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CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
Obscure Video Games You Love

Posted: 25th January 2018 13:39

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Red Wing Pilot
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What is an obscure video game that you love now or loved as a kid, that nobody seems to talk about? Here, I'll start with one of mine that's always been near and dear to me:


user posted image
Pathways into Darkness on the old Macintosh in 1993.

I grew up on a Mac so computer gaming was limited compared to the PC, but it did have its gems. Bungie was churning out Mac titles consistently, but one of their first was this game. They later went on to make the Marathon series, and of course Halo, so I liked to have the equivalent of a hipster attitude that I played their entire evolution of the FPS genre to mainstream success.

But this game seems to be some forgotten child of theirs that was quickly buried soon after it released. Even the Marathon series gets talked about way more (and Marathon praise is certainly deserved), but this game was very unique and I always wonder why it hadn't been remade for new audiences to enjoy. You get to explore a Pyramid in the Yucatan! You get to talk to dead people, and it's vital to completing the game! You get to discover a Nazi expedition (and others) that came here long before you! There are all sorts of crazy monsters, some of them arriving without warning to just mess you up completely. There is enough variation to keep you interested in exploring all this dungeon has to offer, and plenty of secrets just waiting for you to figure out.

I've always figured it was just a casualty of being a very early Mac game that faded to obscurity when the likes of Wolfenstein and Doom were out there.
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Posted: 25th January 2018 15:15

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Totes Adorbs
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Sorry, moneybags, I didn't have a Mac to grow up on. wink.gif

Most of the examples I'm coming up with here are games that I'm not really sure are obscure. I have a hard time believing that any NES game is still obscure, you know, with all the people rediscovering things via virtual consoles and emulation and things like that over the years. Here are a few I can come up with, though:

River City Ransom/Street Gangs (NES): Probably the most famous of the Kunio-kun games, and probably not obscure at all any more given the remakes and the broad knowledge of some of the other games in the series even here in the US. At the time, though, good luck finding anyone who knew much about it. I rented this game a ton to play with my older brother, and eventually I bought him his own copy for Christmas - but never owned one myself. It has one of the most underrated soundtracks on the NES, I think, with a unique rockabilly feel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7xeGpoCScs

Skykid (NES): This one's on my mind because for some reason I thought of it in chat a couple weeks back and ended up watching a bunch of videos of it. It was a pretty simple and repetitive side-scroller, as were so many games back then, but the faux-WW1 setting and the fact that you progressed by moving left instead of right through the autoscrolling levels made it kind of unique. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO6zNw67WK8

[Super] Baseball Simulator 1.000 (NES and SNES): I'm not sure how I found the NES Baseball Simulator 1.000, but I owned and played a ton of both the NES and SNES versions over time. It was a decent baseball game for the time, and could be played as such, but the big deal was that you could also play in what was essentially a superhero league, where pitchers, fielders, and batters could all have special abilities to enhance their actions. My personal favorite was the rocket hit, which would make a batted ball uncatchable and also drive anyone who tried to catch it all the way back to the outfield fence. The SNES version also looked really good for its time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbCxhdDchEc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjbnxWceJ_s

OK, I'm going to stop thinking about this for a bit and hopefully get some other folks to weigh in before I try to come up with more.

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Posted: 25th January 2018 16:57

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Black Mage
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I've decided to react to Rangers' and Eagles' choices first, then add a few of my own.

Super Baseball Sim 1.000?!? I love, and STILL love that game. Back in my younger days, when free time was a thing, a few of us would have league seasons replete with custom teams.

Now here are my entries:

Spellcaster (Sega Master System, 1988)- An early non-linear side scroller that provided a surprising amount of challenge and dept. The spells are interesting, and there's even interactive cut scenes. The Master System got so much wrong in its day, but when they got one right, it was a home run.

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/73...-the-temple.gif

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/73...of-kusanagi.gif

Times of Lore (PC, Commodore 64, 1988)- Origin Systems was already scoring major hits with their Ultima games, and would again with Wing Commander and its sequels, and would break new ground with System Shock. Times of Lore keeps it short, sweet, and simple in this rogue-like.

https://www.myabandonware.com/media/screens...-of-lore_10.png


Metal Storm (NES, 1991) For this NES side scrolling shooter, you'll find there is nothing wrong with this game. Fantastic gameplay, absurdly smooth controls, (Reversing gravity? That's awesome! says 12 year old me), and top notch graphics and sound leads me to wonder- why is this game still obscure?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/t...tage_1_-_1-.png



There are my three, let's see how this goes.

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Posted: 26th January 2018 09:20
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Two games I can think of right off the bat.

The Abyss
Doom was not the very first FPS. Neither was Wolfenstien 3d. Hell, Wolf wasn't even id's first FPS game. Nope, before either, before even Ultima Underworld...there was The Catacombs.

user posted image

My dad had Catacombs: The Abyss - which I only knew as The Abyss - on his computer which was the sequel to the third one in the series, though I didn't know it at the time. All I knew was that I'd never seen a game like that before and I wouldn't see it again until Wolf 3d, so while everyone else was losing their shit over Wolf, I looked at it as a natural progression of what had already been done. I didn't realize no one else had played id's earlier games.

Goblin's Quest 3
user posted image

My mother was a big consumer of the point and click adventure games that boomed in the nineties. In fact, I think she played more videogames than I did back then! Most of them were terrible in some fashion or another or too 'adult' for me to be allowed to play them...cept this gem! Man, I got a loooootta mileage outta this game when I was in high school. I can still remember the music of the first level. If your curious, you can play over at Classic Reload since I guess its abandonware at this point.

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Posted: 8th February 2018 14:34

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Just to keep this thread going, I'll put out another obscure NES title, Desert Commander. It was a North African-themed military turn-based strategy game, with two sides moving armament tokens around a battle scenario. I'm not even really one for strategy games by and large, but something about this one always appealed to me when I was younger, and I even dusted it off again just recently and still enjoyed it for its simplicity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4TFwMj4xf8

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Posted: 8th February 2018 22:04

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Black Mage
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I don't know how you'd classify this as game-wise but I'm going to drop the name Zork in here just to remind you all that it is pitch black and you are all likely to be eaten by a Grue.
Yeah, it's not a graphics based game but it was the first real computer game I ever played. Very few people I've ever talked to about it have known what it was. I adore Zork and along those same lines of gaming the text based Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy game.

Love it!

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Posted: 9th February 2018 16:11

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Onion Knight
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Anyone ever play Faxanadu or Star Tropics?

Used to play those quite a bit when I was young!
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Posted: 10th February 2018 00:45

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I've never been able to get very far in it, but Section Z has always seemed way cooler than anything in Capcom's early NES catalog. Good music, sort-of-deep gameplay, an interesting take on space shooter games (A and B fire right and left, respectively, and at the end of each section you [sometimes] get to choose a path).

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Posted: 11th February 2018 18:39
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Quote (ShaneT12 @ 9th February 2018 09:11)
Anyone ever play Faxanadu or Star Tropics?

Used to play those quite a bit when I was young!

I heard about Star Tropics when I was young, but never got to play it until quite a few years back I built a beast of a gaming rig to play the latest games of the day with the sickest settings...then promptly downloaded a bunch of emulators and just played the NES/SNES catalogue!

Star Tropics was an oddly compelling little game and reminded me of a sort of Soul Blazer...but it also reminded me of another NES game I hadn't heard of when I was young:

user posted image

This is a pretty impressive lil action RPG right here! Very Illusion of Gaia if you've ever played that game. I was geniunely impressed with 1) how good they were able to get it to look and 2) how complex they were able to make it without it devolving into a menu-fest.

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Posted: 12th February 2018 06:45

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Dude on a Walrus
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Capcom's Black Tiger, which is secretly better than Ghouls n Ghosts: Black Tiger gameplay

Atlus's Steambot Chronicles, which is a weird, interesting PS2 RPG that not many people played: Steambot Chronicles trailer

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Posted: 13th February 2018 17:13

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Onion Knight
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Quote (Narratorway @ 11th February 2018 12:39)
[QUOTE=
This is a pretty impressive lil action RPG right here! Very Illusion of Gaia if you've ever played that game. I was geniunely impressed with 1) how good they were able to get it to look and 2) how complex they were able to make it without it devolving into a menu-fest.

Illusion of Gaia was one of my favorites growing up as well!

I might have to give this one a look once I get through my back log of FF games!
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Posted: 14th February 2018 07:57

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Tail 'Gator is an excellent little platformer for Game Boy.

It's pretty simple gameplay-wise, easy to pick up. Passwords available every time you beat a level. Totalling 14 levels of action platforming, which get longer and more complex as you progress through the game. Each level is divided into several rooms, and there are 5 bosses spread throughout the game.

But the best thing is the music. It's an awesome swing soundtrack, composed by Iku Mizutani, whom you may know from some other works such as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (SNES), The King of Fighters XIII, and a random smattering of other obscure games most of which sadly never got a soundtrack release. He was even a member of Konami Kukeiha Club at one point.

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 14th February 2018 08:00

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