Some Console Games That Are Worth Checking Out

Hey everyone. Been away for a week or so playing games n such, figured I would drop in and suggest some stuff to the primarily PC gaming types in this forum. I try to play a little bit of everything old and new, but lately I have been gravitating towards the older titles for older systems.

Anyway my first recommendation is Vagrant Story for the PSOne. There are at least 75 other games I own that I could recommend for this awesome little system (LCD is awesome too!) but Vagrant Story is the game I am currently hooked on.

It’s a cool Action RPG with a sort of Active Turn Based system that is busting out with all sorts of awesome spells and attack techniques. Squaresoft breaks up the boredom that would no doubt ensue by just hitting the X button by allowing the player to assign the various chain and defense techniques learned through the course of the game to different buttons. Timing is also important as it dictates how long your chain of hits or defense techniques are. If you mess up the timing you only get one successful technique off, for example.

The secret to success isn’t just pulling off the spells and techniques, but also forging new weapons and armor that work well against the game’s later bosses. Enemies drop gems and weapons parts that can be combined to enhance the race/damage specific properties of each part. REALLY cool.

The games visuals are probably the best found on the Playstation. The textures rock, the character modeling is awesome, the bosses are VERY impressive to look at, and all the spell effects are beautiful.

The story is also decently told. Unlike the various FF titles it doesn’t cloud things too much with stupid theological junk and a crapload of 90210 love stories. There’s a lot more to be said about this game, but I have other games to talk about, so look into it if you don’t know about this game. If you do, this is a reminder to play it again :)

Next up is Jackal for the Nintendo. You can find a visually superior version for MAME but I prefer the Nintendo version because it’s what I grew up with. This classic Konami title puts you in a jeep and sends you on missions to rescue P.O.W.'s and defeat bosses. The story consists of the same cut scene between each mission accompanied by the phrase “HERE?”.

Deep stuff.

Anyway older games like this weren’t meant to win Oscars. So what’s cool about the jeep? You can run over people, throw grenades, shoot missiles, take down tanks, bombers, turrets, evil roman statues that shoot rockets from their mouths, all KINDS OF STUFF. This is a classic game you must play if you haven’t already. DO IT!

Be sure to check out Demon’s Crest for the SNES if you get the chance to. Capcom, my favorite gaming dev in the whole wide world, did a great job with this game. Excellent visuals, solid story, cool characters, awesome abilities, and fun but challenging levels make this game aces in my book.

This one was really overlooked by a lot of gamers for some reason. Most of the time when I bring it up people scratch their heads and start yapping about Donkey Kong Country. Demon’s Crest > DKC! I think anyway. Might just be my fanboyish nature for all things Capcom shining through.

Last but not least I will recommend Tech Romancer yet again. I know a few people paid attention during my last rant, but I can never get enough of this game. It utterly disappoints me that a sequel is not in the works. This game would do sooo well with 2 or 3 new characters, new sounds, visuals and stages. The single player is simply the best I have EVER seen in ANY fighting game. The characters and their plot arcs are all cleverly designed to appropriately spoof their anime counterparts. Tech Romancer even has EYE CATCHES between matches and story sequences. Awesome. Simple Awesome.

It’s a fighting title based around 9 robots initially with alternates and Jin (Blodia II Custom) available later on in the game. You fight with insane anime moves that are pulled off with combinations created by the 3 buttons and d-pad. As you fight things in the arena are knocked down (buildings, mountains, etc…) and power ups and weapons are revealed. For example one power up allows the fighter to go into hero mode and pull off some extra moves. One fighter can drop a space station on his opposition. AWESOME. Other power ups include defense, speed, power, and health bonuses.

The weapons that can be collected are UNIQUE for each character. While the graphic that represents the weapon is generic, when a character walks over it, the UNIQUE weapon is loaded and can be used right away. The giant robot made of toys can shoot out a miniature train that runs along the ground attacking the opponents feet, while other robots get HUGE bombs, knives, various guns, and other enhancements. COOL! When a robot gets hit hard enough they drop some of their stored items and are up for grabs again.

While this game lacks the polygon pushing of VF4 and Tekken 4 it does what it intends to brilliantly. The FEEL of giant anime robot fighting is totally captured. I love it.

Capcom recently released a matchmaking service version of this title but the chances of a sequel are probably pretty slim. Grab this game while you can, there is NOTHING like it.

Anyway that’s it for now, ill probably pop in sometime next week with some other picks. Being jobless allows me to play a lot of the games while I wait by the phone for interviews.

Dear god, I’d forgotten about Jackal. Almost as good as “Yamashita” in the credits of Contra.

My favorite game that no one else seems to play is Inindo for the SNES. You play a ninja and can collect a party of characters, from monks to samurai to other ninja. The gameplay is typical console RPG in a lot of ways, but with the addition of battles, in which your characters become generals helping out some warlord or daimyo. You also have stealth missions where you can spy on castles and such. You gain reputation amongst different cities as you go along. It’s kind of like KOEI (who makes this game) planted an RPG in the middle of the Nobunaga’s Ambition game.

I heartily spread the recomendation of Vagrant Story. It’s the one game that - to me, at any rate - proves that Square can actually make games.

My favorite console games…

Demon Attack
Cosmic Ark
Keystone Kapers
Soul Calibur
Super Mario Bros.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Virtua Tennis

Vagrant Story could do with an updating to a PS2 game. It’s a damn shame that there is apparently no sequel underway at this time. That system needs to be continued and the method of storytelling, which is about as dramatic as I’ve ever seen in a game, should be continued as well. I don’t care if they turn it into a sci-fi game, Square needs to pick that up and run with it.

Some console fun that I’ve had recently… Gunstar Heroes of course, it’s still the greatest action game of all time, bar none. Rocket Knight Adventures for Genesis, a great action platform game that throws various play styles, imaginative bosses and some incredible graphics at you. Phantasy Star II, when Mark mentioned the Smash Pack, I tried it on there and while it was a horrible emulation, it got me to pull out the original cart again. It’s still one of the greatest RPGs of all time. It sits right alongside Landstalker as one of my favorites on any platform. Landstalker is the forgotten Genesis action RPG with an isometric viewpoint. It has superb graphics and sound as well as excellent puzzles and strong narrative. Definitely a long-time favorite of mine.

While at the beach this week, I found a Strider machine and played it furiously. Still fantastic. Also played Tempest, Ghosts and Goblins, Black Tiger (the last two on an Ultracade), Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Pole Position and some others. The new stuff isn’t that interesting with the exception of Daytona 2 and The Maze of the Kings, a great randomized gun game from Sega. One cool item…someone turned Ballistics into a laydown arcade machine and Beach Head 2000 is also a VR headset kind of game at the arcades now. Combined with the Ultracade (running Quantum3D hardware) it’s PCs crawling into a new market I suppose…


Man, Demon Attack was good. 2 player was amazing with that.