Every now and again, you get a gem, that goes unnoticed despite its best efforts, whether it’s due to it using unconventional and innovative mechanics that people don’t get or it gets swept aside by larger Triple A giants that eat all form of competition.
This list is a praise to those gems.
With the new generation of consoles and gaming around the corner, We look at games of the current Gen that while really good, sold terribly and didn’t get the attention they deserved and maybe it can inspire some of you to go out and give copies of these games a well deserved home.
These are the top 5 most underrated games of the Generation:
5: Resonance of Fate
Resonance of Fate has so far sported my all time favourite Battle system for any JRPG this generation.
What makes this game so good was its acrobatic gun-play battle system which made use of an interesting mixture of real-time and turn-based systems in order to create a system in which the goal to victory is to keep your characters on the move and to use a risk-reward system in which special moves consume “Bezels” however using all of these items left your characters panicked and weak.
The Game had a very interesting story, following three characters, zephy, washyron and Leanne as they try to make a living in the tower of Basel as Mercenaries.
Resonance of Fate takes place in the distant future where Earth has undergone a drastic change in the environment. For reasons unknown, poisonous layers of gases permeated the land, causing cancer, which resulted in near extinction for mankind due to humanity’s inability to adapt to the new changes. The remaining humans built a gigantic device called Basel, an environment purifier buried deep in the ground, which cleanses the air in the surrounding land; it was called the Zenith System. Civilization began to reform around Basel itself, building a city around the tower. In order to overcome the cancer, human lives were tied to quartz and linked to the Zenith system, making them immune to disease and mutation, but requiring them to remain in the city, and giving them a set shelf-life.
Civilization gradually began to grow around Basel, with people eventually moving inside the machine itself and building up the core, raising it high above the planet’s surface. As centuries went on, people built levels around the core and established various towns, cities, and even theme parks and landmarks for the survivors to enjoy themselves. However, Basel has now existed so long that people have forgotten why they live there, or that there is even a world outside Basel. The Cardinals, who are the political/religious leaders that foster a worship of Basel and its machinery, built their luxurious mansions in the uppermost layers of Basel, in the monster-free “Chandelier”, while the lower classes reside among the many districts built around the base and stem of the tower.
The only downside to this game was that despite having a really good story, it is told in an extremely inconsistent and vague manner, leaving you consistently consulting the wiki for answers.
Also the game is known for being very difficult at times.
Still if an acrobatically amazing to watch and fun to play Battle system is what you’re after then definitely give Resonance of Fate a try.
Game Sales: 0.95 Million.
This game was an innovation in the stale 3rd-person Cover Shooter Genre.
Vanquish used cover like the Pope uses twitter: You use it rarely and when you do use it often your mot likely playing the game wrong. Cover in Vanquish was used simply to catch your breath for a second and let your mind catch-up to the intense action that just happened in front of you. Cover just let’s you process the fact that you just rocket-propelled yourself across the battlefield, initiated Slow-mo, shot homing missiles out of the air, jumped a wall and shot everyone on the way back down to the ground.
Vanquish takes place in the near future where Earth’s human population has grown so rapidly that nations are fighting for the scarce remaining resources. The United States of America has attempted to alleviate its energy problems by launching an O’Neill Cylinder space station harboring a solar energy-driven generator to provide them with an alternative source of energy. However, the government of the Russian Federation has been overthrown in a coup d’état by ultra-nationalist forces calling themselves the Order of the Russian Star. Russian forces capture the space station and divert its harvested solar energy into a blast wave that devastates San Francisco. The main antagonist, Victor Zaitsev, demands that the American government surrender or he will choose New York City as his next target.
The President of the United States of America, Elizabeth Winters, takes Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Burns, a decorated war veteran, and puts him in charge of a newly-commissioned task force called Bravo Company. This team consists of several space-faring special forces, veteran Marines, and the remnants of the defending U.S. forces on board the space station. She also gives them the game’s protagonist and playable character, Sam Gideon Sam is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency researcher equipped with an Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS), a cutting-edge mechanical suit outfitted with a vast array of functions, including jet boosters attached to both arms and legs. He is armed with an experimental Battlefield Logic Adaptable Electronic Weapons System (BLADE), which is capable of scanning any existing weapon and then transforming into a perfect replica. Its ability to store three scans at a time means that at any given time the BLADE can shape shift between three different weapons.
This mission gives DARPA the perfect chance to test the ARS. The President and the Secretary of Defense give Sam classified orders to rescue a scientist named Dr. Francois Candide, who was working on-site when the station was attacked. The doctor has decided to take matters into his own hands and is trying to disable the array before it can be used to attack another city.
The main flaw of the game was its length playing at about 6 hours or less on an average play-through which turned off a lot of potential customers, however, considering the arcade-like score based system of the game, the game was meant to be played more than once to improve your scores.
Also the voice work was terribly cheesy.
Game Sales: 0.91 Million.
3: Metro 2033
Based of the Russian book of the same name, Metro 2033 was an amazing and intriguing, if not slightly buggy, post-apocalyptic horror game taking on us on a brilliantly refined linear-experience through the Russian Metro system: The last Bastion for humanity.
in late 2013, a nuclear war occurred. Russia was targeted with atomic bombs, causing severe radiation across Moscow, forcing the rest of the people to live underground in the metro stations away from the deadly effects of radiation. Many animals and humans left behind mutated into creatures known as the Dark Ones, who were left outside for the next 20 years.
In 2033, Artyom, a 20-year-old male survivor and one of the first-born in the metro, learns from an elite soldier and mutant hunter, or Ranger, named Hunter that a group of mysterious creatures referred to as the Dark Ones are threatening his home station, VDNKh, in the Metro. Hunter gives Artyom his dog tags and tells him if he does not come back, he must go to Polis and present these to see if they will help his station.
The game gave a thrilling and satisfying post-apocalyptic experience with innovations such as, Home-made guns, Using military grade bullets as currency giving you the choice of using the more powerful ammunition in battle or in bartering, very realistic stealth sections and horrific moments of terror alone in the Metro with mutated creatures breathing down your neck.
The only thing that hindered this game was an enormous amount of bugs, some, even though they were rare, were game-breaking.
However, with new patches released, most of these issues have been sorted and that shouldn’t deter you from an awesome experience.
Game Sales: 0.69 Million.
2: No More Heroes
I have to be honest when I admit that No More Heroes is my favourite new IP of this Generation.
The game play may have not been amazing and it was slightly repetitive but the characters and story introduced in this game and it’s sequel, No more Heroes: Desperate Struggle, are some of my favourite ever. Whether it’s a corrupt cop with Golden revolvers, a disembodied brain attached to an earthquake-generator and even an old astronaut with Alzheimer disease, the bosses on this game are the most charismatic and fun characters I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in a game.
Also let’s not forget Otaku protagonist wanna-be assassin Travis Touchdown, whose entire character is a satire on the average gamer.
The story follows Travis Touchdown, who is a stereotypical otaku – his motel room decorated with professional wrestling and anime collectibles – living in near poverty in the No More Heroes motel of the fictional town of Santa Destroy, California. After winning a beam katana in an internet auction, he runs out of money to buy video games and wrestling videos. After meeting with Sylvia Christel, he accepts a job to kill Helter Skelter, also known as “the Drifter,” which earns him rank 11 by the United Assassins Association, a governing body of assassins. Realizing that he has the opportunity to make it to the top, he sets out to secure himself the coveted position of number one hitman in the UAA.
After killing the tenth ranked assassin, Sylvia reveals that if Travis stops killing, he’ll eventually be targeted by other aspiring assassins. Travis, now convinced there’s no way out, goes on to kill every other assassin.
The game didn’t sell well mostly due to it’s slightly repetitive Gameplay and niggling little flaws such as a mostly deserted open world map. The extremely out of the box story was also something that many people either disliked or simply didn’t understand which is why the game became known as a cult classic with many, such as myself, loving the game for its morbid silliness.
No More heroes: 0.53 Million
No More heroes desperate Struggle: 0.37 Million
1: Shadows of the Damned
I loved this game. I have every single achievement for this game which took at least 4 play-throughs. Unfortunately, not many people can share in my joy for this crazy trip through hell, as this game has the worst sells compared to any other game on this list.
The game follows Demon hunter Garcia Hotspur who comes home to find his girlfriend, Paula, being abducted by the Lord of Demons, Fleming, who brags that he will take Paula with him to kill her again and again. Garcia is powerless to stop Fleming, but instead follows him back to the underworld along with his demon sidekick, Johnson, who also acts as his gun, torch and motorcycle. In the demon world, Johnson helps guide Garcia through the twisted nature of the demon realm, defeating numerous enemies that try to feed on Garcia’s flesh, and keeping him away from the darkness that destroys the human flesh.
I loved everything about this game, the wacky yet morbid portrayal of hell, the black humour, The Protagonist: Garcia “Fucking” Hotspur (Yes, that’s his real middle name apparently) and best of all the hundreds of dick jokes that are made in the game. Seriously he has a demon named Johnson, that turns into a gun that shoots bones called the “boner”… the stuff just writes itself.
Unfortunately the game sold terribly as it did have many flaws. It played like the game came out in 2004 and it felt very unpolished. The boss battles were also extremely boring and a completely missed opportunity.
However, despite the flaws the game has a massive cult following and if the idea of “Resident evil 4 on crack” sounds appealing to you, you should pick this game up out of the bargain bin and have one of the most craziest trips you could ever imagine.
Game Sales: 0.36 Million