Is there a particular video game you’ve played that you really, really enjoy but that you also feel doesn’t get the credit it deserves because you don’t know of anyone else who has played it? Do you feel alone in the world because no one else is validating your love for this particular game? Well, if you’re reading this, know that you are NOT alone. Many of us have played at least one game we enjoy that others either don’t like or have never even heard of. Don’t believe us? Shame on you, you jaded and distrustful person! But if you want proof, then go ahead and read through our latest feature, “Gaming Respawn’s Games We Feel That Only We Play”. Kicking us off is Dom Richards, our resident Star Wars nerd and lover of all things outer space/sci-fi.
Back in 2010, an amazing action game was released that not only featured some brutal and brilliant combat, but it also had a gripping and well-written story to match. Amongst my gamer friends, I often mention this game in conversations about the best games of the last-gen or some of the best ‘hack and slash’ games you can play. Very few of them share my admiration for this title, and some even look blankly back at me and have no idea what I am talking about. True, this happens a lot, but it shouldn’t when I am talking about the absolute classic that is Dante’s Inferno!
Even if you haven’t heard of the game, Dante’s Inferno should be a title that you are familiar with. It is part of what is widely considered to be one of the greatest works of fiction of all time, Dante’s Divine Comedy. Sure, you might not have read it, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea with it being a 14th century epic poem. The Dante’s Inferno game is based on this poem, obviously, with a severe amount of artistic changes. You play as, you guessed it, Dante, who is a Templar Knight fighting in the Crusades. During a battle, Dante’s beloved Beatrice is kidnapped by the big bad boy himself, the Devil. Your quest is to traverse the nine circles of Hell to rescue Beatrice. The story is engaging and provides an excellent backdrop to the combat.
Fighting your way through the nine circles of Hell and coming up against the hordes of the underworld is obviously where Dante’s Inferno shines. The quick and lazy way to explain Dante’s combat is that of a God of War clone, and while that might be true, I always found the combat in Dante’s Inferno to be smoother and far more enjoyable than that in Kratos’ adventures. Combat wasn’t the only strong point for this classic. Hell itself is, well, hell to explore. It is as gory and miserable as you could imagine but still a blast to roam around in. Boss fights are tense, and while nowhere near Souls-like levels of difficulty, they still provided a worthy challenge.
Shadows of the Damned
The game I have chosen as one I feel that only I play and that nobody else does is a game called Shadows of the Damned. Shadows of the Damned is an older game that was released in 2011, but I still enjoy playing it to this day. The game was published by Electronic Arts and developed by Grasshopper Manufacture.
Shadows of the Damned is an action-adventure game that tells the story of Garcia Hotspur, a Mexican demon hunter who is on a mission to save the woman he loves. He must travel to The City of the Damned and face its evils to save her. A lot of people compare the game to Dante’s Inferno, but Shadows of the Damned has a lot of individuality that sets it aside from Dante’s Inferno.
Shadows of the Damned is extremely fun to play; it has a great story and doesn’t take itself too seriously. When playing as Garcia Hotspur, you feel like a complete badass. You fight some very creative enemies, solve some extremely strange puzzles and traverse through weird and wonderful surroundings. The majority of the areas include goat’s heads that need to be lighted for you to proceed.
Shadows of the Damned is full of sexually explicit content, so anybody that is squeamish about that sort of stuff should not play this game! As I have mentioned, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously, so it is important to just take the sexual banter as it comes, no pun intended. Shadows of the Damned has everything you would expect when going on a journey through Hell and more.
The key to Shadows of the Damned is to bear with it. The opening to the game is extremely graphic and strange, but as you get into the game and start figuring out what is going on, it becomes extremely interesting and just all around good fun.
The Bourne Conspiracy
The Bourne Conspiracy, a PS3 and Xbox 360 game that released back in 2008, is one of those movie-licensed games that manages to actually be good, at least in my opinion. As a fan of the Bourne films (most of them, at least), I rented The Bourne Conspiracy to see what it was all about. After playing it for a few hours, I was surprised with how fun I found it to be, enough so that I ended up buying it. This game mostly flew under the radar, and from my perspective, pretty much no one else knew about it. Even to this day, I don’t know anyone else who has even heard of the game, let alone played it (with the exception of one guy I used to work with years ago and a couple of my fellow Gaming Respawn associates).
The Bourne Conspiracy basically has you play through the events of The Bourne Identity film, with some extra flashback missions thrown in there to extend the gameplay. Despite this game being extremely linear and lacking many features present in today’s games, like upgradeable abilities and weapons, and also having a barebones story (which didn’t really matter anyway to those who saw the film), I find it to be strangely fun. You basically go from level to level beating up bad guys and shooting them up, and occasionally you go through some optional stealth segments. That’s it. No puzzles, no dialogue options, not even a whole lot of combos to use during fights. There is an admittedly fun driving section in the middle, but luckily it doesn’t overstay its welcome either. Overall, very few bells and whistles with this one, and yet the game is still a blast. The combat, while straightforward, is fast-paced and rather challenging, especially when fighting against tougher bosses. The shooting is also very straightforward and a little stiff, but it still works very well, and it’s satisfying as hell when you manage to score some headshots on enemies. And performing takedowns on multiple enemies back to back with both your fists and guns makes you feel like a real badass, that’s for sure.
The game has a very simplistic style to it that kind of gives it an arcadey feel, making it very replayable. It’s even better that there’s a separate mode where you can fight the bosses without having to replay the missions they’re set in. There are collectibles in the form of passports, but they just unlock music and artwork. I actually wish other action-focused games similar to The Bourne Conspiracy would get released more often since many games today are quite time consuming and make you feel like you’ve aged a few extra years after beating them. I recommend giving this game a try over the weekend, you might be surprised at how much fun you find it to be.
Street Fighter X Tekken
The game I’m really loving still that feels like nobody else is playing has to be Street Fighter X Tekken. As a fighting game fan, this was a dream come true on announcement. Two giants in the fighting genre mixed together to form a beauty of a crossover that was very underappreciated. Capcom’s beloved Street Fighter and Bandai Namco’s Tekken series are different in terms of mechanics, but Tekken’s intricate engine takes a side-step as the likes of King, Nina Williams, Kazuya Mishima and even Kuma the bear adopt Street Fighter’s two-dimensional fighting system. This made the game simpler and easier to learn with extra mechanics added in, such as the tag-in attacks seen in other 2v2 fighters and gems to power up attacks or speed up.
The story mode is playable with any dream team of fighters, whether you match Ryu with Bryan Fury or Chun-Li with Heihachi Mishima, but choosing characters that have history, such as Paul Phoenix and Forest Law or Ryu and Ken, unlocks special intros and endings. These teams are easy to spot as they are together on the huge character select screen.
My favorite aspect of Street Fighter X Tekken has to be the spectacular Super Combos. Every fighter has one that takes up the Super gauge situated at the bottom of the screen. These moves work exactly the same as the ones seen in all other Street Fighter games, and now all Tekken fighters have one too. Seeing the likes of King unleash a barrage of wrestling moves is jaw-dropping, but what’s more is that if your gauge is completely full, you can chain both your team’s Supers together for major damage, all the while looking fantastic.
Street Fighter X Tekken is a superb albeit underappreciated fighting game that I plain refuse to part with. I still treasure my Xbox 360 version, waiting for the game to become backwards compatible on my Xbox One (make it happen, Microsoft). Fire it up and watch the adrenaline-pumping intro movie accompanied by metal band Black Tide’s Honest Eyes, and you’ll see that the high octane action never lets up.
James Bond 007: Blood Stone
James Bond games had their peak in the 90s with the almighty GoldenEye 007, but there was also an absolute gem on the Xbox 360 and PS3. That game is James Bond 007: Blood Stone. This was an original Bond adventure that felt like another entry in the film franchise rather than a Call of Duty clone with a James Bond skin. The game’s opening is truly spectacular, involving the player taking on a group of bad guys on a yacht, followed by explosive chases on land and sea, which are so fun to play through. The next couple of levels are a lot slower as they are more about the espionage side of Bond, and yes, while that does not make for the most fun game in the world, it does make it more authentic to what happens in the movies. The game does pick up again and is well worth anyone’s time. The actual gameplay is superb as well.
The best parts are the driving sections and the hand-to-hand combat. The driving sections are excellent, and this is mainly due to the developer, Bizarre Creations (who are well known for the Project Gotham Racing series), so they just pulled their obvious skills to make this part amazing. The hand-to-hand combat is similar to Splinter Cell: Conviction, where you press a button and take down your guy, and it grants you a focus kill, which slows down time so you can immediately headshot enemies, equating to however many focus kill points you have.
This game also had a multiplayer component, which at the time was so much fun, but as not many people played the game, the community did die quickly, unfortunately.
The PC game market was completely insane back in the day. At different points in history, it has been either really easy or really hard to make a game on PC. This led to different periods in the platform’s history where games were either all the same or so wildly different that it made the developers seem outright bonkers. One of the best periods in PC history for this sort of insane variety was the mid-90s when the two most popular things in gaming were the emerging CD technologies and copious amounts of gore.
Enter Ripper, a game I’m 90% sure that no one has ever heard of (excluding those who may have read that one article I wrote on the game just over 2 years ago). It comes from the glorious era of FMV, the awkward period in gaming history when we decided that our games needed to have real actors filmed and spliced into them. There were a number of titles back then that had huge star-studded casts, like Wing Commander, for example, and Ripper is another one of those titles. It features Christopher Walken, Burgess Meredith, Karen Allen and even John Rhys-Davies.
The game is a classic-style adventure point-n-click with a combo of FMV and computer graphics. Obviously, Walken has some stellar moments, the game is over the top in just the right way, and its plot is completely insane. The gameplay has some of those quirks of the 90s adventure games; basically, the logic can be a bit obtuse at times, and thanks to the early nature of the CD technology, the game came on, like, 6 discs. All those things aside though, the game is an insane, quirky, dystopian romp, and not enough people have had a chance to play it. You can get a copy on eBay these days for not too much money, depending on your region, but it can be a pain to run. This game seriously needs a GOG re-release and soon.
Hope you enjoyed our feature. If you’re feeling alone in the world as the only person who has played and enjoyed a particular game, then please share this game with us in the comments below. Chances are that more people are aware of the game than you may think, and they might actually like it too.