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Games Entertainment

Industry Folks Talk Underrated Games 167

A topic we've touched on several times in the past here is discussed in the answers to another of Gamasutra's Questions of the week. Underrated games are the order of the day. From the article: "Natural Selection by Unknown Worlds is an outstanding work combining FPS action and RTS strategy elements. NS has gained a great following, but it has been overshadowed by success of Counter-Strike. The game play of NS naturally draws players to work together. I have always found the teamwork in NS better than most other FPS network games. The variety of classes in Aliens and Marines provides a lot of depth of play to experience. The RTS elements in the game were beautifully put together." I've always been partial to Shiny's Sacrifice , a weird little First Person RTS title where you play a mage that summons all of your units. Any titles that you think didn't get the attention they deserved?
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Industry Folks Talk Underrated Games

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  • Marathon... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pomo monster ( 873962 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @05:29PM (#14029968)
    ...Marathon 2: Durandal, and Marathon Infinity. You know, back from before Bungie became Microsoft.
    • Underrated? Back then, Marathon was THE Mac game series. Pretty much every Mac user out there knew it, had it, and loved it.
      • This may come as a shock, but the Mac gaming community is probably 0.001% of the entire gaming community. Just because one small subset of gamers has heard of it doesn't mean it's not underrated.
        • Except a lot of those Mac gamers made their way into the broader game community, and have been telling everyone within earshot how great Marathon was for the last 10 years -- "I WAS AN ELITE MAC GAMER HUR HUR". (Regardless, it was a great game in the day.)

          A better argument is that Marathon was underrated because Marathon 2/Infinity for PC generally received mediocre reviews and didn't sell all that well.
          • Except a lot of those Mac gamers made their way into the broader game community, and have been telling everyone within earshot how great Marathon was for the last 10 years...

            It's funny because it's true.
          • Well, I never made it into the broader game community, but otherwise I guess you got me pegged. Hurrr! :-)
    • I liked at a Mac World Bungie was showing off their latest and greatest game that had ALL kinds of neat things on it plus it looked great. They demoed it onstage and said that it was going to be Mac only.

      Wonder what ever happened to that game...and has it come out yet for the Mac? (/sarcasm)
      • ...and has it come out yet for the Mac?

        Disappointingly, yes [apple.com]. ;-)
      • Re:Marathon... (Score:2, Informative)

        by msoell ( 25190 )
        They never, ever, ever said it was going to be Mac-only. Never.

        Fact: Halo development started on PC and stayed there exclusively for about a year, until Apple got their 3D shit together. No work was done on Mac Halo until about two weeks before that MacWorld Expo, when Bungie began porting their PC build to the Mac.

        -Matt
        • Just because you were a big part of Bungie doesn't mean you know better than some guy on the Internet!

          Cripes!

          Next you're going to dispute the reasons behind the Microsoft purchase, when we all *know* it was a sell-out specifically designed to irritate Bungie's loyal (and oftentimes rabid) Mac fan-base.

          I really must play Marathon again. For some reason that game really captured my imagination back in... 94-95 I think. One of the all-time great games.
        • Um...nah...I like my version better. Sounds more dramatic.

          Your facts and insight are not welcome here!
    • Re:Marathon... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:01PM (#14030215)
      I was racing to post this myself to get the "early poster free mod points," but you beat me to it. In any case, *seconded!*

      Look at how advanced Marathon (1994) was:

      1) 3D world where you can look up and down (hey, at the time it was impressive.)
      2) Weapons that didn't extend through your stomach but instead were held in a realistic manner.
      3) A story so deep that, over a decade later, it's *still* being dissected at marathon.bungie.org and other sites. Not only that but it was clever and had excellent writing.
      4) Civilians you had to rescue, security drone allies. (Again, at the time it was impressive.)
      5) Designed to be moddable. You could drop in any combination of physics files, map files, sprite files, sound files and music files. You could use the art from your "kill Barney" mod with the sounds from your "Simpsons" mod without using an editor. Marathon 2 even had a nice GUI to select which mod you wanted before you started the game.
      6) Multiplayer over LAN
      7) Team games with many different game types.
      8) Real-time voice communication during multiplayer.
      9) Marathon 2 is the first FPS (I'm aware of) to use ambient sounds in the 3D world instead of a musical soundtrack.
      10) Probably a half-dozen more I'm not thinking of.

      They were great games, seriously great.
  • by ViperG ( 673659 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @05:31PM (#14029981) Homepage Journal
    If you want to find underground or indie games, I'd recommend sites like

    http://www.gametunnel.com/ [gametunnel.com]
    http://www.madmonkey.net/ [madmonkey.net]
    http://www.indiegamer.com/ [indiegamer.com]
  • Barney's Hide and Seek was kickass, but underrated. I used to spend hours playing the damn thing when the game was released!
  • by sgant ( 178166 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @05:42PM (#14030072) Homepage Journal
    Ico for the PS2. This was a great game and had a very moving ending.

    Another game that may have gotten press back when it was going strong but kinda fell off the face of the Earth was Descent. I remember playing Descent 2 online a lot. It's a shame that it kinda died.

    • by -kertrats- ( 718219 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @05:45PM (#14030096) Journal
      Little press? Are you kidding? Every gaming magazine, website, comic, fansite I've ever been to has heralded how amazing Ico was. It got press everywhere. Just because no one bought it doesnt mean there was little press.
      • ah, you're assuming that I read the "press". When I picked this game up it was in the bargin bin and I'd never even heard of it before.

        Oh well, that's what I get for living in a cave.
        • ah, you're assuming that I read the "press".

          Yes, shame on him. This is Slashdot, how can he expect you to have some idea of what you're talking about? We all make wild over-generalized claims based on our own ignorance here. What rock has he been living under?

        • I'm going to make some enemies and state that Ico was an overrated game. The press loved it and couldn't stop talking about it. The problem was that it honestly wasn't that fun of a game. Most of the time you had to trudge back to rescue your companion who either couldn't keep up or was captured by shadows. It was like a "ball and chain" simulator.

          Some actual underrated games would be Blast Corps, Rocket: Robot on Wheels, R-Type Final, and even Feeding Frenzy; great games that no one seems to have ever
          • I agree that it was overrated. The puzzles were kind of interesting, but the battle system completely sucked. The girl was really annoying, too. I heard initially they were going to make her blind. That would have made a lot more sense, considering how she acted.
      • by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:09PM (#14030743) Homepage
        Yeah, the word "underrated" is being somewhat misused here. Most of the games are merely "unpopular"- the majority got very good scores from the critics and simply failed to sell well.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Not just Descent but Freespace 2 really deserved to do better than it did. It had a decent story, awesome scale on the capital ships and fighter piloting on a par with X-wing vs Tie Fighter. On the bright side Volition has released the source.
      • And the license is made for unofficial back-and-forth! The EULA specifically states that anyone is allowed to redistribute the CDs and material on a purely non-commercial basis to friends.

        Once you've managed to find a friend willing to let you have it, do check out some of the additional resources available for the game since 'abandonment'.

        Check out FS2_Open at this site [indiegames.us]. As the parent points out, the source was opened some time ago, and there are Windows {binary and source for VS.net, I believe}, Linux and
    • who wants Descent back !
      May be start a club???

      Descenters Fight Club

      The first rule of the Descenters Fight Club is...

      Ohh well that's the reason we don't notice it !!!
  • Undying (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <rodrigogiraoNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Monday November 14, 2005 @05:49PM (#14030118) Homepage
    Clive Barker's Undying [clivebarker.com] - great reviews everywhere, terrible sales.
    • Totaly agree. It was my dad of all people who showed me it. What an incredible game.
    • It didn't sell well? Holy cow. That was a great game!

      From memory, I'd think it would still hold up almost perfectly... I think the graphics would be more than acceptable on a modern system. Those of you who haven't played it yet would most likely enjoy it. Worth finding.

      I can't believe it didn't sell. Wow.
  • PArticularly Heroes. I can't understand people going nuts over Rome Total War's battles that look aweful.

    I admit that the lack of frequent save points kinda sucks, but it's a great RPG + RTS + Action. Good story lines, too.

  • Old Favorites (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alzheimers ( 467217 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:07PM (#14030261)
    Some games that never quite received the love they deserved:

    The Guardian Legend (NES)- the first game to combine an overhead shooter (shmup) with a 3/4 RPG. Interesting puzzles, excellent controlls, and one of the deepest adventure games of it's time.

    Rygar (NES) - combining 3/4 adventure with a sidescrolling action, this was one of the few NES translations that was *better* than the arcade version (don't remind me of Double Dragon *sob*). The PS2 Followup was an excellent sequel, God of War before GoW existed, but suffered from a horrible storyline and the worst voice acting ever.

    Crystalis (NES) - a 3/4 overhead Action/RPG that was the first true Zelda-Killer, it was one of the greatest achievements of the 8-bit era to go unnoticed.

    River City Ransom (NES) - the original Brawler for the NES, the depth of which was quite impressive considering the weak storyline.

    Phantasy Star 2 (Genesis) - The greatest RPG of it's time, Final Fantasy be damned. A rich storyline in a futuristic setting, several worlds to explore, and a cataclysmic epic with a truly satisfying conclusion.

    Actraiser (SNES) - The unique hybrid of Sidescrolling action and RPG/RTS was constantly changing to keep from getting stale. One moment you're marching through a forest on your way to slay a boss, the next you're building roads and accepting gifts from worshippers, then you're back in a forgotten pyramid. Also one of the most underrated soundtracks, with one theme in particular that sounds very similar to Brian Adams' "Hazard"

    and finally

    Tetrisphere (N64) - One of the greatest puzzlers ever created, this underappreciated gem was the first to bring Tetris to 3D in a form that I actually enjoyed. An awesome techo soundtrack; smooth, slick two player action, and simple rules that reveal a complex and engaging system made this one of the best Tetris games of all time.
    • The Guardian Legend (NES) [classicgaming.com] ... River City Ransom (NES) [seanbaby.com] ...

      If you're a girl, I'd marry you. If you're a guy...I'd marry you.

      It's sad I haven't seen much more than such recollections of these games. Judging from the quality of the selections, I gotta see this Crystalis you speak of. Looks promising [google.com].

    • I'll agree that the NES version of Rygar as one of the greatest games ever, but I don't remember it being underrated. In fact, I believe it was widely acclaimed.

      Instead of listing games that didn't get their due, it seems like you just listed a bunch of good games that nobody has thought about in a while (save Guardian Legend and Tetrishpere, perhaps).
      • When I think about "underrated", my criteria isn't so much critical acclaim as it is about hearing people wax nostalgic about their favorite games. Everyone lists games like Metroid, Zelda, and Mario. Sure, those were great games, and received high praise from critics.

        What I did was list a bunch of games that I've always held in my favorite games list, but never see mentioned when people talk about the classic RPGs or Adventure games. Zelda was a great game, sure, but Crystalis took it to the next level.
    • Crystalis had depth to rival the SNES' Chrono Trigger in a game over a half decade earlier.
    • Re:Old Favorites (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stormwatch ( 703920 )
      I think Phantasy Star II remains a seriously overrated game. I loved the first game on the Master System, but, in comparison, the sequel was a train wreck of a videogame.

      First, it looked really bad. No backgrounds for battle scenes, no pseudo-3D dungeons, everything looked ugly and indistinctive. It's hard to believe it ran on a far more powerful system, since it looks like it's the other way around. And the music was not memorable, except in the sense that, after so many years, I still remember how bad i

  • Natural Selection (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TychoCelchuuu ( 835690 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:10PM (#14030289) Journal
    Yeah, Natural Selection is one of my top 10 games. And it's free. That's just crazy. Very few games have the same mix of teamwork and action.
    • Yeah, it was kind of cool to see people progress from the counter-strike mindset ("teamwork, that's one of those theoretical things that doesn't really matter, right?") to people who really would start cooperating from the very beginning of a round.
      • Yeah, it was kind of cool to see people progress from the counter-strike mindset ("teamwork, that's one of those theoretical things that doesn't really matter, right?") to people who really would start cooperating from the very beginning of a round.

        This has less to do withthe game and more to do with the players. CS requires team work, with it your team rules all maps. But unfortunaely it has a sea of 12 years olds insting on camping so while the team loses every roudn he at least has a 3:1 kill ratio...
    • No support from any of VAC(2)'s "security" has made me drop the game from my daily game list :

      Whereas I can still stand the wallhackers/aimbotters I encounter in Counter-Strike, (Source, or 1.6), the advantage you get with solely a wallhack in NS is incredible, and has made me stop playing that game.

      I have to agree that, with the limits the HL engine has, they create a unique and breathing environment which perfectly incorporates FPS and strategic play.

      I think Unknown Worlds also recently announced they

  • Smaller Online Games (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sugar Moose ( 686011 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:24PM (#14030396) Journal
    Two online games that stick out for me are Legacy Online and A Tale In the Desert.

    Legacy Online is no longer in existence, but basically imagine the flipside to SimCity. You are a company that builds the housing in the residential zoned areas, builds the stores in the commercial areas, and builds the factories to supply your stores in industrial areas. It was very interesting, and if I were teaching an economics class, playing this game would have been required material. It made you understand a lot of market concepts, such as your company actually wanting the minimum wage to be higher because it gave your customers more cash to spend at your stores. You couldn't just raise wages on your own, because the effect of just one company was next to nothing, so it just raised your costs. Very interesting stuff.

    ATITD [atitd.com] is a non-combat MMORPG. If you play games to "pwnxxorz n00bz," it may or may not be for you. But if you prefer PvE, it has a free trial and it's worth a try. You only need to play it for a few hours to realize that the crafting systems you herald from WoW or other MMORPGs are pure crap with no thought put into them.
  • I heard so much about Beyong Good & Evil but haven't got around to play it yet. All the critics seem to a agree is it (amazingly?) good but it's in the bargain bin even though it's still pretty young.
    • I'll ditto that. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 )
      It had some beautiful environments, fun gameplay elements, and the humor was well done. It was a little "kidish" in a few respects, but I'd recommend it.
    • BG&E is a few years old now, but still well worth playing. If you see it in a bargain bin, buy it and try it out.
    • Beyond Good & Evil is a truely excellent game in a lot of regards, although it does have its shortcomings.

      Presentation

      The characters in the game are very stylized, with anthropomorphic animals running about everywhere alongside humans. This gives the game a very "kiddie" feel at first glance. The voice acting is very well done and after a few hours of playing the game you will find yourself genuinly liking the characters after enjoying their banter and interactions.

      Gameplay

      The gameplay has a strong

      • The plot to the game is surprisingly sophisticated.

        No, it was not. It was obvious from the first cutscene that the Alpha Sections were corrupt. The leader of the Alpha Sections is a giant ugly Mussolini, and the Alpha Sections logo is the kind of spiky, angular affair you'd expect from the Third Reich. At no point did the game even attempt to convince you that the Alpha Sections were good, so when Jade finally exposes their true agenda (collaborating with the DomZ to enslave the people of Hillys) it is so

      • As you point out, BGE has many good points and rough points.

        I'd point out that you can beat the game with about 4-5 hours of work, tops. It has 3 large dungeon-style areas, and a dozen or so sub-levels that are interesting. Now, if it had double the number of large areas, and a proper second-half to its story, I'd say it'd be right up there. Add in skipable cutscenes (I really, really hate being forced to sit through repeated screenings), and remove some of the other minor nits, and you have a solid game
    • Very overrated and unfinished game. It had great presentation, but that's about it. Everyone seems to get wrapped up in presentation and production values though, and usually forget to look at the game underneath.

      If they had finished it with a satisfying conclusion and more than 3 or 5 or so dungeon environments it would have been much better, but the game ends before they have even told the story, leaving the pinnacle of it's gameplay at the first half hour (you'll get immediately wrapped up in it within
    • I got about halfway through before I basically got bored with it. Maybe there's some awesome ending where you get to make friends with Che Guevera that I missed. But basically it's Zelda, set in a cartoony world, and you have a mildly sexy lead character. But having a woman as the lead character is so out of place with the rest of the game that it makes no inroads for women in gaming, other than to demonstate that you can put a woman as the lead character and still not sell a game.

      Is it good? I guess. But i
  • MUDs (Score:3, Informative)

    by radicalskeptic ( 644346 ) <tritoneNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:33PM (#14030463)
    For many years, I've been a fan of roleplaying Multi-User Dungeons [wikipedia.org], AKA "MUDs". There are a lot of bad ones, but the best ones combine deep gameplay mechanics, vast, ever-changing worlds, great fantasy settings and an opportunity to roleplay interesting characters of your own design.
  • the problem there are may underrated game.
    I just need a online database so I can find people with similar likes/dislikes, chances are if they share my optinion of X, Y and Z, maybe I will look at their fav.
    Shiny (Sacrifice), Planet Moon (Giants), Lionhead/Bullfrog(Magic Carpet/B&W) do some good stuff, but like any developer they can often lay an egg.
    Not being underrated is a matter of timing, just like a movie release.
  • Moonbase Commander (Score:2, Informative)

    by GibCat ( 673866 )
    Moonbase Commander was a fun little turn-based strategy game that nobody ever played. It was highly addictive, and had a lot of replay value against humans. The balance of units was perfect.

    Unfortunately, it was limited to 4 players via IPX. Gamespy allowed you to play it over the net, though. If you have it loaded and open Gamespy, there will always be that ONE other person who has it installed and will beg you to play it with them.
  • VGA Planets (Score:3, Informative)

    by jonabbey ( 2498 ) * <jonabbey@ganymeta.org> on Monday November 14, 2005 @06:41PM (#14030541) Homepage
    VGA Planets [vgaplanets.com]. Quite the obscure title, but if you've got several friends up for an extended play by email campaign combining Diplomacy with Star Fleet Battles, you can have an amazingly good time.
    • There's one I haven't played in a long time. Along with Flash Games (No, not Macromedia Flash, I'm talking about something about ten years older.), VGA Planets was one of those games I could enjoy running on my 386 over a 14400 modem.

      Ah, too bad MajorBBS/Worldgroup is fading away. It hasn't quite faded yet. I still know of one that's been running for over 15 years. But it's about to close. That machine holds the odd distinction of being the oldest computer on the Internet that's never been hacked, despi
  • Hooray for Plok! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Corbu Mulak ( 931063 )
    I have Plok, and it was fun (if semi-strange). It was also pretty damn hard. I could never get past Rockafeller, even on Easy. Or maybe it was the Spider Queen. I can't really remember which came first, but it was hard. I think Septerra Core was a pretty underated game. It had an interesting story and a cool card magic system, but the battles took forever.
  • Starsiege: Tribes and its sequel Tribes 2 in my opinon, are two of the best online FPS titles ever.

    Tribes 1 would have recieved several GoTY awards, but it was overshadowed by Half-Life. Tribes 2's release was plagued by lots of bugs and patches, and many of the T1 vets didn't like the "new stuff".

    Both games were also very easily modded, (there was amazing freedom and ease, but secure so there was almost no hacking) and I actually started learning how to program by modding and tweaking a server I ran off my
    • I loved playing Tribes 2, although I got into it fairly late after it was released. It was one of the few games my (then) medium-low end PC could play without any trouble whatsever. I never EVER experienced lag in Tribes 2, compared to the other FPS games I was playing at the time (Counter-Strike and RtCW) which would give me anywhere from moderate stuttering to completely unplayable gameplay.
    • Tribes 1 would have recieved several GoTY awards, but it was overshadowed by Half-Life.

      The main reason being that you don't have to be online or with friends to play Half-Life.

      There's nothing wrong with an online-only game, but this requires players to be worthwhile. In addition, these players need to be welcoming to newcomers or the playerbase will eventually be choked. (In particular, a lot of Tribes servers had a mod to kick players out of weapon selection if they were holding it for more than ~10 se

  • by sharopolis ( 819353 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:06PM (#14030715)
    I love this kind of thing, I have a kind of collection of underrated games. There's a whole world of games out there that have got little attention, have been forgotten or have never gained much recogntion outside of their niche, I name hundereds, but Home of The Underdogs is the place to go for this type of thing and a I think someone has beat me to that link.

    The ZX Spectrum [worldofspectrum.org]hosts a tresure trove of games that are mostly unknown outside of Speccy strongholds. Ultimate (which later became RARE) released a whole slew of games during the eighties which were innovative, fun and often offered types of play which have never been recreated on modern platforms. Attic Attack, Knight Lore, Jetpack, all classics and worth looking up. Plus games like School Daze ( set in a school, Take Two's Bully sounds suspiciously like a remake of this), Fat Worm Blows a Sparky, Knight Tyme, Lords of Midnight, Target Renegade, How To Be a Complete Bastard, too many to name.

    The Snes had tons of really great RPG's many of which have only become playable to no japanese speakers thanks to fan Translaton patches. Titles like Bhamut Lagoon, Seiken Densetsu 3 ( the real sequal to secret of manna), some weird ones like Wedding Peach (bloody nuts but oddly fun) and Sailor Mood, plus some stuff that had wester releases but never took off like the Adventures of Spike McFang and Terranigma.

    Atari classic I,Robot has got to be worth mentioning, the first true 3d game, released in 1983 in the arcades, sank without trace, but was at least a decade ahead of it's time, Starfox seemed to borrow a lot from this game.

    To me however, the most underrated game of all time has got to be Gunpey. Appearing on the Bandai Wonderswan, both game and console were developed by the legendary Gunpei Yakoi, the man responisble for the Game and Watch and The Gameboy. A stupidly simple puzzler, its really worth looking for. You can get both console and game for next to nothing on Ebay, why this never got a western release I'll never know but it's a lot of fun.

    • Agree entirely, very, very special games. Perhaps not under-rated at the time they were certainly forgotten rather too soon. A game running on the same "engine" so to speak was "Contact Sam Cruise" which was about a gumshoe dectective rather than school life. As the detective you could venture in and out buildings in the city, answer the phone, wear disguises etc. An early stab at making a "living city", if you didn't do anything everyone else in the game went about their business running errands and so on.
  • Battlezone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WWWWolf ( 2428 ) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:08PM (#14030734) Homepage

    I refuse to believe Battlezone [mobygames.com] ever existed. I mean, the thing came out in the dark ages of 1998 and that thing had everything. RTSing and FPSing and ninjaing and hovertank racing and Cold War cliches. Nope, such a great concept obviously never existed.

    Or maybe it did exist, it was just that it was too far ahead of its time and most people just forgot about it.

    Oh, wait, it did exist, I have the game box and manual and CD and all other stuff right here. ::blows dust off the box:: Hmm, now if only I had Windows around to try this one out, maybe I could install it on QEMU... ::browses through the computer part drawers and can only find a Windows 95 OEM CD:: No wait, I cannot touch this artifact of evil, looks like the verification has to be done later!

    • Re:Battlezone (Score:2, Interesting)

      by CasulPoster ( 705596 )
      To the max. Battlezone is, in my opinion, one of THE most underrated games ever made. It was Cold War + Star Trek + FPS + Stealth Sneaker + Warcraft + Freelancer. I tried running it on my XP box a couple years back, and it choked like no tomorrow. One for the mausoleum, I guess.
    • Battlezone was really great. Most immersive game i've ever played, best UI.

      Too bad they dropped those "cold war cliches" in bz2 and the mobility of the bases. Made the setting feel much more alive because the main base building became nearly as much a "recurring character" as the carrier ships in the old wing-commander games.

      Everybody who liked bz and has bz2 should definitely check out that "forgotten enemies" mod, it feels a bit more bz1 than bz2 imho (can't say why)
      • Sacrifice (which Zonk mentioned in the summary) uses a very similar interface, and is also a lot of fun. I prefer BZ's sci-fi setting, but Sacrifice is really good, and has some neat high-level magic with enormous effects.

        I have BZ2, but never got around to playing it. I'll try that mod you mention when I have a chance.
        • Ah, how could I forget. BZ2 was an awesome game. When Iw as writing reviews I got a copy of it and was shocked by how awesome the graphics were. I was terribly disappointed by the lack of enough online players to make it truly fun in the long run.
    • "I mean, the thing came out in the dark ages of 1998 and that thing had everything. RTSing and FPSing and ninjaing and hovertank racing and Cold War cliches."

      That's all very good, but what about pirates? Did it have pirates?

      No game can claim to have everything without at least a token nod to action on the high seas.
      • but then i guess pirates was one of the most famous games of it's time which qualifies it even less as an "underrated game" than battlezone.

        if i had to pick a "most underrated sid meier game" i'd probably chose alpha centauri (and colonization as a close second of course), not because of lack of fame but because of lack of fame relative to the other civs despite of being the best.
  • Quarantine [gamefaqs.com], like the review says, "the Great Grandaddy of Grand Theft Auto"
    • Best AD evar as well!

      Double page filled with red and two windshield wipers, and the slogan "If you've got the RAM, we've got the pedestrians."

      But otherwise I think Carmageddon was better.
  • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Monday November 14, 2005 @07:22PM (#14030846) Homepage
    Home of the Underdogs [the-underdogs.org], for all those under-rated games of yesteryear.
  • Obscure games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by H0D_G ( 894033 )
    Rez- hypnotic shooter that's amazing. welcome to synaesthesia
  • Battlezone [gamespot.com] was really great: it was like an RTS/FPS with very good control. Star Trek: Bridge Commander was also a fine game: definitely one of the best Star Trek games.
  • RO (Score:2, Informative)

    by JacksonAces ( 868638 )
    My favorite underrated game has to be RO, or Red Orchestra, a mod for UT2004 that tries to realistically replicate the eastern front of the European theater of WWII. For all of you who think Call of Duty is realistic, you should try RO. Take amazingly accurate weapons models and movement characteristics, and combine that with one of the most advanced damage calculation systems I have ever seen in a game, and it gets pretty crazy. But, I had never even heard of this mod until one of my good friends sent m
  • I've been keeping it a dirty little secret.

    This game is amazing but it doesn't have any of the elements that you'd expect from an FPS.

    Basically you build and build and fly and fly and just kind of wander around occasionaly shooting marines or aliens.

    In recent betas the Aliens have become nerfed, it's sad but true.

    I advise people to download it and try it out against bots on one of the excellent Marine Trainer servers low pressure good people to learn with and it's a ton of fun.

    I keep waiting for i
  • by MilenCent ( 219397 ) <johnwh@gmail. c o m> on Monday November 14, 2005 @10:15PM (#14031829) Homepage
    Not Ready, Aim, Tomatoes, not Panic on Funkotron, and not the recent X-box update (which wasn't bad, mind you, but not up to the original).

    The original is possibly the coolest game on the Genesis. 25-level, whacked-out, randomly-generated two-player gameplay with very meaningful co-op. (The developers considered it a two-player game with a one-player option.) More importantly, it took all the important lessons from Roguelike games. It fits the Roguelike description, in fact, much better than Diablo and Diablo II.

    TJ&E III: Mission to Earth (the X-box update) messed up by making everything pre-identified from the start, by discarding the "stacked" level structure (meaning falling off was considerably less meaningful and never useful as it was sometime in the original game), by putting in mini-games where none were needed, and by riding its "funk" theme a little too hard, turning an extremely silly game more like Hitchhiker's Guide mixed with George Clinton into something that seemed like it actually wanted to be from Da Hood.

    Somewhere I have an issue of Play magazine where they interview the guy who was the voice of Earl, and it's almost scary how badly he got the character wrong; he is NOT some kind of urban warrior-type, he is a big friendly alien without much going on upstairs and whose pants periodically fall down!

    More importantly, a game with innovative and subtle gameplay is better suited to something weird and whimiscal than something that markets itself to a subculture that is sometimes seen as unduly confrontational. For all people complain about Nintendo's "kiddy" games, this is one lesson no one's ever had to teach them.

    But um, yeah. The original game was aces.
  • Day of the Tentacle! Otherwise known as Maniac Mansion 2. There aren't too many games out there that are quite like this one, and how many have you seen that use the word "bitchin"?
  • You can't name a game more deserving of success that failed harder. It has the best writing of any game I've ever played and plenty of actual gameplay (as opposed to the X button mashing square's had on tap since FFX).
  • by Malor ( 3658 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:28AM (#14032453) Journal
    One of my all-time favorite games is The Longest Journey. It's a wonderful story/adventure game. I used a walkthrough to get past some of the nastier puzzles (there are some pretty obscure ones), and I still felt like I got 10x my money's worth out of it. Long, intricate plot, good graphics, super characters, top-notch conversations, great voicing. There are long conversations you can have with some of your neighbors that have no real bearing on the game whatsoever... they're just background. But even the background 'throwaway' stuff has incredible texture to it.

    Not even Grim Fandango was quite as good as TLJ.

    They're working on a sequel, Dreamfall. It'll be a preorder for sure.

    I don't know if it's really underrated, but I hardly ever see anyone mention it. I'm not sure it sold all that well. It's really a shame... what a wonderful experience it was. A great, great ride from a master storyteller.

  • Rise of the Triad (Score:3, Informative)

    by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:07AM (#14034667)
    While most people were clamoring over Doom, Rise of the Triad was quietly released. ROTT was an extremely fun game with all sorts of humor built-in but it still managed to be a pretty intense game. It was also the BEST multiplayer of its day. Where else can you get Shroom power-ups, people begging not to be shot, God AND Dog Modes, the creepiest hidden level I've ever seen (You Do Not Belong Here), a character named Ian Paul Freely, and all the Ludicrous Gibs you can handle?
  • By far, it is the #1 game on my list. FPS with RPG elements, and it added emotion with a great voice cast and a fantastic story. I still play it from time to time at night with the speakers up high. Freaky as hell.

    And sacrifice is a great game. If you ever wanna multiplay, email me!
  • One of the first and best online multiplayer game. It came out in 95/96 and still exists today under a new name.

    I also remember having fun playing NetWar. But that died and went away forever.

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