Top Ten Underappreciated Old School Games
Its fine if you don't want to read this, these games are used to getting shit on.
These are some games that I feel like didn't get the credit they deserve. Games that, under the right circumstances could have been much more. They just needed some good marketing or maybe just an audience with a little more of an open mind. Hell, maybe it was just bad box art that screwed them as back then that was about 50% of what got us to reach for our wallets. All I ask is that you give them a try and make up your own mind. Providing some commentary is my friend G1 DeadbyDawn, who has a mild case of ADD so you'll have to excuse him if he gets a bit offtopic. Without further ado, we move on to the most shit-on games in old school history....
In this action RPG our hero awakes from a cryogenic sleep and is thrown into a post apocolyptic world where you must ride dolphins and kill vampires. And other stuff too but that is what I remember. I feel like this game took aspects of the original Legend of Zelda and improved upon them and opened the door for games such as Zelda, A Link to the Past. I'm still not sure if the protagonist was a boy or a girl but he/she wasn't afraid to go full-on androgynist way before it was the hip thing to do.
9. The Magic of Scheherazade
Another quality action RPG here, but I can see why this one failed. Looking at the front cover the art is cool, but can anyone honestly make out what the hell that says? Anyway this game revolves around the story of Sheherzasz, Sherazasa, Sherherazas...ok screw it basically there was a king who screwed a different virgin every night then killed her in the morning so he wouldn't have to marry her. That is until Princess Whatever comes along and wins him over with her, yeah you know where this is going....actually no you don't. She wins him over with her great storytelling. Anyway, she gets kidnapped and you, the hero must save her. To do this you will travel through time and go to hell and back just to find out that she wasn't kidnapped at all. Yep, so aside from that big FU this was a great game way ahead of its time.
8. Evo the Search for Eden
Back in the day if it was published by SquareSoft of Enix, I had to own it. I picked this one up and was a little surprised. Its hard to categorize, but I guess you would call it a platforming RPG. You progress through different eras evolving as you go along until you eventually reach your god form. You had choices such as becoming a bird or a reptile, evolving a spiked tail or sharp teeth, and so on. The stages were pretty diverse, sometimes you would be swimming through the ocean and other times you would be soaring through the skies. It was very original and in my opinion, not worthy of the horrible reviews it recieved.
7. The Battle of Olympus
Way before Kratos came The Battle of Olympus, a nifty little sidescroller that played a lot like Zelda 2, the Adventure of Link. Our hero Orpheus is on a quest to slay Hades and along the way he is going to have to meet and kill some of Greece's finest. This game was brutally hard but awarded your blistered thumbs with great gameplay, some awesome powerups and what seems to be a recurring theme here, riding on dolphins.
6. Solar Jetman
In this one, your objective was to gather a bunch of junk and combine it together to make a golden warship. Unfortunately, it was so god-awful hard that I'm pretty sure no one ever actually completed said warship. Regardless, I loved it for its orginality...you flew your ship around collecting gems, fuel and other oddities that you could sell and use the profits to upgrade your ship with new weapons, thrusters, or even buy new ships. The game constantly threw new obstacles at you, and every planet you visited would have a different level of gravity that you would have to deal with. You also had to keep up with your fuel and if you ran out your ship would explode and you would be ejected and forced to deal with enemies with your humble jetpack and a pea shooter. Basically, you were screwed. I love this game and if you can beat it without cheating, you will have earned my lifelong respect.
5. Legacy of the Wizard
Ok, I can't honestly tell you that this is a great game. I can't even tell you that it is a good game. What I can tell you is that it only cost $15 brand new, has great music, and you are going to put some hours on it if you hope to complete it. You can play as different members of the Worzen family and even their dog all of whom have their own special powers that are specifically suited to the Metroidvania style levels of the game. I think its worth giving a shot just for the tunes, they are true 8-bit gold.
4. Inindo, Way of the Ninja
I also really enjoyed Koei games, and this one, like many other Koei games, contained my old friend Oda Nobunaga. The hero is a ninja whose village was destroyed by Nobunaga and you must travel across Japan enlisting the aid of many allies to defeat the evil dictator. This game had a real time system with passing seasons and to actually beat the game you are going to have to invest at least 20 in-game years. You fight hordes of monsters in turn-based combat but you must also wage territorial war against different provinces. This aspect is what really made the game fun for me as you would slowly take over each province until you controlled all of Japan. You had the option to spy on enemy provinces and even ninja your way into their castles and burn up their food supply or spread nasty rumors about their leaders. It may be outdated now, but I remember having a great time with this one.
3. Destiny of an Emperor
I always get pissed when I see someone talking about Breath of Fire as being Capcom's first stint into the roleplaying genre. Wrong! This one came out waaaay back on the NES and it was awesome! Remember Dynasty Warriors? Well this game follows those guys as they march across China kicking ass and taking heads. You had massive army battles play out in turn based combat and sometimes at the end of a battle the opposing generals would offer to join your side. Personally I love Asian culture and when a game comes along like this I just eat it up. One thing you had to get used to was that all your spells were listed in Chinese so it took a little trial and error, but trust me after about the third time of beheading instead of healing yourself, you figure it out.
2. Zelda II, the Adventure of Link
Best Zelda game ever. Period. End of story. Literally, end of story. Check the timeline if you don't believe me. Why does this game get so much hate? So what if you have a lame overworld view, it was just there to get you from point A to point B anyway. Yes this game is insanely hard but it is so good. Great level and character design, awesome powerups, good music and Link gets so pissed when he dies that it gives him an erection. Tell me that isn't some passion for battle. I could go on and on but my flameshield is already down to 12% so I will digress before the haters overpower me.
This one holds a special place for me, as I had rented it right before a blizzard and it turned what could have been a mind-torturing case of cabin fever into pure awesomeness. What can I say, this game had it all. It plays out as a sidescrolling RPG where you fight your way through some spooky environments filled with fearsome enemies and the absolute best music to be found on the NES. Whenever you would find and equip new gear you could actually see it on your character, and the somber mood in the towns really put forth a great atmosphere. The story can be summed up with your character walking towards the town at the beginning of the game, and away from the town at the end of the game. It doesn't sound like much, and it wasn't, but thats just how games rolled back in the day. You would have to see it for yourself, as it is hard to explain how about 10 seconds worth of cutscenes sums up the whole story. I only wish it could have been more popular, I would have loved to visited this world again.
"The final boss was Ed-209 from Robocop on crack? Well played Faxandu, well played." -DeadbyDawn
Thanks for reading and please feel free to rip me a new one I appreciate criticism just as much as the opposite so let it fly. Also, let me know what games you think have gotten a bad rap or need a reboot in the comments. Thanks!