Most underrated games?

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Most underrated games?

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2016-2-27 @ 16:52

Well, this is probably our version of HOTU, or probably a computer game-equivalent of this, or both. Maybe it's a bad game that deserves a second chance, maybe it's a game that's never properly appreciated, or maybe it's a good game with its own charm but was soon eclipsed by a (perceivedly) better game of the same genre.

I'll start with Knights of the Sky by Microprose (1990).

Image
Knights of the Sky box art.

It's a Microprose flight sim with typical Microprose's charm of providing a sense of "role playing", where you as the player take the role of a pilot undergoing a career through randomly generation missions that may be a part of a selectable theater (like in F-19) or an entire war (like in this game). What makes the game unique is you don't aim for the highest score possible, but the best ace of the entire war. Of course you have to perform each mission well, but you also have to compete with several AI-controlled historical aces like Oswald Boelcke and Max Immelman. You can compete "fairly" by earning the most kills, but you can also eliminate your competitors by challenging them in a duel.

Image
The "Issue a challenge" option where you can challenge AI-controlled historical aces.

So let say the highest ranked ace is Max Immelman with 20 kills. You, on the other hand, are placed second with 12 kills. Of course you can compete "fairly" by trying to shot down more planes than he does, but it generally takes more time and patience. Let say in the next mission you manage to kill 7 enemy planes, raising your kill score to 19. Alas, while you're busy flying your mission, Immelman also flies his own (off-screen) and manages to make 5 kills, raising his score to 27. So now your score is 19 kills against his 27 kills. Well, it's still long way to go, isn't it? The quicker but riskier way is to challenge Immelman in a duel. It's riskier, because Immelman naturally has much better AI than average enemies, but it's also rewarding, because if you manage to kill him, then you take his place as number one ace despite the previous score gap between you two. So just like other Microprose games like Sid Meier's Pirates! or Sword of the Samurai, greater risk brings greater reward.

So, anyway, I killed Max Immelman several missions ago and has been staying the number one ace ever since. But I became complacent, and then an AI-controlled ace named Oswald Boelcke slowly but consistently outkills me in each mission while I'm doing mine at leisure pace. Slowly, and patiently, Boelcke manages to close the gap between us.

Image
Unless I do something fast, Boelcke may take my throne in the next mission.

So, unless I do something fast, I believe Boelcke may take my position in the next mission. I guess I have no other choice but challenging him. If I manage to kill him, then I would have much easier time to maintain my position, since Rudolf Berthold, the third-ranked ace, only has 40 kills compared to my 70.

Finally, I have to say that Knights of the Sky is a very good game, with such unique gameplay that makes it stand out among its competition. So yes, the flight model doesn't have sufficient amount of realism, but who cares about realism when you're too busy immersing yourself in the "role playing" aspect of the game? After all, Sid Meier's Pirates! doesn't have the most realistic sail model, doesn't it? Nor does it need to, and neither does Knight of the Sky. It's nice to know there are game designers who understand that sometimes it doesn't take a meticulously realistic physics model to make a good game.

Oh, and just like typical Microprose games like Red Storm Rising or Railroad Tycoon, Knights of the Sky also features dynamically-generated news and gossips to help your gaming mood.

Image
Wartime news....

Image
...and gossips.

So, with its great gameplay and unique charm, why do I call Knights of the Sky a flop? Because, alas, Knights of the Sky was released about the same time with Dynamix Red Baron; a game much praised for its historical accuracy and flight model realism. Of course, Red Baron also has its own charm, like being challenged by enemy ace, being able to recuperate in a hospital or imprisoned by the enemies, but still, flight model realism is what people appreciate the most from the game.

And the rest is history. Despite its typical Microprose charm, Knights of the Sky fell into obscurity.

So, what are yours?
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby clueless1 » 2016-3-01 @ 17:18

I can't make such an elaborate report of my choice, but I will say that in my book Dino Eggs was underrated. It was released for Apple II and Commodore 64. I played it on Apple II. It was my favorite game over a period of 6 years (until I eventually moved from the Apple II to PC), but I did not see many praises for it. In fact, to this day I still play it on occasion on the AppleWin emulator. It holds its own to this day. He did an amazing programming job given the limitations of the Apple II.

Recently, the original author authorized a remake:
http://www.dinoeggsrebirth.com/

He is selling it independently and recently got greenlighted on Steam:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/ ... =499418580
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby Indrid Cold » 2016-3-01 @ 23:29

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Well, this is probably our version of HOTU, or probably a computer game-equivalent of this, or both. Maybe it's a bad game that deserves a second chance, maybe it's a game that's never properly appreciated, or maybe it's a good game with its own charm but was soon eclipsed by a (perceivedly) better game of the same genre.

I'll start with Knights of the Sky by Microprose (1990).

Image
Knights of the Sky box art.

It's a Microprose flight sim with typical Microprose's charm of providing a sense of "role playing", where you as the player take the role of a pilot undergoing a career through randomly generation missions that may be a part of a selectable theater (like in F-19) or an entire war (like in this game). What makes the game unique is you don't aim for the highest score possible, but the best ace of the entire war. Of course you have to perform each mission well, but you also have to compete with several AI-controlled historical aces like Oswald Boelcke and Max Immelman. You can compete "fairly" by earning the most kills, but you can also eliminate your competitors by challenging them in a duel.

Image
The "Issue a challenge" option where you can challenge AI-controlled historical aces.

So let say the highest ranked ace is Max Immelman with 20 kills. You, on the other hand, are placed second with 12 kills. Of course you can compete "fairly" by trying to shot down more planes than he does, but it generally takes more time and patience. Let say in the next mission you manage to kill 7 enemy planes, raising your kill score to 19. Alas, while you're busy flying your mission, Immelman also flies his own (off-screen) and manages to make 5 kills, raising his score to 27. So now your score is 19 kills against his 27 kills. Well, it's still long way to go, isn't it? The quicker but riskier way is to challenge Immelman in a duel. It's riskier, because Immelman naturally has much better AI than average enemies, but it's also rewarding, because if you manage to kill him, then you take his place as number one ace despite the previous score gap between you two. So just like other Microprose games like Sid Meier's Pirates! or Sword of the Samurai, greater risk brings greater reward.

So, anyway, I killed Max Immelman several missions ago and has been staying the number one ace ever since. But I became complacent, and then an AI-controlled ace named Oswald Boelcke slowly but consistently outkills me in each mission while I'm doing mine at leisure pace. Slowly, and patiently, Boelcke manages to close the gap between us.

Image
Unless I do something fast, Boelcke may take my throne in the next mission.

So, unless I do something fast, I believe Boelcke may take my position in the next mission. I guess I have no other choice but challenging him. If I manage to kill him, then I would have much easier time to maintain my position, since Rudolf Berthold, the third-ranked ace, only has 40 kills compared to my 70.

Finally, I have to say that Knights of the Sky is a very good game, with such unique gameplay that makes it stand out among its competition. So yes, the flight model doesn't have sufficient amount of realism, but who cares about realism when you're too busy immersing yourself in the "role playing" aspect of the game? After all, Sid Meier's Pirates! doesn't have the most realistic sail model, doesn't it? Nor does it need to, and neither does Knight of the Sky. It's nice to know there are game designers who understand that sometimes it doesn't take a meticulously realistic physics model to make a good game.

Oh, and just like typical Microprose games like Red Storm Rising or Railroad Tycoon, Knights of the Sky also features dynamically-generated news and gossips to help your gaming mood.

Image
Wartime news....

Image
...and gossips.

So, with its great gameplay and unique charm, why do I call Knights of the Sky a flop? Because, alas, Knights of the Sky was released about the same time with Dynamix Red Baron; a game much praised for its historical accuracy and flight model realism. Of course, Red Baron also has its own charm, like being challenged by enemy ace, being able to recuperate in a hospital or imprisoned by the enemies, but still, flight model realism is what people appreciate the most from the game.

And the rest is history. Despite its typical Microprose charm, Knights of the Sky fell into obscurity.

So, what are yours?


I really loved this title - Red Baron will remain at first place, but KOTS is still a beautiful sim, and much enjoyable.
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby brassicGamer » 2016-3-01 @ 23:42

Absolutely loved KOTS. It was bundled with my first 'multimedia kit' which was an Adlib and a joystick IIRC.

My own vote goes for Rollcage and its sequel which, for the time, pushed the limits of my system and included features like bump mapping. The sheer versatility of gameplay make it a game I still play today whenever a want a quick blast at something.

Honorable mention goes to Carmageddon TDR2000.
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2016-3-02 @ 01:35

clueless1 wrote:Dino Eggs was underrated. It was released for Apple II and Commodore 64.

And PC: http://www.mobygames.com/game/pc-booter/dino-eggs
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby leileilol » 2016-3-02 @ 03:56

a mullets on farmer
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
386DX vs SX isn't about a missing FPU
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DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
Old PCs aren't 'aesthetic'
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby Indrid Cold » 2016-3-02 @ 13:43

brassicGamer wrote:Absolutely loved KOTS


YES! Great game...

brassicGamer wrote:Honorable mention goes to Carmageddon TDR2000.


Nice vote, and I fully agree...
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby Arctic » 2016-3-02 @ 16:43

Titanic - Challenge of Discovery (1998) by Panasonic Interactive Media and Maris Multimedia!
Image

It's a great mix of education and entertainment. You begin the game at a harbor town.
There is a museum with the three ships that you have to find in the game Isis, Bismarck and Titanic.
You have to assemble a crew and pick a ship, rations, equipment etc.
Then you set sail for discovery. Your time on sea is limited and you also have to keep your crew motivated.

- runs well on a Pentium 200
- supports MMX and Direct3D
- a lot of media (videos, pictures, sounds etc.)

I can recommend this to anyone interested in maritime history, as well as retro gamers that like submarines :D

http://www.mobygames.com/game/titanic-c ... discovery/ (MobyGames)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo9q86KNueY (VIDEO)
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby chinny22 » 2016-3-02 @ 19:47

I read all 3 of those books (Search for the Titanic/Bismark/Isis) over and over back in school, will have to check it out!

I always liked World War 3 Black Gold. A RTS set in the currant day with currant weapons. I thought the balance between realism but not turning into a full sim was done pretty well, and The Russian campaign where after each mission you could load a limited amount of units into a transport plane and take back to a central location and use in future missions if wanted was a nice idea.
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby RacoonRider » 2016-3-03 @ 10:20

Image
My vote goes to Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader. It is a breath-taking RPG in the setting of mysterious old Barcelona and it's neighbourhood, often called "Fallout in Renascence". There's so much to do, so many people to talk to including historical figures - Da Vinci, Shakespear, Cervantes, etc.). It's the world that holds secrets under each stone. This is what you think during the first 1/3 of the game - you're amazed, you love every bit of it, you want more. But the brilliant RGP suddenly turns into a tireless hack-and-slash action taking place in crowded dungeons and labirynths, barely finished and apparently made on tight budget. The combat system is OK for an RPG, but way too simple and clumsy for an action. I played Lionheart a number of times and consider it to be one of my favourite games ever, but I never had the patience to complete it.

Why was it made that way? Apparently, Interplay spoilt the game in its death throws. I'm still happy it came out at all.
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2016-3-03 @ 13:16

RacoonRider wrote:Image
My vote goes to Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader. It is a breath-taking RPG in the setting of mysterious old Barcelona and it's neighbourhood, often called "Fallout in Renascence". There's so much to do, so many people to talk to including historical figures - Da Vinci, Shakespear, Cervantes, etc.). It's the world that holds secrets under each stone. This is what you think during the first 1/3 of the game - you're amazed, you love every bit of it, you want more. But the brilliant RGP suddenly turns into a tireless hack-and-slash action taking place in crowded dungeons and labirynths, barely finished and apparently made on tight budget. The combat system is OK for an RPG, but way too simple and clumsy for an action. I played Lionheart a number of times and consider it to be one of my favourite games ever, but I never had the patience to complete it.

Why was it made that way? Apparently, Interplay spoilt the game in its death throws. I'm still happy it came out at all.

I like Fallout combat system; one of my (few) complaints about Fallout 1 is not enough combat. Is Lionheart combat as good as Fallout? I mean, since Lionheart is based on the same SPECIAL system....
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby RacoonRider » 2016-3-03 @ 14:05

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:I like Fallout combat system; one of my (few) complaints about Fallout 1 is not enough combat. Is Lionheart combat as good as Fallout? I mean, since Lionheart is based on the same SPECIAL system....


It is indeed based on SPECIAL system, but combat here is real-time. It's turn-based internally, with no pause between turns and "active pause" which helps you select spells and drink potions during combat. Real-time combat turns the game into a horrible mess on later stages, where tens of enemies rush at protagonist from behind each courner and you click your way through trying not to die in the process. So from a noble attempt to beat Fallout it goes straight to a poor attempt to beat Diablo. I would still highly recommend it though:)
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby sf78 » 2016-3-04 @ 12:56

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:I'll start with Knights of the Sky by Microprose (1990).


One of my favorites too. There is one thing that bothers me though. Did this game have an elaborate copy protection that kept spawning enemy fighters on your tail? I had the cracked version of this on Amiga and I remember it being pretty hard because every time you shot down a plane another would spawn seconds later and start chasing you. It wasn't unheard of to score 20 kills on a mission because of this. More likely you ran out of bullets before you could land safely. I never got any confirmation if this was a feature of the game or if something went bust when the game was cracked. I never managed to find this in the shops as this was released before I got my Amiga/PC and it wasn't available anymore.
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby leileilol » 2016-3-05 @ 01:05

I've avoided all Titanic-related games, pre-movie and post-movie :(

though I can't forget that guy's face on the 1995 one. Uncanny valley nightmare
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
386DX vs SX isn't about a missing FPU
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
Old PCs aren't 'aesthetic'
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2016-3-05 @ 17:31

RacoonRider wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:I like Fallout combat system; one of my (few) complaints about Fallout 1 is not enough combat. Is Lionheart combat as good as Fallout? I mean, since Lionheart is based on the same SPECIAL system....


It is indeed based on SPECIAL system, but combat here is real-time. It's turn-based internally, with no pause between turns and "active pause" which helps you select spells and drink potions during combat. Real-time combat turns the game into a horrible mess on later stages, where tens of enemies rush at protagonist from behind each courner and you click your way through trying not to die in the process. So from a noble attempt to beat Fallout it goes straight to a poor attempt to beat Diablo. I would still highly recommend it though:)

Whoa, sounds like a pain. Could the characters defend themselves without your input? I mean, like in Baldur's Gate, when the characters can fight by themselves in real-time combat, and your input is only needed to drink potion, to use magic, to target different enemy than current one, etc.


sf78 wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:I'll start with Knights of the Sky by Microprose (1990).


One of my favorites too. There is one thing that bothers me though. Did this game have an elaborate copy protection that kept spawning enemy fighters on your tail? I had the cracked version of this on Amiga and I remember it being pretty hard because every time you shot down a plane another would spawn seconds later and start chasing you. It wasn't unheard of to score 20 kills on a mission because of this. More likely you ran out of bullets before you could land safely. I never got any confirmation if this was a feature of the game or if something went bust when the game was cracked. I never managed to find this in the shops as this was released before I got my Amiga/PC and it wasn't available anymore.

Um... never experienced such thing myself. I have never use crack on my PC version of KOTS.
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby RacoonRider » 2016-3-05 @ 18:40

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Whoa, sounds like a pain. Could the characters defend themselves without your input? I mean, like in Baldur's Gate, when the characters can fight by themselves in real-time combat, and your input is only needed to drink potion, to use magic, to target different enemy than current one, etc.


Here you only have one playable character, NPCs can follow, but can't be controlled directly, so that's not that big a deal :happy:
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2016-3-05 @ 19:34

RacoonRider wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Whoa, sounds like a pain. Could the characters defend themselves without your input? I mean, like in Baldur's Gate, when the characters can fight by themselves in real-time combat, and your input is only needed to drink potion, to use magic, to target different enemy than current one, etc.


Here you only have one playable character, NPCs can follow, but can't be controlled directly, so that's not that big a deal :happy:

If the characters are smart enough, then it's not much a problem.

Anyway, anyone remember War of The Lance by SSI? Yup, it's also underrated IMO.


leileilol wrote:I've avoided all Titanic-related games, pre-movie and post-movie :(

though I can't forget that guy's face on the 1995 one. Uncanny valley nightmare

:lol: I don't like the movie either, but if the game is good and completely unrelated to the movie, why not?
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby AidanExamineer » 2016-3-05 @ 22:40

G-Nome, the 1997 hybrid mech sim by 7th Level.

It's a respectable mech sim, but with so many other things that elevate it above "coaster of the year" status (which apparently is what it was called by some publications). The story and voice acting is great, and the ability to get out of your mech and hijack other mechs (years and years before MechAssault 2), or even enter buildings, or use communications trickery to impersonate the enemy.

Judged as a mech sim, it's perfectly rated. Judged as a game that combines elements of Halo and MechAssault 2 in 1997 I think it's a very good game.
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby brassicGamer » 2016-3-07 @ 15:00

Indrid Cold wrote:
brassicGamer wrote:Absolutely loved KOTS


YES! Great game...

brassicGamer wrote:Honorable mention goes to Carmageddon TDR2000.


Nice vote, and I fully agree...


Well I'm glad at least one person agrees. I wanted to expand on this. Lots of people bitch about the time limit in the game, but there are ways to get around this (destroy rival cars, mainly) and, once you've unlocked a level, you can roam it freely anyway (a lot of people seem to complain about not being able to explore).

For me the gameplay has a lot of what GTA III finally offered over GTA 2, which itself was a massive disappointment because it added nothing to GTA aside from graphics (I loved, and completed, the original but played chapter 2 for about a day before getting bored) and everyone was hankering for a 3D environment by this point. I think people took TDR2000 for granted because it was a Carmageddon game and, actually, the original game was ahead of its time gameplay-wise. Aside from being able to get out of your car and walk around, GTA III, which came out a year later, shared a lot of the gameplay features that made TDR2000 great e.g. time-limited missions, upgrades, different-handling vehicles, pedestrian death, vehicle damage, great physics, stunts, the list goes on. I know that TDR2000 didn't pioneer maybe any of these but it certainly brought them all together.
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Re: Most underrated games?

Postby RacoonRider » 2016-3-07 @ 15:34

I actually like TDR2000 a lot, I never knew it was underrated! That's the first and the only Carmageddon game I played and it was a lot of fun. The graphics didn't age well, but then again, they must've been made that way to achieve gameplay at decent framerates on contemporary hardware. While GTAIII does look sweet compared to TDR2000, it was only several years later that everybody could afford that kind of performance, at least here in Russia.

Call me a cheater, but TDR2000 is the only game I don't play without money hack. The deal is, you get a chance to buy every demolished opponent's car and I want them all, I just can't resist :D That way I can ride the useless junk like that wooden single-wheeler or the drag racing bolide or whatever I wouldn't ever buy if I played fair.
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