Ten games that you've probably never played

A smorgasbord of obscure or lost video game gems
November 02, 2012
With many video games that were released in the past, there may have been some rare ones that you've heard of and missed, or certain ones that you haven't even heard of, but would eventually find out later. This was my experience in finding these treasures, and I'm sure that a select few of you have had the same deal. So in this article I'll be listing some lost games that I've come across, as well as some that I had heard about and just had to buy.

1. Thousand Arms - Released by Atlus for Playstation

Not only was this a poorly sold game, but this was the first Role-Playing game to utilize a dating simulator system. You play as Meis Triumph, a traveling blacksmith whose role is to date girls and forge weapons while going on a quest to meet new allies around the country in a steampunk-type world.

Through the dating activity, you can go on a normal date and talk to a girl, or partake in a minigame. What this does is increase your 'intimacy' level thus making your current weapon stronger by adding magic attacks to it, and any girl that you add your abilities with has a different magic element to them. If you're hungry for an RPG with a new kind of twist, give this game a try.

2. Snatcher - Released by Konami for Sega CD

The Sega CD was notorious for having a few hard to find gems due to the poor selling of the system, but this game was a godsend compared to the rest of the library. From the film noir mind of Hideo Kojima, you're pulled in a cyberpunk futuristic world, playing the role of Gillian Seed, a married man who has lost his memories (no surprise there) as he joins an investigative force known as J.U.N.K.E.R..

These J.U.N.K.E.R.'s devote their lives to interrogating and disposing of Snatchers, bio-droids that kill humans and wear their skin as to disguise themselves. However, after "snatching" the life of their victims, the skin comes to a downside, as it can be damaged by direct sunlight, so they use sunscreen to prevent that, and stay indoors most of the time. Alongside you during your journey is a small robot by the name of Metal Gear, in which it'll help you with your investigation throughout gameplay. It doesn't take too long too beat, but it's definitely worth playing.

3. Astal - Released by Sega for Sega Saturn

For a game released early on in the Saturn, this was somewhat of a pass to some of the owners of the system, but in its own right, it's definitely a gem. Astal is the protagonist as you venture into a mystical world as you go to save his world from the clutches of the evil demon Jerado.

This was one of those games to show off a system's graphical specs, and throughout the game you'll be seeing some layering effects in sprites and whatnot, but back then I'm sure it was very appealing to the eyes of the gamers that once had it. Though impressive in level design and graphics, the game itself is rather short and can be beaten within an hour.

4. Gargoyle's Quest - Released by Capcom for GameBoy

As one of the first video game spin-offs to get released, Gargoyle's Quest put you in the role of Firebrand, also known as that hard-to-hit flying demon from Ghosts n' Goblins. Firebrand is a denizen of the Ghoul Realm, and goes on a quest to become the legendary Red Blaze and overthrow the evil king Breager and bring peace to the Realm once more.

As the title implies, this is an adventure game in which you go to different levels in an overworld. Throughout your quest you'll be gaining power ups to aid you, such as stronger attacks and armor that increases your defenses. The game is a bit on the short side, but it proves to be a challenge by having interesting bosses and some difficult platforming segments. Two other sequels were made for this series, Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the NES and Demon's Crest for the SNES.

5. Brave Fencer Musashi - Released by Squaresoft (now Square Enix) for Playstation

Now I'm sure that there's many of you out there that haven't heard of this one. This was an early hack and slash roleplaying game that put you in the shoes of Musashi, a young hero with an unknown past who has been summoned by a princess to save the world from an evil empire known as Thirstquencher.

Throughout this hack and slash platformer you'll encounter many friends (and enemies) as well as obtaining elemental abilities that will aid you on the way. During key cutscenes you'll experience some voicework done by some lesser known voice actors, with Mona Marshall of Digimon cartoon fame playing the voice of Musashi and Cowboy Bebop voice actor Steve Blum as a supporting character voice. There's also a few elements in the game to keep you busy, so you should definitely put this in your Playstation library.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man vs. Kingpin - Released by Monkey Business For Sega CD

This was actually an updated version of a Spider-Man game of the same name that was on the Sega Genesis that was released a couple of years before, but this version has updated graphics, CD quality music and, well, let's just say some okay looking movie cutscenes that are reminiscent of the Philips CD-I. The story involves Spider-Man being framed by Kingpin in setting up a nuclear bomb in downtown New York. While the Sega Genesis version sold great, this version of course didn't do so good.

As you move forward in the game, you're given an overworld map of New York to go around in each with different levels in the sections, and you'll be meeting some familiar foes such as Mysterio and Vulture to keep the game going, but this is no walk in the park, as the bomb that you're after is on a time limit, also shown during gameplay, so even with time giving you trouble, you'll need to take out all of your foes before doing so in order to disarm the bomb. There's some standard platforming, and you can use your web to swing as well as cling on walls in normal Spider-Man style, and there's also some physical damage that you can bring into play. And as a little fun fact, the composer of the music was Spencer Nilsen, who previously did the music for the U.S. version of Sonic CD.

7. Timon and Pumbaa's Jungle Games - Released by THQ for Super Nintendo

In the last leg year of the SNES, this particular game was developed for fans of the somewhat popular supporting characters of the Lion King film. Jungle Games is a small set of entertaining minigames that range from pinball, a shooting gallery, and a frogger knock off where you play as timon.

Not a lot can be said about this game, as it's pretty much a small collection of games in the form of Action 52, only much better. The 2D sprites certainly jump out as if you were playing a cartoon, and it's a nice addition to the gameplay. On a side note, there's also a pc version with updated visuals, music, and voices as timon and pumbaa interact with the player.

8. Yoshi's Safari - Released by Nintendo for Super Nintendo

The Super Scope module for the SNES was pretty short lived as the Virtual Boy was, and this was Nintendo's last take on using it, as you play a fully Mode 7 shooting game taking the role of a first-person Super Mario riding atop Yoshi and shooting enemies and obstacles with the Super Scope. Familiar foes with show up, and even Bowser's Koopalings will stand in your way as bosses through 12 stages of pure fun.

Even with this game not being well known, it's also got some great replay value, so pick this up if you're into those classic console shooters, but be prepared to pack quite a load of batteries for the Super Scope...

9. Valis - Released by Riot for Sega Genesis

Originally released for the japanese MSX computer in 1986, Valis tells the story of average schoolgirl Yuko who has been summoned by Queen Valia of the Dream World to become a soldier and destroy the king of the dark world, King Rogles and his five henchmen.

This was a very early 90's Genesis title, and was probably meant to help get Sega off to a good start with standing against Nintendo's newly selling Super Nintendo console. The game has definitely shown its age in terms of graphics, but inbetween some parts of the game you'll see a few anime rendered cutscenes to help flesh out the story, even though there's a bit of bad translation here and there.

10. Strider 2 - Released by Capcom for Playstation

This is actually a small compilation, as it features both the arcade version of the first Strider game as well as a home version of Strider 2, made exclusively for the Playstation. Strider 1 has you playing as Strider Hiryu as your mission is to hunt down and destroy members of the Red Army as you go from Russia to the freezing climates of Siberia and finally to Moscow to defeat the 'Grand Master'. In Strider 2 you're off to fight the Grand Master once more, and meet the traitorous Strider Hien in this 2.5D sequel.

As a compilation, there is one flaw that was left after the package development of the discs. The disc with Strider 2 is labeled Strider, and vice versa with the Strider 1 Disc. Overall you get the original arcade experience with Strider 1, even though are are some short load times. As for Strider 2, it's well over the same, but if you beat the game you can play as Strider Hien, and beating the original Strider with the same memory card lets you play the exclusive "level zero" in Strider 2. Both are great games, though you may lose several lives when going through them.

Well I hope you guys enjoyed this top ten list of mine. It's probably the last one that I'll be doing for a long, long time. See ya on the flipside, folks!
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