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Lord Mushroom

Unusual and very good retro games

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Many (most?) games fall in under a popular category like platformer, 1st person shooter, beat´em up etc.. But some games stand out as unique or at least so unusual that there aren´t many similar games. Which such retro games do you know of that aren´t just unusual, but also very good (Dreamcast is the latest console to qualify as retro in this context. As are computer games released before 2000)?

 

I will go first:

Bomberman-games

Robo Warrior

Tecmo Soccer Game

Toejam & Earl

X-com-games (the early ones)

Worms Armageddon/World Party

 

I guess you could call Bomberman a party game, Toejam & Earl an adventure game, Tecmo Soccer Game a sports game, X-com turn based stategy games and Worms A/WP an artillery game, but they are still unusual.

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I always saw the Power Stone series as a unique type of game.  Is it a fighter?  Is it a beat-em up?  Is it a platformer?

 

But, if you really want to get into unique, then I'd say Typing of the Dead!  That one is crazy fun, and definitely has more than one genre under it's belt, including educational...lol.

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9 minutes ago, Tales from the Game Room said:

But, if you really want to get into unique, then I'd say Typing of the Dead!  That one is crazy fun, and definitely has more than one genre under it's belt, including educational...lol.

I really like the title. :)

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I would submit "2010 - The Graphic Action Game" for ColecoVision as an unusual, hard to classify, but really good game. It's actually my favorite game on the system. I'm surprised no developer has ever made a clone of this game afterwards, with the "2010" movie license taken out of the equation.

 

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6 minutes ago, Pixelboy said:

I would submit "2010 - The Graphic Action Game" for ColecoVision as an unusual, hard to classify, but really good game.

I have certainly never seen anything like it before.

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*off top of my head mode*

 

ChibiRobo - GC

Tecmo's Deception - PSX

Jet Set Radio - DC

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - Xbox

Chronicles Of Riddick - Xbox

Ico/Shadow Of The Colossus - PS2

Bubbles - arcade

How To Be A complete Bastard - ZX Spectrum

Dolucky no A.League Soccer - SNES

Vagrant Story - PSX

Thief: The Dark Project - PC

....

 

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Archon is probably one of the first action strategy games to blend turn based area control with action based unit elimination. The closest precursor would probably be Star Control (also a great, unique game), although Archon is fantasy genre and SC is scifi genre.

 

152715-archon-the-light-and-the-dark-ata  152717-archon-the-light-and-the-dark-ata

 

Successors have been attempted, by FreeFall, Archon II, Archon Ultra,with Archon II largely exceeding the original. There was also a spiritual successor in Dark Legion (DOS) which played relatively well (at least as good as Archon Ultra)

5903-dark-legions-dos-screenshot-a-typic

 

Supposedly,  Wrarh Unleashed (PS2) is similar but I have never played it.

 

 

 

Edited by CapitanClassic
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I can easily think of something that is unusual: a sports game that is actually worth playing! Big Tournament Golf, which was known as Neo Turf Masters in some countries. This is the best golf game ever made and possibly the best sports game ever made and a damn excellent game in general and I highly recommend it for consumption by all human beings and maybe even some space aliens.

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34 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

I can easily think of something that is unusual: a sports game that is actually worth playing! Big Tournament Golf, which was known as Neo Turf Masters in some countries. This is the best golf game ever made and possibly the best sports game ever made and a damn excellent game in general and I highly recommend it for consumption by all human beings and maybe even some space aliens.

Tecmo Cup Soccer Game is pretty cool too.

 

 

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On 7/23/2021 at 2:05 PM, Lord Mushroom said:

X-com turn based stategy games

I'm not following, here. There have been a lot of turn based strategy games before X-com, even Julian Gollop made several of those on the ZX Spectrum. And to me they're similar to Fire Emblem, Famicom Wars, and Shining Force games, even though I admit X-com added a layer of management for instance (don't get me wrong, I love X-com).

 

I agree with your other examples, though. Worms was indeed an artillery game but the previous games in that genre were so much more basic; it would almost be like comparing Pong and tennis games! I'm not very familiar with ToeJam & Earl but I heard it's supposed to be a rogue-like, even though I can't say if it's different enough to justify having its own genre.

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5 minutes ago, roots.genoa said:

I'm not following, here. There have been a lot of turn based strategy games before X-com, even Julian Gollop made several of those on the ZX Spectrum. And to me they're similar to Fire Emblem, Famicom Wars, and Shining Force games, even though I admit X-com added a layer of management for instance (don't get me wrong, I love X-com).

 

I agree with your other examples, though. Worms was indeed an artillery game but the previous games in that genre were so much more basic; it would almost be like comparing Pong and tennis games! I'm not very familiar with ToeJam & Earl but I heard it's supposed to be a rogue-like, even though I can't say if it's different enough to justify having its own genre.

Hogs of War felt rather distinct as far as turn-based strategy games went.

 

 

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Oh yes, it almost looks like some kind of 3D Worms... In terms of strategy, but in real time, there's also Herzog Zwei who is considered a precursor to RTS games, but it's quite unique.

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M.U.L.E. - Colonize a planet with up to 3 other people, then price gouge them for profit!  Very unusual, but lots of fun.

Populous - You are basically a deity leading your followers to build up their civilization or into battle.  Meanwhile you can rain down natural disasters on your opponent.

Edited by zzip

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5 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

I can easily think of something that is unusual: a sports game that is actually worth playing! 

NFL Street and NBA Jam?

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2 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

I'm not following, here. There have been a lot of turn based strategy games before X-com, even Julian Gollop made several of those on the ZX Spectrum. And to me they're similar to Fire Emblem, Famicom Wars, and Shining Force games, even though I admit X-com added a layer of management for instance (don't get me wrong, I love X-com).

 

I agree with your other examples, though. Worms was indeed an artillery game but the previous games in that genre were so much more basic; it would almost be like comparing Pong and tennis games! I'm not very familiar with ToeJam & Earl but I heard it's supposed to be a rogue-like, even though I can't say if it's different enough to justify having its own genre.


Although I like Worms Armageddon, and think it probably the best game within the artillery genre, it wasn’t unique or that much more advanced than Scorched Earth (DOS). Scorched Earth came out in 1991.

 

Scorched Earth had a wide variety of weapons, from rollers (like grenade), napalm, various size exploding missiles, cluster missiles, shields, etc. By 1995, Scorched Earth started looking pretty good graphically, and I am pretty sure that Team 17 drew some inspiration from it.

 

Scorched_Earth_gameplay.png  Scorched_Earth_title_screen.png

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

NFL Street and NBA Jam?

There are others that exist, but they are enough of a rarity that they deserve special mention. I don't know anything about American football, but I do love NBA Jam.

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10 hours ago, electricmastro said:

Tecmo Cup Soccer Game is pretty cool too.

You may already know this, but it is based on a Japanese game called Captain Tsubasa, which has sequels.

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17 hours ago, jerseystyle said:

Neat topic. Some of my favorite weird games:


Cubivore (GCN)

Attack of the Mutant Penguins (Jaguar)

Captain Blood (Amiga 500)

Panic! (Sega CD)

Odama (GCN)

Wait, are you me?

 

I will add some Fairchild Channel F games:

 

Video Whizball (it’s not pong or air hockey, it’s a shooter with both directional and rotational controls where you shoot a puck… kind of like Ballistix but more comprehensible and not bad)

 


Dodge It! is like a bullet hell trainer. It’s really fun. 
 

 

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8 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

I'm not following, here. There have been a lot of turn based strategy games before X-com,

Yes, but I think it is unique within that genre. The real time management, attacking from distance, eerie atmosphere, the visuals. I just think it stands out.

 

8 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

I'm not very familiar with ToeJam & Earl

Then you are very lucky for having the ability to play it for the first time. It is decent in single player mode, but it is one of the absolute best co-op games in the world. I think it costs about $1 on Steam. You may get a better experience playing a ROM with upscaled resolution, though.

 

9 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

I heard it's supposed to be a rogue-like, even though I can't say if it's different enough to justify having its own genre.

I would say it is more of an action adventure game. There are a few similar games (Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Ghoul Patrol and Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove), but it is not exactly a typical action adventure game.

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7 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

NFL Street and NBA Jam?

I have never played NFL Street, so I can´t comment on that (although I probably wouldn´t like it because I am not interested in American football), but I would add Nintendo World Cup.

 

 

Edited by Lord Mushroom

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12 hours ago, electricmastro said:

Tecmo Cup Soccer Game is pretty cool too.

There is a ROM available on the internet for a different version, which I think may be based on Captain Tsubasa 2, for the Mega Drive/Genesis.

 

 

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1 hour ago, electricmastro said:

Somer Assault, where you play as a shooting spring.

It should have had Slinky in the title.

 

The Norwegian word for Slinky is trappetroll. It means stairs troll.

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