๐ŸŽฎ Friend’s Faves & Most Underappreciated Video Games ๐ŸŽฎ #Retrogaming #GamersUnite

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I was recently asked to guest on a gaming podcast, in preparation I was asked for a combination of my favourite video games and also some I found to be under-appreciated. 
I’m pretty sure that it’s the same for everyone; where favourite games are always in flux depending on mood and memories but it was quite fun to think back at the games that either had the biggest emotional impact on me or that I remember having an awesome time with. 
Not necessarily the games that I played for the longest amount of time (that would probably be 7 Days to Die in local co-op!) but ones that immediately sprang to mind at that moment.
I thought it would be fun to ask other gaming friends their lists below, we are all of a similar age (an 8 year difference from youngest to oldest) and it was interesting to see their choices, knowing them as well as I do, you can almost see how certain games appeal to certain personalities. I’ve included a brief paragraph on why I’ve chosen them.
Naturally, if I’d been asked this question even the next day, it would probably be a different list!
The Secret of Monkey Island

This was the first game that got an emotional response out of me (beyond the usual anger) and I treasured the time I spend on Melee island, I played this when I was quite young and remember being overwhelmed with a bittersweet sense that I would never get to experience the locations and characters for the first time ever again. This game holds such a special place in my childhood that I’ve never replayed it fully since, although I do quite often listen to that awesome theme.
There was a summer back when I was a teenager that I spent every day heading over my friends’ house to co-operatively (my love for local co-op is well-documented!) work my way through every single ‘cryptic passage’ of Monolith’s 1997 masterpiece. As a fan of horror, the dark locales and multiple filmic nods were right up my proverbial strasse. Coming from a mostly console-centric upbringing, the thought that an FPS could be played through in co-op blew me away and I have nothing but fond memories of spending 20 hour days playing and replaying through this, one of my favourite 90’s shooters…let’s just not mention the sequel.

I YEARN for a re-release of this on Switch. Twin-stick, modernised controls would result in my removing my trousers and burning them in a highly-erotic ceremony that only I will be allowed to attend.
This was my Zelda. Having never owned a Nintendo console until pretty recently, when I had Landstalker, I couldn’t believe my eyes as I made my way through Nigel’s (what a name for an elven hero) world. Everything about this game was pure, shining gold from the completely immersive music, colourful visuals, sense of adventure and those oh-so tricky platforming puzzles (isometric platforming, Ahhhhh). To this day I play through the entirety of Landstalker every year or so just to enjoy the amusing cut scenes and dialogue between Nigel and his girl Friday. I wait for two things.
  1. A proper sequel
  2. The release of the soundtrack on vinyl

Zelda, Schmelda.
Deus Ex
This was another game that opened my mind. I had never played a game before (with the exceptions of Hunter and Captive 2: Liberation) where it genuinely felt like I could do whatever I wanted in a digital world.  Whereas I found Captive 2: Liberation overly dense and Hunter too sprawling and directionless (although still amazing in its own right and a joy to play, ignoring the missions), Deus Ex felt like a book come to life; rich with lore, absorbing narrative and fully voice acted to boot, The dozens of hours I spent wandering those dark streets uncovering the shadowy conspiracy rank among the best I’ve ever had. I didn’t mind Invisible War but Human Revolution was possibly the one that best captured it for me, the final game in the series didn’t fully tickle my augmented perineum as much as I’d have liked but it’s a shame to see the franchise pushed aside for the time being. Let’s hope the fifth game makes its mark.
Witcher 3
As a fan of the books, the board game and the first two games, when Witcher 3 came out, it was everything I could have wanted and I lost an entire month to exploring it’s landscape. If I was pushed to say my favourite game of the last ten years, it would probably be this, aside from the lack of verticality in the game, it hits the right spot for me in almost every aspect of its design, gorgeous, deep and intense…just like me.
Fallout 3
When the third game was announced, I wondered how Bethesda would handle it as the first games felt so unique in their premise and approach, when Fallout 3 was released however, I was completely sated by what it offered. It remains to this day the only full-on open world RPG that I’ve 100% completed more than once and even now I have to stop myself for trying it a third time as I know how much time I’ll lose in that wonderful wasteland. New Vegas I adored but Fallout 4 leaned too much on crafting for me and as Fallout 76 is online only, I’ll be giving it a skip. I don’t want other people in my wasteland; I want a rusty gun with two bent bullets and a mysterious bunker before me, begging to be explored.
West of Loathing
Quite simply and easily the funniest game I’ve ever played. The only game I’ve had to pause playing because I was crying with laughter. The times I had with my cock-eyed horse, Bonkers, will be with me forever, I’ll clearly replay this again one day.
Shining Force
Having never been a fan of random battles in games, the Shining Force appeal of pitched, tactical battles in a fantasy landscape with the overarching plot of good vs evil beckoned to me from afar. I intend to collect the entire series one day but as it currently stands, the first three games gleam with a silver light in my mind and I remember crying at the really beautiful ending of the first game!
The 7th Guest
Terrified, I was absolutely terrified throughout this whole game. I played it with earphones ans henry Stauf’s sneering and warping voice goaded me ever deeper into his creepy house. The introduction alone is enough! IT…IS…DARK. FMV used cleverly and a simple haunted house tale behind it all, capped off with some wonderfully quirky music to keep you company as you work out who the strange 7th Guest is…
The next few games are ones that I feel didn’t get the love they deserve and quite frankly, need sequels or at the very least a reboot.
Yes, I’ve mentioned this before, yes, there are a limited amount of tracks, yes, it’s the much-maligned sequel to Mashed, yes, it was a digital-only release and YES…myself and my friends have pumped hundreds of hours into it over the last eight years. Love it.
Bushido Blade
Never, NEVER has a game needed a HD remaster more. They would have to change nothing about the gameplay, it’s perfect…just a quick polish and shine… AND GIVE IT TO ME.
Felony 11-79 / Runabout
Climax Entertainment know their stuff, I love pretty much everything they did for the first fifteen years of their existence and this bonkers Japanese racing adventure series keeps me coming back again and again, never before or since has Japanese Surf-Rock sounded so good, long live The Surf Coasters!
My friends’ lists are below for your perusal:
Arkham Asylum
Half-Life 2
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Left 4 Dead 2
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Sonic the Hedgehog
Super Mario 3D World
The Legend of Zelda: BOTW
The Secret of Monkey Island

Resident Evil
Battlefield 2
Rainbow Islands
Tomb Raider
The Last of Us
Dead Nation

Lee Manual – under-appreciated:
Destruction Derby
Bloody Roar

Batman the Movie
New Zealand Story
Mortal Kombat 2
Streetfighter 2
Hero Quest
Golden Axe

Half-Life 2
Mario Kart 64
Super Probotector
Uncharted 2
Two Dots

The Sims
Tomb Raider 2
Talmit’s Adventure
Super Mario Land
Kirby’s Dreamland
Streets of Rage 2
Yoshi’s Story
Heavy Rain

Half-Life 2
The Secret of Monkey Island
Populous 2
Speedball 2
Pro Evolution Soccer 6
Sonic 2
X Com

I now have a BURNING urge to play Felony 11-79!

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