DavidStrife7's 5 Games to Try Issue #1
Welcome To David's Weird And Wonderful Collection Of Games You Must Try Part 1.
Before I get started (although technically I just have), what do I mean by a list of 5 Games You Need To Try? Well I hope I don't sound arrogant when I say that this list will consist of the 5 games that I think everyone should at least give a try whether that be a free demo, or a rental. Now, that might give off the impression that I think I'm some kind of demigod, and that I think I'm better than everyone else; that I know what's best for them to play.
It couldn't be further from the truth. These lists (yes I plan on doing more) will consist of 5 games that I hope will broaden your horizons in some way, or that you might find a hidden gem that you might not have found otherwise. I don't believe that everyone should just keep playing what they know, or we'll never discover what we 'could' like. What about on the contrasting side of things? Well, to those of you who try the games on the list and land up not liking them, I hope this reaffirms your position on why you play the other games you play, and why you don't play the games that I've mentioned. Think of it as validating your opinion and enforcing that you're doing what's right for you.
So I hope these lists offer some insight into areas of gaming that you might have missed either because you didn't look, weren't astute enough, or simply weren't born yet. Whatever your background, age, gender, or preferences, I'm sure I'll have at least 1 game on these lists that you'll be glad that you tried out and may go on to purchase. My aim isn't to persuade you that these games should be your favourite and that you'd be wrong for thinking differently. These games will be ones that simply open your mind a little more, make you try something you wouldn't usually give the time of day to play, and through doing so you'll discover and understand your preferences and opinions on your tastes and game library a little more.
So after absolving myself as much as possible, let's get straight to it!
Game #1: Incredible Crisis
A purely delightful and charming game, Incredible Crisis was an early attempt at a genre that would later on become properly established with the release of the WarioWare titles from Nintendo. Simply put, a bunch of mini-games starring an average Japanese family, who are all having a bad day. Their stories inter-connect in various and interesting ways, but the goal for each is the same; get them through their day! With a very unique style to it, and with gameplay that wasn't exactly common at the time either, this turned into a cult classic amongst gamers who enjoyed J-Styled gaming. Because of its inherent fun nature, this doesn't limit itself to any demographic as it can be enjoyed by everyone.
Game #2: Jurassic Park Trespasser
Love it or hate it, this poorly developed game is one of the most important games developed in the history of gaming. It stands to prove that with poor time management, poor use of resources, and failure to meet expectations that were established and hyped by the developers themselves, that a game can completely flop on release. This was a bigger flop than Daikatana. This was a bigger flop than Halo 2. Dare I say it, this was a bigger flop than Duke Nukem. In fact, the only game I can think of that fell harder than this game was E.T on the Atari. So yes, this was a pretty big failure even by the popular examples. Having said all of this, I think it's important to play this, because it's clearly evident the potential this game had, and in some ways you can still feel that potential while playing (some of it actual seeps through into the gameplay and not just as ideas you might have). What ultimately shows though, is how bad a game can be commercially, and how thankful we should be that the next time we played through a slightly unoriginal and uninspired game, at least we can find comfort in the fact it functions properly.
Game #3: Persona (Series)
There seems to be a fairly wide divide between Final Fantasy fans and Persona fans occasionally. Largely accounted for, J-RPG fans tend to be fond of both series, and obviously favour one over the other, but generally love both. The people who tend to disown one or the other however, these are the people I took interest in. As both games seem incredibly similar on the surface, they have very different philosophies on the subjects that they tackle (that's an article for me another day perhaps). I personally love both, but I think Persona holds more promise in terms of being interesting than Final Fantasy does, as FF tends to have quite a light-hearted tone to it, where Persona delves into the human condition and explores various other subjects with the same maturity and style that stays consistent throughout the series (what it means to be alone, how strength through social links with your friends helps define you as a person etc.). I think it's an important game to try because it offers the typical J-RPG formula, but the context in which that is supplied in, is a dressing that offers the player the chance to take a brief and casual introspective look at themselves as people, and perhaps make them think about the subject matter a little more than they might have cared to before playing. I wouldn't call its attempts revolutionary, but they push more than games of this nature tend to.
Game #4: Katawa Shoujo
An important game that helps show Visual Novels in a better light. Most people might have called games of this genre 'hentai-filth' or words of similar effect. The genre alienated a lot of gamers as it tended to place within its focus the imagery of naked anime girls and a tendency to reward the player with scenes of a sexual nature after winning the hearts of the (usually) female cast. This didn't do much to alleviate the social stigma attached to gamers and the stereotype they inherited either. KS managed to address this problem with the utmost respect for the characters and the way in which the relationships would naturally arrive to their conclusions (whilst still of a sexual nature, weren't necessarily the end of the game, which continued the narrative). What surprises even more is how this wasn't a game by a high reputed developer, but basically a game made by a bunch of regular people on the internet with a passion for game development. Who it was made by isn't important however, what sticks is the manner in which it negates the views expressed by its oppressors and how the game tackles the genre as well as subject matter incredibly well, and offers a truly unique and aspired visual novel experience, that made me change my opinion of the genre certainly!
Game #5: Gitaroo Man
What Gitaroo Man did different from every other music game at the time, was combine a strong narrative with excellent music, as well as tight controls and great visual design. Every song in the game stays with you long after playing them, the characters memorable and charming, and what followed was a very widely accepted game that fans adored. It didn't do incredibly well sales wise, and deserved so much more, but it did well enough to leave an impression and make its mark on gamers. It's difficult to explain the unique nature of the game without going into a full blown out review, but it's certainly worth a try as it's one of those rare games that has the ability to stay with you forever if it turns out to be something you enjoy.
Indie Game Developer, Machinimist, Musician and Writer.
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