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The John Doe
09-29-2007, 01:07 PM
The Underrated

NOTE:
[This review is of games I personally own, enjoy, and see as badly underrated and ignored. This review may or may not reflect the judgements of other gamers of this site and/or the mainstream masses. (In other words) Results may vary. Also these games are listed in no particular order and are all rated “M” for mature, for the XBOX. game system]

Cold Fear
I believed I had previously opened a subject of my personal views of this game. If anyone would like, they may go back and check it out.

Stubbs The Zombie
First off: I must say that this is one of the most entertaining games I ever played. What’s better than being a zombie? Building your own army out of your former enemies? And just plain rasing hell?
Not to mention the offbeat goofy humor. (That Pump Bot was a Trip. I almost split my sides when he started humping the police cruiser.) The Quaker State Irregulars were my favorite when it came to the dialog.(They kind of reminded me of myself.) Loved those chainsaw wielding Jumbo guys.
“That there’s one of ‘em un-dead people!!!”
And the gore? What’s gorier than pulling out your own fart-filled guts and throwing them at people? And the brain eating was nothing PG13.
Graphics-wise: It’s not the best game in the world. The environment looks too simple and not that well constructed. And the Zombies/Humans aren’t much different You would think that this game being made by the producer of “HALO” it would look better.
Outside of graphics: My only other problem with this game was that not all of the recruits in your army will follow orders. In mean that outside of the 100's of people that enlisted in the service, only a hand full will truly follow you.. Without food standing with in close sight, or firing their weapons nearby, most of the Zombies will stand around like mindless...Zombies. So I spent most of my time physically motivating most of my troops into combat areas.
All-in-all it’s a good game that is at least worth a rent.
SIDE NOTE: I really hope they are making a sequel to this game, and on XBOX 360.

The Suffering
Prison is Hell, and this game proves it. The Suffering has the right mixture of survival-horror, action, just plain survival, a little bit strategy, and enough of a shooter to be one kick ass game! I mean this was fast pace Resident Evil style monsters (minus the slow zombies) and Silent Hill style need for flashlights in the dark. Even the environment and atmosphere seemed a crossover of the two, and at the same time, went beyond to be a stand alone, ground breaking original game.
The monsters were as bizarre and disturbing as they were hard to kill. (The part where the Slayer was coming down the other end of the dark corridor from you and he’s running his blade along the wall in a Freddy Kruger style way. It was unnerving to say the least.)
For a normal XBOX game the graphics were pretty good. The character models though kind of plain, were still good. Torque ruled. Loved the use of blood that would splash on him. (You’ll see the same in “Dead Rising.”
Voice acting was awesome too. Doctor Killjoy was beyond creepy. I liked it that Torque didn’t talk. Was the whole in control, quite, anti-hero.
SIDE NOTE: Though I also own and recommend the sequel, The Suffering: The Ties That Bind. It’s not as good of a game as the original. But still: Michael Clarke Duncan kicked ass in it.

Land of the Dead : Road to Fiddler’s Green
First I need to make something clear. I am not a fan of First-Person-Shooters. Out of the 40 video games I own, only 4 are FPS. HALO 1 & 2, Breakdown, and this game. It’s not that I am putting them down, I just cannot get in to that tunnel vision. Some (but very few) I like. This being one of them.
Land of the dead luckily doesn’t follow the movie. I enjoyed the movie but see too many video game verison of movies go bad. This game follows the story of a normal farmer who ends up having to fight his way clean across the state of Colorado to safety. Through farms, streets, sewers, just about everything.
As for gore: Heads get blown off. There’s a lot of blood. A few people get eaten. The normal Zombie stuff. But I must admit that those radioactive-like vomiting Zombies was a new touch.
In fact I found most of the zombies in this game I found rather new. Outside of the radioactive ones, there were the skeleton ones, and those that crawled on the ground. Pretty freaky.
I really wish they would of made this game a 3rd person game. Outside of that my other problem was the doors that seemed to become unlocked when you entered another nearby room. That didn’t make a lick of sense to me.
SIDE NOTE: You may have a hard time finding this game in stores. I never could. Finally ordered it online.

Psi-Ops: The Mindgate conspiracy
Psi-Ops: The Mindgate conspiracy
This game kicks major ass! You use your mind to snatch up people, objects with your mind and just chunk them around. (In Destroy all Human’s style) Set people on fire, mind control, and even make their heads explode. What’s not to love about that?
Some people had made the comparison with this game and “Second Sight” (also a game I own) But I personally found Psi-Ops to be more violent and graphic than “Second Sight.” Psi-Ops is rated M while Sight is only T.
Fans of Midway games (such as the Mortal Kombat) would notice the similarities in looks between the blonde haired woman on here (I forgot her name) and Sonya from the Mortal Kombats.
I guess my problem with this game was the limited verity of weapons.
SIDE NOTE: Check out the kick ass music video “With My Mind” by COLD. In the extras section.

Evil Dead : Regeneration
Who doesn’t love Bruce Campbell? The trademark Chainsaw arm and double barrel Boomstick. The wild jokes and cocky attitude. Though not the best game in the world, it is by far the best Evil Dead game every made.
The combat was awesome, and even got intense at times. The shotgun executions just rocked!
Sam (Ted Raimi) made the perfect side kick. Perfect to kick around too.
The ending more or less pissed me off. But gave hints that there would be another game. I really hope so.

Breakdown
Again: I made my opinion clear about First-Person-Shooters. This is one of the few I enjoyed. Other FPSs had tried the hand-to-hand attacks, but Breakdown dose the job right. I got a thrill out of taking the fight to fully armed soldiers, while they blast uselessly at me.
Another thing, unlike other FPS games, whenever you are physically struck your head will turn independent of your body. It’s a real vertigo feeling, and can lead to your falling over.
Anyone notice the Mr. X knock offs? Those bald super soldiers swung their arms just like him.
Even the double-arm overhead smash he does.
I was kind of disappointed that the game didn’t live up to the bad ass intro video. But ain’t 9 out of 10 times a movie trailer is better than the movie itself...... Damn that Blair Witch Project!!!
SIDE NOTE: From what I read in “Game informer” magazine: There may be another Breakdown game in works right now.

Hunter : The Reckoning
Another over looked major bad ass game. Though I got to say it is more fun (and a bit easier) to play with others. Me and my old drinking buddies use to get wasted and play this game for over a week. The Avenger is my hero (mostly because he reminds me of myself.) If anyone out there hasn’t played this game to seriously check it out. And when you do, also check out the music video “Numb” by COMA, in the extras.
SIDE NOTE: Though there is two more Hunter games (Redeemer and Wayward) there is little difference between them.

That’s all I can think of off hand. I am sure you’ll have your own games in mind that is could be considered underrated. I’d like to hear about them.

Rombie
09-29-2007, 03:38 PM
Going through my collection (in alpha order):

Broken Sword
A UK created hand-drawn point and click series that while being higher in the number of titles (I think they're on four or five now) but has only sold moderately throughout. While I wasn't a fan of the latest titles which have gone into the 3D realm, the first two were exceptionally clever, required good thinking, well scripted and acted, and were just witty and fun. A GBC edition of the original was released, and I almost wish they'd port the first two titles to PSP.

Clock Tower
Continuing the trend of point and click, the first PS original Clock Tower (the second title in the series) was what I dubbed at one stage "the thinking man (or woman)'s survival horror" - brutally evil serial killer stuff with a good story, multiple pathways and endings, and some shocking death sequences for it's time. If you can find a copy and don't mind some slow survival horror action then I recommend it. Avoid Clock Tower 2: The Struggle Within though. It's really bad.

Dino Crisis 2
I know people have been discussing this here but DC2 is very much an overlooked and underrated title. Aside from the design impact which clearly still shows in a large number of Capcom titles since, it's CG cut scenes were awesome in it's time, the gameplay was awesome, and it's script was surprisingly solid. Yet despite all this (and good reviews) it came too late for most people to even notice and play.

Disaster Report/SOS The Final Escape
Named differently depending on where you are, Disaster Report puts you on a man-made island thats sinking after a series of earthquakes. Thing is the earthquakes keep happening as you explore, changing the environment around you. Your character and support characters are susceptible to damage as well as clothing damage, and physically wear anything you put on them - plus you carry a backpack which can only carry so much. You have to keep your character hydrated to keep exploring, so finding taps and keeping bottles of water on you as you try to find out whats going on and escape. If you don't you begin losing health and then die. The graphics are fine considering, the script is passable (even if the voice acting is far from it) and there is enough cool ideas in there to make it worthwhile.

Shadow of Destiny/Shadow of Memories
Konami released this title early in the PS2's life, it's a quirky time-travel tale which exceptionally well crafted story and clever moments. The gameplay is a little clunky but the story and art design shine and the concept is gold.

The Thing
While attracting medicore reviews, the Thing has a bunch of ideas that have since been replicated (and occassionally improved upon), and some that haven't but really should - especially for any game wanting to tackle the old-school survival horror genre. The game is quite often tense when you don't know where things are or coming from, plus you can never trust your team mates either because at any point they could be a creature. It's not all fun and games as the title does have it's issues (and it sucks up a big chunk of memory card space), but I just hope more people get to see some cool ideas and fix them.

Vandal Hearts
Konami again... buried under Suikoden, Castlevania SOTN from Konami and FF Tactics from Square, this title became very overlooked but nearly everyone I know who's played it has stated just how exceptionally awesome it is - Vandal Hearts is a turned based strategy/RPG game. Generic as it could be, the script is exceptionally awesome, the soundtrack is great, and it's fun with depth but without the complexity of something like FF Tactics either.

ZOE2
Kojima team's second ZOE2 title bombed, thats for sure. Without the MGS2 demo it's like the first would have suffered the same fate and this title wouldn't have ever existed. The title is REALLY hard to find here and when you do you expect to pay over $90NZD (about $180-ish USD) even for a poorly looked after second hand copy. It's a shame because aside from the exceptionally awesome controls, the well crafted story, the amazing anime cutscenes, and destruction you can cause while going through it all... there isn't really much wrong.

I have a few more on my shelf... Indigo Prophesy, Eternal Darkness, etc. but I think these are the majority.

The John Doe
09-29-2007, 07:49 PM
I agree with you 100 percent about “The Thing.” I own the game also and consider it underrated.
The only reason why I didn’t review it too (I forgot to mention this earlier) is because I didn’t want to do any games that I (personally) saw television adds to. I had figured if it wasn’t mentioned on tv - than it was underrated enough to be on my list. But I guess even television promoted games can still be considered underrated. Plus there could of been promos for some of the games I had named, I just didn’t see them. But back to “The Thing.”
A lot of the ideas used in this game have been replicated, and I really do hope that other gaming companies (Capcom, Midway, Komani among others) take notice of the ideas that wasn’t used. How cool would it be in a “Resident Evil” game (probably a new Outbreak) wherein after reaching a safe area and having a few minutes to spare (anyone that has played the Outbreaks will know what I mean) to take out that syringe gun (used in “The Thing” to tell who was infected and not) and check each of your teammates. Or having to worry about them turning Zombified during an intense fight. The problem I hope that is worked out with that idea is to make the transformation unpredictable of who, when, and were. That unless you check often with the gun. In “The Thing” if you play it long enough, you’ll know just who will turn on you, and when. It gets very predictable after awhile. When I knew it was coming I simply left the person in question behind in another room, and left the situation at that.
The use of fire as not only a weapon (to finally finish off some enemies) but also to make a shield of momentary protection was a stroke of geniuses.
Outside of the predictability on Who’s-Who: My only other problem had been the controls. At the time I was tied up in the first “Max Payne” and it’s controls. “The Thing” just came to me as completely backwards. So I had to finish Payne and sort of -Get it out of my system- before I could comfortable play it.
As for the saving. I have it on XBOX, so no worries about room with saving.
SIDE NOTE: Anyone ever wonder what “HALO’s” Master Chief really looks like under his helmet? From what I understand - The same guy that does the voice of “The Thing’s” Blake is also The Master Chief himself. So check it out. I figure it fits nicely.

I use to own both the first “Clock Tower” and “Dino Crisis 2." Sadly both were stolen.
I though DC2 rocked (a lot more fast paced than the first) and where else can you kill a man-eating dinosaur with a machete? The cut screens were bad ass. Loved the first one where the guy in the cowboy hat (forgot his name) nailed the T-Rex in the side of the head with a RPG.
I couldn’t get pass the part after you fight the dinosaurs while in the boat. You have to find a fey or something to get in to a boat storage.
My major hang up in this game was how raptors seem to pop up out of nowhere when you turn the camera angle off of yourself. I mean you can be in a room by yourself, and when you change the angle to pick up an item or go out a door, raptors will suddenly pop up in that blind spot.
Oh and I hated chasing that damn little bastard that took my key card.

Clock Tower was one freaky game! I never could make it out of the college (I didn’t have it that long) but was still creepy. I think too many people over look this oldie but a goodie.
There was one part that might sound kind of funny, until you see it. You’re running through the college and you come in to the computer lab. The Scissure Man is on the other side of the room. Between the two of you is a row of computer terminals. The Scissure Man starts towards you, and every computer he passes turns itself on and the monitor reads out in big bold letters “KILL”! And all the way down the row every computer says “KILL!! KILL!! KILL!!KILL!!” I know that may sound like Loony Toon’s humor, but it chilled me to the bone.
I found a website of a store in New Jersey that sales old games and they have all the “Clock Towers” pretty cheap. I have heard about avoiding “Clock Tower” two. I remember something about a statue that seems to keep popping outta up and falling on you for no reason at all. I plan to order part one, but if I get part two, it will be just for a collectors items.

I don’t think I played the other mention games. But “Broken Swords” does sound good