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  • Hey all,

    I'd like to start a thread where people recommend their favourite "obscure" games. It's simple, recommend a game that you think most people would not have heard or that people would skip past. I'm hoping that this thread will be filled with a lot of hidden retro gems. :)

    I'll kick it off with Illusion of Gaia:
    Illusion of Gaia

    The reason I recommend this game was because I used to love this game as a kid and played it to death. Weirdly enough I don't remember much of it, except that I loved the atmosphere and the game play of it and that I thought it was the best RPG on the system, even beating FFIV and Chrono Trigger. I'll have to replay it soon to see if my adult self agrees.

    Why I think it's obscure is because I never see it show up in retro lists, and until I set up my retropie I totally forgot about it.


  • I think this is the first RPG I ever finished, it was called Illusion of Time here. I played it nonstop until I got through it, it was so attention grabbing. I'll have to play it again now I have my Pi set up. This and Mystic Quest Legend (Final Fantasy Mystic Quest in other parts of the world) were my gateway to RPGs, I probably wouldn't have played FF7 and up without them

  • Formula One: Built to Win (NES)

    When I was a kid I was used to call this game "that car racing RPG" :-) The wikipedia description for this game represents very well why I thought this game very unique in the good'ol days:

    "It was one of the first racing games to feature a career mode, multiple vehicles and an opportunity for the player to increase the performance of their in-game car through car tuning, which were unique elements for a racer of the NES era and a genre only truly revisited during the fifth generation of game consoles where games such as Gran Turismo became popular."

  • Early games of Julian Gollop, the turn-based strategy maestro responsible for UFO/X-Com series. Playing Laser Squad on ZX Spectrum ~30 years ago infected me with the TB virus, and the game itself is still an absolute masterpiece.

    Also recommend the Rebelstar series, prior to LS, not as complex but still very good, and of course the seminal Chaos: The Battle of Wizards (which was remade by the man himself recently).

    I'd say these are best played on ZX Spectrum emulator - though LS was ported to multiple other platforms I still think the original is the best.

  • Global Moderator


    Formula One: Built to Win (NES)

    Holy carp! How has this game escaped me all this time? 'Rad Racer' style gameplay + career mode role playing elements = must play.

    An obscure game that I've recommended before, but always deserves a mention is Capcom's 'Sweet Home' for the Nintendo Famicom. It's a horror survival JRPG that is highly unique in that it focuses on critical thinking, puzzle solving and fast reflexes to avoid hidden traps, alongside a traditional JRPG battle system that has you fending off all manner of ghastly opponents.

    It's design is also extremely well thought out. For example, the game features perma-death for the three members of your party that will ultimately affect the ending and make the game more difficult, but not completely hinder your ability to finish it. This can most notably be seen if the nurse dies, which then spawns a bottle of pills that can be located in the mansion to help make up for her absence.

    The game is obscure outside of Japan, but is very fondly remembered by anyone who played it there. So much so, that Capcom began exploring the idea of developing an updated remake in 1993, which we all would eventually come to know three years later as 'Resident Evil' for the original Playstation.

    Sweet Home Box

    Screen Shot

  • I don't know how well known this game is but it was a childhood favorite of mine. Maybe it's because I'm a quarter native american ha.

  • Willow for arcade


    The game plays like a really good snes platformer. Not your typical arcade fare. Really hard to beat on one coin but doable. I haven't beat it on one coin yet. There is some cool stratagy involved with what you purchase from stores in the game (when you are trying to beat it on one coin).

    Beautiful game that follows the movie prety good. Made me want to watch Willow.

    I find that these arcade games are not much fun unless you set some boundries for yourself, i.e. only using 4 continues.

  • Azure dream on the PlayStation. You play a young boy who follows in his father's footsteps as a monster tamer. You have to enter a tower that randomly generates new levels every time you enter. The aim is to reach the top of the tower and you can help upgrade the town . 0_1495957152668_36552-Azure_Dreams_[U]-1.jpg

  • Psychic5

    i dont even know how to explain the gameplay

    its......just so japanese strange.....but my favourite game

  • Global Moderator


    I haven't been able to scrape together more than fifteen minutes of game time in the past couple of days, but I used that time to test out 'Formula One: Built to Win' and I really like it so far. It could have used a little more work in the sound design department, but it's a minor criticism, as the core game mechanics are very impressive and somewhat unparalleled for the era. My hopes were confirmed in that it plays a lot like SquareSoft's 'Rad Racer', which is easily my favorite 8-bit racing game. I have the whole day tomorrow to relax, so I look forward to putting some serious time in.

  • @DorkVonWaterfall haha wow! Psychic 5 is something else. Thanks for sharring. I never heard of this one. I'm gonna show my son. He likes weird games

  • @mediamogul WOW, Sweet Home looks awesome. I had never heard of it that I remember despite being a long time fan of the Resident Evil series, I tracked it down yesterday and after watching reviews of both it and the movie I found that too since they were both highly recommended.

    I played a little bit last night and right from the start it gets the horror atmosphere spot on, there is a feeling of tension and even with the limits of 8bit gaming it achieves more than some modern horror games do.

    Sadly in my short time with it I already lost a character when I couldn't figure out how to save them from falling. Figured it out when the second person was falling though. The death scenes are really something else. Especially considering this is Nintendo that censored Mortal Kombat on the SNES a few years later.

  • Global Moderator


    I'm glad you're liking it. I was also surprised at how effective horror elements can be on an 8-bit platform. This never really stood a chance outside of Japan, due to Nintendo's more aggressive censorship policies in regions other than their own. It's a real shame too, because I've always been a horror fan and would have loved this when I was a kid.

    Like you, I sought out the 'Sweet Home' movie as well. I actually played and finished the game throughout most of October a few years ago and then screened the movie with a couple of friends on Halloween night. All-in-all, It's OK and well worth a watch, but it's not nearly as noteworthy as the game. On a side note, if you like Japanese horror movies, be sure to check out 'House', directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi in 1977. It truly is one of the strangest movies ever made. The trailer alone is like a bizarre fever dream.

  • I just discovered neutopia for the tg16

  • @space-cadet
    I loved playing Neutopia back in the day! It was the TG16's answer to The Legend of Zelda. I still haven't played the sequel Neutopia II.

  • Two games: Ranger X and Einhander.

    Ranger X was for Genesis and it's awesome. It's like a 2D side scrolling action/shooter (but I wouldn't call it a Shoot'em Up). You play as a mech that can fly around and hop into a mech-cycle that follows you around. Story doesn't matter here, the gameplay is great, although you really needed the 6-button controller to enjoy playing it (which thankfully I did as a kid). You can get these alt fire weapons that give you different abilities throughout the stages. I loved using GameGenie to start off the game with all of the abilities and just clean house. So much fun.

    Einhander was for PlayStation 1, and this was more like a proper Shoot'em Up. Everything was awesome, the gameplay, the music, the subtle story that plays out. The gimmick was that you piloted ships that had an arm (Einhander, "one-handed weapon"), and could steal enemy weapons after you destroyed them. But not just boss weapons, every weapon in the game can be handled by the player, it was awesome. There toes of shops the player can pilot, with three different strategies in how you use the weapons you pick up. Another game where I loved using cheats to have crazy weapons at the beginning of the game and just wreck havoc.

  • @cafarellidigital said in Obscure game recommendation thread:
    had an arm (Einhander, "one-day weapon"))

    Einhänder = onehanded

  • @DorkVonWaterfall said in Obscure game recommendation thread:

    @cafarellidigital said in Obscure game recommendation thread:
    had an arm (Einhander, "one-day weapon"))

    Einhänder = onehanded

    oh for christ-- I totally meant for that to say "one-handed". Stupid auto-correct. Thanks @DorkVonWaterfall !

  • Global Moderator

    @mediamogul hausu rules! i saw that in a cinema a few years ago. so funny...

    i am currently playing through king's field 1 (in japan it's king's field 2), and i've already finished king's field 2 (in japan, 3). they are great games that are by 'FROM software', who eventually went on to make the (very similar) demon/dark souls games.

    they are basically real-time dungeon crawlers. they're ugly, sluggish and very hard, but there's just something about them. i get the same feeling exploring as i do with dark souls.

  • @cafarellidigital , thanks dude. Ranger x looks like my kind of thing. I'm gonna give it a try.

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