Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

(Gaming discussion not related to Shenmue)

Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby Vyse Hazuky » Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:33 pm

The previous console generations all had a slew of "hidden gems", games that usually have modest sales that are either loved by the critics and hated by the public or vice-versa, that are usually not perfect but bring forward something new and original to the table, later evolving into another trope of the industry: the "cult classic". Shenmue of course is an obvious example.

Ive missed a lot of this generation. Coming in recently though I'm surprised to see a lot of love for these "cult classics". We're seeing re-releases of games like Okami and Rez (& Shenmue), the revival of series like MonsterBoy, Torment and Beyond Good & Evil (& Shenmue) and even Yakuza and Earth Defense Force are in the Playstation Hits line in the West. I think this is great, and probably a case of a critical mass of hardcore gamers that has been building up since the 90s, which now represents big business and can justify the investment.

However... where are the hidden gems of this generation? I see a lot of indie games but these have a tendency to look and feel quite similar between themselves as they adhere strongly to the "retro-inspired" trope. I haven't been able to otherwise identify too many, especially made in Japan games, and my "shopping list" right now has only two: Polybius and Dangerous Golf (none of which are japanese of course). I would definitely add Hollow Knight to that list as well, which I already have. Which others can you recommend? What am I missing?
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby MiTT3NZ » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:40 pm

Well it kinda depends on what you consider a hidden gem to be. Does it have to be indie? Sales figures that fail to break the one million barrier? A game that wasn't released by a AAA publisher?

There's plenty I could tell a few of my mates about that they'd end up loving despite never hearing of it, yet people on here or my game design course might be more than familiar with it.

And it goes the other way round in some cases too. There could be a very popular game that you have heard of and decided against because you reckon it's not to your tastes, but you'd potentially end up falling in love with.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby sand4fish » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:40 am

Vyse Hazuky wrote: However... where are the hidden gems of this generation? I see a lot of indie games but these have a tendency to look and feel quite similar between themselves as they adhere strongly to the "retro-inspired" trope. I haven't been able to otherwise identify too many, especially made in Japan games, and my "shopping list" right now has only two: Polybius and Dangerous Golf (none of which are japanese of course). I would definitely add Hollow Knight to that list as well, which I already have. Which others can you recommend? What am I missing?


Yeah, not sure what exactly criteria you are using but there are plenty either way... I've only completed a very few of these titles as for most of them I've only played to a certain extent, but I'm very confident they are gems: Planetary Annihilation (RTS and one of the best ever), Divinity Origin Sin 1 & 2 (probably the most faithful representation of pen and paper RPGs), Talos Principle (puzzle adventure not unlike the Portal series, but way better IMO). Rust (online survival FPS... you will not see the brilliance of this game with just a few hours of gameplay) and Wonderful 101 (such an underrated PlatinumGames title. Most see it as just an action brawler, but this game is more akin to a fighting game in its mechanics if you know what you are doing. Play Vanquish too while you are at it if you haven't).

If the budget must be rubbish like most in the indie scene and it has to be Japanese, then try this mobile shmup made by an ex-Cave employee, Aka to Blue. Though not Japanese, I also recommend Pathologic and Factorio.

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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby Vyse Hazuky » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:59 am

I think "underrated" is what I meant. Although I remember a few years back there were a lot of "favourite hidden gems from X gen" topics.

Thanks for the recommendations, and keep them coming
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby Henry Spencer » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:56 pm

Vyse Hazuky wrote: The previous console generations all had a slew of "hidden gems", games that usually have modest sales that are either loved by the critics and hated by the public or vice-versa, that are usually not perfect but bring forward something new and original to the table, later evolving into another trope of the industry: the "cult classic". Shenmue of course is an obvious example.

Ive missed a lot of this generation. Coming in recently though I'm surprised to see a lot of love for these "cult classics". We're seeing re-releases of games like Okami and Rez (& Shenmue), the revival of series like MonsterBoy, Torment and Beyond Good & Evil (& Shenmue) and even Yakuza and Earth Defense Force are in the Playstation Hits line in the West. I think this is great, and probably a case of a critical mass of hardcore gamers that has been building up since the 90s, which now represents big business and can justify the investment.

However... where are the hidden gems of this generation? I see a lot of indie games but these have a tendency to look and feel quite similar between themselves as they adhere strongly to the "retro-inspired" trope. I haven't been able to otherwise identify too many, especially made in Japan games, and my "shopping list" right now has only two: Polybius and Dangerous Golf (none of which are japanese of course). I would definitely add Hollow Knight to that list as well, which I already have. Which others can you recommend? What am I missing?


For me those kind of games are on the Vita and 3DS.

Games like Lost Dimension for fans of hybrid RPGs (mixture of SRPG and Action, with a retro-futuristic art style), Mercenaries Saga Trilogy (also on Switch) if you're into SRPGs like Tactics Ogre/FFT, Soul Hackers if you like cyberpunk JRPGs, Azure Gunvolt if you like side scrolling action, Grand Kingdom (which is also on PS4) if you like board games, SRPGs and tactical action combat.

There's also what Bethesda have been putting out like The Evil Within 1 & 2 (which are different attempts of creating modern survival horror), Prey and Dishonored 2 which all have cult audiences and are fantastic games in their own right.

Then there's the recently released Vampyr which is building up a cult fanbase. Looks really good to me.

Knowing you since you're into Japanese adventure games like me, I can see you maybe liking the upcoming Jake Hunter game for the 3DS, Ghost of the Dusk, which has a gritty Japanese art style and is out at the end of August.

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Plus there was also that game from former members of Cing released not too long ago which I need to play, Chase: Cold Case Investigations.

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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby MiTT3NZ » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:38 am

Just gone back to Sonic Generations to grab all the achievements. It truly is the worst Sonic game I've ever played (including Adventure 2 and Sonic Drift) Anyone who reckons it's any good needs a seven inch screwdriver sticking up their nostrils.
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby Bambi » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:49 pm

MiTT3NZ wrote: It truly is the worst Sonic game I've ever played

I was in total disagreement until I re-read the end of that sentence. Have you somehow avoided the last 15 years of shovelware?
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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby OL » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:49 pm

Vyse Hazuky wrote:Thanks for the recommendations, and keep them coming


Probably one of the most interesting and unique games I've played this gen is a little sleeper called Echo. It's stealth, and I'm not sure how you feel about that, but the mechanics are a good deal more individual than the genre usually aims for.
Basically the protagonist is trying to navigate her way through this strange sci-fi palace that seems to have scanned and created copies of her. As you make your way through an area, the palace takes note of what movements and actions you take -- running, ducking, jumping over things, opening doors, walking through water, shooting -- and begins to apply those actions to its copies. Essentially whatever you do, the copies learn to do as well, which means you can make things easier or harder on yourself depending on what actions you decide to utilize.
It's very odd and challenging, and as you can see the aesthetics are generally very unique and surreal as well. It's not horror necessarily, but there is a very unnerving quality to the whole thing.
I haven't finished it quite yet, but it still stands out to me as one of the best of the "unknown and underappreciated" this gen. It's definitely available on Steam and PS4 (I bought it for both). Not sure about the Xbox.


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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby Crimson Ryan » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:18 am

You can find me at Tojo Dojo Forums along with Shenmue Dojo regulars!

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Re: Random Gaming Thoughts (Read OP Before Posting)

Postby MiTT3NZ » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:10 pm

Bambi wrote:
MiTT3NZ wrote: It truly is the worst Sonic game I've ever played

I was in total disagreement until I re-read the end of that sentence. Have you somehow avoided the last 15 years of shovelware?


Pretty much, though I enjoyed and never understood the hate towards Sonic 4 Eps I&II. The only truly 3D Sonic games I've played are the Adventure games. I went on demos for Heroes and Unleashed, but that doesn't really count.
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