I used to do these a lot a few years ago and I don’t know why I didn’t do one last year. So this time I’m bringing another Pato game club. This is essentially my version of a book club but with video games. My goal is to cite a few niche titles that this year would be perfect for a download or ebay to play through. Lets do this.
Game 5: Secret of Evermore (Super Nintendo, Square)
Sure, we’ve played Secret of Mana, or heard of it. But what happened when SoM2 was supposed to hit stateside?
Square said “Screw it” and made some Americans develop something in its place.
After that, Secret of Evermore got ridiculed and degraded for it not being SoM2. But when you look at it, it really isn’t a bad game. And consider this, a good chunk of the people involved in development had absolutely no experience before this game. When you think about all things considered, Evermore is worth a playthrough. It’s one of the first American made JRPGs (which definitely sounds weird) and while its storyline isn’t the greatest, it has heart. It just feels like a B-movie all over with the references and characters.
Plus the magic system and the weapon system were lifted straight out of Mana. Now I know it’s a rip-off, but the alchemy system was a good little magic system that was different. Finding ingredients was a bitch, but finding alchemist was a God damn pain in the ass. Despite this, they tried, they made a good game for their experience, and while it isn’t Mana, it’s a pretty damn good game.
Game 4: Super Metroid (Super Nintendo, Nintendo)
This one is for the kids. I know anyone over the age of 19 has played Super Metroid to death. I know everyone reading this has at least heard of it. But for you kids that started with the PS1 and never picked up a 16 bit controller, go break the law, download an emulator, and get this game. It’s THAT good. If there was any game from the 16-bit era that was so polished that I know a current gamer could go backwards and play, it’s this one. Even Chrono Trigger, my favorite game of all time, is hard for someone who started gaming much later to get into. Go find this game, it’s only about 8 hours your first playthrough and every hour is incredible. Give it a go.
Game 3 Ninja Gaiden (NES, Tecmo)
I’m surprised about how many people that are my age (25) that haven’t played this game or even heard of it until the Xbox incarnation. Do yourself a favor and play the original. If you are my age and did play it, but never beat it-go beat it. It isn’t as hard as everyone says, if I were to stop writing this and go back through it right now, I’d be done in a half hour. I’m not kidding. This is a “fast” 2D game. Now it aint gonna be easy, expect to spend a few hours on level 6, but it isn’t impossible. For the rest of you young guys, this is another game to show you how well fast action games like Devil May Cry have evolved.
Game 2 Illusion of Gaia (Super Nintendo, Enix)
Before ol Enix got sucked into that Square acquisition long ago, we had the Quintet “Heaven and Earth” Trilogy. While I never played the third installment due to it not being released overseas, I did play Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia.
Gaia being the better one, wins the spot. It plays like Zelda, has the linearality of a Final Fantasy and the character development of a Dragon Quest. Will, the protagonist can switch between forms at certain points in the game (and turning into the dark knight Freedan was just fucking awesome for a kid). The bosses were at least inspiring and the music….ohhh the music.
For you adventure lovers and Zelda freaks, go give this one a go.
Game 1: Grandia 2 (Sega Dreamcast, Game Arts)
Step one: Go find a Dreamcast.
Step two: Go find a copy of Grandia 2
Step three: See one of the greatest RPG combat systems ever.
Oddly enough, no one knew of this game…at all. The first one was decent even if the story sucked, but what keeps you into this series is its awesome combat and skill system. I picked the sequel over the original mainly due to the uninspired story being a bit better than that mess in the original.
Despite critical acclaim the game was put on clearance racks in a few months, just before Sega announced that they were going into games development. I got my copy for $20. This one of those RPGs where you WANT to get into fights. They are so much fun and so much rewarding when you get all these awesome skills that never become obsolete.
The story leaves something to be desired, but it will keep you entertained. Expect another one of those “Assassinate the God of the World” storylines that all 32-bit and 128-bit RPGs were known for. Track it down, it will show you some good stuff.
So why the Game Club? Because there is so much out there that you can play that isn’t the new stuff. I personally feel that list more inspiring, but it gives you some ideas for some niche titles to track down that are worth it. Kinda like old films or as I said in the intro-old books that you should read. I made games an intellectual property now. Woo!