Is it me or are most computer video games these days purely franchises? Each year we see a new FIFA, Tiger Woods Golf, Final Fantasy (oh the irony) or Pro Evo Soccer. And how many times can you honestly put a new spin on war? Each Call of Duty or Modern Warfare game I see is relatively the same, slightly different weapons, new missions but in all honesty could easily be a DLC. Is it worth trading in the older games in these series at musicMagpie.com to help buy the newest releases?
There must be games that are released by developers that don’t even see the light of day due to the cash rich marketers employed by EA Sports. Yet it feels like most game studios are scared to try something new due to the time involved in development and investment needed.
Recently I’ve been playing more indie titles like Stacking, Chime, Echochrome and World of Goo. The low cost involved for me as a consumer lowers the risk that I will feel ripped off once I complete the game. Plus the ideas are new and fresh with stunning graphics. And I’ve found that I’m more likely to buy DLC’s for these smaller titles too, it’s almost like giving the developers a little tip at the end of a meal.
Top 5 Best Unknown/Forgotten Games You Should Play
But it got me thinking. Why are there certain titles destined to become franchises? Why did some of the best games I ever played just die away quietly? I picked my top five gone but not forgotten computer video games and reawakened a desire to see either a follow up or a revamped version on the Xbox Live Arcade or Playstation Network:
In Cold Blood
Released on the Playstation back in 2000, this spy adventure game ticked all the boxes when I first saw it for rental in my local Blockbuster store. I ended up hooked and bought it. Playing as Special Agent John Cord, you attempt to uncover a conspiracy that could lead to war on a global scale.
Featuring robots, EMP mines, puzzle solving and the voice talent of Nickolas Grace and Patricia Hodge, the main draw was the storyline which continually left me surprised.
Hailed at the time for having impressive graphics and sound quality, Black was released by Criterion Games in 2006. Black was a first person shooter where you could destroy your surroundings with the clever use of graphic effects that really helped to immerse yourself into the game. Highly stylised, you play as a Black Ops soldier based in Chechnya and play through several mission based levels. It truly was one of the first FPS to add touches like screen blur when reloading and realistic handling of the weapons you discover throughout the game.
Being able to pretty much destroy everything around me was fun and inventive and my only gripe was the cheating way you could finish the end mission by keeping your distance. All guns blazing I’ve not played a FPS that I’ve enjoyed so much since.
Black 2 was shelved after problems with publisher EA but it is rumoured that Bodycount (Led by Black designer Stuart Black) is Black’s lovechild and is set to up the destruction stakes.
First seen on the Commodore 64 then later on the Mastersystem and DS, Impossible Mission is possibly my all time favourite game. The gameplay is simple. You play as a secret agent who must defeat Professor Elvin Atombender by searching a series of rooms and collect puzzle pieces. The pieces form a password which allows you into the room where Atombender is holding out.
It sounds easy but add in a collection of electrified robots, killer orbs and a time limit and this platform game becomes a heart thumping race against time. I loved the digitized speech in the game, from the scream your character makes each time he plummets to his death down a lift shaft to the mocking Professor “Stay a while…stay forever!”, nearly twenty years later and I still get a warm glow thinking about playing this game. I’d hate anyone to make a totally updated version as the original graphics are part of what makes this game great but it would be immense to be able to play on my PS3 or Xbox 360.
If you ever played the survival horror role-playing video game Parasite Eve or Parasite Eve 2 then you, like me, probably spend a fair bit of time each year searching for that elusive remake or follow up. PSP owners are lucky to have the chance to play The Third Birthday which reboots the story of Aya Brea but there is no talk yet of bringing out a version for either the PS3 or Xbox 360.
Made by Square before they became Square Unix I am surprised they didn’t churn out a batch more like Final Fantasy, which in my opinion always lacks the charm and cohesive storyline of Parasite Eve.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Ok this one may sound a little off the wall and if you read the storyline it is. Based on the group as the name suggests, Frankie Goes to Hollywood was a gem of a game on the Commodore 64 released back in 1985. As you hunted for a murderer on the way to the Pleasuredome, you collected love, pleasure, war and faith in order to become a complete person. Yes really.
It was a fun game that didn’t always make sense and sometimes you walked into a room to search and accidentally switched the lights off rendering it impossible to leave the room and thus ending your game. I must have had much more patience back then as I reloaded the game several times having made this error. And as all of you who ever owned a tape based computer system know could take ages.
I’m sure many people will disagree with my choices or cite other underground games that should have made into franchise status but perhaps the reason I still hold these particular games in high regard is the uniqueness of each of them. Had they gone on to spawn sequel after sequel would I love them quite so much?
Guest Author: This is a guest article by Katherine Bond who works as a Content Manager at Review Centre. Review Centre is a community of real people sharing their product and service experiences. The website was founded in 1999, and now has over 500,000 reviews, covering 100,000 products and services such as digital cameras, sat navs, and computer games.