By: Brandon Wolfson, The Campus Gamer
In every generation of video games there are many games that get lost in the shuffle on the retail shelves and don’t get enough press because of the latest annual Call of Duty or Madden release. The following titles are not really your traditional type of game and all have a certain charm to them which gives all them a personality unlike any other game. These are true gems that deserve to be played and it would be a shame for true gamers to miss out on these fun and interesting titles.
Bayonetta (Platinum Games/Sega. PS3/Xbox 360) – Created by ex-Capcom employees behind critically acclaimed hits such as Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe and Okami bring you their latest action game – Bayonetta. It is a spiritual successor to the Devil May Cry series where you play as the long legged, sultry vixen Bayonetta. Bayonetta is a fast paced action game that many are calling it the best in its genre. Bayonetta also takes some cues from God of War’s finishing moves called “Torture Attacks” where she will use her hair for wild moves such as turning her hair into a giant dragon to chop a boss down or a guillotine and chainsaw to cut her enemies in half. The main strategy to use in the game is a mechanism called “Witch Time” where you have to dodge an enemy’s attack at the perfect time to pull off. When “Witch Time” is in effect, all of the enemies slow down and this is where Bayonetta will deal serious damage to her foes. Bayonetta is the definition of an over the top game where you can’t take the story seriously. It is filled with references to past Capcom and Sega games that will put a smile on the face of anyone who is enthusiastic about video games. This “nonstop high action climax” game can’t be missed.
Demon’s Souls (From Software/Atlus. PS3) – Demon’s Souls is a game that has been picking up through word of mouth because of how “hardcore” it really is. You can get lost in this PS3 exclusive title for hundreds of hours while enduring this tough adventure. Just a warning, YOU WILL DIE A LOT !!!. Dying in this game was not due to the “cheapness” of enemies or anything; I died in this game because of my own wrong strategy. Demon’s Souls is one of the most rewarding titles that I have ever played, but the game punishes you. This game takes you back to the era where you die and have to start all the way at the beginning of the level with all of your Souls lost (Souls are the in game currency that players use to upgrade your characters stats). When you start the game, you pick your class (Knight, Royal, Barbarian etc) and customize them to your liking. Each class has their own special stats – for example the Barbarian excels in melee attacks while the Magician excels at magic attacks. Where the game really innovates is in the online component. While players are signed into the Playstation Network, they can summon other players to help them through a level or even invade another’s game to get more souls. Another feature lets players leave tips or messages to other players in the level for example, “attack enemies legs” or “watch out for falling rocks” to help guide fellow players to victory. Demon’s Souls is a game where you have to put the time into it to truly see how great and rewarding it truly is. This was my personal “Game of the Year” in 2009.
Yakuza 3 ( SEGA/SEGA. PS3) – Sega’s second follow up to the Yakuza series (known as Ryu Ga Gotoku in Japan) once again follows series lead Kazuma Kiryu in this Japanese crime drama. The Yakuza series has been very popular in Japan, but for some reason Sega of America does not care to advertise one of their best franchises in the states and decided to release it next to two of this year’s biggest hits – Final Fantasy 13 and God of War 3 so it’s no wonder this game did not show up on last months NPD. Yakuza 3 is a story driven game that also serves as a brawler (think Streets of Rage or Final Fight). It has some classic RPG elements such as random encounters, leveling up and equipping items. The game takes place in two fictional locations based off real life such as Ryukyugai which is in Okinawa and Kamurocho which is a fictional version of Tokyo’s Red light district Kabukicho. While you are in these areas there is a lot that Kazuma can do like play pool, darts, join a underground cage fighting league, golf or going to a hostess bar. What makes this game really great is the atmosphere and nods to Japanese pop culture. Listening to all of the sounds in Tokyo makes it seem like you are there. Yakuza 3 is such a big game that it can take 100 hours to complete. Counting the 25 hour epic story, there is just so much to do in this game and the side missions are great fun. If you have not played the previous 2 Yakuza games, then don’t worry, the game has epilogues of the first two games that you can watch in the options menu to help you know the back story on some of the characters. Check out this ambitious title, you can find it for $40.
This wraps up the first part of “Overlooked Games” be sure to check back for future updates regarding the topic. In the meantime, please check out 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3) which releases on May 11th as this game is sure to be overlooked. If you love retro gaming or more specifically the Legend of Zelda series then check this out. It is a love letter to video game fans of that bygone era.