Underrated Favorites! - Arkayde Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Underrated Favorites!

Sometimes in life a great game comes along and hardly anyone notices. Why this happens, I'm not a hundred percent sure. Perhaps a game flew under the radar because of poor marketing. Maybe the game was released alongside a more popular franchise and was overshadowed by its competition. It could have been that the game was released with a low price point, which is typically a sign of being low quality shovel ware. One explanation might be that the game was delayed repeatedly and by the time it was released, gamers had just lost interest. Maybe, it received a few poor review scores and even though many people might have liked it, it's hard to justify buying a game when a professional reviewer gives you good reason to believe that it's less than stellar. Perchance, none of these things happened, and still gamers just didn't notice. Whatever the case may be, I noticed, and some of these games became my all-time favorites. 

 

 

Sleeping Dogs

In the case of Sleeping Dogs, the problem that may have led to its "under-performance"(and I use that term loosely) in sales was probably the result of the time spent in development, a name change, a cancelation, transfer of publishing rights, and the constant comparison to the GTA series that almost all open-world action games fall victim to. As of August 2013 Square Enix had shipped 1.5 million copies. However, shipped and sold mean two entirely different things; and according to Square Enix, Sleeping Dogs did not meet sales expectations. Regardless of all of this, Sleeping Dogs managed to secure a spot in my list of all-time favorite games from the last generation. The melee combat is amazing, and the gunplay is none too shabby itself. The environments will leave you awestruck and the storyline is even better! I completely fell in love with Wei Shen and his companions, even the ones who were only present for a short period of time. And last but not least, the music was a joy to listen to, and I felt that the cultural vibe and essence of Hong Kong was magnificently captured. Sleeping Dogs is a game that everyone should take the time to play at least once. And if you're up for taking my advice (you should) It can currently be purchase new for 19.99 at GameStop.

 

Spider-Man (64)

Spider-Man is a childhood classic for me. Whether referring to the show, the Toby Maguire movie adaptations, or the beloved Saturday morning cartoon, Spider-Man was always there. During the 5th generation of video games the only console that I owned was a Nintendo 64. That being said, I've never played any of the other Spider-Man games from that era, which is why this game is on the underrated list. When Spider-Man was originally released, its designated platform was the PlayStation. A little later it was ported to N64 and the Game Boy Color, and eventually a few other platforms. The fact that Spider-Man was a port might have a lot to do with why I was the only one amongst my peers who played it on N64. While I don't have any specific sales figures, the reality is that no one that I knew (and I knew a lot of kids) had the Spider-Man 64 edition but me. Add to this that Spider-Man 64 received a slightly lower Metacritic score than its PlayStation predecessor, and it begins to become a little bit clearer as to why Spider-Man 64 was so easily glossed over. While I won't proclaim that the N64 edition is the best edition, I will say that it is a great game. I spent countless hours playing it; I even did a full day marathon with it once! And while it might not have had the fancy animated cut scenes like other versions of the game, I believe that the comic book cut scenes were a wonderful way to pay homage to the hero's origins. If you still happen to own an N64 and wish to check it out, it can currently be purchase at Amazon for as little as 5.25.

 

Bully

If you were ever bullied in school as I was then chances are you can relate to this game. I never had it easy in school, and during the later years, one of the reasons was because of bullies. When I would come home from a long day of harassment and disinterested teachers I'd sit down in front of my TV, power on my PS2, pop in Bully, and lose myself in the incredible New England School that is Bullworth Academy. I admired Jimmy Hopkins, not exactly because he was a good kid - because let's face it, overall he wasn't - but because he actually had the courage to stand up the bullies. He actually defended the weaker kids, even against no good adults! And in my mind, that was something to be admired. As of March 2008 the PlayStation 2 copy of Bully had sold 1.5 million copies. Not only that, but in 2008 Bully was ported to Wii and Xbox 360 in "Scholarship Editions". Given that information, Bully didn't exactly underperform. Nor did it fly under the radar, seeing as it was almost banned in Florida and the UK, successfully banned in Brazil, and named one of the top 10 most controversial games of all time by Yahoo! Games. However, a trend that I've noticed is that for whatever reason, unless Grand Theft Auto is slapped across the cover, Rockstar's other IP's tend to get ignored by many gamers. If by chance you were one of the people who missed out on Bully back then, it is currently available on PSN for 9.99. Alternately, the PS2 version can be purchased at GameStop for 9.99, the Wii version for 17.99, and the Xbox 360 version for 19.99.

 

Lollipop Chainsaw

Lollipop Chainsaw is an extremely polarizing game to say the least, and I believe that its polarity is exactly why it struggled to catch on. The review scores for Lollipop Chainsaw were all over the place! GameZone and Destructiod both gave it a 9/10. Game Informer gave it a 7.5/10. GameSpot went a little lower by giving a review score of 6.5/10. However, it was at IGN that Lollipop Chainsaw fared the worst, receiving a low review score of 5/10. With review scores like those, it's very plausible that some gamers decided not to even bother with it and play something else. If you were one of those people, you missed out! Lollipop Chainsaw might not be the best video game ever created but it's certainly a good one. The jokes are funny, although they can be a bit crude. The scenery is colorful and pleasing to the eye. The soundtrack is amazing, so much so that you may just want to play the game for that reason alone! The hacking and slashing makes for relaxing, mindless fun. And the bosses are remarkably well crafted and memorable! Overall, Lollipop is a great game. Obviously, it might not be to everyone's individual taste (you'll pretty much either hate it or love it), however given its current low price point, I highly recommend at least giving it a try. Lollipop Chainsaw is currently 19.99 new at GameStop, and if you haven't played it already, do yourself a favor and go buy it!

In truth, I could probably add many more games to this list, and perhaps I will someday, but as of now, these are my top favorite underrated games. I encourage all of you to go out and take chances when purchasing games. Don't just purchase the big name titles; take chances on the little guys. Sometimes you will come out disappointed but sometimes... sometimes you'll find magic. And isn't that what gaming is all about? Experiencing the magic in life through games?

So what are some of your favorite underrated games? Are any of mines also on your list? Feel free to leave feedback in the comment section. Anyway, this turned out a lot longer than I had initially envisioned, so thank you for reading on despite it. As always, Happy Gaming!

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