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Exhuminator
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Randomly recommend an unknown or underrated game.

by Exhuminator Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:48 pm

I hope this thread can be a reservoir for unknown or underrated games. A place in which folks can randomly drop by to mention games they've enjoyed, which they also believe are under-appreciated. Any game, any system, any year. If you think it's unknown or underrated, put it here!

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I will start with...

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Unsolved Crimes / DS / 2008

Website: http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/Oc ... SNKQSDI3by

Unsolved Crimes was released in 2008, and I think I'm the only person who actually played it. Obviously not really, but it seems that way, given I've never seen anyone talk about it on any gaming forum well, ever. Other than me anyway. Maybe it was the generic cover, maybe the boring name, but for whatever reason it seems like everyone overlooked this game, even adventure game aficionados. Here's a basic description from Wikipedia:

"The game is set in New York City. The player is a rookie detective from the homicide division. There are eight cases in the game, and one larger case divided into sections. In this case, a model named Betsy Blake goes missing. She is the sister of the player's partner, Marcy Blake. The DS offers a variety of things on the touch screen. Memos, evidence, profiles of suspects and movements are done through the touch screen. In almost every case players must answer queries. These are often multiple-choice. If the player answers wrong they lose confidence from their partner. The game is over when Marcy loses trust in them completely, or when all cases are solved."

What did I enjoy about it? That it was a mature, reality-grounded detective story that starred a strong female protagonist. The cases were interesting, the queries fun, and the game's atmosphere remained consistent. Environments are 3D and interesting to explore, and the plot ends on a great twist that draws the protagonist into things on a personal level. Also the puzzles often utilized the DS stylus in creative and intuitive ways.

Screenshot gallery:
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If you enjoy adventure games and own a DS/3DS, give Unsolved Crimes a chance. It's more believable and mature than Phoenix Wright or Professor Layton, falling closer in line with Hotel Dusk (though much darker than Kyle Hyde's own experience). And while Unsolved Crimes isn't as polished as the games I just mentioned, it was certainly entertaining enough that I finished it quickly, and still have fond memories of playing it back in 2009.

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Anyone else care to recommend an unknown or underrated game?

(EDIT: Added "unknown" to the quantifying concept.)
Last edited by Exhuminator on Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Randomly recommend an underrated game.

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:38 pm

Great review. I will add it to my want list and be on the look out for it.

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For platforming fans, I would like to recommend:

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It is an incredibly satisfying platformer with perfectly designed levels, great art direction, an irreverant sense of humor, and a phenomenal soundtrack. It is easily one of the best games I have played this year, but despite great critical response, being available on multiple platforms, and being released over two years ago, you read very little about it online. (I only discovered it because its sequel was on sale in the Nintendo eShop.)
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Re: Randomly recommend an underrated game.

by Anapan Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:52 pm

Whomp 'Em for the NES
Very Mega Man-like, it's got a stage select, and you gain the weapons of the bosses when you defeat them. The graphics are beautiful, the control is tight, and the weapons are useful to get through the stages. The challenge is a little on the easy-side, but that does not detract from the gameplay much. The bosses can be difficult.
If not for the horrible music, this would be one of the best NES platformers ever.
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Re: Randomly recommend an underrated game.

by Sarge Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:29 pm

So I always seem to link to Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled, even though it's clearly flawed. It's also a way for me to be lazy, because I've already written about it. :)

http://www.gamespite.net/toastywiki/ind ... BlackSigil

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(Apostrophes are goofed on the page. Sorry, nothing I can do on my end.)
Last edited by Sarge on Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Randomly recommend an underrated game.

by marurun Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:41 pm

Keith Courage. Sure, it's not a great game, but it is functional and at times fun. The music is interesting in places and some of the graphics are pretty good. NOT a good choice for system-launch pack-in, but not a bad game. Would probably not be so roundly reviled had it not been the pack-in.
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Re: Randomly recommend an underrated game.

by Soldier Blue Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:57 pm

Sonic 3d Blast (Saturn)

Sonic Heroes (Gamecube)

Both really great games and have an excellent soundtrack.
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Re: Randomly recommend an underrated game.

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:36 pm

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The 7th Saga (SNES)
Reviews and opinions of this one are all over the place. Ack and I happen to enjoy it, so you should too.

The game provides many twists on the traditional turn-based JRPG formula. You choose to play as one of seven different characters ("apprentices"), each with different stats and abilities. The objective is collect seven runes, which have been scattered around the world. However, the characters you didn't choose to play as are doing the same. Eventually you'll have the option of hooking up with one compatriot (totally optional) and you'll be forced to do battle against a couple of apprentices as well.

The design of the game world is unique. It's melancholy and atmospheric, similar to the environments later found in From Software's output. Music is low-key and soothing. The world is large and the game takes a surprisingly long time to complete, especially for a 4th gen title.

Oh, and The 7th Saga is notoriously difficult. Grinding is a must and since only one (or two) characters are ever present in a party, Game Over can occur quite easily. It's also mandatory to "defend" several times during each battle, something of a rarity in JRPGs.

The price on this one remains relatively "low." Check it out if you have any interest in classic JRPGs. Always interested to hear what people have to say about this one.
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Re: Randomly recommend an underrated game.

by Xeogred Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:20 am

First, some majestic Hitoshi Sakimoto SNES BGM.

Now... the truth about Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (SNES, PSX, PSP)

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It destroys Final Fantasy Tactics.

- Sprite mastery. The game is drop dead gorgeous pushing the SNES to the limits.
- Branching storyline paths that completely change certain stages, character relations/recruits, and the story. There are three distinct paths giving it a lot of replayability.
- No special named units break the game, unlike any and all in FFT.
- FFT constantly limits you to 3-5 units per battle. In TO, you basically have access to a selection of 10 units per battle across the entire game. I love when SRPG's really make me feel like I've got an army at my command.
- FFT dips majorly towards the final stretch to me and ends on a sour note. But TO stays in a more grounded zone throughout its story and consistently delivers a darker and more compelling story. Way ahead of its time.

The bad, is that Tactics Ogre LuCT IS flat out, the hardest JRPG I have ever played in my life. This game is the epitome of relentless brutality. It is the only SRPG where I literally felt forced to sacrifice units and press onwards, and it was up to 10 characters when I finished the game. In every other SRPG I've played before, I can usually retry a battle and get by, but this game was so damn hard those sacrifices were necessary. This is even with save state abuse which I resorted to, and have not done that in years and try not too. That said, I loved it, and stuck around for some bonus dungeon near the end, got upwards to 60 some hours I think which is massive for an SNES game, and I basically feel like I've done it all after completeing this beast of a game. That's not to say difficulty = better, but yeah. Just about everything else it does, I think does so much better than FFT, which gets too much spotlight compared to other great SRPG's.

The PSP version is mechanically very different, even with its systems and how the game works. So it's a very different experience. Still extremely hard on its own, but not to the level of the SNES/PSX versions.

Each version has its own OST and they all rock, but I'd say Sakimoto on the SNES was a match made in heaven.

Sadly, the USA did not get the SNES release, so that might be why it's a bit obscure. Fans basically dumped the PSX text into a rom though. The SNES version is a tad superior to the PSX one because it doesn't have weird lag/stuttering during magic attacks, otherwise I think they're completely identical outside of the OST differences. The PSX version is on the PSN store.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Randomly recommend an unknown or underrated game.

by Exhuminator Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:57 am

Great recommendations from all so far. :D

I've got Tactics Ogre for PSP and I fully plan to play it next year. I understand the difficulty was altered, but some say it's harder due to how many more units are on the field. Some say it's easier too because of new features.

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Drill Dozer | Game Boy Advance | 2006 (USA)

Here's one that flew under a lot of radars. A fantastic GBA platformer that I honestly believe is the best in its genre on the system. This game was made by Game Freak because they wanted to prove they could make something besides just Pokemon I suppose. And Game Freak did a fantastic job here. Some blurbs from its Wikipedia page:

"Drill Dozer is an action platformer video game for the Game Boy Advance system, released in 2005 in Japan, and in 2006 in North America. It features a built-in rumble pak.The player plays as Jill. She is the daughter of Doug, the leader of a bandit gang known as The Red Dozers. Doug was ambushed by a rival gang known as the Skullkers. They attacked the Red Dozers to steal the powerful Red Diamond, a gift from Jill's dead mother. To retrieve it, Jill mounts the powerful vehicle, the Drill Dozer. All seventeen massive stages are flooded with enemies, obstacles, and puzzles which force Jill to use Drill Dozer's drill in a wide variety of ways. The drill is activated by simply pushing one of the shoulder buttons. The R button spins the drill forward and the L button spins it backwards."

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Sounds simple doesn't it? Being a pink haired girl riding around in a drill tank drillin' stuff? But oh man oh man, the incredible level of imagination and cleverness this game builds around just tankin' and drillin' will impress you. The tank you see is upgradeable, and new drill powers means new game features. And you'll need them to get through all the stages, time trials, puzzles, and bosses.

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Drill Dozer has excellent 2D graphics, a perky OST, an entertaining plot and characters, great controls, and a challenging difficulty curve. It's also a very humorous game that will likely make you get giggle spittle on your GBA screen. Maybe this game didn't sell because it was released too late in the GBA's life cycle, or maybe it didn't sell because people are afraid of weird new things. But you're not, are you? Why haven't you played Drill Dozer yet then? Do you hate fun? Do you hate little girls with pink hair with an affinity for pointy objects? Do you think the GBA's library is nothing but crap? No? Then prove it! Play this awesome platformer pronto, or just go drill yourself sucka!
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Re: Randomly recommend an unknown or underrated game.

by ninjainspandex Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:42 am

Banishing Racer on the original gameboy, dammit if only I could find a copy for a decent price

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