OXCGN’s 10 Sadly Overlooked Games This Gen
The first 10 of our favourite forgotten games revealed
©2011 David Hilton
But what about those who can only afford maybe one or two new releases, or maybe none at all yet? There’s a global economic slowdown on after all.
Well at OXCGN we’ve decided to put ourselves in the game Animus and go back in time to discover what titles we enjoyed this gen that you should be able to get for cheap (and still play the multiplayer without a code!).
They may not be as gorgeous or polished as the newbies coming out, and some of their developers have unfortunately gone the way of the dodo, but they still offered some of us great entertainment and we think didn’t get the attention they deserved.
In no particular order, here are OXCGN’s Best Overlooked Games This Gen. What are yours? Comment below and help the poor (gamer).
You can find PART 2 here.
1. Beautiful Katamari (360, 2007)
Even as a new release at the time, the game was difficult to find at stores and felt like it had gone out of print already.
Unfortunately, we think the DLC associated with Beautiful Katamari left a bad taste in purchaser’s mouths. This was one of the first instances of content being present on a disc and only unlocked by an additional, digital transaction. And it wasn’t like there were just one or two extra packs – there were many, resulting in a hefty investment for those wanting to explore every level available and nab all achievements.
Aside from all that, some of us still find myself periodically returning and getting hooked into this game. Mindlessly rolling my Katamari around each level and trying to see if we can find something new to pick up (the 100% collection achievement is a nightmare) has become a soothing past-time.
Probably need to search eBay for this one. REVIEW HERE>
2. 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand (360/PS3, 2009)
With his musical career in decline and his Hollywood career going nowhere, it was looking like 50 Cent: Blood In The Sand would be nothing but another pointless project for Fiddy to add to his media resume.
We don’t think anyone expected this to be good; even the man himself probably had reservations.
There’s no doubt about it though: Blood In The Sand was, and still is, a blast.
It’s completely derivative and a typical example of a post Gears Of War third-person shooter, but there’s some unmistakable fun to be had in this arcade romp.
Weirdly enough, the soundtrack – all new tracks from 50 at the time – fits in perfectly with some zany plot about terrorists and powerful skulls. The fact Fiddy spends a lot of the campaign making fun of himself through voice-acting makes it all the more enjoyable.
A full co-op campaign was the best way to blast through this gem and the replay value remained high if you went after gold medal times for each level.
At least two of us have held onto our copies despite the derivative plot and over the top motha-**** dialogue. Not that long ago we’ve seen this still available at online shops for really really cheap. REVIEW HERE>
3. Deadly Premonition (360/PS3, 2010)
Deadly Premonition remains one of the most engrossing, quirky and disconcerting journeys that can be taken into any game this generation. With its references to Twin Peaks so overwhelming it’s a wonder it was released without a dozen or more lawsuits filed against it, this one-of-a-kind experience is surely not for everyone.
It’s not even something we can recommend without feeling guilty. For the most part, the game feels hopelessly broken: clumsy controls, graphics that look dated by almost a decade, incredibly slow pacing and a few difficulty roadblocks are just a few aspects ready to turn any respectable gamer off.
Once sucked into its inexplicably interesting universe, however, Deadly Premonition became impossible to put down.
4. Metro 2033 (PC/360, 2010)
Metro 2033 nails one thing that games kill for: atmosphere. The atmosphere in this title is one of the most enveloping, intense, peculiar and all around horrifying things ever experienced in gaming.
We recommend playing this title on the PC (if you have the rig to run it), because not only can it be found cheapest there, but it is a very beautiful, very DirectX 11 game.
Otherwise, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t partake in this wonderfully daunting experience. REVIEW HERE>
What’s With Russian Games HERE
5. The Outfit (360, 2006)
The Outfit was a game that was not very publicised on its release many years ago but arguably started a small sub-genre of console games that are now seen in DLC console releases, and even in games modes like Gears of War 3′s Horde 2 mode.
The newer Toy Soldiers DLC games, for example, which use the same 3D ‘tower defence building’ with 3rd person shooting perspective that The Outfit does, are very fun to play split-screen or online.
The combination of shooter and strategy gaming makes for a great experience with family or friends and The Outfit’s World War 2 setting and maps still provide excellent value entertainment, if you can locate a copy.
6. Civilization Revolution (360/PS3/iOS/DS, 2008)
This game was an overlooked triumph: overlooked by console gamers who didn’t tend to notice strategy games, and largely ignored by PC gamers who also owned consoles because it was seen as a “dumbed down” game for console gamers.
It was a triumph because in a medium deluged with shooters and racers and in the strategy genre which is usually dismissed as impossible on consoles, here was a title that challenges those perceptions.
It provided a successful strategy game both in single and multiplayer on consoles that even today, years later, needs something a bit different. It is appropriate for all ages and for both casual and hardcore gamers, something very rare indeed.
Not only that, it was released for smartphones and iPod, and translates remarkably well to touchscreens.
Most of all though, it is a unique gaming experience in a sea of copycat console games and well worth finding. REVIEW HERE>
7. Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (3DS, 2011)
However, between the ports (Rayman 2 AGAIN?!), obligatory franchise appearances (Ridge Racer) and conspicuous absence of Mario was a hidden gem in the form of Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars.
Taking Ghost Recon into Advance Wars territory, the game defied the usual launch title symptoms by packing in plenty of content and polish with excellent 3D and a layered, almost holographic interface.
Why this didn’t sell we’ll never know, but it can be picked up in the bargain bins for half its original price and deserves far more attention than it received.
8. BANJO KAZOOIE: NUTS ‘N’ BOLTS (360, 2008)
What needs to be added to that statement is that in spite of the lack of traditional platforming Banjo’s style and humour is still here with a fantastically innovative new concept in the form of vehicle platforming and lego-style creation.
Half the fun was simply being given the task and then manually putting together the right vehicle for the job, and the inventive open worlds were a joy to explore.
One staff writer still maintains that Nuts ‘n’ Bolts is one of the most visually impressive games of this generation alongside more conventional contenders such as Gears of War 3 and Uncharted 2. REVIEW HERE>
9. The Saboteur (360/PS3/PC, 2009)
This title published by EA in late 2009 should have been one of the games, along with Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space (which did eventually do better), to positively reinforce the ‘new’ EA philosophy of publishing more new IPs.
Instead it was largely ignored by gamers spoiled and fatigued by open world games like GTA, Infamous and Assassin’s Creed, which they considered looked bigger and better. It didn’t help that it was released during big release season with all the huge AAA titles.
Pandemic was liquidated and EA mostly went back to safer sequels.
What gamers missed, though, was a fun and creative romp through World War 2 Paris streets and countryside in all sorts of cool vintage vehicles, performing sabotage, racing cars, putting on disguises, and killing lots of Nazis.
The story, though very camp and shallow, was enough to frame the open-world mayhem you caused.
The graphics had a stylised charm about them, though not nearly as detailed as other AAA open world games like Assassin’s Creed.
Still, its a worthy time waster at bargain prices now. REVIEW HERE>
10. The First Templar (360/PC, 2011)
Many gamers may have watched a trailer, heard the camp voice-work (who can forget “Halo-ed be thy name” (snicker)), and decided the graphics and medieval settings did not look anything near the quality of Demon Souls or Assassin’s Creed.
However, playing this co-op game is like a blast to the past, not only for the historic medieval time period and story, but in terms of gameplay and fun.
Yes the game isn’t a hugely innovative experience, but yes with a friend it has a variety of settings and tasks that reminded me of the fun adventure games I used to play before it was all about huge monsters, blood and gore kills, and dark sombre end of the world grey or hellish red environments.
When adventure games were about, well… adventuring and exploring!
Though we still have Uncharted 3 leading the bright-coloured fun adventure charge this year, this budget title is worth a look and suitable for most ages.
Especially recommended for father-son bonding! Look for it online or in Australia at Kmart. REVIEW HERE>
Also have a look at our related piece listing some overlooked games to survive summer (now just over) HERE.
Keep your eyes out for Part 2 of Sadly Overlooked Games This Gen soon, and be sure to make some suggestions below.