It’s been a while since the last time I talked about video games instead of anime, the other time being my list of characters I’d like to see in Smash. This time I thought I’d talk about some more obscure titles, maybe you’ve heard of them and maybe you haven’t, that you may not have played but you should. These aren’t in any particular order and I’m not putting anything on this list that comes from the current gaming generation. With that in mind, here are the titles.
- Fire Emblem: Gaiden (NES
This is one you’ve probably heard of since the Fire Emblem franchise has gained some prominence in more recent years with Blazing Sword and the titles following that one getting international releases, mostly. That being said, this one you probably haven’t played since it’s never been released outside of Japan. It was the second instalment in the franchise and featured some unique elements. For example, you follow two different parties of characters with narratives that are connected but stay separated for quite a while. It was also the first FE title to have multiple classes that a given character could promote into, a feature that was revived in Awakening.
If you can find a fan translation of it, I suggest playing it. If they release it in your language on the virtual console, I also suggest playing it. The unique elements work well and it has aged very strongly, maybe not graphically but in terms of everything else.
- Alisia Dragoon (Mega Drive)
In this platformer you take on the role of Alisia, a young sorceress with lightning magic. With companion familiars by your side, you battle your way through a series of challenging levels with really well drawn battle animation. It was also one of the first games to feature a female protagonist, which is pretty cool. Unfortunately, this game didn’t get much marketing attention and didn’t sell well. I still highly recommend finding and playing it.
- Threads of Fate (Playstation)
Don’t ask how I know about this one when it was never officially released here. *shifty eyes* Threads of Fate was a Square title from the late 90s. You can choose one of two protagonists each searching for the same powerful relic. Rue is an altruistic young man who wants to revive his dead friend. Mint is a princess who wants to take her throne back and rule the world. The story is really immersive and unfolds differently for each character, adding a nice level of replay value. The game also has a really good sense of humour and Mint is a delightful character. The game has a great battle system and wonderful music. I understand that the game is available on the PSN if you live in North America. If you’re a European you may have to use other methods. Don’t judge me, I’d buy it if I could.
- Darkened Skye (Gamecube & PC)
Darkened Skye is an advertising gimmick made to promote Skittles candies. With that in mind you may be wondering why I’m suggesting it. Well, in spite of being blatantly about the advertising it’s still a good game. Mainly because it unashamedly owns up to what it’s doing and focuses on having fun with it. It makes fun of game tropes, advertising and itself. The whole game has a really tongue-in-cheek sense of humour that’s actually quite endearing. And that’s why I suggest playing it, because it’s a fun, goofy game.
- Oni (Playstation 2 & PC)
Oni is an interesting one. It was brought to us by Rockstar and Bungie. It uses a very anime inspired style for its animation and design aesthetic. It’s blends cyberpunk and dystopian elements to great effect and has a really complex combat system. Everything about this game just provides you with really good interactive cyberpunk. The only thing I didn’t like was the voice acting.
So, those are five games I recommend finding and playing. Maybe I’ll do another list like this some time in future. Feel free to leave a comment with some lesser known games you think people should play or to make comments about my choices.