Hidden Gems to Play

Instead of one I will post a few by console with the exception of Arcades. Kind of like a list format

  • Demon Front - Metal Slug like gameplay but with familars -Arcade

  • Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy -Action -Neo Geo MVS

  • Kabuki Klash -1 vs 1 2d fighter -Neo Geo CD

  • Rolan’s Curse - ARPG - GameBoy

  • Survival Kids -Adventure/survival -GameBoy Color (I think they rebooted this back on the NDS)

  • Rapid Reload (Gunners Heaven for JP)- similar to Gunstar Heroes -action/shooter - PSX_PS1

  • Joe and Mac -Action/Adventure -SNES

  • Cowboy Kid -Adventure -NES

  • Zenonia -ARPG - PSP Mini

Riviera The Promised Land - Turn Based RPG - PSP

Riviera The Promised Land Scnshot R TPL

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Here’s 2 more:

Summer Carnival '92 Recca on NES and Jelly Boy on SNES (the PAL one; not to be confused with Jelly Boy 2, which is completely different)

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Here are some interesting games, I haven’t covered Nintendo in this post, but I can surely do when I have more time;

This is not so hidden today as the title suggests, but not being an arcade port, and a Japan exclusive shoot’em up (or cute’em up as some call it) on the PS1 with great visuals is worth mentioning.

Summary

This is a good Codemasters game people never talk about, it has details that even 128 bit games lacked at times, like inside cockpit view and the driver even change gears, good analog controls and visuals. I played this for a short time so I can’t say it’s good, but it seemed fine and plays like Tarzan, it’s a PAL exclusive I think based on a movie or something and it even has a wide screen option.

You’re a potato in a platform game, worth a look.

Lucifer Ring is an interesting 3D hack n’ slash almost in the same universe as Golden Axe, I haven’t played it much but it’s an interesting game.

This side scrolling action game is worth a look:

Almost no one talks about this one, it’s a free roaming mech space shooter, developed by the same team that created the Gran Turismo series:

This is basically a clone of Guardian Heroes for Saturn, looks and plays really well too:

A racing game with RPG elements, from Square, here’s hoping this one gets its deserved fan translation in the near future:

I remember my brother watching this Anime back in the early 2000’s, this game plays great:

I don’t know how much hidden this game actually is, a Mario Kart clone for the PS1 with great visuals and gameplay:

I’ve never watched Star Trek and even less I hear anyone talk about this space shooter, which looks and plays great too:

Terracon is an amazing techical achievement for the PS1, a free roaming 3D shooter that plays and looks amazing:

What about Adventures of Lomax, amazing this game was released in the US since Sony of America didn’t want 2D games for the platform in its early years, this game manages to look even better than Rayman at times:

I’ve played Bomberman Wars on the Saturn back in the day and the game was so addicting I was sad it ended so quickly, the PS1 version got an english translation, if you like strategy games, this can’t be missed:

This adventure exclusive for the PS1 in Japan is a Myst-like experience, you move slow from one section to another, but if you like adventure games with an intriguing atmosphere, give it a try and fast forward when you move in Mednafen so you don’t lose your patience:

Beyond Oasis and Legend of Oasis, or, Story of Thor I and II are great games, Brave Prove takes on the formula of those two, particularly I find the Sega games better, but since this one was translated recently, it deserves a try and see how it fair against its inspirators:

I played Brigandine: Legend of Forsena back in 2001 and wanted more, imagine my surprise when I knew, years later, that it received an updated Grand Edition and it’s in English, RPG Strategy fans owe this game a playthrough:

Look at the visuals of this game, it plays so great that even today’s dirt bike racing games can’t touch it, it’s arcady (not simulation) and fun to play:

I don’t think this one is hidden by any stretch, but, if you never played it, give it a try, make some traps and get the creepy stalkers, once you do, you’ll find some satisfaction here other games can’t match:

This one needs an English translation, it’s a Konami JRPG I’m looking forward to play in the future:

If you like Panzer Dragoon and Space Harrier, this one mixes both and will please the rail shooter fans out there:

I don’t know what is about this game, it seems one of those things a team makes so perfect that even more powerful consoles couldn’t touch it, this F1 game is spectacular, I consider it a masterpiece for the PS1 and the genre:

Micro Maniacs isn’t hidden, but I think really few played it, it’s basically a Micro Machines spin-off, with some of the best visual presentations you’ll find on the console, great textures and environments, you run on foot, fly, etc. It also has a native widescreen option (not true 16:9 but close enough):

This one is based on an Anime that probably never left Japan, as the game itself, it’s a side scrolling action game and 3D fighting when you meet a boss:

Fighting Force is good with a friend but this one is almost a spiritual successor to what Streets of Rage should have been in 3D, maybe not hidden, but here’s a suggestion in any case:

This is the next Ganbare! Goemon game after the 4 prior releases for the Super Famicom, and it’s in English:

This one was only released in Japan and Europe, a 3D action/shooter, totally worth a look:

Here’s for those who like strategy/war games, well, another game that I’m waiting a translation to play:

Same case here:

This one almost no one knows about, and it’s a shame, this game probably takes all the juice the Saturn can produce in 3D, there’s lots of battle scenes with great visuals hardly seem on the console, even dynamic lights at night when the guns fire, let’s hope and English translation happens some day:

This one is another that’s not hidden but hardly anyone played, based on the 1995 movie, it’s mostly a puzzle game and you have to figure out a way to find all the pieces for your uncle pictures and the Lazaro’s machine in the mansion and outside, I remember my brothers playing and we helped each other until we finally finished it:

This Lucas Arts game should be in everyone’s multiplayer favorites, it’s like an evolution of Zombies Ate my Neighbors with lots of personality and cooperative gameplay, I can hardly imagine this one being a single player game since I always played with my brothers and friends:

I remember my brother literally burning this disc because he got so salty when he lost every single time against the CPU. I recommend this for a lot of reasons, this game is hilariously fun to play with friends, it doesn’t take it self seriously, it’s just crazy, you can basically score impossible goals with unreasonable physics:

This would be an amazing online multiplayer game for the Switch/Steam etc., it’s an arena action game where you have to literally kick your enemies out of the ring and be the last man standing, anyway you can:

While not hidden, it’s worth mentioning this game basically is ahead of its time, if you had the Saturn 3D analog controller, you could basically play this in 1997 as people were playing Racing games on the PS3/X360, with analog steering, throttling and breaking with the analog triggers, it just plays really great:

I remember beating this game so many times back in the late 90’s, it’s a homage to the early arcade Jajamaru games, you can even play the classics in the bonuses to earn extra lives, it doesn’t play great as Mario 64, far from it, but once you get the hang of the controls, it’s fun:

I wasn’t expecting an English translation for this one, I’ll probably play this in the near future:

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I’m mentioning this for a few reasons, first, just by looking at the cover you can tell the same artist who made Castlevania Symphony of the Night did this one, I read this game should be exclusive to Saturn but at some point the agreement was breached and it ended receiving a PS1 release one year or so after, if this game is good or not is not for me to say, I haven’t tried, but it’s curious enough to mention it:

I loved this platformer back in the day, it’s so unique and charming, it needs some getting used to, but it worth the effort:

This is another which I’m waiting a translation for, maybe one day, the 3D battle scenes look great:

Great platformer for the SMS, with almost 16-bit graphics, it’s that good:

Speaking of which, Shining in the Darkness on the Genesis don’t look as good as this 8-bit Megami Tensei game, it’s impressive for the hardware, specially seeing the dungeons in motion:

This 3D fighting is noob friendly, fun to play and easy to make special moves and combos, great fun against some friends:

People say the Genesis/Mega Drive has few RPG/Strategy games, but there are lots that are waiting for English translations:

This is a masterpiece, you gotta release the 6 spirits which will help you through the game, great visuals, gameplay and personality:

I didn’t have a Playstation until much later, while I played lots of masterpieces on the PS1 in the early 2000’s, my RPG console was first and foremost the Saturn, Mystaria, Grandia, Shining Force 3, Dragon Force, to name a few, every RPG fan should play all three Shining Force 3 scenarios at least once:

This is mostly a sequel to the first Donald Duck game, one of these days I was thinking how sad it is when consoles failed to hold for at least 8 years in the market, the Master System sure had its success outside of Japan and US, but third party support was mostly inexistent, imagine if Capcom, Konami, Data East and many others released great games on this console, even the Jaguar, 3DO and other consoles could benefit from more support and years in the market, everyone would win in the end:

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From the list I posted above, Racing Lagoon is getting a fan translation:

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Monster Tale on the DS is a nice hidden gem. It’s a metroidvania game where you level up and evolve your monster.

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The game that comes to mind is Grandia 2. 274px-Grandia2_dreamcast

Maybe it’s not that hidden, but it was quickly buried under all the newer Final Fantasies, Personas, Pokemons and Dragon Quests.

I approached it like another generic jRPG, but was very pleasantly surprised. The story is captivating, the characters are memorable and the gameplay is smooth and engaging.

It seems there is an HD remaster on Steam and Switch, so if you have opportunity, try it out. If you like great stories with many twists and turns, you won’t be disappointed.

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They just changed the name to Lost in Blue on DS. I don’t know about the GB games, but every game in the DS series is standalone and are definitely hidden gems. There’s also a Wii game, but the DS games get the formula a little better I think.

Here’s one I never see anyone talking about:

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S Kurukkurin (Super Famicom)

There are loosely similar puzzle games out there but none that are quite the same as this one. So if you’re a fan of puzzle games it’s worth checking out. It’s my all-time favorite puzzle game aside from Tetris and I’m not even a Sailor Moon fan. It’s just fun.

Another title from the past that has a special place in my heart is Anachronox.

That’s I believe Windows XP era, so not really emulable (maybe it would run with Windows’ compatibility mode, but I’m not sure). It came as a western world’s response to jRPGs that were trending at this time since FF7. But it takes the concept, twists it, turns it upside down, inside out and then adds it’s own special flavor to it.

How brilliant it was is evidenced by its cast of characters. I dare you to find another game where you can have a party of a clumsy detective, an ex-stripper who can kill you in 101 ways, a scientist who blew up a whole world in a failed experiment, a powerless superhero, and an actual planet (yes, a PLANET).

Good times. Too bad there was no sequel, because the ending really suggests one was planned.

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Very famous at the time and today totally forgotten, Dick Tracy of Genesis.

Nanatsu Kaze No Shima Monogatari It is a true Japanese gem with Ghibli spirit. There is a very slow Spanish translation project, although I hope to play it with the translator IA de Retroarch.

From arcade Fighter’s History, a copy of Street Fighter II although according to some much more refined. And The Outfoxies, the precursor of Super Smash Bros. You have to play it.

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Dick Tracy has a great design.

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