All of us have played the major label, triple-A titles out there. But often times, there are incredibly awesome games released that you never hear of due to the hype of other, bigger titles, or because you’ve already spent your hard-earned money on the latest Call of Duty. This week, CheatCC punches out a list of games that you may have heard of but not played. And for that you should be ashamed of yourself. But if you have played these games, good on ya!
Shadows Of The Damned
If you like blood and guts, demons, girls in lingerie, and truckloads of jokes with allusions to male genitalia then you should definitely check out Shadows of the Damned. Suda51 manages to bring a Quentin Tarantino-esque style of storytelling to the already successful third-person, demon-hunting game model. The story is okay, but the gameplay is solid. And the banter between you and your disembodied demon sidekick (named Johnson) is top-drawer and often times laugh-out-loud funny.
Army of Two: The 40th Day
Wedged between Halo, Call of Duty, Gears of War, and many others like them, this game managed to keep it’s head above water and cultivate a large following–partly due to the developer fixing some of the stupid gameplay issues from the first one (like your partner randomly running into the middle of a firefight without running to cover) and partly because 40th Day touches upon some pretty deep themes. Sacrifice one to save many or let the city burn–the choice is yours.
Many people called Darksiders a Legend of Zelda knockoff. But this gem from Vigil Games did not disappoint. The gameplay may be a little clunky and slow moving, but War is a big dude with a big sword and an even bigger chip on his shoulder. But the elements of platforming, puzzling, and hack and slash all add up to a solid gaming experience dealing with a subject matter that hasn’t really been touched in mainstream media. All in all, Darksiders brought a fresh take to comics-gone-games and managed to hammer out a hardcore following that anxiously awaited the second title…even if it wasn’t as good.
Obsidian Games dropped this one on us, and it went largely unnoticed by the general gaming public. Most people dismissed it as a Mass Effect knock-off. Other gamers couldn’t get past the often-clunky combat system. But still others just wouldn’t give it a chance because there was “too much story and not enough action,” to suit them. But all of that aside, this game is a pretty solid game. It has an intense story where you have to think on your feet when it comes to talking with NPCs. It also may or may not show you the consequences of your actions immediately. To me, that is one of the ways this is a very different game from the ME series.
Sam & Max Season 3
So Telltale Games managed to stay true to the roots that made the Sam & Max games so great while weaving in some new, more strange bits that made it interesting as well as funny. I can’t lie to you, I love Sam & Max. Their brand of comedy sets me laughing nearly every time Max goes crazy and Sam has to try and stop him or calm him down…or just let him go. Season 3 is no let down, either. The Devils’ Playhouse episode is one of my favorite Sam & Max stories ever. And the fact that Max acquires psychic powers in this season is such a cool way to keep the series fresh. Too bad he can’t use those powers in Poker Night 2.
White Knight Chronicles I & II
As RPGs go, White Knight Chronicles is as solid as they come. It has an incredible story, good gameplay, and a vast world with a deep and rich lore that will keep you glued to the screen as you uncover more and more of the story. Often times, I heard people complaining about the combat system. But then they also proceeded to compare it immediately to Final Fantasy–which it definitely is not. However, that being said, there are elements that Square Enix could stand to learn from this game series. For example, in the second installment, you and four of your friends can play together through the story via online co-op. Since when did FF ever have anything as awesome as that? And no, the MMO stuff they tried doesn’t count.
With over three hundred and sixty characters overall, and a vastly detailed setting to play in, Yakuza 3 is undeniably the best title in the series. With Hase Seishu stepping down from the writing position and Masayoshi Yokoyama taking over, Yakuza 3 took a turn for the better. The previous installments were good games on their own, but 3 took the experience to the next level. Event Mode, Battle Mode and Adventure Mode all add up to an incredibly fleshed out gaming experience. With a surprise post-credits ending and a great story to navigate, Kazuma Kiryu takes us through a whole new adventure in the Yakuza series.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Who knew that a story written in 16th century China would be the basis for a fantastic adventure in the year 2010. Ninja Theory hit this one out of the park by reimagining a classic story into a post-apocalyptic romp with awesome characters and an interesting style of platforming that takes nods from Uncharted, Tomb Raider, and even ICO. Monkey and Trip work their way from their crashed transport vessel to the western parts of the decimated US to try and find Trip’s father. Along the way, you meet Pigsy, who turns out to be quite the ally in the end. And if you pay close attention, you might even see Smeagol from the Lord of the Rings in this game.
If you are a fan of Infamous or Grand Theft Auto or both, then you should really give this game a solid go. The graphics are a bit dated and the gameplay can be a little sluggish by today’s standards, but this game has a great story with endearing characters and hell, you get to stomp Nazi’s in occupied France…oh, and your hideout is a brothel. Just sayin’. There are loads of great missions to smash, bomb, burn, and shoot your way through as well as gobs of vehicular missions. And in GTA fashion, you can steal cars and keep them in your garage for re-use, and there are tons of Easter eggs to be found as well. It may be dated, but it’s one of the best open-world games since GTA.
Here it is in a nutshell. Dr. Crygor wakes up from a nightmare to invent the Super Makermatic 21. Wario wants to trade in his busted TV set for one. He then realizes he can make a fortune with the SMM21 making microgames. The only problem Wario has is that he keeps running off his employees. So obviously, he enlists the gamer to do the work for him. This title is a blast from start to fin-…well, there really isn’t a finish. You can make microgames until your brain explodes. That being said, after you experience the insanely addictive nature of this title, you may actually want to play this game until your brain explodes. And I am sure that if that happens, Wario will be standing right there next to you, laughing hysterically.