There are just too many great games out there. There are likely dozens of games out there that we would love but have just never heard of. That’s why it’s such a great feeling to come across a great game that wasn’t on our radars, like this story of how one of our writers first heard about Risk of Rain when he met the developer’s kid brother. That’s why this week we’re asking:
Back in high school, I won Dragon’s Dogma for the PS3 at an arcade. It was my first time playing an RPG from Capcom, and it didn’t disappoint. Dragon’s Dogma is staged in an open-world, fantasy setting and has elements of hack and slash. The narrative in particular is beautiful. When your village is ravaged by a dragon, you step forward and try to stop it. It proclaims that you are the “chosen one” and proceeds to tear out your heart. Afterwards, you are revived as the “Arisen,” and you embark on a quest to slay the dragon that had devoured your heart. You can choose from three starting classes, fighter, strider, and mage, and then job advance to warrior, mystic knight, ranger, assassin, sorcerer, or magic archer. The system is versatile, and you can freely switch between jobs to learn more desirable skills. Throughout your journey, as typical of RPGs, you will be able to form connections with NPCs, which may also affect the story. I’ve spent so much time exploring, hunting, doing random side quests, and getting thrown into jail for punching an NPC I didn’t particularly like. It was time well spent.
During the wait for Kirby Returns to Dreamland back in high school, I was looking for another game to whet my Kirby appetite. While shuffling through game cases, I stumbled across a small advertisement that says “Do You Like ‘this game’? If so, check out these other titles!’. Normally, these ads have games I already owned, but one game caught my attention long enough to warrant a purchase: The Legendary Starfy. I did some quick research on it and I was captured by its simplistic, yet charming style. I bought the game and after playing it, I can definitely see why that ad mentioned this game. The characters are memorable, the levels are beautifully designed, the difficulty is dynamic, and the side modes are a joy to play. It reflected what I loved about the Kirby series: discovering hidden secrets, optional challenges, and a catchy soundtrack. While I will admit that the game is a bit childish, it did not stop me from buying another copy when I lost my first copy over time. However, the likelihood of The Legendary Starfy making a return is next to none since this was the last game made in the series. Nevertheless, I’m always in the mood to play a platform adventure title and this game does not disappoint.
I discovered Borderlands 2 in an extremely roundabout fashion. My freshman year of high school I was into a game called Brink, and often heard it described as “a cross between Team Fortress 2 and Borderlands.” Not knowing either of those games, I looked them up and instantly fell in love with TF2, and dismissed Borderlands outright as odd and uninteresting. Fast forward to my freshman year of college, and news of Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, with it’s colorful comic book artstyle, got me interested in the series. On a whim (and likely due to the fact that it was on a Steam sale for $5) I purchased Borderlands 2 to tide me over until the Pre-Sequel’s release. I had hit a gold mine. Hundreds of hours of gameplay later, having trekked back and forth across the colorful wasteland of Pandora in search of loot, adventure and bosses with outlandish and ridiculous personalities, all held together by late night raiding parties with friends from across the state, I finally put down Borderlands 2 on the release night of the Pre-Sequel with a completely revised opinion of the title. Now I wait, as I’m sure many others do, for the fabled Borderlands 3 release in the hopes of once again setting foot on Pandora for more adventures.
I used to go to a daycare when I was in pre-school and kindergarten. This is where I was really exposed to videos games and anime. I remember watching the older kids play Ocarina of Time and how watching Pokemon together was the highlight of everyone’s day. While I played all the classics, there was one game I remember fondly that I’m positive none of you have even heard of. It was a little game called Captain Claw and it was dope as hell. You played as a pirate cat captain, running around forest ruins and massive galleons in the pursuit of treasure. Your character was cunning, agile, and just downright cool. Think a mixture of Sly Cooper and Falco Lombardi. Whenever it was my turn to use the computer at daycare, Captain Claw was always my game of choice.
Dino D-Day is exactly what it sounds like: players get to fight against or play as dinosaurs during World War II. About seven or so years ago, one of my friends saw it on sale on Steam and gifted 10 copies of the game to myself and nine other friends. Initially we were all baffled by the concept (while still geeking out about the prospect of fighting dinosaurs and Nazis) and ended up trying it out. To be fair, this is not a great game and in fact, I don’t even know if I would call it a good game. The controls are a bit glitchy, the setups and maps a bit formulaic, and the game is pretty much useless unless you’re playing online. But on the dinosaur/Nazi front, it delivers with multiple classes of dinosaur soldiers, unique abilities, and varied game modes that could see your side trying to take down a T-Rex with mini-guns attached to its head. We played for hours and hours that year and even now, I still open the game every six or seven months and enjoy some time with friends where we get to experience the sheer joy of running around as a velociraptor or taking down a T-Rex during World War II.
A few months ago, there was an event in Heroes of the Storm where you had to quick play 5 times with a friend in order to receive Oni Genji skin in Overwatch. Of course as an Overwatch enthusiast, I gathered a group of friends to play, so I could quickly get the coolest looking skin. I haven’t played Heroes of the Storm before this, because I was already enjoying League of Legends. I thought it was just another LOL rip-off. To my surprise, the game felt very different from the League of Legends. In comparison, I actually find Heroes of the Storm more enjoyable because there is no kill stealing. In Heroes, credit for kills is shared between all players. In fact, the definition of getting a kill is very broad. Even giving a speed boost that helped your teammate to eliminate the enemy will also get you a kill in heroes. Unlike in LOL, people don’t fight to get the last hit to get the most kills. This meant there was less arguing and less fighting between teammates, making the game much more enjoyable. I initially started the game thinking I would only play 5 games and get back to Overwatch, but I ended up being a huge fan.
Other than Risk of Rain, a game that I found and fell in love with unexpectedly was Apotheon. I was bored one day looking for a quick something to wet my video game appetite and found Apotheon on sale on steam for $2.50. It has an incredibly unique art style that makes it look like 2D ancient Greek art come to life. I bought it expecting a game with cool art but not much else and was incredibly surprised that it was an engaging fleshed out game.
Are there any games you discovered unexpectedly? Tell us about it in the comments.