If you discuss Streets of Rage, Super Monkey Ball, or even anything Sonic, chances are you can hear that 90’s jingle of retro goodness (SEGAAAAAAAAAAA!). The company helped create some wonderful games and franchises and are still going strong to this day. That being said, most of the games published by SEGA are sometimes often forgot about and usually sit on store shelves to collect dust and/or be pauper’s pennies.
While I haven’t played every single game SEGA has helped publish, some of those games stick out to me in a very unique and interesting way. And SEGA, being the quirky company they are, brought me wonderful memories and breathes a one-of-a-kind charm to those certain games. So in no particular order (with the first one being my favorite out of the five), here are some games that rightfully deserve more attention than they get!
Picture a game where the only colors are black, white, and red all over (with some yellow and blue here and there). That is what you get with Platinum Games 2009 hit: MadWorld. Inspired by comics of the same caliber (like Frank Miller’s Sin City) this game is probably one of the most violent and brutal games you will play. Trust me, for most, the game is not for the faint of heart, but if you have a good enough gore filter (and poncho ready) then I urge you to try it out.
Set in a dystopian world where rich people host a TV show called Deathwatch, players must survive to earn cash, prizes, and even their own lives. The plot does thicken as the game goes on. As it switches between a dark neo-noir plot and gruesome but sometimes hilarious action and banter, by the end you will have many questions on what just happened. But the game really shines in the gameplay, where you play as Jack: a muscular secret agent who must climb the ranks to find out what is going on. Help him simply beat up grunts that are in your way; like ramming a street sign through their heads, impaling them on an Iron Maiden wall, or sticking shaken-up champagne bottles up their bums and watch them go flying. Yes, it is very crazy. Yes, it is very obscene. But give it a try, and either you will end up loving the hip-hop tunes of violence or throw up in appalling disgust. I guarantee it will be a game you will not forget.
Alien: Isolation (PS4, Xbox1, PC, PS3, 360)
Now I can’t watch much horror movies or even play those games mostly because cheap jump-scares don’t make my adrenaline race. But I do appreciate how they are created and especially when they set an atmosphere that makes your spine crawl. Thankfully, Creative Assembly’s 2014 game, Alien: Isolation, fulfills this and manifests a survival horror game with flying colors. This game might be getting more popular now, but it deserves more credit than people give it.
After the abandoned space station: Sevastopol, was found by mercenaries, Amanda Ripley sets to find survivors. What she gets is a little more than what she bargained for when hostile humans, dysfunctional androids, and an almost-immortal Alien come to crash her party. You must dip, duck, dodge, and hide in aforementioned places to live another space day, while fighting off these beings. But mostly, you will be helpless against the all-powerful Alien, while it uses its senses to find you if you are mobile and loud. And with the creepy atmosphere, great level design, and feeling of helplessness, you will get a lot out of Alien: Isolation, even if you can’t go to sleep the night after.
Resonance of Fate (PS3, 360, PC)
Lost in a sea of JRPG’s, tri-Ace’s 2010 game, Resonance of Fate, might be another drop in the bucket. Well, I’d like to dispute that and while the story might be nothing that special, its gameplay is one that is perplexing. Using a unique mix of turn-based and real-time strategy elements, the “tri-battle” system might seem intimidating and tough to figure out. Players take turns mapping out their movements and attacks towards a specific enemy on the battlefield, pulling off singular or combined attacks to defeat said enemy. Some may take direct hits, while other tougher enemies may need to have “scratch damage” be inflicted before you make those direct hits. And each character feels different and unique in their own ways, while also applying the same style of gameplay to keep a steady and fun flow of attacks. Plus, the steampunk art style is always a cool atmosphere to look at. If you give this game a chance and stick with it with the arduous learning curve of the gameplay, give Resonance of Fate a try.
The Conduit (Wii)
One thing the Wii might have had a given about a certain genre of games is shooters. And while most failed to capture that essence of it, High Voltage Games successfully made a true motion-controlled first-person shooter of greatness: The Conduit, released in 2009. Even if it may not have been the best one or the most perfect, The Conduit is definitely a familiar yet abnormal experience nonetheless. You can tell Metroid Prime 3 is written all over this game, but that isn’t a bad thing.
Taken place in a futuristic Washington D.C., a disease starts to wipe out humanity along with alien invaders called “the Drudge” come along to seemingly finish the job. You must fight the nasty horde through waves of enemies and solve a series of puzzles. Cliché, yes; the story is corny enough to enjoy, but the gameplay is as fun as fighting an intergalactic race of beings. Where the game truly shines was the multiplayer, which is now defunct, but it enabled up to 12-player matches and used the Wii Speak peripheral to talk to other players when most Wii games could not use that function. However, I feel that the single-player alone has enough substance if you can find it at a good price, although local multiplayer would replace that hole in your gaming heart to beat up on your friends.
Feel the Magic: XY/XX (DS)
Can you imagine that Sonic Team out of all developers, created a wacky dating game with some simple, but Warioware-like minigames? Well, it happened in 2004, with Feel the Magic: XY/XX for the Nintendo DS. Known as Project Rub in places other than the US, you must aid a young boy to become a man and swoon the loving girl of his life. With the aid of “Rub Rabbits”, players must defend their love and fend off other suiters with a barrage of minigames, such as blowing out candles, dislodging goldfish from your stomach, or cleaning off the dirt and cuts off your aforementioned lover. Weird, unusual, and often very sensual, this game will tickle your senses and feel the love (err…magic) that is in the air.
You can get pretty much all these games for a discount and in some places really cheap. All of them offer a completely different experience that you can tell has the SEGA charm to it.