First off I would like to thank my cousin Aaron for introducing me to some of these games. If it wasn't for him I would of missed out on these little gems. Also for a cool website like Retrojunk. It nice to see others like myself that miss the good old days of videogames, movies and tv shows. Back then it seemed like people cared about the quality of a product not how much money they can make off it. I know some of you played these games but many of you have not. There are so many games that were lost due to bad timing , poor marketing and or being over shadowed by more popular games. So I picked 11 that I thought were the best of the under rated. Enjoy!
I remember renting this game at the local video store. It reminded me of Life Force which came out years before Abadox. It had the same idea of a small ship inside a huge creature. The difference from Life Force was Abadox seemed more darker and disturbing. In the first level you pass a giant tongue, fangs and tonsils only to face a big head that protrudes out of the back wall. The fleshy backgrounds would pulsate as if you are in a huge meat bag. The music was good with some catchy tones. I believe you can still find this game at game shops for a few bucks.
10. Wizards & Warriors
This is one of my favorite NES games. I rented this game at my local video store. I heard nothing about it except for the back of the box. It is one of those games that I could play over and over. It has this Halloween feel about it. You are a Knight that must rescue a whole lot of princesses from an evil wizard. The enemies you fight are your typical form of evil. There are bats, ghosts, werewolves, giant spiders and demons to name a few. There were two sequels after Wizards & Warriors. They were under par to this game. I would say the coolest part is finding secret doors that lead to treasure. Also this game is not hard nor too easy.
9. Bibble Buffet
I know some of you are saying....."what a Bible game!?" Yes a Bible game. To be honest with you I didn't feel so religious playing this game. This game plays like a classic board game..... Life comes to mind. The board is split into different types of food lands. There is Veggie land, BBQ land and Fast-food land to name a few. You spin a dial and move accordingly. When you land on a spot you must play a level where you are a little farm boy armed with a large knife, fork and spoon. You must knockout the walking food who are running around then harvest their bodies before they wake up. I know it sounds strange for a Bible game. I swear you get so hungry playing this game. BBQ land is my favorite....walking pieces of bbq chicken, steaks and bbq sauce everywhere....yum!
8. G.I. Joe
I was a GI Joe kid back then. I didn't have too many Star Wars or Transformer toys. This game came out as GI Joe was changing. It was going into more of a future warfare look. In this game you get to pick three team members at a time. Each character has his own attributes and weapon power ups. You can switch characters on the fly. The graphics have a cool contrast, comic book look to them. Some levels you have to plant bombs and others you just find the exit without dying. You can also use enemy vehicles. There was a sequel to this game I didn't even know existed until a few years ago. It's called GI Joe The Atlantis Factor.
7. Deadly Towers
Ok this game is by far one of the hardest NES games of all time. I never was part of a game that I wanted to smash with a sledge hammer then burn in a fire and bury 6 feet under. The story of Deadly Towers is to save your kingdom from a evil demon. Even though this game is hard as nails it made me want to beat it because my cousin Aaron beat it without cheating. Also with every room and dungeon I went into I wanted to see what was next. The most annoying part was getting very far and getting killed by some green puddle of slime only to start at the very beginning of the game. There was no animation when you threw a sword. It looked as if they were coming from your feet. I would say try it for five minutes before you go insane.
6. Silver Surfer
Once again I find myself talking about a game that had two settings.... hard and impossible to beat. As oppose to Deadly Towers this game had something good. It had a rocking soundtrack. This game was made by Americans by the way. The story is.... the mighty Galactus has summoned you to defeat the Magik Domain which threats the universe. This game is a side scroller/top down scroller and you can pick between five levels to torture your sanity. For a super hero the Silver Surfer is weak. One hit sends him off his board. Thank god there is a invincibility code that can let you enjoy this game.
5. Low G Man
I bought this game during the Sega Genesis days. I found it for $20 new. I thought it looked cool from the box and the story with interesting. It's about some off world colony that takes advantage of robots which lead them to revolt and cause trouble. They send in the Low G Man. What makes this game innovative are the weapons you have. You have some kind of stun gun the freezes enemies for a little while. To kill off an enemy you use a spear that you drive into them while they are frozen. There are other secondary weapons that you can switch on the fly like fire balls and giant wave beams. It's a platform jumper. Power ups in the game give you higher jumping, more powerful stun gun and longer spear. Levels are cool looking with some that have express shortcuts.
4. Isolated Warrior
This game seems very similar to Low G Man in music and graphics. You play as a warrior that must stop an alien invasion. It plays in a isometric scrolling view. It has some cool power ups and sweet looking bosses. This game's AI adapts to your weapons. In other words if you have powerful weapons they enemies are harder to kill. I know there are lots of games that follow this formula. The graphics have that comic book contrast look like GI Joe and Low G Man. Some levels you are on a hover bike. The bike reminds me of the one Dana Sterling used in Southern Cross. Not a bad game that isn't too difficult.
3. The Guardian Legend
This game is also one of my favorites. It has a unique story and it mixes adventure with a space shooter. The story is an intelligence has sent a planet to Earth which has all it's life forms. Something has changed all the life forms and now the planet size Noah's ark is evil and must be stopped before it reaches Earth. You are sent to activate all the bombs in order to destroy it. You explore each sector and in order to arm the bombs you have to break seals. This is where you transform into a ship and battle aliens in a shooter corridor. What makes this game super cool is every sector is very different. You want to get the key to the next area to see what it looks like. The boss battles in the shooter areas are unique and cool. The graphics and music are top notch for a NES game. I really recommend this game. I believe it still holds up 18 years later. I still play it from time to time.
2. Star Tropics
This is one of those great games that was so underrated. Many have said this game is a bad Zelda clone. You play as a punk kid that travels from island to island trying to find his lost uncle that has discovered some kind of alien power. The aliens are not too happy and they kidnap your uncle. For some reason every land ends in cola. You are from Americola and one island is Coralcola and there is even a Howduyaducola island. There are two game modes in Tropics. There is an overworld low rez graphic view. It reminds me of Dragon Warrior....but without the annoying surprise attacks. This is where you go from island to island looking for clues. Every island has a battle mode which is where the game switches to a zelda type game play. You battle enemies using a yo yo. Later on you get other weapons like a mace and laser pistol. This game has a lot going for it and it's a shame it is so under rated. One of the coolest things is you have to get a code to have your sub dive and it's on a letter that comes with the game. You put water on the paper and the code appears. I thought it was a sweet idea. My cousin and I just threw a few drops on the letter since it was a rental. They made a sequel which was good and more of the same. The bad thing about part 2 was it came out in 1994. During that time the NES was dead and it was all about Sega and the SNES. Once again a game is lost due to bad timing.
1. Monster Party
Monster Party is a very odd game indeed. My cousin bought it in the late 90's. He told me it was a cool game. I borrowed it and wow.....this game is something else. I read some reviews on this game. It seems this game scared and confused a lot of gamers. I would say it is different but not in a bad way. So many times games are cookie cutters of other games....this game is like that game....yada yada yada. I can't really say Monster Party is like anything out there. Most reviews also bashed it to hell saying it was made by crack smokers. The story is you are a kid named Mark who is confronted by a demon named Bert who needs Mark's help. There is a evil brood of monsters that are messing up Bert's monster world. So Mark helps out. The game is a platformer. Most of the enemies you face are down right strange. You face dogs with human heads, fish with human legs and killer umbrellas. Each level has a few bosses to fight and one has the key for the next stage. This is where Monster Party gets cool. You come across pumpkin ghosts, killer plants, a punk rocker, a wishing well, demon bull that throws puppies at you and tempera. It's a odd game I tell you but it's fun. Normal is boring and this game is far from it. Enjoy it for what it is.