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2/11/2012

Most underrated games (part 2)

Ok, continuing with my Most Underrated Games list. I came up with another five titles I've enjoyed during my life as a gamer that I haven't seen getting much love from the public. These are very solid and awesome games that never got the respect and praise they deserved in my opinion.

6) Panzer Dragoon Orta (Xbox)

This game is the only reason why I never really paid any attention to the Star Fox series. It's a shooter on rails where you play as a dragon that changes form and shoots laser beams with a girl riding on top of it. It has an amazing story, narrative, gameplay , it's own freaking spoken language and one of the richest worlds I've ever seen created in a video game. It's a "sequel" to other even more obscure titles like Panzer Dragoon Saga and Panzer Dragoon Zwei that came out for the Sega Saturn. 

Orta was my very first Xbox game and even after I got Halo and DOA3 a few days later, I still kept playing it a lot until I 100%ed it several times. There is a downside. The game is really short with only a few missions but ironically, there's a "library" mode of some sorts with tons of things to read about the post-apocalyptic world with evolved bio-engineered creatures the game takes place in. Also, the game comes with an unlockable version of the original Panzer Dragoon for the Sega Saturn. Trust me, it's AWESOME. Much better than the Star Fox franchise and always lived in the shadows. 












7) Little Samson (NES)

I'm seriously starting to think that the existence of this game is a product of my imagination since literally no one I know has any knowledge of it. Like most of the NES games, Little Samson is a 2D platformer/action-adventure title where the player uses four characters: a kid who throws rocks, a small mouse, a fire-breathing dragon and a stone creature like The Thing. Each one had their own abilities, powers and weaknesses and using them effectively was the key to pass the levels without dying. As usual with the NES games, it was very hard and unforgiving but I've always seen a lot of potential in this game. Sadly, it never got famous.













8) Racedriver GRID (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

I know that Codemasters racing games are actually really famous and praised but where I live and pretty much in the internet in general, I never saw GRID taking as much media coverage as its brothers DiRT and F1 20XX. And the sad thing is that it's probably even better. GRID is more about street racing but has many  other modes like Destruction Derby, Drifting (real drifting, not the abomination present in DiRT 3) and Formula 3 cars. Each time you get an event, the races will be different and there's a very cool system about teams and selling cars that worked perfectly for it. 

The graphics were great though the game was not very colorful but still very beautiful, it's not a pretty as DiRT 2 or 3 but looks much better than other games like Need for Speed, Sega Rally or Test Drive. Being a recent game, it's really easy to find it nowdays and also very cheap so I truly recommend giving it a try, especially if you enjoyed DiRT and Formula 1 by the same developers.











9) Bomberman 64 (Nintendo 64)

I don't know about the rest of the world, but in my country, people in the N64 times used to spend their time mainly on Mario Kart, Goldeneye, Zelda and the rest of the mainstream games. But while I do consider those superior to Bomberman 64, the game still had a lot of potential and was very cool to play. It's the very first game in the series with a given storyline about some alien warriors trying to find the "Omni Cube" to gain a huge power so Bomberman tries to stop them with the help of another cosmic warrior who ends up betraying him in an optional secret world. 

The gameplay was very simple, all the hero could do was throw bombs and run around without jumping, so to get to higher places, we all needed to build "stairs" with the bombs so he could bounce on them to get around. There were many enemies, cool bosses and a very catchy soundtrack. But the best of all was definitely the four-player competitive multiplayer where you a your friends could go to an arena and throw bombs at each other until only one was left standing. It was pretty cool and it had a few crazy rules to make every match very intense.













10) Final Fantasy XI Online (PC, PS2, Xbox 360)

Yeah, another FF title in my top 10 underrated games. I really think this game got way too much hate, more than it deserved. It's very good, trust me. This comes from someone who actually spent two and half years on it and did most of the things the game offered. I really do admit WoW's superiority in many aspects, but the charm and attitute of the players in FFXI made the experience fantastic and unforgettable for me. I played mostly as a Tarutaru Black Mage, but I managed to get good levels with White Mage, Puppetmaster, Warrior, Monk and Bard and they were all very cool. It focused a lot on the grinding but I personally enjoyed it. 

My friends used to make fun of me for playing this when they were hooked to WoW but I really don't regret it. I even keep in touch with many of the players who traveled with me around Vana'diel and some of them are still active in the game. I had to leave shortly after the Wings of the Goddess expansion came out so I never got the opportunity to try out the Scholar and Dancer but managed to fight alongside many. Today, it must feel extremely dated and I really wouldn't recommend it to anyone who's not a die-hard Final Fantasy fan like me. Players looking for a more modern MMO should try their luck with Conan, WoW or something like that. But I'll still defend FFXI and will probably even return to it someday using one of the free-months.
























Yeah, the screens are actually from my character from when I used to play it.

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