it.

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:29 am

Dr. Casey wrote:
Suikoden wrote:
Threads of Fate <3
That's a favorite of Dr. Casey and myself. Rue was so fun to play as!
3:34 onward fer monster forms.

Yep. It's a game with a lot of sentimental appeal, that's closer to my heart than just about any other videogame. A pet peeve of mine has actually always been the many, many randomers out there who act as though Mint's the only good thing about the game. Dirty casuals, gtfo of my Threads of Fate. All the characters in the game are great and worth loving.
The sheer fact that people don't mention more often of the sheer greatness that is Rod and Johnny Wolf is blasphemy. A little appreciation for Ms. Cartha wouldn't hurt either... I mean she DOES give the player room and board fer free.

Damned ingrate casuals!

Yer very existence Dr. Casey, is a calming one on my sanity. Truly.

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:52 am

Fragile Dreams

Best locations in a game.

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:11 pm

Lately I've been playing the shit of this gem



if you liked the combat in Persona games, I highly recomend this title!
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:24 am

warriorangel01 wrote:
I doubt I've played any truly obscure games, especially lately. But anyway, does anyone remember this piece of shit game?



Seriously used to play the shit of this.
I remember this piece of shit, God ... worst hour or two of my life (I gave up quickly and immediately returned it to my old beloved video store).

Oh well, here's my classic love of the n64 I almost forgot.


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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:42 am

WA: would you believe me if I said that kid me was so excited for Glover on Christmas of '98 that I was disappointed to instead receive Zelda OoT? I had never heard of Zelda before and I was super upset that santa couldn't find any copies of Glover at the store. I eventually played it the spring after and loved it for a few weeks until I realized how unfair it could be.


so when i first saw this topic, I was excited to start talking about Rayman before that whole discussion last page, because I was gonna say that I don't particularly consider rayman 'obscure', but more that few people have played it. Specifically, Rayman 1. I fell in love with the game as a kid, because it was one of the first games I ever played on the PC that was cute and colorful. It was ridiculously hard, though. I'm pretty sure I never got further than Band Land when I was a kid. Unfortunately, in the dark ages of PC gaming, games had a tendency to critically fuck up which then entailed sending the disc or floppy back to the developer and all that disgusting junk, and since we never did that, my game is still broken. I did emulate the PS1 version a few years back though just to complete it, and with a lot of patience I finally did beat it.
I think my favorite part of the game was its creativity and expressiveness. The sprites were dang gorgeous and the animations were super fluid and the worlds were really cool and interesting, not to mention it was always funny to see Rayman dancing like a jackass after beating a boss. I don't know what it was about the games past Rayman that really struck me wrong. I guess when I heard that Rayman was getting a sequel, I got really excited, only to see the series take a totally different direction. I hated the art style of Rayman 2, as well as the fact that the characters all now had voices to some extent (what the heck was with rayman's gabbles while the other important characters spoke plain english?).
In retrospect, it's not a totally horrible game, but I could barely stomach it as a kid, and as a result I ended up really disliking all subsequent games in the series (yes, even Legends).


after that silly rant, one game that I really think few know about (unless they were super avid readers of the Unofficial Playstation Magazine circa 2001 like I was) is Mad Maestro:


Yes, it's a game about being a composer. Still one of the best rhythm games imo to this day. You basically play as this composer who has to save a concert hall from being torn down, so stage after stage you recruit fellows to join your orchestra so you can hold a grand concert to save the hall. It's full of really great orchestrations of classical music, and it took advantage of some cool features of the PS2.



That's what the game screen looked like. Basically, you'd have 4 (or 3 if in 3/4 time) balls in the center of the screen, and you'd tap X or any other face button and keep with the time. If you're accurate in your button presses for one whole measure, your score on the left would go up or down. This game really challenged you to be perfectionist, because if you made the tiniest mistake in a measure, you'd get 'Bad', and after just a few consecutive 'Bad's, you could lose the stage pretty quickly, because when the meter goes all the way to the devil, you enter devil mode, and all the scenery starts to turn bleak and it's super distracting from the music. You have to get a perfect measure to get yourself out of devil mode, while in the opposite angel mode, if you make one mistake, you're out.

But you don't have just tempo to worry about. The balls are outlined with a color that indicates how hard to press the face buttons. The PS2 face buttons actually had button sensitivity, which I'm pretty sure few games took advantage of. You would have to tap lightly for blue, at medium strength for green, and super hard for red. The meter on the right would tell you how hard you were pressing the button at that time. There are other cool aspects to the gameplay, like change in tempo, time signature, and stylish held notes (can't remember the musical term right now orz). There's also a free mode where you can conduct songs any way you like, which is fun to do every now and then.

Anyway it's not super long, just about 30-ish stages, but I'm so glad that I played this when I was a kid. It was super interesting to me (who had been in middle school band at the time), though I get not everyone digs classical music, even under the facade of a cute cel-shaded game. But I totally recommend picking it up if it's available and cheap, because the gameplay is super addicting (even if it just sounds like mashing buttons over and over again). Sorry for ranting, but I was really excited to bring up this game since I've never spoken with someone who knew about this game before.
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warriorangel01



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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:20 am

Jazzeh wrote:
WA: would you believe me if I said that kid me was so excited for Glover on Christmas of '98 that I was disappointed to instead receive Zelda OoT? I had never heard of Zelda before and I was super upset that santa couldn't find any copies of Glover at the store. I eventually played it the spring after and loved it for a few weeks until I realized how unfair it could be.
I'd believe it. There was just something about that hand and balls that was exciting to dumb kid me
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:01 am

I seem to play mostly obscure games these days, so I'll list the following that I have enjoyed which I don't believe many people know about and/or have not played:

A Boy and His Blob (wii)
Okage (ps2)
Centipede Infestation (wii)
Aliens Infestation (ds)
Monster Tale (ds)
Threads of Fate (ps)
Sigma Star Saga (gba)
Cursed Mountain (wii)
The Red Star (ps2)
Mobile Light Force 2 (ps2)
Folklore (ps3)
Spyborgs (wii)
etc;

there are many more, but I can't think of them off the top of my head. I'll edit my list if any randomly pop into my head.
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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:43 am

Mobile Light Force 2 is Castle of Shikigami 1, just thought I'd point that out, there are two sequels: one on the PS2 and one on the Wii (also on 360 and PC in Japan.)

Folklore's a game I should probably get when I get a PS3...

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PostSubject: Re: Obscure games you love...   Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:32 pm

Okage was hella cool, I played a demo of it long ago but I never seemed to be able to catch an actual copy of it.
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