Hello fellow gamers! As a warning, this will be a long post. Today we’re going to be taking a look at a few games over the years that have gone unnoticed that deserve to be played for various reasons.
First up, we have a game called Dark Void. This game came out on the Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2010. You play as Will, a cargo pilot pre-WWII played by Nolan North, better known for his role as Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series on PlayStation. He is flying over the Bermuda Triangle, and ends up going through a portal to a different world ruled by an alien race. Dark void uses a unique vertical cover system, as well as your standard cover system, and has a very Gears of War feel while in combat, although it’s story remains unique. It’s a game that you will beat and may forget ever existed, but is worth the few dollars you’ll pay for it.
Next up we have Indigo Prophecy, or as the European gaming community knows it as Fahrenheit. This game was brought to you by Quantic Dream, the company behind Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and the upcoming Detroit: Become Human. Indigo Prophecy was released on the PS2 and the original Xbox. You play as a few different people. You start as a man, Lucas Kane, who, as a part of a Mayan prophecy, was chosen to be “possessed” in a way, and commits a murder unwillingly. Upon realizing what he’s done, you then have a limited amount of time to clean up the bathroom and hide the murder weapon and the body before the police show up. You then play the detectives that are trying to catch him. That may seem redundant, but you don’t actually watch him hide the weapon, so they still leave a bit of mystery.
You switch back and forth between the characters, and you have to keep track of their mental state as well. If it gets too low, they can get depressed and end up killing themselves. Things get stranger and stranger as the game progresses, with the introduction of the Indigo Child, the fact that Lucas starts seeing things then starts gaining supernatural abilities and the introduction of the rival clans that are after the Indigo Child. As the game progresses, you have certain options and choices which lead to one of three endings. The controls can be a bit strange, but are worth getting used to.
Then there is the Shenmue series. Many people have heard of Shenmue thanks to this years’ E3 where Yu Suzuki, series creator, announced that Shenmue 3 was officially on Kickstarter. Shenmue has been around since the Sega Dreamcast, and remains, to this day, one of the most expensive games ever made. Shenmue has very poor voice acting, and the controls can be cumbersome, but that is part of what makes it unique and loveable. The story is very well written, and the combat is fantastic. The more you train, the better you get personally, and you get to watch Ryo Hazuki develop his skills and become stronger.
One of the reasons Shenmue gained such a cult following was, in fact, the voice acting. Nobody else could ever play Ryo Hazuki, and the bad voice acting just makes the memory even stronger. Shenmue is the game that pioneered the QTE system. It places it during certain moments that require quick reactions and fast thinking. General combat is free-flow, but when not knowing what to expect, you need to act fast.
You can pick up a Dreamcast w/ cords, controller and a VMU and a working copy of Shenmue for about $73. The sequel is on the Xbox and is backwards compatible on the Xbox 360.
Bethesda, the people who brought you Elder Scrolls, Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 published a hidden gem on the original Xbox. Back in October of 2005, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth hit the shelves.This is a horror-survival, first person shooter with heavy psychological elements at play. It is a reimagining of H.P. Lovecraft’s Shadow Over Innsmouth as well as other stories. Set in 1922, primarily, it follows Jack Walters, a private investigator who comes into contact with members of the Great Race of Yith. Over time, Jack becomes more and more involved, unwittingly, against the Esoteric Order of Dagon.
Jack’s sanity plays a huge factor in the gameplay, being that if he loses sanity by certain encounters, he can, and will end up killing himself with whatever he has available at the time. Jack can also get injured to where you will need to heal him, including broken bones, cuts, poison, etc.
The company behind the development of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has 3 more games planned, and ended up going bankrupt before any more were developed. Dark Corners is also backwards compatible on the Xbox 360.
Let’s talk a little bit about Onigiri. Yes, that’s the name for a rice ball in Japan, no I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the Japanese MMORPG Onigiri that was released on consoles earlier this year. Onigiri, upon playing, is very clearly a PC game ported over. You have to deal with some aggravating cursor movements and scrolling, but once you get used to the controls in the game, it actually gets pretty fun. It’s your standard open world, run around and fight things while doing quests and clearing caves MMO, but there is something about it that just draws you in, to where you end up spending hours doing almost nothing.
I’m not 100% sure what the actual story of Onigiri is other than you are an Oni and you are trying to help a princess. Now, this isn’t an MMO in the typical sense, meaning you CAN play in Multiplayer mode, or you can play the entire game in Single Player mode. The biggest difference is in Single Player mode, you get followers to help you in combat. In Multiplayer, you don’t get followers, but you can have your group of friends (or strangers) helping you out.
All of the vocals are in Japanese, but it has English subtitles and the standard dialogue boxes. Onigiri is free-to-play on the Xbox One and PS4 as well. It is definitely worth a try, especially if your a fan of anything Japanese, Oni, or MMOs.
Neverwinter is another MMO that is currently on the Xbox One and Windows, but is planned for a PS4 release next year. Neverwinter is a standalone game and not part of the previous Neverwinter Nights series and takes place centered around the Protector’s Enclave, the central hub/market of the City of Neverwinter, run by Lord Neverember. It is part of the Forgotten Realms world in D&D. Neverwinter is free-to-play, and feels very much like your standard MMO as well as your standard D&D campaign. Controls take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, the hard part is figuring out which abilities to keep equipped.
There aren’t zones in which there are hundreds of people. This is a very heavy story-based game, in which you don’t really have to worry about fighting for spawns.
Like any MMO, you can play the bulk of it solo, but certain dungeons and quests may require more people. That being said, it’s never hard to find people for a group. I have not had a chance to play around with the guild system because you need a full party to start one, but I AM looking to start one, so if you guys see a Meriadoc Brandybuck running around, I’m a Halfling Trickster Rogue, hit me up. I’m not shy!
Last up, we have two games in one. Let’s start it with Warframe. Warframe, once again, is an MMO-style game set in the distant future. It’s only semi-open world and does follow a story. You never have to worry about running into other players unless you go to the central hub/market relays or you have them in your party, which max’s out at 4 players. That being said, you can also start your own clan by yourself, with friends or join a clan.
Your clan hall starts out with just the basic room, and you need to build everything yourself. Clan members can help and donate materials and credits. Most everything requires a material called Forma, which is very rare, and to by in the store, is very expensive. To buy it, you need a premium currency called Platinum, which you can only buy through micro-transactions, or trade what are called “prime parts” to other players for it.
The gameplay is third person and very hack&slash mixed with shoot-em-up. There is a running gag called “Press X to Ninja”, which is the PS4’s take for Warframe on the meme “Press B to Jump” With the new movement system they have implemented in October, You really do just need to press the button to Ninja.
In Warframe, you are what they call a Tenno, using your suit, called a Warframe. The Tenno are operatives of the Lotus, and organization that is trying to bring peace and order back to the galaxy. The First Tenno, according to the Lotus, dates back to the days when Earth was abundant with human life. This is a tie-in to Digital Extremes’ Xbox 360 launch title of Dark Sector, in which you play as a CIA operative names Hayden Tenno. He gets infected with a virus, that turns his body into what is essentially a Warframe.
Warframe is the great, unnoticed, free-to-play spiritual successor to Dark Sector, a great game that got unnoticed in the last console generation. Warframe is available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.