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hivedragon
2011-09-03, 01:46 PM
What are some fun games you've played that you think few people have heard of?

H Birchgrove
2011-09-03, 02:02 PM
Is Fester's Quest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fester%27s_Quest#Fester.27s_Quest) obscure enough?

Starwulf
2011-09-03, 02:47 PM
Is Fester's Quest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fester%27s_Quest#Fester.27s_Quest) obscure enough?

Naaahhh. I loved Fester's Quest ^^

How about Faxanadu? (may be spelled wrong). I wish I could remember the names of the three christian games I had for the NES were. Now THOSE were Obscure ^^

Don Julio Anejo
2011-09-03, 04:02 PM
The Witcher. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Witcher_%28video_game%29)

thompur
2011-09-03, 04:24 PM
Expedition. Obscure unless you're from Germany I'd wager. The only edition of the game I've ever seen is in German, including the rules and the board.

Dr.Epic
2011-09-03, 04:25 PM
God Hand. That well known? I love that game!

PhantomFox
2011-09-03, 04:25 PM
I've heard good things about Psychonauts.

Howler Dagger
2011-09-03, 04:27 PM
Titan Quest. though there are a bunch of bugs in it, which is solved by the fan patch.

Dr.Epic
2011-09-03, 04:38 PM
I've heard good things about Psychonauts.

I always wanted to check this game out. It any good (I ask in a thread with the words "well made games" in the title:smallwink:)?

Jansviper
2011-09-03, 04:52 PM
Titan Quest. though there are a bunch of bugs in it, which is solved by the fan patch.

Titan Quest dragged on for an eternity and a half, the system was clunky, and the upgrade thing completely negated itself every time you changed acts. =/ I wouldn't consider it well made at all.

Smallworld on the other hand, is amazing. (http://www.daysofwonder.com/smallworld/en/)

Cespenar
2011-09-03, 05:45 PM
I always wanted to check this game out. It any good (I ask in a thread with the words "well made games" in the title:smallwink:)?

"Made by the maker of Grim Fandango and the first two Monkey Islands" should be enough, but to elaborate, yes.

potatocubed
2011-09-03, 06:19 PM
Lords of Chaos.

It was a game released in 1988 or so for the Amiga, the ZX Spectrum, and... the C64, I think? (On tape.) It was created by Julian Gollop, the man who would later create the original UFO: Enemy Unknown.

You designed a wizard, got dumped on a crumbling fragment of world where you had to survive the hostile attentions of other wizards, grab as much loot as you could, and escape through the portal when it opened. Whoever escaped with the most loot won. Turn-based, single- or multi-player (hotseat) with a vast array of spells you could learn to various levels - magic fire, choking vines, floods, summons of 101 kinds, potions, etc. etc. etc.

This game and its five (five!) levels kept me entertained for unbelievable hours when I was a kid.

...or is that too obscure for all you young folks? :smalltongue:

Lord Loss
2011-09-03, 06:49 PM
I always wanted to check this game out. It any good (I ask in a thread with the words "well made games" in the title:smallwink:)?

Yes. Yes it is. Y'know that Yahtzee fellow? The one who denies liking even the best of games? Not even he manages to criticize Psychonauts.

Aidan305
2011-09-03, 06:55 PM
Total Annihilation remains one of the best RTS games I've encountered.
Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle were both amazingly fun early platformers.
Battle Chess. It's like chess, except the rook can eat the queen.

Weezer
2011-09-03, 07:21 PM
Lords of Chaos.

It was a game released in 1988 or so for the Amiga, the ZX Spectrum, and... the C64, I think? (On tape.) It was created by Julian Gollop, the man who would later create the original UFO: Enemy Unknown.

You designed a wizard, got dumped on a crumbling fragment of world where you had to survive the hostile attentions of other wizards, grab as much loot as you could, and escape through the portal when it opened. Whoever escaped with the most loot won. Turn-based, single- or multi-player (hotseat) with a vast array of spells you could learn to various levels - magic fire, choking vines, floods, summons of 101 kinds, potions, etc. etc. etc.

This game and its five (five!) levels kept me entertained for unbelievable hours when I was a kid.

...or is that too obscure for all you young folks? :smalltongue:

That sounds great, now you just need to tell me a way that I can play it now...



Battle Chess. It's like chess, except the rook can eat the queen.

That's pretty much how I learned chess as a kid, I loved playing that game.

Kane
2011-09-03, 07:27 PM
Star Control 2
Age of Wonders (Original)
Total Annihilation, sadly.
X-Com (Less so.)
Final Fantasy Tactics (Doesn't seem to be too popular.)
Heroes of Might and Magic III and IV (Four isn't quite the same sort of game, but it still is quite decent.)
Black and White.
System Shock 2, but it takes more time to get it working than it does to play the game, so it might not qualify for 'well-made'.

Zeta Kai
2011-09-03, 07:28 PM
Terranigma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terranigma) was released at the very end of the SNES's lifespan, as the third part of a loose trilogy, & was virtually ignored upon launch. It's a shame, because it's a beautiful, brilliant, & thought-provoking game. I can't recommend it enough.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem was one of the most surprising treats to grace the Gamecube, & was a selling point for the system as a whole. With an awesome sense of scope, the game takes you through an epic spanning thousands of years & most of the world's continents, but still makes the game very personal by scaring the bejeezus out of you. Horror gaming at its finest (SH2 notwithstanding).
Speaking of horror games, The Path (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Path_(video_game)) is wonderfully terrifying, & is probably the most mature game that I've ever played. It's tough to describe adequately, but the easiest synopsis is "Little Red Riding Hood + the pain & strife of adolescence". Dark, wonderful, & horrific in any number of ways.
Blah, blah, blah, Psychonauts. Blah, blah, blah, Beyond Good & Evil. Blah, blah, blah, Ico.

T.G. Oskar
2011-09-03, 07:49 PM
Do the SaGa games count as obscure enough?

SaGa, I must admit, is an acquired taste. It's not recommended for those whom abhor the character development system of Final Fantasy II, because it builds upon that very same system (except it's far harder to exploit your stats that way, and most don't even allow you to increase the other stats). However, it IS a very unique game; I'd dare to say far beyond most RPGs of the same date.

I'd particularly point out to Romancing SaGa 3, which is an RPG bar none. How the allies are positioned, the techniques you add them, whether they're better magicians or fighters, even how your main character's Hit Points fare determine many of the things within the game, with very interesting battles such as the battles with the bosses Algernon (the sapient rat leading a pack of hungry rodents), Dragon Tank (essentially a race car, but you fight it on top of another race car) and even one of the Four Noble Demons, Gwayne (if you choose to fight her with a draconic ally). Plus, there's Commander Mode, which allows your allies to fight for you, while you provide them healing and expanded combat options. It really pushes what you can do with an RPG's format, something few other RPGs have replicated (save for, of course, the other entries in the SaGa series).

Just one thing. Unless you're a masochist, don't go near Unlimited SAGA. It makes even those with an acquired taste cringe, if only because character development is so random, it's unfun.

Starwulf
2011-09-03, 07:55 PM
Titan Quest dragged on for an eternity and a half, the system was clunky, and the upgrade thing completely negated itself every time you changed acts. =/ I wouldn't consider it well made at all.

Smallworld on the other hand, is amazing. (http://www.daysofwonder.com/smallworld/en/)

Funny, I had the exact opposite experience with Titan quest. I thought it had great pacing, and an excellent storyline(I love greek mythology). it did have a few bugs, but none that were gamebreaking. I even found one of them on my first playthrough(a bugged Homados(body armor) that capped attack speed no matter what weapon.



Total Annihilation remains one of the best RTS games I've encountered.
Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle were both amazingly fun early platformers.
Battle Chess. It's like chess, except the rook can eat the queen.

BATTLE CHESS!!! I used to love that game :) So much fun ^^


Star Control 2
Age of Wonders (Original)
Total Annihilation, sadly.
X-Com (Less so.)
Final Fantasy Tactics (Doesn't seem to be too popular.)
Heroes of Might and Magic III and IV (Four isn't quite the same sort of game, but it still is quite decent.)
Black and White.
System Shock 2, but it takes more time to get it working than it does to play the game, so it might not qualify for 'well-made'.

I don't really think Heroes III or IV OR Black & White can be considered obscure games, last time I checked, they were ALL well-known(especially HOMM)

monkeyboyinc
2011-09-03, 08:05 PM
Popolocrois.
This is an apparently great series (the first three anyway) of RPGs, originally for the Playstation and Playstation 2. I think you can get them on the Japanese Playstation Network as well.

It also spawned two anime series, the second of which ironically does a better job of telling the plots to the Forth and Fifth games than the games themselves.

Only one game has ever been released outside of Japan, which combined the plot of the First and Third game. I thought it was brilliant.
According to some people who actually understand Japanese, It doesn't do the series justice at all.

If there are any Japanese Playgrounders out there, I definitely recommend the series to you.

Tebryn
2011-09-03, 08:10 PM
Funny, I had the exact opposite experience with Titan quest. I thought it had great pacing, and an excellent storyline(I love greek mythology). it did have a few bugs, but none that were gamebreaking. I even found one of them on my first playthrough(a bugged Homados(body armor) that capped attack speed no matter what weapon.




BATTLE CHESS!!! I used to love that game :) So much fun ^^



I don't really think Heroes III or IV OR Black & White can be considered obscure games, last time I checked, they were ALL well-known(especially HOMM)

I'd say the only really -obscure- game on that list would be Age of Wonders and it got two sequels so how obscure can it really be?

Grif
2011-09-03, 08:24 PM
Submarine Titans and Metal Fatigue.

Two relatively obscure RTS I enjoyed.

bluewind95
2011-09-03, 08:25 PM
Do the SaGa games count as obscure enough?

SaGa, I must admit, is an acquired taste. It's not recommended for those whom abhor the character development system of Final Fantasy II, because it builds upon that very same system (except it's far harder to exploit your stats that way, and most don't even allow you to increase the other stats). However, it IS a very unique game; I'd dare to say far beyond most RPGs of the same date.



I played the first one on the gameboy. I did also finish the third. The second I have not yet finished. I like them. I also managed to beat the first with 4 mutants, something the manual says is a bad idea. I thought it was a better idea than having humans in the party.

The obscure but well-made game I like is Faceball 2000. I'm especially fond of the GB version. The AI is actually quite decent, the mazes are fairly challenging, and it has a nice amount of secrets to it. And come on. You're a smiley face shooting other smiley faces. I like! It's really the only FPS I like.

deuxhero
2011-09-03, 08:45 PM
Lost Kingdoms 2.

ObadiahtheSlim
2011-09-03, 08:49 PM
X3: Terran Conflict. It's a great space sim/empire building game. One of the plot lines is a bit grindy (curse you Hub!), but overal it's great. Space fighter combat is a ton of fun and eventually you upgrade to corvettes and capital ships.

The Glyphstone
2011-09-03, 08:49 PM
Submarine Titans and Metal Fatigue.

Two relatively obscure RTS I enjoyed.

Someone else who's heard of Submarine Titans? Awesome!

Grif
2011-09-03, 08:50 PM
Someone else who's heard of Submarine Titans? Awesome!

You Black Octopi bastards shall never get past my wall of Sonic wave... things! :smallbiggrin:

The Glyphstone
2011-09-03, 09:12 PM
You Black Octopi bastards shall never get past my wall of Sonic wave... things! :smallbiggrin:

Your petty carbon-based squabbles are irrelevant. Just let us have what we need to phone home and you can go back to murdering each other in peace.

Domochevsky
2011-09-03, 09:24 PM
Yes. Yes it is. Y'know that Yahtzee fellow? The one who denies liking even the best of games? Not even he manages to criticize Psychonauts.

To be fair, there are a good deal of things to criticise about Psychonauts gameplay (meat!), but those pale in the grand scheme of things. :smallsmile:
(I wouldn't call the game obscure at this point though. Just about everyone heard of it, independently of whether or not they played it.)

T.G. Oskar
2011-09-03, 09:29 PM
I played the first one on the gameboy. I did also finish the third. The second I have not yet finished. I like them. I also managed to beat the first with 4 mutants, something the manual says is a bad idea. I thought it was a better idea than having humans in the party.

I've only played the Game Boy games sparingly; I'd focused more on beating those from Romancing SaGa and forward. Particularly SaGa Frontier; if beating the game with four mutants isn't recommended for the first game, trying to pull off a victory against a single boss on SaGa Frontier on a very specific part with a very specific group is even worse. Mutants and SF Monsters work very similarly (getting skills from slain monsters by absorbing their skills, provoking the creature to change depending on skills), so I get what you mean. It rewards mastery of the system, though (getting the right skills to raise up the monster ladder to the best forms).

(In case you know what I'm speaking about: trying to win the battle against Ring Lord Virgil in Riki's quest with a monster-only party. That or pulling an all-monster party victory against MasterRing after a few hits of Revolution9).

Elrik
2011-09-04, 12:01 AM
I wouldn't call Jet Moto 2 good, but it seemed pretty obscure, and if you're into cheesy racing games you might think it's kind of cool.

It was probably a kid thing, but I liked the fact that I could do stunts and then land on another racer so I could knock them off their bikes.

factotum
2011-09-04, 01:52 AM
Obscure but well-made games? Let's see...

Haegemonia: Legions of Iron, a space-based RTS game. It had awesome graphics (especially considering it came out in 2002) and played superbly.

Bastion. It's a recent indie action RPG with possibly the most awesome storytelling I've seen in a game since Planescape: Torment.

Outcast. This came out in 1999 and promptly sank almost without trace. It's a futuristic RPG that is notable for having a voxel-based game engine that produced some of the most awesome graphics I'd seen at the time; unfortunately it was probably also that which killed it, because it couldn't make use of hardware 3D acceleration and with the CPU power available at the time the maximum available resolution was 512x384!

Mutant Sheep
2011-09-04, 01:55 AM
Is Freedom Fighters obscure? Because its genius. Red Dawn with a New York Plumber. And silly. Cant forget the silly. I love the multiplayer. Wish they would remake it and have the guns first shot actually GO WHERE YOU AIM though...

Ogremindes
2011-09-04, 02:05 AM
I'll put down the Shin Megami Tensei series. Pretty much all of them are very good, and the series isn't exactly mainstream.

Derjuin
2011-09-04, 02:15 AM
Ancient Domains of Mystery and Dark Spire - the former lacks graphics (it uses ASCII to represent things, as it is a Roguelike without tiles) and the latter plays like an AD&D dungeoncrawler. ADOM (http://www.adom.de/adom/download.php3) is free, and runs on pretty much any computer (or can be made to via DosBox), though I recommend* a numpad if you're going to play it.

*I also recommend having lots and lots of patience, because death is permanent and dying over 100 times just to get to the midway point of the game is not uncommon.

DemonicAngel
2011-09-04, 02:25 AM
Submarine Titans and Metal Fatigue.

Two relatively obscure RTS I enjoyed.

Metal Fatigue is an amazing, under-rated game.

giant mechs with awesome weapons and alien technology in an RTS setting with three distinct factions? I was hooked for a very long time.

Cespenar
2011-09-04, 02:27 AM
To mention a few from the past (before 2000-ish):

NetStorm
Warlords III
Sanity: Aiken's Artifact
Get Medieval
Gruntz
Claw
Gorky 17
Blood & Magic
Myth (II)

Jansviper
2011-09-04, 04:00 AM
Do the SaGa games count as obscure enough?

SaGa, I must admit, is an acquired taste. It's not recommended for those whom abhor the character development system of Final Fantasy II, because it builds upon that very same system (except it's far harder to exploit your stats that way, and most don't even allow you to increase the other stats). However, it IS a very unique game; I'd dare to say far beyond most RPGs of the same date.

I'd particularly point out to Romancing SaGa 3, which is an RPG bar none. How the allies are positioned, the techniques you add them, whether they're better magicians or fighters, even how your main character's Hit Points fare determine many of the things within the game, with very interesting battles such as the battles with the bosses Algernon (the sapient rat leading a pack of hungry rodents), Dragon Tank (essentially a race car, but you fight it on top of another race car) and even one of the Four Noble Demons, Gwayne (if you choose to fight her with a draconic ally). Plus, there's Commander Mode, which allows your allies to fight for you, while you provide them healing and expanded combat options. It really pushes what you can do with an RPG's format, something few other RPGs have replicated (save for, of course, the other entries in the SaGa series).

Just one thing. Unless you're a masochist, don't go near Unlimited SAGA. It makes even those with an acquired taste cringe, if only because character development is so random, it's unfun.

I loved SaGa Frontier with the kind of tenacious passion of a man that realizes he is doing the exact same quests with the exact same results to similar ends seven times in a row.

And eventually decided to try to figure out tabletop rules for it.

T_T

iyaerP
2011-09-04, 04:37 AM
COMMANDER KEEN!

I LOVED those games.

Grif
2011-09-04, 04:46 AM
Metal Fatigue is an amazing, under-rated game.

giant mechs with awesome weapons and alien technology in an RTS setting with three distinct factions? I was hooked for a very long time.

Sadly, I found no way to run it in Windows 7. A shame really.

Cheesegear
2011-09-04, 06:05 AM
Chaos Gate. Pretty much the only WH40K game I've ever played - ever - that manages to stay even halfway close to the tabletop system (2nd Ed., at the time). Up to and including the 'I Win' Librarian once he gets to Level 4. Unfortunately, doesn't work on any OS newer than Windows XP.

Anything made by Sierra Entertainment during the late 80s and early 90s. Space Quest, King's Quest, Hero's Quest and all their sequels. Point-and-click adventure at it's finest.

Anybody remember Dark Reign?

Spartacus
2011-09-04, 06:31 AM
Anybody remember Dark Reign?

I wish that thing a) wasn't horribly buggy on my PC and b) was actually balanced for online play.

Rustic Dude
2011-09-04, 06:41 AM
Some games have been already said, but anyways the obscure games I love most are Imperium Galactica 1&2, Submarine Titans, Haegemonia, the Warlords Battlecry saga, Age of Wonders and Tzar.

The Glyphstone
2011-09-04, 08:15 AM
Is Homeworld obscure? It was the first, and as far as I know, only truly 3-dimensional RTS, with entertaining and challenging gameplay and a pretty nice storyline, that was promptly crushed under two or three mediocre sequels and forgotten.

Cespenar
2011-09-04, 08:20 AM
Is Homeworld obscure? It was the first, and as far as I know, only truly 3-dimensional RTS, with entertaining and challenging gameplay and a pretty nice storyline, that was promptly crushed under two or three mediocre sequels and forgotten.

Nah, it's not, but that's okay, because people have been mentioning non-obscure games as well. :smalltongue:

danzibr
2011-09-04, 09:23 AM
Star Control 2
Oh my God yes!

Anyways, agreed with the person that said Faxanadu. But man is that game hard. For my list...

Shining Force and Shining Force II (I prefer the original, both have their merits)
The Disgaea series (though it seems to be catching on)
River City Ransom (which is getting a sequel)
Agreed with SaGa series (though I've only played Frontier, Frontier II and Unlimited SaGa... in decreasing order of goodness)
Phantasy Star series
Final Fantasy. Oh wait, lolz. Seriously though, the original on NES is great
King's Bounty
Out of this World
Horde
Gex
Immercenary
PO'd (think Duke Nukem)
Syndicate (I realize how great the 3DO was)
Beyond Oasis
Landstalker (think Zelda?)
ToeJam & Earl
And many more I'm forgetting about.

Asthix
2011-09-04, 09:32 AM
A boy and his Blob. They made a remake two years ago but I haven't played it. Did anyone ever find out what the ketchup jellybean did?

My favorite game from way back is Spy's Demise. (http://www.virtualapple.org/J_spysdemisedisk.html) Just make sure you play it on mute or at minimal volume. :smalleek:

danzibr
2011-09-04, 09:39 AM
A boy and his Blob. They made a remake two years ago but I haven't played it. Did anyone ever find out what the ketchup jellybean did?

My favorite game from way back is Spy's Demise. (http://www.virtualapple.org/J_spysdemisedisk.html) Just make sure you play it on mute or at minimal volume. :smalleek:
Yeah, that's a good one. Admittedly, I never beat it without my Game Genie.

Also, Light Crusader. Like Landstalker.

T.G. Oskar
2011-09-04, 10:36 AM
I loved SaGa Frontier with the kind of tenacious passion of a man that realizes he is doing the exact same quests with the exact same results to similar ends seven times in a row.

And eventually decided to try to figure out tabletop rules for it.

T_T

Erm, Vitality/Wound rules with a twist; you only lose 1 WP (which you now call Life Points) after all your HP are down and all critical hits make you lose 1 WP alongside the damage, ToB is mandatory, all wizards are specialists. That's a good start. The only problem is figuring out how to deal with combos. Oh, and adapt the Healing Surge thing with Life Points if you want something near SaGa Frontier II (and probably the higher-level spells cost Life Points to cast).

And yeah, I also played SaGa Frontier with the same passion. The only thing I can say is that I have a Red with over 900 HP without going Alkaiser, as well as a very serious half-mystic Asellus with an all-mystic party (with Ildon using Realm Magic, learning Mystic Magic through a Phantom Eye). And of course, planning an all-monster Riki party (it goes without mentioning that I have an all-Mec T260G party, but Mecs are hilariously powerful).

Starwulf
2011-09-04, 02:21 PM
Oh my God yes!

Anyways, agreed with the person that said Faxanadu. But man is that game hard. For my list...


River City Ransom (which is getting a sequel)

It had better not be :-(. There is just absolutely no way in hell they can do a game that is 20+ years old any real justice. All they will do is taint it's awesome name :-(

I LOVED River City Ransom, it was such an awesomely fun game, and I spent a lot of time playing it over and over again with my best friend when we were kids.

Emmerask
2011-09-04, 03:25 PM
Is Homeworld obscure? It was the first, and as far as I know, only truly 3-dimensional RTS, with entertaining and challenging gameplay and a pretty nice storyline, that was promptly crushed under two or three mediocre sequels and forgotten.

While the two sequels (well the first one was barely more then an expansion pack tbh) didn´t change a whole lot, they added some pretty fun mechanics into the mix, like the stealth ion frigates for example.

I can´t really comment on the single player campaign but in the multiplayer part, all 3 games where great :smallwink:

Tengu_temp
2011-09-04, 04:08 PM
Bah, humbug! Most of the games mentioned here are not obscure at all! Have you ever heard about those titles?

Blood and Magic - a very interesting RTS that pretty much invented upgrading units to other units in that genre. And it's technically Forgotten Realms.

Anvil of Dawn - a dungeon-crawling RPG set in a strange, exotic land filled with a very epic feel to it. I recommend this title just for the atmosphere alone.

Merit's Galactic Reunion - imagine a space 4X game like Master of Orion, and add a heavy plot focus to it, and an actual feel of wonder and mystery as you discover new alien civilisations.

Drascin
2011-09-04, 04:13 PM
[LIST=1]
Terranigma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terranigma) was released at the very end of the SNES's lifespan, as the third part of a loose trilogy, & was virtually ignored upon launch. It's a shame, because it's a beautiful, brilliant, & thought-provoking game. I can't recommend it enough.

Oh, yes, indeed. Though it was really rather famous around here, easily one of the most sought-after titles of its time together with Lufia 2. Still worth a mention, because it seems that outside of Europe it's rather unknown, and the game is glorious.

In that vein, Metal Warriors was another SNES game that few people seemed to know in my experience, but that was really seven shades of awesome.

Also, Plok. My child self was in for a surprise with that one - thing is real good, but hard as nails! :smalltongue:

Morty
2011-09-04, 04:15 PM
I remember Blood and Magic. I played it on DosBox briefly. It was interesting.
As for other titles, does Die by the Sword count? I suppose it's obscure by the virtue of its age. Its combat system was excellent... for its time. By today's standards, it's quite clunky.
I saw Gruntz mentioned in this thread, also. I remember that game and it's indeed very fun and virtually unknown.
Finally, does anyone remember War Wind? It was a decent RTS game made in 1996 that was overshadowed by Warcraft II and other big RTS titles that came out around that time.

potatocubed
2011-09-04, 04:17 PM
Shining Force and Shining Force II (I prefer the original, both have their merits)

Shining Force! =D

I prefer 2, myself. There's a more recent one in the series - Shining Force Feather, on the DS (thanks Wikipedia!) - but it never got ported out of Japan.

Also, while I'm thinking of it:

Did anyone else play Silver? It was an action RPG from many years ago: pretty good albeit a little basic.

Tengu_temp
2011-09-04, 05:13 PM
As for other titles, does Die by the Sword count? I suppose it's obscure by the virtue of its age. Its combat system was excellent... for its time. By today's standards, it's quite clunky.
I saw Gruntz mentioned in this thread, also. I remember that game and it's indeed very fun and virtually unknown.
Finally, does anyone remember War Wind? It was a decent RTS game made in 1996 that was overshadowed by Warcraft II and other big RTS titles that came out around that time.

I remember all those games. In fact, a correction - War Wind was the first RTS with upgrading units into other units, not Blood and Magic! I think the latter is a much better game though, War Wind suffers from really terrible AI and bad map designs. The sequel is even worse in that department.

Cespenar
2011-09-04, 05:14 PM
Bah, humbug! Most of the games mentioned here are not obscure at all! Have you ever heard about those titles?

Blood and Magic - a very interesting RTS that pretty much invented upgrading units to other units in that genre. And it's technically Forgotten Realms.


Already mentioned that. :smalltongue:


Shining Force! =D
Also, while I'm thinking of it:

Did anyone else play Silver? It was an action RPG from many years ago: pretty good albeit a little basic.

Ah, yes, Silver. I remember enjoying it way too much back in the days.

Also, does anyone remember Lords of the Realm? It was essentially Total War, but in 1994.

Morty
2011-09-04, 06:25 PM
I remember all those games. In fact, a correction - War Wind was the first RTS with upgrading units into other units, not Blood and Magic! I think the latter is a much better game though, War Wind suffers from really terrible AI and bad map designs. The sequel is even worse in that department.

Yeah, War Wind hasn't really earned a place in annals of great games. I just felt like mentioning it, since it kind of stuck in my memory for some reason.
Oh, and another game: Little Big Adventure. Well, I've only played the second game, and not in its entirety, but I remember it had quite an atmosphere. French touch, as they apparently call it.

The Glyphstone
2011-09-04, 07:37 PM
Oh, I got one:

Impossible Creatures. AKA "Wasted Potential: The Game".

Volthawk
2011-09-04, 07:43 PM
Oh, I got one:

Impossible Creatures. AKA "Wasted Potential: The Game".

Heh, I spent more time playing with the creature creator than actually playing the proper game...

danzibr
2011-09-04, 08:50 PM
It had better not be :-(. There is just absolutely no way in hell they can do a game that is 20+ years old any real justice. All they will do is taint it's awesome name :-(

I LOVED River City Ransom, it was such an awesomely fun game, and I spent a lot of time playing it over and over again with my best friend when we were kids.
Ahh, but it's looking to be a network game, so not a full Wii or PS3 game or whatever. I haven't seen any screenshots, but I'm hoping for something just like the original.

boj0
2011-09-04, 11:48 PM
Terranigma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terranigma) was released at the very end of the SNES's lifespan, as the third part of a loose trilogy, & was virtually ignored upon launch. It's a shame, because it's a beautiful, brilliant, & thought-provoking game. I can't recommend it enough.


The game that comes right before it, Illusion of Gaia, is easily my favorite adventure game of all time (yes, I enjoyed it more than every Zelda game)

Starwulf
2011-09-05, 01:23 AM
The game that comes right before it, Illusion of Gaia, is easily my favorite adventure game of all time (yes, I enjoyed it more than every Zelda game)

wait, what? Huh? Are you saying Illusion of Gaia wasn't a one-shot? It was part of a trilogy? What are the other two games? Terranigma and what else? In what way were they related? I'm extremely curious now, I kept a journal in 8th grade of my adventures in Illusion of Gaia world(yeah, I was a super-geek ^^). I've only ever really came across a handful of people who both played it and really enjoyed it. It kind of got lost in the pack of other great SNES RPGs of that era.

JabberwockySupafly
2011-09-05, 01:32 AM
wait, what? Huh? Are you saying Illusion of Gaia wasn't a one-shot? It was part of a trilogy? What are the other two games? Terranigma and what else? In what way were they related? I'm extremely curious now, I kept a journal in 8th grade of my adventures in Illusion of Gaia world(yeah, I was a super-geek ^^). I've only ever really came across a handful of people who both played it and really enjoyed it. It kind of got lost in the pack of other great SNES RPGs of that era.

Soul Blazer is the missing point to your trifecta.

Soul Blazer
Illusion of Gaia
Terranigma

That's the order they were released and should be played in if memory serves. Still my favourite Action RPG series on the SNES (Yes, I liked them more than Seiken Densetsu. Gets yer torches & pitchforks a-ready!)

EDIT: My contribution would probably be... hmmm... The Ys series. Great Japanese Action RPGs with gorgeous hand-drawn character models (later games have 3d backgrounds but keep the hand-drawn models. They look spectacular), solid yet simple gameplay, excellent stories, and probably the best music in gaming history. Sadly, few have made it anywhere outside of Japan until recently. Most of them are being ported to hand-helds like the DS and the PSP.

Ys 7 was recently brought out on PSP in English, Ys IV: Ark of Napishtm is out on PSP & PS2 as well but very buggy, and Oath in Felghana (bar none my favourite) is apparently being brought out in English soon as well. It's a remake of the old Ys III: Wanderers from Ys that was released in English on the NES. I got it on PC when it originally came out and I don't even speak a word of Japanese, but it was totally worth it. Just for the sweet, sweet candy... I mean music.

GolemsVoice
2011-09-05, 02:23 AM
I don't know if it's really obscure, but I tremendously enjoyed Aquanox II. And I still demand a sequel. Simple as that.

Drascin
2011-09-05, 04:42 AM
Did anyone else play Silver? It was an action RPG from many years ago: pretty good albeit a little basic.

Silver is a thorn in my side, has been for years. When it came out, I did not have a PC capable or running it. When I got a PC capable of running it, I could not find it anywhere :smallannoyed:. Now if I ever manage to find it I will play it no matter what just out of stubborness.

KingofMadCows
2011-09-05, 05:42 AM
Etherlords
Disciples 2
Freedom Force
Geneforge
Ground Control
King's Bounty
Perimeter
Silent Storm

Moonshadow
2011-09-05, 06:44 AM
A boy and his Blob. They made a remake two years ago but I haven't played it. Did anyone ever find out what the ketchup jellybean did?

My favorite game from way back is Spy's Demise. (http://www.virtualapple.org/J_spysdemisedisk.html) Just make sure you play it on mute or at minimal volume. :smalleek:

IIRC, the ketchup bean was used to summon Blob to your side if you left him somewhere. Like the part where you turn him into a trampoline to bounce up about 5 screens onto a ledge. It was a hell of a lot easier than whistling and then trying to throw him that bean that turns him into a bird (or a bee, or whatever it did)

Brother Oni
2011-09-05, 07:00 AM
Lords of Chaos.

You must have had the posh version. The copy I had on my Amstrad only had 3 levels. :smallfrown:

I remember the immense amount of fun of setting off a sticky blob spell and watching it consume the entire landscape turn by turn...

As for playing it again, there are a number of old emulators of the old systems available and that's all I'm allowed to say on the matter.


wait, what? Huh? Are you saying Illusion of Gaia wasn't a one-shot? It was part of a trilogy? What are the other two games? Terranigma and what else? In what way were they related?

Further to Jabberwocky's answer, Illusion of Gaia had a hidden boss, who was the boss of the first stage of Soul blazer. He even makes a reference to when the Blazer came down to earth and trashed him.


As for other old semi-obscure games - who remembers Spy vs Spy? The sheer amount of fun with traps was unparalleled until the Deception series came out.

potatocubed
2011-09-05, 07:22 AM
You must have had the posh version. The copy I had on my Amstrad only had 3 levels. :smallfrown:

I remember the immense amount of fun of setting off a sticky blob spell and watching it consume the entire landscape turn by turn...

I did much the same thing with magic fire. My level one strategy was usually:

Open door.
Cast magic fire out of door.
Close door.
Wait for world and all enemy wizards to be consumed in flame.

Most of my wizards burned to death on their way to the portal. :smalltongue:

As for the other two levels, they were on an expansion tape. One was a series of islands with eye-trees all over, and the portal appeared in the middle of a forest of the things (which regrew a few turns after being destroyed, damaging anything in their square). I forget what the other level was.

ObadiahtheSlim
2011-09-05, 09:26 AM
Also, does anyone remember Lords of the Realm? It was essentially Total War, but in 1994.

I loved Lords of the Realm 2. I also have the first one, but could never really figure it out.

Brother Oni
2011-09-05, 11:22 AM
I did much the same thing with magic fire. My level one strategy was usually:

Open door.
Cast magic fire out of door.
Close door.
Wait for world and all enemy wizards to be consumed in flame.

Most of my wizards burned to death on their way to the portal. :smalltongue:


You know, they really should do a remake of the game, using the engine of Final Fantasy Tactics or something similar.

Alternately, a real time version might be interesting - cast minions to either go stomping around the battlefield to kill stuff (demons, spectres, etc), or automate them to go gathering resources for your potions/dragons (pixies and the like).
Add in an RPG-esque way of improving your character (carrying capacity, speed of movement, mana, spell trees, etc) and you've pretty much got the whole game done.

It'd probably end up very similar to Overlord/Pikmin though, which may not be a bad thing.

Dogmantra
2011-09-05, 11:28 AM
Oh, I got one:

Impossible Creatures. AKA "Wasted Potential: The Game".

The main trouble with that game, I found was that there was a pathetically low pop cap, but no limit on towers. I remember many games ending with me selling all my henchmen just to divebomb the lab with my trademark Dragonfly/Sperm Whale combo.

Gecks
2011-09-05, 11:32 AM
Haven't spotted anyone mentioning King of Dragon Pass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_Dragon_Pass

Made in 1999 and still has a spot on my hard-drive!

I second the nominations for System Shock 2, although I think that game falls more under "somewhat forgotten classic" than truely "obscure". :smallsmile:

The Succubus
2011-09-05, 11:41 AM
The Void.

Hardly anyone's heard of it but it remains my favourite PC game of all time.

Ruinix
2011-09-05, 12:04 PM
Reunion.
Freelancer.
the original Mount&Blade.

Neon Knight
2011-09-05, 12:28 PM
Silent Storm

Holy heck, someone else who knows about Silent Storm! Silent Storm and it's sequel, Sentinels, is one of my favorite games. They're turn based strategy games were you command a squad of commandos in WWII (or just thereafter.) They're very Jagged Alliance/X-COM esque (more-so the former than the latter.)

The Glyphstone
2011-09-05, 04:16 PM
Because of this thread, I've gone and reinstalled Sub Titans from my old disk. And it is glorious. Frustratingly primitive at times for an RTS, but glorious nostalgia all the same.

arguskos
2011-09-05, 04:19 PM
Submarine Titans and Metal Fatigue.

Two relatively obscure RTS I enjoyed.
Damn you sir, damn you. I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove Metal Fatigue, but it doesn't run on Windows 7, apparently. :smallmad: Dammit, I really want to play that again now! Such a fun game.

Morty
2011-09-05, 04:56 PM
Holy heck, someone else who knows about Silent Storm! Silent Storm and it's sequel, Sentinels, is one of my favorite games. They're turn based strategy games were you command a squad of commandos in WWII (or just thereafter.) They're very Jagged Alliance/X-COM esque (more-so the former than the latter.)

I know Silent Storm. My brother used to be quite a fan. It's a good game, even though it's kind of ruined by those damn Panzerkleins.

tensai_oni
2011-09-05, 06:01 PM
kind of ruined by those damn Panzerkleins.

I never understood the Panzerklein hate. Care to explain this?

Mr.Silver
2011-09-05, 06:05 PM
I've heard good things about Psychonauts.
Psychonauts is very well written. It's status as being well made is up for debate as it's gameplay has... problems.

Grif
2011-09-05, 09:40 PM
Because of this thread, I've gone and reinstalled Sub Titans from my old disk. And it is glorious. Frustratingly primitive at times for an RTS, but glorious nostalgia all the same.

Jelly.

JELLY!

My disc was lost to the annals of time long ago. I can only relieve the memory now with youtube.


Damn you sir, damn you. I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove Metal Fatigue, but it doesn't run on Windows 7, apparently. :smallmad: Dammit, I really want to play that again now! Such a fun game.

I know the feeling.

Neon Knight
2011-09-05, 09:51 PM
I never understood the Panzerklein hate. Care to explain this?

In the first game, Panzerkleins are nigh invincible unless confronted with either a laser or another Panzerklein. Conventional infantry, no matter how many heavy grenades, mines, and AT weapons they carry, will ever best a Panzerklein. They pretty much override normal gameplay; if you don't take Panzerkleins into battle, enemies with them will stomp you. It could be quite frustrating. Some people also didn't like that what was previously a decently realistic WWII game suddenly has lasers, UFOs, and powered armor.

Oh, and another thing: it was possible to encounter Panzerkleins before you got Panzerkleins of your own. You choose what order to do the missions available to you in, and the order in which you receive missions can differ from play-through to play-through.

Luckily, in the expansion, PKs are much more vulnerable. High powered rifles (particularly sniper rifles), some machine guns, AT weapons firing AP ammo, and very powerful explosives all have a chance of penetrating PK armor. Also, it is possible to damage thinner parts of the armor and to even hit the pilot directly from certain angles and with certain shots. PKs still mount powerful weapons, extend the lives of their wielders, and bounce a large amount of the firepower sent their way, but normal infantry have a better chance, and PKs now require normal infantry support to operate effectively.

ObadiahtheSlim
2011-09-05, 09:54 PM
Psychonauts is very well written. It's status as being well made is up for debate as it's gameplay has... problems.

If you consider gameplay only, Psychonauts is a mediocre platform adventure game. Particularly poor gameplay parts are the climb up the asylum near the end and the Meat Circus. However the story and voice acting are top notch. It more than makes up for the dodgy parts.

arguskos
2011-09-05, 10:48 PM
I know the feeling.
I mean, the tri-level game play, the ability to customize giant mechs with snipers and laser buzzsaws (I liked that faction a lot), the fact that non-mech units mattered, it was all just awesome.

deuxhero
2011-09-05, 11:56 PM
Oh, Chibi Robo is pretty unknown for a modern Nintendo game that got 2 sequels (1 Japan only). Mostly due to the first being the 1st being released very late into the GCN's life (Baten Kaitos Orgins, which I would also list if not for its noticible cult following, was the only thing to come after it in the US that wasn't a licensed/sports title), the 2nd being Wal-mart exclusive and the 3rd being Japan only.

potatocubed
2011-09-06, 03:52 AM
The Void.

Hardly anyone's heard of it but it remains my favourite PC game of all time.

I've played The Void! It was creepy as all hell.

Sadly, I only got a few hours in before I realised I'd basically shafted myself in terms of colour. (Too much in my... palette? I forget. Plus weak trees, not enough trees of the right colours, etc.) One of these days I'll fire it up again and finish it.


You know, they really should do a remake of the game, using the engine of Final Fantasy Tactics or something similar

All I need is Game Maker and a decent amount of spare time. I have one of those things...

Zweanslord
2011-09-06, 04:14 AM
Tone Rebellion. Made in '97, a fun little game that even my sister liked to play. Unfortunately what was not well made was the multiplayer, as connecting was a hassle and it always got out of sync, otherwise we would have played it a lot more times multiplayer (cooperative).

You play one of four different floater races (Physical, Supernatural, Ethereal, Natural) and try to defeat the Leviathan on the several islands floating in space as you connect them with bridges. Nice looking background for the time and would love to play it some time again were it not that I couldn't get it running on Vista.

Got it for my birthday once, picked up by my father from a bargain bin. I had never heard of it back then, and don't see people talking about it now.

Morty
2011-09-06, 06:25 AM
I never understood the Panzerklein hate. Care to explain this?


In the first game, Panzerkleins are nigh invincible unless confronted with either a laser of another Panzerklein. Conventional infantry, no matter how many heavy grenades, mines, and AT weapons they carry, will ever best a Panzerklein. They pretty much override normal gameplay; if you don't take Panzerkleins into battle, enemies with them will stomp you. It could be quite frustrating. Some people also didn't like that what was previously a decently realistic WWII game suddenly has lasers, UFOs, and powered armor.

Oh, and another thing: it was possible to encounter Panzerkleins before you got Panzerkleins of your own. you choose what order to do the missions available to you in, and the order in which you receive missions can differ from play-through to play-through.

Luckily, in the expansion, PKs are much more vulnerable. High powered rifles (particularly sniper rifles), some machine guns, AT weapons firing AP ammo, and very powerful explosives all have a chance of penetrating PK armor. Also, it is possible to damage thinner parts of the armor and to even hit the pilot directly from certain angles and with certain shots. PKs still mount powerful weapons, extend the lives of their wielders, and bounce a large amount of the firepower sent their way, but normal infantry have a better chance, and PKs now require normal infantry support to operate effectively.

What Neon Knight said. Until those slow-walking products of alternate history show up, Silent Storm is a fairly realistic, tactical WW II simulator. Then, suddenly, frickin' lasers and power armor that turn the gameplay inside-out. The pinnacle of this is the final fight, in which you're up against the leader of Thor's Hammer who's sitting in a jet-propelled Panzerklein and has over 1000 hit points somehow. :smallyuk:

tensai_oni
2011-09-06, 11:28 AM
I see why it bothers you if you want the game to be realistic. I do not mind science fiction or mystical elements in World War II fiction, so it is okay for me.

GungHo
2011-09-06, 01:44 PM
I enjoyed Afterlife from LucasArts... which was a SimCity/god game where you basically ran Heaven/Hell.

I played the heck out of the Sierra adventure games... some of the ones I really remember, but rarely see mentioned are Conquests of the Longbow and Conquests of Camelot. For the time, the riddles in Camelot were pretty good. I also remember Heart of China and Freddy Pharkas fondly.

An obscure, but not well-made game that I liked, but only because I managed never to screw it up with one of the many bugs it apparently had: Codename ICEMAN.

And for well-made, but not obscure: Quest for Glory... loved every one of them but IV... which I could NEVER get to run. It was one of the first games that a major company put out that couldn't run out of the box. And, by the time I actually got it to run, I didn't care any more. I think QFG2 was the high-point, though.

Clintodon
2011-09-06, 04:01 PM
Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostile_Waters:_Antaeus_Rising) for PC. Nice mix of sci-fi RTS and vehicle shooter, unit count is limited only by building materials and available pilots (with individual personalities, vehicle preferences and voice actors), and a decent B-movie style plot (IMO). And the player is able to "jump into" any vehicle and start piloting if desired. Expect the AI pilots to complain if you take over their controls, though!

I got it from Good Old Games, but it's currently unavailable until some legal folderol Interplay is having has been settled (GOG forum explanation link (http://www.gog.com/en/forum/general/gog_team_where_is_hostile_waters/page1)) - keeping fingers crossed that it'll come back, though.

Tavar
2011-09-06, 07:46 PM
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends still ranks as one of my favorite games. Pity it was somewhat of a retail flop: the world is pretty interesting.

dsmiles
2011-09-06, 08:01 PM
Am I just blind, or were Master of Magic and Sword of the Berserk not mentioned?

Neon Knight
2011-09-06, 08:15 PM
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends still ranks as one of my favorite games. Pity it was somewhat of a retail flop: the world is pretty interesting.

I remember that game. The fluff was fairly interesting, particularly the Vinci and the... desert guys. The UFO Aztec guys, not so much. The game play really was rather tepid, though.

Another good strategy game that got little retail love: Battle Realms. It had a fairly interesting way of training units: you send basic units into buildings to train them to the next tier of unit; there are multiple types of training buildings that each produce a different unit when you send the basic unit in, and you could send the units produced by that training into the other buildings to train a new type of unit of the next tier. A unit that had been sent through every building would emerge as the best unit for your faction. You could also give units new abilities and upgrades by training them in certain buildings, and every unit got unique abilities and upgrades.

Add to that some Eastern styled fluff and lots of nice details, like every unit having a melee attack (it did this long before Dawn of War, btw) and it adds up to an unappreciated and forgotten game that still holds up decently well.

Gamerlord
2011-09-06, 08:47 PM
Dominions 3.

Cespenar
2011-09-07, 12:42 AM
Am I just blind, or were Master of Magic and Sword of the Berserk not mentioned?

Master of Magic isn't really obscure as much as it's old IMHO, but it would probably count for most people. I myself played so much of it that it comes off less obscure than any triple-A game you can mention, though. :smallbiggrin:

ryzouken
2011-09-07, 03:57 AM
Dungeon Master. First Person point of view, party of up to four characters, go through dungeon to try and kill the evil wizard at the bottom. Party recruitment was done in the "hall of heroes" where your party dudes sat around trapped in magic mirrors. You selected your party by freeing them from said mirrors (you were technically the disembodied spirit of another mage) and then you did your best to survive the traps and stuff on your way down. Had in depth spell casting and potion making...

A very deep and nifty game, far too advanced for my 8 year old (at the time) mind to grasp.

The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall. Very ambitious game that laid the groundwork for Morrowind, Oblivion, and now Skyrim. Many fun hours were had running around busting into shops in the dead of night and stealing their stuff. Was a bit glitchy, but then, it was Windows 95.

Phantom Crash. Mech sim game with nimble little machines that mounted up to 4 weapons. Decent customization, active camouflage, and a tournament bracket style advancement scheme served as a backdrop for a very emotional story about a veteran mech jockey and her slowly burning out (replicating the effects of Almzheimer's) dog AI.

Earth Defense Force 2017. 50 levels, 5 difficulty modes, over 100 weapons... whack giant alien ants, robots, and spaceships with all kinds of weapons. Deployable Missile Turrets, super AR clones, 3 and 5 shot missile launchers, nuclear hand grenades, sniper rifles, flame throwers, plasma weaponry... when Storm 1 asks the UN for a weapon, Storm 1 gets the weapon.

Get Medieval. Gauntlet clone. Some... interesting... character designs. A bit more lighthearted than the Gauntlet series.

dsmiles
2011-09-07, 05:11 AM
Master of Magic isn't really obscure as much as it's old IMHO, but it would probably count for most people. I myself played so much of it that it comes off less obscure than any triple-A game you can mention, though. :smallbiggrin:I love me some MoM. Since I picked up DOSBox about two years ago, I can always get my fix. There was a Let's Play for MoM a (long) while back, but it died. :smallfrown:

Cespenar
2011-09-07, 05:24 AM
I remember playing it when I was, like, 7 or 8. I wonder how much of the game I actually had understood back then. :smallbiggrin:

dsmiles
2011-09-07, 05:27 AM
I remember playing it when I was, like, 7 or 8. I wonder how much of the game I actually had understood back then. :smallbiggrin:Wow. I feel old. I was in high school when that game came out...:smalleek:

Cespenar
2011-09-07, 06:24 AM
Wow. I feel old. I was in high school when that game came out...:smalleek:

High school age is a better one to enjoy the gems of that era, I think.

dsmiles
2011-09-07, 06:36 AM
High school age is a better one to enjoy the gems of that era, I think.Unfortunately, by "in high school," I actually meant: That was the year I graduated.

factotum
2011-09-07, 06:54 AM
Dungeon Master.
The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall.

Neither of those are really what I'd call "obscure"...

Cespenar
2011-09-07, 08:10 AM
Unfortunately, by "in high school," I actually meant: That was the year I graduated.

Ouch. :smallbiggrin:

Hmm, to be back in track, anyone played Gangsters?

Forbiddenwar
2011-09-07, 11:47 AM
I played the heck out of the Sierra adventure games... some of the ones I really remember, but rarely see mentioned are Conquests of the Longbow and Conquests of Camelot. For the time, the riddles in Camelot were pretty good. I also remember Heart of China and Freddy Pharkas fondly.

And for well-made, but not obscure: Quest for Glory... loved every one of them but IV... which I could NEVER get to run. It was one of the first games that a major company put out that couldn't run out of the box. And, by the time I actually got it to run, I didn't care any more. I think QFG2 was the high-point, though.

Seconded. Every so often I check on GOG to see if they are added yet. The QFG series gets a lot of votes on the wishlist, but because users entered them in under several different titles, the votes for the series are split into 16 different game titles like: QFG1, and Quest for Glory 1, and Quest for Glory: So You want to be a hero 1, etc . . .
I think all told they might have more votes than some on the "Most voted" list

dsmiles
2011-09-07, 11:57 AM
Anyone play Fable? No, not that one, THIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fable_%281996_video_game%29) one.

ObadiahtheSlim
2011-09-07, 12:01 PM
Neither of those are really what I'd call "obscure"...

Daggerfall I would consider obscure. I don't think I know anyone who has ever played it. The only thing people seem to know about it is that it's that one game Bethesda made before Morrowind.

Brother Oni
2011-09-07, 01:12 PM
Daggerfall I would consider obscure. I don't think I know anyone who has ever played it. The only thing people seem to know about it is that it's that one game Bethesda made before Morrowind.

I've played it. Finding you way around caves was difficult as all you had was a 2d top down map trying to represent a 3D space.

Getting attacked by guards in towns/villages for doing anything wrong was fairly profitable as you can run backwards and attack, kiting them all the way, then loot their bodies for stuff.

Zweanslord
2011-09-07, 01:23 PM
Anyone play Fable? No, not that one, THIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fable_%281996_video_game%29) one.

Oh, yes! Now that for me will always be the game called Fable, not the more recent one(s). Played it when I was much younger, sometimes helped by my father, puzzling things along, in the end having to consult a walkthrough on the dial up internet for a few parts, and then finishing it. I couldn't believe the ending was the real ending, and that there must be another.. but there wasn't. Also, I still have the package lying around somewhere, which is really nice looking as it looks like it is a book, back when the packages were big and boxes. Ah, good old nostalgia.

Starwulf
2011-09-07, 02:42 PM
Daggerfall I would consider obscure. I don't think I know anyone who has ever played it. The only thing people seem to know about it is that it's that one game Bethesda made before Morrowind.

Uhh, Daggerfall is QUITE popular, and is often hailed as the best Elder Scrolls game ever made. You know how many people say that Oblivion was just a dumbed down Morrowind? Well, a lot of people actually consider Morrowind to be a dumbed down Daggerfall ^^.

I don't think Daggerfall could ever be called Obscure. Now, Arena! That I would consider Obscure. I Played/Owned it when it first came out, but even on the Bethsoft forums themselves, that's a bit of a rarity(granted, many people have played it since Bethsoft released it as a download for free).

ryzouken
2011-09-07, 04:47 PM
I dunno, I just don't run into people who know what Daggerfall or Dungeon Master are. Granted, the two (especially Dungeon Master) don't come up often in conversation, but then that could be its own metric of popularity.

Ultimately, without doing a study with sample sizes and whatnot, there's no way to tell whether the two are ACTUALLY obscure or simply underrepresented due to age/other factors.

It is important to note that all games have followings, even obscure games, and at times those fanbases can be large enough that the fans believe the game to be more mainstream than it actually is.

Regardless, two of those four games (Daggerfall, Dungeon Master) are masterpieces, and the other two (Phantom Crash, Get Medieval) are solid titles. I stand by my post.

Cespenar
2011-09-07, 04:59 PM
Ultimately, without doing a study with sample sizes and whatnot, there's no way to tell whether the two are ACTUALLY obscure or simply underrepresented due to age/other factors.

It is important to note that all games have followings, even obscure games, and at times those fanbases can be large enough that the fans believe the game to be more mainstream than it actually is.

In the 2010 Zurich Convention, games were clearly divided into, from common to rare: Mainstream, Cult, and Obscure, in which Daggerfall is recorded to be in the second group.

Look it up. :smalltongue:

T.G. Oskar
2011-09-07, 06:26 PM
Dungeon Master. First Person point of view, party of up to four characters, go through dungeon to try and kill the evil wizard at the bottom. Party recruitment was done in the "hall of heroes" where your party dudes sat around trapped in magic mirrors. You selected your party by freeing them from said mirrors (you were technically the disembodied spirit of another mage) and then you did your best to survive the traps and stuff on your way down. Had in depth spell casting and potion making...

A very deep and nifty game, far too advanced for my 8 year old (at the time) mind to grasp.

Sorta the same here, but I'd digress on how well made it was. Otherwise, I'd mention Wizardry IV, which while I haven't played, I know for a fact it has what the others (which I've played) lack: difficulty. It's quite probably one of the hardest games around, because of the premise.

DM, on the other hand, doesn't really further the story within the game; maybe the manuals within explain a bit more. You do know a few of the things around (being a disembodied apprentice of a wizard trying to recruit heroes into combat), but the rest is essentially figuring out things on the way (same as Wizardry).

It's one of the many games which had the earliest form of protection; if you don't have the manual, you're stuck big time. For example; the spellcasting trait of the game depends almost exclusively if you know which sigils form each spells, and the only clues are the scrolls going around; not having a tutorial for them, attempting blindly to create potions and cast spells can be troublesome (for example, what are the chances to know that the first sigils determine the strength of the spell, rather than the main components?)

Then again, having played it in the SNES (no computer when I was young until quite a while, so my only chance was to rent them) can distort the perception of the game quite a bit. I wouldn't say it's a bad game, but compared to other games of its kind it isn't as "well made"; it certainly has some original touches to classic dungeon exploring, but every game had something different.

factotum
2011-09-08, 01:43 AM
Ultimately, without doing a study with sample sizes and whatnot, there's no way to tell whether the two are ACTUALLY obscure or simply underrepresented due to age/other factors.


In the case of Dungeon Master I'd say it's almost certainly due to age--we're talking a game that was originally released in 1987 for the Atari ST! According to Wikipedia (so accuracy may vary) the game went on to sell to half the Atari ST users on the planet. The question then becomes, are all those old Atari ST users still into gaming 25 years later?

As far as the PC port goes, the late 80s was before PC gaming became popular--the machines were too expensive and underpowered compared to the ST and Amiga (especially in the sound department, which didn't get rectified until the Adlib sound card came out in 1988 or thereabouts). It wasn't really until the early 90s that the price/performance of PCs dropped to the point where gaming could take off, and Dungeon Master was a distant memory at that point.

Mr.Silver
2011-09-08, 04:17 AM
In the 2010 Zurich Convention, games were clearly divided into, from common to rare: Mainstream, Cult, and Obscure, in which Daggerfall is recorded to be in the second group.

Look it up. :smalltongue:

That might be easier if you said what the convention was actually called :smalltongue:

Cespenar
2011-09-08, 04:41 AM
That might be easier if you said what the convention was actually called :smalltongue:

Nah, that's supposed to be so famous that it didn't need an explanation. Like the Geneva Convention. :smalltongue:

WoodStock_PV
2011-09-08, 04:11 PM
The best game I've ever played is also the one that nobody seems to know.. at least here in my country.

Age of Wonders!! I played this a LOT when I was younger, it took me two weeks to beat the first level of the evil campaign with the dark elves, and another couple of weeks to beat the whole campaign. Unfortunately the game had a major flaw (which I found out many years later when I grew up): The Hero unit of the game could dominate the entire board by level 10~15, transforming itself into a one man army kind of thing, completely unbeatable in a game where the major point was to build entire armies. =/

dsmiles
2011-09-15, 04:48 AM
The best game I've ever played is also the one that nobody seems to know.. at least here in my country.

Age of Wonders!! I played this a LOT when I was younger, it took me two weeks to beat the first level of the evil campaign with the dark elves, and another couple of weeks to beat the whole campaign. Unfortunately the game had a major flaw (which I found out many years later when I grew up): The Hero unit of the game could dominate the entire board by level 10~15, transforming itself into a one man army kind of thing, completely unbeatable in a game where the major point was to build entire armies. =/AoW got a sequel. It, too, was pretty great.

iyaerP
2011-09-15, 05:16 AM
Game that I really enjoyed was Sierra's Outpost in 1998. The premise was that humanity had discovered a giant asteroid of doom that would destroy the planet. Nuking it failed, so humanity put everything into a giant space ship and sent it out to a star in hopes of rebuilding. You started out planning the trip, taking between 50 and 200 people, managing your limited weight against what was needed once you go there, and once you did get there, it was slowly build up from just the landers and a few mining robots into a livable hive without dieing out.

I got the defeat cinematic alot, a camera panning across an alien planet, seeing an astronaut on the surface overlooking a structure, swooping around the back of the space suit before showing the face with an empty skull in it.

Mildly traumatic to my childhood self, but I was bad at the game. Still liked it anyway tho.

Grif
2011-09-15, 05:19 AM
Game that I really enjoyed was Sierra's Outpost in 1998. The premise was that humanity had discovered a giant asteroid of doom that would destroy the planet. Nuking it failed, so humanity put everything into a giant space ship and sent it out to a star in hopes of rebuilding. You started out planning the trip, taking between 50 and 200 people, managing your limited weight against what was needed once you go there, and once you did get there, it was slowly build up from just the landers and a few mining robots into a livable hive without dieing out.

I got the defeat cinematic alot, a camera panning across an alien planet, seeing an astronaut on the surface overlooking a structure, swooping around the back of the space suit before showing the face with an empty skull in it.

Mildly traumatic to my childhood self, but I was bad at the game. Still liked it anyway tho.

Oh oh! I know that game. It was one of my favourite last time, with all the customisable planets and underground base.

Too bad it was largely unfinished (so I read; the game itself had a few buggy features here and there which kinda confirms it), but I felt the game had great potential.

dsmiles
2011-09-15, 07:14 AM
Too bad Alpha Centauri isn't obscure. That game was (and still is) awesome.

Cespenar
2011-09-15, 09:07 AM
Too bad Alpha Centauri isn't obscure. That game was (and still is) awesome.

Beats all of the Civs too, IMHO.

GungHo
2011-09-15, 10:02 AM
If there's any game that's crying for a graphics update (graphics, not gameplay), it's SMAC. Keep the original voiceovers, etc, and don't need to screw with gameplay (ok, make Lal less of a backstabbing SOB).

I even liked the new factions from the expansion pack, except for the aliens. Especially Dread Pirate Roberts or whatever his name was.

dsmiles
2011-09-15, 11:25 AM
I even liked the new factions from the expansion pack, except for the aliens. Especially Dread Pirate Roberts or whatever his name was.But, the real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.

Starbuck_II
2011-09-15, 09:33 PM
Shining Force! =D

I prefer 2, myself. There's a more recent one in the series - Shining Force Feather, on the DS (thanks Wikipedia!) - but it never got ported out of Japan.

Also, while I'm thinking of it:

Did anyone else play Silver? It was an action RPG from many years ago: pretty good albeit a little basic.
Yes, Shining force series were well made.
I wish Shining Force Three was brung back (on a new system like PS 2/3 or X-bvox 360). Sadly, my Sega Saturn died so I can't play it.

dsmiles
2011-09-16, 06:45 AM
Yes, Shining force series were well made.
I wish Shining Force Three was brung back (on a new system like PS 2/3 or X-bvox 360). Sadly, my Sega Saturn died so I can't play it.
Shining Force was good, but I've always wondered at the connection between the Shining Force series and Shining in the Darkness. :smallconfused:

T.G. Oskar
2011-09-16, 01:32 PM
Speaking of Shining Force, it's Saturn-only spiritual successor Dragon Force. That's another game I'd love to see remade, probably for the 360 because it tends to have most (if not all) of the Sega game library (aside from Nintendo, that is).

While I never had the pleasure to play it, just watching the ads made it in my eyes an instant buy. It had an odd method of combat (army vs. army), and it had quite the shiny graphics for its time.

Starbuck_II
2011-09-16, 03:27 PM
Speaking of Shining Force, it's Saturn-only spiritual successor Dragon Force. That's another game I'd love to see remade, probably for the 360 because it tends to have most (if not all) of the Sega game library (aside from Nintendo, that is).

While I never had the pleasure to play it, just watching the ads made it in my eyes an instant buy. It had an odd method of combat (army vs. army), and it had quite the shiny graphics for its time.

Yes, I loved that game. Never tried new game plus where you can choose Rienhart and the other dude. My favorite DF leader characters were the Samurai, the elf girl, and the Junon masked knight. Although, the story for the Monk was cool (fighting tournament for being king).

Starwulf
2011-09-18, 01:03 AM
I remembered an absolute brilliant game that I played when I was a kid, and I have NEVER heard it mentioned on any gaming forum I've ever visited that had a discussion on great old games:

Xexyz I'm not 100% of the name, but it's definitely SOMETHING like that, and it was a very fun game, with a lot of challenge. I remember spending many many hours on it.

Also: Karnov!

Mr.Silver
2011-09-18, 02:16 PM
If there's any game that's crying for a graphics update (graphics, not gameplay), it's SMAC. Keep the original voiceovers, etc, and don't need to screw with gameplay (ok, make Lal less of a backstabbing SOB).

I even liked the new factions from the expansion pack, except for the aliens. Especially Dread Pirate Roberts or whatever his name was.
The only human faction that I felt worked from Alien Crossfire were the Free Drones. The others largely felt superfluous (Cult of Planet), had balance problems (Cybernetic Consciousness) or simply just made no sense as a faction in the first place (Data Angels). The less said about the Aliens the better.


I remembered an absolute brilliant game that I played when I was a kid, and I have NEVER heard it mentioned on any gaming forum I've ever visited that had a discussion on great old games:

Xexyz I'm not 100% of the name, but it's definitely SOMETHING like that, and it was a very fun game, with a lot of challenge. I remember spending many many hours on it.

What sort of game was it?

Starwulf
2011-09-18, 02:40 PM
The only human faction that I felt worked from Alien Crossfire were the Free Drones. The others largely felt superfluous (Cult of Planet), had balance problems (Cybernetic Consciousness) or simply just made no sense as a faction in the first place (Data Angels). The less said about the Aliens the better.


What sort of game was it?

It's....hard to explain. I remember there were levels where I was flying in a spaceship, collecting powerups for weapons, or just flat out different weapons. Then other levels I was the guy who was flying the spaceship, but I was out on the ground. You would have bosses on both types of levels from what I remember. It had a currency/credit kind of thing IIRC(I could be so wrong, it was a NES game). It was pretty well made, and quite enjoyable, obviously since I can still remember it to this day, despite not actually owning it.

Also, I remembered another "Interesting"(not sure if it was Well made, but it was definitely interesting) NES game: Xenophobes. It was pretty nifty, if a bit frustrating to grasp the concept of.

Tono
2011-09-18, 02:46 PM
Is this the game you were talking about? (http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/587791-xexyz)

Toast1862
2011-09-19, 06:59 AM
One game that I really like and I think is unique is Azure Dreams, which was for the PS1. Some parts of it are a little overused now-- like randomly throwing in a dating sim aspect, though that's a selling point for me-- but I think the approach it took to turn-based fighting was really unique.

The story is, you live in a desert city with a giant monster tower. People go in, hunt monsters, get treasure. Your father was a great hunter, but he died in the tower-- soon after, your family became very poor. Soon you were old enough to head in the tower, though, to catch your own familiars and save the town.

The turn-based system is interesting in that you move in real time, but every action you take is balanced with the enemies taking a turn. So, you take one step, the enemies take one step, even though it all happens at a normal pace. It's pretty neat, honestly, and a good balance between strategy and staving off boredom from menus. :smallbiggrin:

I guess I could include Full Throttle (made by the same guy as Psychonauts, includes Mark Hamill) and some really good Indie games like Emily Enough - Imprisoned, The White Chamber, Out of Order. Also I played the John DeFoe games before watching Zero Punctuation, and it adds another layer of humor when he chastises a horror game for having a sequel set in space. Had he forgotten 6 Days a Sacrifice that quickly? Also Trilby's Notes in the same series is actually really atmospheric thanks to the music. Definitely got a creep vibe from it.

(Sorry if this echoes any previous posts I may have missed!)

Starwulf
2011-09-19, 02:30 PM
Is this the game you were talking about? (http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/587791-xexyz)

yep that's definitely it :)

Dublock
2011-09-19, 04:55 PM
Ok some games I loved back a few (ok maby more then a few) years ago.

Descent.

Not Freespace, although that was a good game...I never got a chance to play Freespace 2 :( But Descent, where you are flying a ship through mines to destroy the mine's reactor while avoiding/killing robots.

I liked the 2nd one best, although I never got to play the 3rd a lot. The 1st one is worth a play through, but I liked some of the added weapons and missiles.

If anyone knows a good way to get them working on a Win 7 or Vista (I tried about a year ago for a few hours and then gave up, on multiple systems) that would be great. Otherwise I might just set up my duel boot with Win 2k (I'll get around to it some time)

EDIT: My dad had to use the joystick for the game, I manage to kick his butt with my keyboard and mouse :P

Mr.Silver
2011-09-19, 05:06 PM
If anyone knows a good way to get them working on a Win 7 or Vista (I tried about a year ago for a few hours and then gave up, on multiple systems) that would be great. Otherwise I might just set up my duel boot with Win 2k (I'll get around to it some time)

Aside from buying them off Gog.com, no.

Comrade
2011-09-19, 08:16 PM
Genghis Khan.

I loved that game.

Grif
2011-09-19, 11:03 PM
One game that I really like and I think is unique is Azure Dreams, which was for the PS1. Some parts of it are a little overused now-- like randomly throwing in a dating sim aspect, though that's a selling point for me-- but I think the approach it took to turn-based fighting was really unique.

The story is, you live in a desert city with a giant monster tower. People go in, hunt monsters, get treasure. Your father was a great hunter, but he died in the tower-- soon after, your family became very poor. Soon you were old enough to head in the tower, though, to catch your own familiars and save the town.

The turn-based system is interesting in that you move in real time, but every action you take is balanced with the enemies taking a turn. So, you take one step, the enemies take one step, even though it all happens at a normal pace. It's pretty neat, honestly, and a good balance between strategy and staving off boredom from menus. :smallbiggrin:

Sounded so very much like Chocobo Dungeon 2, right down to the 'You take one step, he takes one step bit.' Minus the sim dating part obviously.

Not like it's very obscure, but eh, throwing this one out there.

factotum
2011-09-20, 01:46 AM
Not Freespace, although that was a good game...I never got a chance to play Freespace 2 :(

Get thee hence and buy it from GOG, then you get a chance to play it! I think you have to have a joystick to play it, though, don't think there's a mouse or keyboard option.

Thane of Fife
2011-09-20, 02:33 PM
Expedition. Obscure unless you're from Germany I'd wager. The only edition of the game I've ever seen is in German, including the rules and the board.

If you mean a game about collecting ancient Egyptian artifacts, then I have seen that game in English, and indeed used to own it.

Other obscure but good games:

Star Warriors is, in my opinion, the best Star Wars board game ever made. It does an excellent job capturing the feel of the movies' dog fights.

I don't know how obscure it is, but I never hear anyone talk about it, so I'll just say that Magical Starsign quality RPG.

Brother Oni
2011-09-20, 02:38 PM
One game that I really like and I think is unique is Azure Dreams, which was for the PS1. Some parts of it are a little overused now-- like randomly throwing in a dating sim aspect, though that's a selling point for me-- but I think the approach it took to turn-based fighting was really unique.


There was a Let's Play of this on the board, but it looks like it's dropped off the end now.

Das Platyvark
2011-09-20, 02:44 PM
Sleep Is Death.

Knaight
2011-09-20, 03:03 PM
DROD: Journey to Rooted Hold
DROD: The City Beneath
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rdRFu90hTs)
A puzzle game, that is entirely deterministic, in which you have perfect information, that is still incredibly difficult. It also has the aesthetics of a dungeon crawl, and a somewhat similar feel. They both have free demo's, and will run on basically any computer (except for those running Mac OS X Lion).

Smight
2011-09-23, 02:32 AM
Emperor of the Fading Suns (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_of_the_Fading_Suns)

Civilisation meets Dune on galactic scale.

Psychonaut
2011-09-23, 09:11 AM
(Let's see if the forum software recognizes my post this time.)

I'm not sure these all would qualify as "obscure" (I don't follow any gaming news outside adventure games and RPGs, and even then I'd be hard-pressed to tell you which recent adventure games are obscure and which ones are well-known), but none of them are among the big names I think of when I think of their respective genres. In no particular order:

Psychonauts, obviously - a platformer where you take on the role of Raz, a kid attending a summer camp for training children with psychic powers on how to travel into people's brains and help them overcome their mental issues. Humorous and fun, and I personally love the quirky art direction and way certain minds are represented.

Such as the paranoid schizophrenic/multiple personality guard whose mind is represented by a twisty world full of hidden cameras and people watching you, where everyone's a government agent in disguise and even the girl scouts are part of a conspiracy.

Definitely worth checking out if you enjoyed the humor in any of Tim Schafer's other games, such as the first 2 (or was it 3?) Monkey Islands. Slightly weak in terms of gameplay, though not as bad as some make it out to be; it's mostly average for a platformer but brought down by the horribad last level, which of course people are going to remember more than the rest.

The Last Express - an adventure game that tells a tale of mystery and intrigue on the last Orient Express to set out before the onset of World War I. Beautiful, atmospheric, has great music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eLhDN3qKE0)* (see also the concert scene in the middle of the game, which features César Franck's Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano as played by Josef Suk and Josef Hala). The puzzles are rather easy, as well as being few and far between, but everything else about the game is absolutely amazing (even the art direction, which I didn't like at first but quickly grew on me). Oh, and it has a fairly unique "turning back the clock" mechanic: basically, most events that happens on the train will happen whether or not you're there to witness them, and you'll have to turn back the clock quite often to witness them all. If you're at all into adventure games, get this game. You will not regret it.

* Note: this link contains a video of the end credits for the game. There aren't any story spoilers, but... well, it's hard to explain why to someone who hasn't played it, but encountering that credits sequence after finishing the game for the first time is just such a poignant moment, I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone. So if you want to listen to the music and are thinking about picking up this game, I would recommend switching out of the tab until it finishes.


Gemini Rue - an adventure game released just this year by indie developer Wadjet Eye Games (who also made The Shivah and the Blackwell series, which are good but not as good as GR), this game takes place in a very atmospheric cyberpunk setting. You alternate between two characters - Azriel Odin, a detective in search of his brother among the gang-controlled streets of Barracus (a planet in the Gemini system), and Delta-Six, a man who wakes up one day with his memory erased in a facility where he and others are being trained at various tasks by a man called "the director" who speaks to them over intercoms and observes via omnipresent cameras. It's rather short and easy, but still quite enjoyable.

Blade Runner - an adventure game that follows a very similar story to the movie of the same name, while still establishing itself as distinct. Very atmospheric (noticing a theme yet?) and, a rarity for the genre, it gives you lots of choices that affect the ending of the game. In addition, the characters who are replicants are determined randomly at the start of the game, so no two playthroughs will be the same. The voxel graphics might be hard to swallow for today's crowd, but the excellent art direction more than makes up for it in my mind.

Sanitarium - a bizarre adventure game that puts you in the role of a heavily-bandaged man in a mental asylum, this game alternates between scenes that take place in the asylum and bizarre areas full of oddities and monstrosities that may or may not be a product of his mind. It sort of falls apart in the second half, but it's worth playing for one of the first areas alone. (For people who have played the game, I'm talking about the area full of

children who are turning into trees. Something about how that whole sequence occurs in the game just struck a chord for me and made me realize that this was no ordinary adventure game.)

For some reason, this game reminds me heavily of Planescape: Torment, though I think that's more a product of lots of little things that add up than any major similarities.

Divine Divinity - don't be put off by the stupid name; this is the only Diablo clone I ever liked, and that's saying quite a bit considering how little regard I have for hack'n'slash games. This game sports all the regular pros and cons of the genre, but it also has a great sense of humor, poking fun at several common RPG tropes, a large, open world, and some (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDNdOAOHIY&feature=related) of (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1JXzScgdRM&feature=related) the (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL68jPSh_Hg&feature=related) best (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFzDtJcI9xE&feature=related) music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNKENd-Sz60&feature=related) I've (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA5ISxErkv4&feature=related) heard (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nMeWlBLHwU&feature=related) in (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0x9O-0EAgc&feature=related) a (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlybrc2IUIE&feature=related) game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=671zImRnPNw&feature=related). Of its sequels, Beyond Divinity isn't nearly as good, but Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga (which contains both Divinity II: Ego Draconis and its expansion, Flames of Vengeance) is fairly enjoyable.

Gothic I and II, especially Gothic II with its expansion Night of the Raven - this action-RPG series is popular in parts of Europe, but not so much elsewhere. Unlike most of the previous games I've listed, what makes these games great is their gameplay alone, though be warned: they have a steep learning curve and the controls can be very difficult to get used to at the beginning; I wouldn't recommend even trying NotR (which makes the whole of G2 harder, not just the new areas) unless you've played G1 or vanilla G2 first. Characters, story, and setting are all very generic - though the first game is somewhat unique in that it takes place in a prison colony - but they're some of the most enjoyable action-RPGs I've had the pleasure to play nonetheless. Gothic II also has a very large, open world that's very fun to explore - much more so than Oblivion IMO due to better encounter placement and the lack of randomized loot and level-scaling. And the NPC schedules and animations also due a better job of simulating a real world than Oblivion's over-hyped Radiant AI.
Also worth playing is Risen, the spiritual sequel to the Gothics by the same developer (although I personally prefer Gothic II with NotR overall). Note: Gothic III and especially Arcania (Gothic IV, which was made by another company) are not nearly as good, so don't let them dissuade you from trying this great series if you tried them and didn't like them.

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic - also an action-RPG with excellent gameplay. Pretty much the exact same strengths and weaknesses as the Gothics except for being weaker in the exploration department (it's pretty much linear, with a few secret areas to keep you on your toes) and being a bit easier to get into.

Alpha Centauri - if you liked the Civilization games, especially Civilization II, you'll love this game, which improves on them in every respect as far as I'm concerned. IMO, it's the most tactically deep game Sid Meier's ever produced, as well as having unusually strong atmosphere, characters, and plot for a game in the turn-based strategy genre.

Titanic: Adventure Out of Time - part of why I like this game is because I've always found the Titanic fascinating since long before the movie came out, but it's also a well-made game that doesn't get nearly enough mention among adventure game enthusiasts. In a nutshell, you start out as a British agent whose home is bombed during the Blitzkrieg. When you wake up after the explosion, you find yourself reliving a mission you took several years ago on the Titanic. Succeed, and you may change the course of history. This game has great voice-acting and beautiful, accurate graphical depictions of the Titanic's majesty. It's been a long time since I've played it, and I can't remember much about the puzzles (although I do remember that it's somewhat open-ended for an adventure games, in that there are several possible endings depending on what puzzles you solve and what puzzles you fail to solve), but it's worth playing at least once.

Majesty - an unusual strategy game, this has you take on the role of a king who must fight to survive and thrive in a world full of monsters and evil. What makes this game unusual is that while you choose what buildings to construct and units to produce, you can't directly control the latter; instead you must entice them via bounties. Most of the scenarios should be rather easy for a long-time strategy fan - although some of the later ones are quite tough - but their variability makes the game fun nonetheless. This game also features pretty good voice-acting and music, although they can get repetitive if you play for too long. Majesty also has an expansion, which is good, and a sequel, which I haven't played but am told is disappointing.

Zork: Grand Inquisitor - a humorous adventure game in which you, the character dubbed AFGNCAAP (Ageless, Faceless, Gender-Neutral, Culturally-Ambiguous Adventurer Person - the game is first-person and your character never speaks), seek to restore magic to a world that's been taken over by a pro-technology anti-magic Inquisition, alongside your sidekick, a powerful, wisecracking wizard who's been trapped in a lamp. Funny and featuring pretty good puzzles, this is definitely worth playing, especially if you enjoyed the Zork text games as a kid. Also has some nice atmospheric (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVLz7beKu2E) music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcg1KthOX4U&feature=related) courtesy of Mark Morgan, the composer more popularly known for his work in the first two Fallouts and Planescape: Torment. Plus, how can you not love a game where this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-zV20Dgw7w&feature=related) is the opening movie? :smallbiggrin:

Zork: Nemesis - a much darker game set in the same universe as the above (though it's barely recognizable, and you'd never link the two games if it weren't for the name), this game has some great puzzles and an amazingly dark, creepy atmosphere for a game in which - for the most part - it's impossible to die. Like the above, it has some great (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWLr8Qb3jzU&feature=related), atmospheric (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBWGMVP3ie8&feature=related) background (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7dnzbvQH-Q&feature=related) music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADbxLlxEuiw&feature=related).

KGB - it's been a long time since I've played this adventure game, but from what I remember it's a humorous mystery that puts you in the role of a KGB agent trying to root out a mole in the organization. Has a similar mechanic to The Last Express, in that events will occur at set times whether or not you're there to witness them (although only one event occurs at any given moment in KGB). IIRC, any of the puzzles are quite difficult, which should make for a refreshing change of pace if you're used to modern adventure games.

The Tex Murphy series, especially 3-5 (Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive, and Overseer), are quite good adventure games in which you play a bumbling, dorky detective in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. They're corny but amusing and contain some of the best puzzles I've ever encountered in a game, especially The Pandora Directive (which is IMO the best of them). Overseer is a remake of the first Tex Murphy game (Mean Streets), but it's sufficiently different to be worth playing even if you've already played MS. Oh, and 3-5 have the most bizarre control scheme I've ever encountered in an adventure game, but you'll get used to it quickly enough.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers - I know this game was very popular when it came out, but most people I encounter these days haven't heard of it. It's one of my favorite games from Sierra, one of the major producers of adventure games back in the day. In it, you play the role of Gabriel Knight, a bookstore owner in New Orleans, as he investigates several murders that resemble voodoo rituals in order to write a story about them. It's got great music for its time, was clearly made by someone who knows and loves New Orleans, and you can tell that the creators put a lot of love into the game. It also has some of the hardest puzzles I've encountered in an adventure game without involving many "unfair" elements of the sort that were common in older games (e.g., completely illogical actions, punishing the player for missing something early on, or using very picky text parsers). Its sequels are okay, but not as good with regard to puzzles; the third one, in particular, has some of the most ridiculously illogical puzzles I've ever encountered in an adventure game.
Oh, and if you've played and liked the GKs, you might also be interested in the Laura Bow mysteries (a previous Sierra series and the spiritual predecessor to GK) and Gray Matter (a spiritual successor that came out this year with many similar themes by GK's creator, Jane Jensen), although I found neither of these quite as satisfying as GK.

Quest for Glory I-IV (also known as Hero's Quest) are all quite good, though the fifth and final game of the series doesn't live up to the rest. These adventure-RPGs by Sierra are, like the King's Quest series, set in a world based largely on fairy tales and European legends. As far as gameplay goes, think of an adventure game with combat encounters and different paths based on whether you're a mage, thief, or warrior (you can mix and match skills to make a hybrid class, but I find that playing them with the default classes is more enjoyable - especially in the case of the thief). In later games, you can also become a paladin, which gives you some unique events but requires you to stick to a strict moral code. Of the QfGs, IV is nearly universally considered the best, but it's great fun to take a single character through them from start to finish. Note that QfG I and II have generated excellent fan remakes in recent years that drastically improve the graphics, although they make other changes that are somewhat controversial among diehard fans.

Vampire - The Masquerade: Bloodlines - I'm not sure how well-known this game is, but given how quickly Troika (an RPG developer which produced three unpolished gems) went out of business, I'm going to assume "not very". Which is too bad, because it's quite an enjoyable game throughout the first half, which de-emphasizes combat and incorporates multiple quest solutions, and the second half isn't as bad as people make it out to be - just disappointing after the promising first half. The ending, in fact, is one of my favorite game endings ever for the way it pulls the rug out from under the player and turns something which might otherwise have been an anticlimax into a climax (just not the climax you might have expected). Many parts of the game have great atmosphere, and playing through it as a Malkavian is a decidedly unique experience (not recommended for first-time players due to having entirely rewritten dialogues that may be hard to understand at times) that makes it worth at least one replay.

Almost everyone who plays games has heard of the Monkey Island series and Grim Fandango, but did you know that LucasArts produced several other adventure games before they decided to focus on Star Wars products? Sam and Max Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle (and its prequel, Maniac Mansion, which can be played within DotT itself by interacting with a certain computer), The Dig, Full Throttle, and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis are all good-to-excellent adventures that are worth a try for anyone who liked MI and GF. (Loom is creative but not quite as good, and I never played Zak McKracken. Hmm, I feel like I'm forgetting one.)

That's all that comes to mind at the moment, although I'm sure I'll think of more later.

The Succubus
2011-09-23, 09:48 AM
Almost everyone who plays games has heard of the Monkey Island series and Grim Fandango, but did you know that LucasArts produced several other adventure games before they decided to focus on Star Wars products? Sam and Max Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle (and its prequel, Maniac Mansion, which can be played within DotT itself by interacting with a certain computer), The Dig, Full Throttle, and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis are all good-to-excellent adventures that are worth a try for anyone who liked MI and GF. (Loom is creative but not quite as good, and I never played Zak McKracken. Hmm, I feel like I'm forgetting one.)[/list]

That's all that comes to mind at the moment, although I'm sure I'll think of more later.

World and dog know about Sam & Max + Day of the Tentacle purely because of their legendary awesomeness and if you haven't played them yet, what the hell's wrong with you?

Morty
2011-09-23, 10:03 AM
Gothic I and II, especially Gothic II with its expansion Night of the Raven - this action-RPG series is popular in parts of Europe, but not so much elsewhere. Unlike most of the previous games I've listed, what makes these games great is their gameplay alone, though be warned: they have a steep learning curve and the controls can be very difficult to get used to at the beginning; I wouldn't recommend even trying NotR (which makes the whole of G2 harder, not just the new areas) unless you've played G1 or vanilla G2 first. Characters, story, and setting are all very generic - though the first game is somewhat unique in that it takes place in a prison colony - but they're some of the most enjoyable action-RPGs I've had the pleasure to play nonetheless. Gothic II also has a very large, open world that's very fun to explore - much more so than Oblivion IMO due to better encounter placement and the lack of randomized loot and level-scaling. And the NPC schedules and animations also due a better job of simulating a real world than Oblivion's over-hyped Radiant AI.
Also worth playing is Risen, the spiritual sequel to the Gothics by the same developer (although I personally prefer Gothic II with NotR overall). Note: Gothic III and especially Arcania (Gothic IV, which was made by another company) are not nearly as good, so don't let them dissuade you from trying this great series if you tried them and didn't like them.


Ah, the Gothic games. Not sure why I didn't think of them; maybe it's because here in Poland they're not obscure at all. I enjoyed Gothic I and Gothic II despite their flaws; both had something that made me come back despite them.
I'd be hard-pressed to say which is better, though. Gothic II improves the technical aspects of the game - combat, controls, skill system, AI - and its story is somewhat less linear, but it's also much more generic. Gothic I has many bugs, clunky mechanics and flaws, but it has an incredible atmosphere of a penal colony. However, I didn't like the Night of the Raven at all. It overinflates the difficulty level, for one - Gothic II could be made easy by exploiting its simple mechanics, especially when using crossbows (which were utterly broken and I'm still at a loss as to what they were thinking) and alchemy, but NoTR goes too far. I wasn't thirlled about its story either, so while it does add some good elements, the bad ones outweighed them.
I agree that Gothic III and IV don't deserve mentioning.

GungHo
2011-09-23, 10:05 AM
Note that QfG I and II have generated excellent fan remakes in recent years that drastically improve the graphics, although they make other changes that are somewhat controversial among diehard fans.
They did an update for QFG2?!? Is this the ADG studio stuff? I soooo know what I'm doing this weekend.

Teucros
2011-09-23, 10:39 AM
Let's see...

The Warlords Battlecry series. My favourite RTS series right after C&C. An astounding variety of factions and heroes.

Midnight Wanderers An old, old (1991, I think?) capcom platform game. Quite simple but most absorbing.

Full Throttle Not that obscure, I suppose...after all these years, my favourite adventure game.

Quiz and Dragons A far more obscure one. A RPG-flavoured quiz game...sounds weird but definitely worked as a charm.

Psychonaut
2011-09-24, 12:16 AM
I thought of a few more:

The Geneforge series - this RPG series by indie studio Spiderweb Software takes you to a land where powerful summoners ("shapers") rule supreme with their armies of creations. A group of creations designed as a servant race ("serviles"), having discovered a source of power that may enable them to rival the power of the shapers, have rebelled, but in doing so may have unleashed greater horrors on the world than the shapers ever did. The series starts on Sucia Island, where the rebellion began, and develops over time from the stirrings of revolution to a full-scale conflict. The games are very limited in terms of graphics, sound, and combat, but still quite a bit of fun due to the variability of playing styles supported and tweaks/rebalances with each new iteration that force you to rethink your old strategies. They also have an interesting, original setting - although it becomes more generic with later games in the series - and leave many choices up to the player, who must choose which of the morally gray factions to support (in later games, there are some more black and white factions that have split off from the ones in older games, but there are also more factions overall, and you're given more options in terms of classes - e.g., actually playing as a servile - that may affect your decisions). Overall, I'd recommend the original Geneforge for its setting and IV and V for improving upon several basic aspects of the interface and controls over the first three, as well as improving other gameplay elements and adding more spells and creations. III is generally considered the worst game in the series due largely to its relative linearity (although really, IV and V are equally constrained, just better at hiding it).

A Tale of Two Kingdoms - this free adventure game by Crystal Shard is very reminiscent of the King's Quest series, and it's worth a try for any adventure fan. It takes place in a somewhat generic fantasy world, and the puzzles are fairly easy, but it has some interesting elements and multiple endings based on your actions to distinguish it from other fantasy adventure games. Overall, I'd rate the other games on my list higher, but this one gets bonus points for being free and relatively high-quality.

Knights of the Chalice - this RPG by the indie company Heroic Fantasy Games has a generic plot, setting, and characters; however, it also has one of the best implementations of D&D 3.5 combat I've encountered in a computer game (even compared to Temple of Elemental Evil, which had a great combat system but substandard encounter design), despite including only three classes. It also has an excellent in-game help system for those new to D&D and is very well-balanced and challenging. Basically, it doesn't try to do much, but what it does, it does quite well. It's definitely worth checking out if you're in the mood for some challenging, turn-based combat of the sort that mainstream computer RPGs have been lacking since the '90s.

Dark Fall: The Journal - in this adventure game, you travel to a small town in England where you must investigate a haunted hotel at your brother's request. It does an excellent job of combining visuals and especially sounds to create a creepy, spine-tingling experience, and most of the puzzles are of fair-to-good quality. It has two sequels, but I have yet to play either of them, so I can't vouch for their quality.

Toonstruck - this adventure game has you take on the role of a cartoonist who is sucked into a cartoon world based in part on his own drawings. It's got a lot of cheesy humor and easy-to-average puzzles, many of which operate on cartoon physics/logic. Overall, it's quite a fun game with a creative concept at its heart.

Betrayal at Krondor - this RPG takes place in Midkemia, a kingdom from Raymond Feist's Riftworld Saga series of fantasy novels, and it's got a lot going for it - rewarding exploration, challenging turn-based combat, some fun puzzles and riddles, and decent writing (something I agree with despite finding it overrated in this regard). It's main downside is the graphics; this is very clearly a DOS game, and it hasn't aged well. Still, it's a game that no RPG enthusiast should miss, especially if you're the sort who enjoyed the Ultima series for their puzzles and exploration.


However, I didn't like the Night of the Raven at all. It overinflates the difficulty level, for one - Gothic II could be made easy by exploiting its simple mechanics, especially when using crossbows (which were utterly broken and I'm still at a loss as to what they were thinking) and alchemy, but NoTR goes too far. I wasn't thirlled about its story either, so while it does add some good elements, the bad ones outweighed them.

For me, the key to having a good time with NotR is to not worry about optimizing your character as so many (including myself) tend to do. Use stone tablets and permanent potions as you come across them and their ingredients, rather than saving them for when you've trained your attributes as high as they can reasonably go. This makes the difference between being a weakling for the majority of the game, only to take down the final boss in two hits, and facing challenging but rewarding combat throughout the game. You might not ever have the strength to wield the best weapons if you play this way, but it makes for a more enjoyable experience overall.

I also found that the added challenge made me think more about my options. Someone demanding that I pay them or receive a beating - potentially losing my gold and my weapon? Maybe I should just pay them. Bandits taking me down with arrows before I can even get close enough to hit them? Maybe I should head back to town and buy that skeleton-summoning scroll I saw at the shop, since skeletons take minimal damage from arrows. And so on. YMMV, of course.

I agree about G1 having a much more interesting setting (and plot as well, at least until later in the game when it shifts from gaining power and respect/looking for a way to take down the barrier to standard fantasy plot #7). I go back and forth on which one I like more, but since the main strength of the series for me has always been its gameplay and not its writing, I gravitate towards preferring G2.


They did an update for QFG2?!? Is this the ADG studio stuff? I soooo know what I'm doing this weekend.

Yep; you can find it here (http://www.agdinteractive.com/games/qfg2/homepage/homepage.html).

Knaight
2011-09-24, 01:14 AM
The Geneforge series is very good. However, the same company has produced other games, most notably Arcanum and Avadon, both of which are also quality. They aren't as good as Geneforge, but Geneforge is hard to beat.

factotum
2011-09-24, 02:07 AM
The Geneforge series is very good. However, the same company has produced other games, most notably Arcanum and Avadon, both of which are also quality. They aren't as good as Geneforge, but Geneforge is hard to beat.

I don't think you mean Arcanum, do you? That was a Troika Games production, not Spiderweb. I think you mean Avernum.

Have to say I've never really got deeply into their games. They're fun for a while, don't get me wrong, but there always seems to come a time when every battle becomes so frustratingly difficult that I can't proceed. I suppose I could just wander around grinding experience off every mob I haven't killed yet, but that would be tedious in the extreme.

Cespenar
2011-09-24, 02:56 AM
I don't think you mean Arcanum, do you? That was a Troika Games production, not Spiderweb. I think you mean Avernum.

Have to say I've never really got deeply into their games. They're fun for a while, don't get me wrong, but there always seems to come a time when every battle becomes so frustratingly difficult that I can't proceed. I suppose I could just wander around grinding experience off every mob I haven't killed yet, but that would be tedious in the extreme.

In Avernum or Geneforge, as far as I experienced, you never really have to grind, but simply figure out the order to do things. If a fight is proving frustratingly difficult to you, it's either a) you delved too deep from one end of the map, or b) there's a non-combat solution to that problem.

The "trick" is that sometimes "too deep" is only a couple steps in the wrong way. Still, that's not very common.

GolemsVoice
2011-09-24, 06:09 AM
However, I didn't like the Night of the Raven at all. It overinflates the difficulty level, for one - Gothic II could be made easy by exploiting its simple mechanics, especially when using crossbows (which were utterly broken and I'm still at a loss as to what they were thinking) and alchemy, but NoTR goes too far. I wasn't thirlled about its story either, so while it does add some good elements, the bad ones outweighed them.

Amusingly, I've read that NotR is exactly this hard because many fans specifically ASKED for it.

Avilan the Grey
2011-09-24, 06:40 AM
Not sure if this has been posted, but:

Kingdom o' Magic

Morty
2011-09-24, 07:27 AM
For me, the key to having a good time with NotR is to not worry about optimizing your character as so many (including myself) tend to do. Use stone tablets and permanent potions as you come across them and their ingredients, rather than saving them for when you've trained your attributes as high as they can reasonably go. This makes the difference between being a weakling for the majority of the game, only to take down the final boss in two hits, and facing challenging but rewarding combat throughout the game. You might not ever have the strength to wield the best weapons if you play this way, but it makes for a more enjoyable experience overall.

It's been a while since I played NotR, so I can't recall my experiences in detail. However, I think my feelings towards the expansion might have been caused by the fact that I played a mage, which NotR turns into a chore unless you twink out your character. Playing a mercenary for a while was somewhat easier, if still annoyingly hard.


I also found that the added challenge made me think more about my options. Someone demanding that I pay them or receive a beating - potentially losing my gold and my weapon? Maybe I should just pay them. Bandits taking me down with arrows before I can even get close enough to hit them? Maybe I should head back to town and buy that skeleton-summoning scroll I saw at the shop, since skeletons take minimal damage from arrows. And so on. YMMV, of course.

It is true, and being challenged and outclassed is a part of the game's uniqueness - it's just that NotR went too far, IMO.


Amusingly, I've read that NotR is exactly this hard because many fans specifically ASKED for it.

That's likely true. Like I said, Gothic 2's mechanics are easily exploited, which can lead to the game becoming trivial. But NotR went from one extreme to another.

Siosilvar
2011-10-03, 09:02 PM
Does the Escape Velocity series count as obscure? I wouldn't think so, but you never know...

nooblade
2011-10-03, 09:49 PM
I just found SpaceChem. Wow. Finally a game that feels like it was made for me. I haven't felt like it was worth more than I paid in a long time. I wish game review sites would actually point me to stuff like this. Maybe they did and I had given up on them. Eh. Anyway.

It's a sci-fi, puzzle game based on applied nanotechnology. The "puzzles" are reactions that are guided by Waldos (a real sci-fi term coined by Heinlein (although it wasn't originally about nanotechnology IIRC)) which can interact with atoms depending on how the reactor is designed. So the chemistry isn't as we know it today; bonds and other things are instead controlled by Waldos.

The controls are easy to use because of the redirection signals. Lots of pseudo-logic games use pipes or something, but moving some pipe segments is really annoying, this redirection works much better.

Plus, I really like the writing for it, as brief as it is. So far, the details shift focus away from softer SF just perfectly, and I don't feel like I'm getting too much of one or the other.

My only detraction is that there isn't much in the way of tutorials or even just a "dink around" mode, I need to invent new things pretty rapidly, but that's alright because I like to figure it out. I guess the research levels are supposed to fill you in on the basics, but I always end up figuring out something new, improved, and more important in the production phase.

The part immediately after the demo uses sensors, and figuring out how to use sensors gave me an absurd amount of pleasure.

Brother Oni
2011-10-04, 01:50 AM
I just found SpaceChem.

The creator made a flash game that is the predecessor of SpaceChem, which you may enjoy: The Codex of Alchemical Engineering (http://www.kongregate.com/games/krispykrem/the-codex-of-alchemical-engineering).

Lord Seth
2011-10-04, 02:07 AM
Escape Velocity: Override
Ares