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ZRofel
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Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by ZRofel Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:04 pm

What are some unsung, weird, or bad games whose praises you can't help but sing to others? These can be good games that have slipped under the radar for whatever reason (the so called "hidden gems") or games that you admit are genuinely bad that you still love and try to share with others. The important thing is that they be games you have actively tried to promote, whether it be online or in person.

For me, I've got a couple:

Vice: Project Doom, (NES) - I think at this point, most folks involved with the retro gaming hobby admit this is a good game, as it does tend to always crop up on "Hidden Gems" lists. But I think this is actually one of the best games on the system. The platforming is excellent, the art design totally nails that late-80s/early-90s anime style, the music is solid, and everything just comes together to form a really solid package. And perhaps the highest praise is that, like a number of other NES games, it dabbles in different genres, with a few stages being shooting galleries and a few others being essentially shmups, but unlike those other games, in Vice: Project Doom it works out really well. The shooting gallery and shmup stages make sense in the plot and, more importantly, they actually play pretty well. Vice: Project Doom often gets brought up alongside the likes of Ninja Gaiden, as it's also an early example of a more cinematic platformer. But I'll be honest, I think it's actually better than any of those three games.

The Surge, (Xbox One, PS4, PC) - This is another one that seems like it's building up a reputation as something of a hidden gem, but I think it's a genuinely great game. In short, it's the closest I've seen a game get to capturing that "Dark Souls" feel without being made by From Software. But it's also definitely it's own thing. I absolutely love the setting, which is basically "Dark Souls set in Silicon Valley", and its combat is much more focused on 1-on-1 dueling, which was always my favorite part of the Souls games. The equipment upgrading system, where you're basically harvesting parts of your enemies bodies during combat, isn't quite as elegant as the leveling system in Dark Souls, but I appreciate that it does something unique that absolutely works. I haven't played the sequel yet, but I've heard that its even better than the first. If folks like the Souls series, but more specifically Bloodborne, I always tell them they should play this too.

Deadfall, (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) - This one is definitely a little rough around the edges. Some of the voice acting and the animation absolutely speak to it being a budget game, but I genuinely had more fun playing this than plenty of AAA titles. In fact, I actually think it's a better knock-off of Indiana Jones than the Uncharted games. The shooting always felt solid, the story was pleasantly schlocky, and it actually had some pretty cool boss fights, something that is absolutely a rarity with first-person shooters. This is one of those games that I expected to be total garbage, but after playing it I was genuinely confused where all the negativity was coming from. Outside of one kind of awkward (and thankfully brief) section avoiding traps, I really, really enjoyed all the time I've spent with this game. I definitely think it should rank up there with other quality B-shooters of the era.

Devil's Third, (Wii U) - Okay, yeah, I admit, this is a bad game. But it's just so delightfully weird that I can't help but love it. It feels like what you'd get if Hideo Kojima and SWERY teamed up to make a videogame out of the film XXX. The combat, especially the shooting, is definitely not up to snuff, but the plot just takes so many bizarre twists and turns, and the dialog is absolutely ridiculous. And it does have some genuinely cool set pieces. This is one where I feel like it is 100% worth slogging through the mediocre gameplay (it's really not awful, it's just not great) just to see where things are going. It's an experience :P
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by noiseredux Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:28 pm

A Nightmare On Elm Street is legitimately one of my favorite NES games of all time. Not in a so-bad-it's-good way. I actually think it's a way better game than people realize because they give up on it too quickly. The music is amazing, the fact that every level has two versions (dream and awake versions), the switching between characters to utilize different jumps and weapons, and the fact that it has 4-player co-op are all selling points.
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Ack
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by Ack Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:04 pm

Do you really need an essay on why you aren't good enough for WeaponLord?
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ZRofel
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by ZRofel Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:08 pm

Ack wrote:Do you really need an essay on why you aren't good enough for WeaponLord?


Yes.
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aaron
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by aaron Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:15 pm

I'm a huge Saturn fan, so, yeah. I do this a lot.

Y'all played Robo Pit?!
Steam / PSN / Twitter: aaronjohnmiller
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Ack
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by Ack Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:20 pm

Imagine, if you will, the pulsing throb of a groaning 16-bit soundtrack which demands blood and action. The arena is set in hues of black sky and stone, red blood and fire, the yellowing weathered bones of the dead piled about your feet. Your opponent: muscular, armed, with a sneer that speaks to how little they think of you.

The round begins. If a blood-hungry mob were there, they'd be cheering as your opponent makes the first move...and launches into a massive combo that results not only in your weapon knocked away but your body wracked and broken, your pitiful sobs for your mother forming a duet with the squishing of your internal organs.

You are weak. You are a worm, and worms in the arena are only good for wetting furious blades and staining the floor. Trial by combat in WeaponLord is to endure a grueling and heinous string of battles against the fiercest of opponents, all of which will be certain to gut you for the little fleeting glory your death will bring. Repeatedly.

WeaponLord is a game only for the hearty, and when I look at all of you, I see only the weak and pathetic. Do you dare attempt to win respect by climbing your way through a thousand humiliations in combat?

No, I didn't think so. Most of you will just sit back and cry, "It's too hard. It sucks. I'm too weak to seek the slayer within me and slake my bloodlust in the arena."

But for those of you who do best WeaponLord and mount its skull to your wall, honor and glory are yours, fellow champion.
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PretentiousHipster
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by PretentiousHipster Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:38 pm

I did videos of them so won't really expand on them here. Go to my review thread to see them.

Angel Devoid: Face of the Enemy is a terrible FMV game that I realized is amazing because of how bad it is. The gameplay is a lot better than Burn Cycle too so it made it more than a tolerable experience.

Nightmare Ned is based off of a cancelled Disney show that they disowned. Only way to watch it is a TV rip recorded on VHS and put on YouTube. The game has some bad event triggering but is absolutely fascinating with how odd it is. Not to mention it has some of the best graphics I have ever seen in a game.

Gadget: Invention, Travel, and Adventure is a linear point and click adventure known for its avant garde plot. Absolutely engaging, and fun to see the comparison between the original and the remake. Maybe my all time favourite game.

Obsidian is Myst if it was surreal and a million times better.

Phantasmagoria 2 would be so famous if it was a so bad it's good film instead.
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Note
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by Note Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:45 pm

Ack wrote:But for those of you who do best WeaponLord and mount its skull to your wall, honor and glory are yours, fellow champion.


I've wanted to try WeaponLord for a while. Do you have a preference between the SNES or Genesis version, Ack?
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by Note Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:34 pm

One of my favorite games that I don't hear mentioned much that I try to promote ...

Shining Force 2

This is probably my favorite RPG in general. I think Camelot did a great job with the battle system, graphics, story, character design, item management, and music.

The battle system is easy to pick up and learn and this is a good game as a starting point for strategy RPGs. Later in the game there are battles that can be complex where you need to plan a bit, but the battles never get too cumbersome. There are also battles with certain gimmicks or terrain issues that break up the monotony throughout the game. The battles are forgiving in a sense too, since there are no permanent deaths. And with the main character having an escape spell, you can always escape and retry a battle to grind.

The headshot illustrations of each character are well done along with the look of the characters in the battle cutscenes. The battle cutscenes are very impressive for the 16-bit generation, with large sprites of your character along with a detailed sprite of the enemy. It was always interesting to see what the characters would appear like once the screen cut from the battle grid to the in the battle cutscene. Later on when it's time to promote characters, it was cool to see how they would look in their new class. The background drops in the battle scenes are well done too, and even in the same battle, the different terrains on the field would produce a different backdrop.

The music is great in this game. The composer Motoaki Takenouchi did an amazing job with the soundtrack. The game has a more upbeat score than most RPGs, but I think it fits the game and settings throughout the story very well. There are instances of somber or darker tunes during certain plot twists, and it makes those moments hit even harder.

For any RPG fans that didn't give Shining Force 2 on the Genesis a chance, check this one out!
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Ack
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Re: Game evangelism: Unsung, weird, or bad games you promote

by Ack Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:43 am

Note wrote:
Ack wrote:But for those of you who do best WeaponLord and mount its skull to your wall, honor and glory are yours, fellow champion.


I've wanted to try WeaponLord for a while. Do you have a preference between the SNES or Genesis version, Ack?

I favor the SNES version. The music for the Genesis release sounds watered down in comparison, and while it's a dark game, the Genesis release looks somehow drab compared to the SNES release.

That said, I'm also heavily biased towards the SNES in general, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
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