I’ve been gaming since I was about the age of five. My parents bought an original Nintendo for my brother and me when we could barely put a coherent sentence together, and we never looked back.
We continued our virtual obsession into our teens, spending any pocket-money or birthday cash on new cartridges, disks and consoles. Our Christmas lists were comprised mostly of Super Nintendo and Playstation titles our parents could barely comprehend. We subscribed to Playstation Magazine for seven years, which is still the longest relationship I’ve ever had.
Surprisingly to some, I’ve continued to game into my 20’s and, by extension, my adult life. So it’s safe to say gaming and I have a history. I’ve probably played more games than a non-gamer has even heard of. But sometimes I play a game that I absolutely love that even a fellow gamer hasn’t heard of or played.
This is a list of those games.
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory (Playstation 2)
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory is Capcom’s 2002 spiritual successor to the NES Ghosts N’ Goblins series. Capcom kicked it old school with this update on the adventure/action platformer, which means they paid attention to the whole package: gameplay, story, difficulty and aesthetic. Ghosts N’ Goblins references such as crushing graves and old school gaming mechanisms such as paying to save also added a nice retro flair.
It was evident that Capcom took the time to put together a real experience. You can see that in the detailed and varied baddies, extensive combo and magic systems and atmospheric levels (graveyard, swamp, shipyard, the underworld and Maximo’s own castle).
However, it seemed like Maximo scared off some gamers for the same reasons that I loved it. A lot of gamers thought it was too difficult (IGN ranked it the # 6 most difficult PS2 game) after being softened up by modern gaming’s forgiving gameplay. The game was received well by critics, but, alas, no one else knows what the hell I’m talking about when I reference it.
Beyond Good and Evil (Playstation 2)
Pictured: strong, female lead
Ubisoft’s Beyond Good and Evil is another action/adventure game that was received well critically, but went under the radar of most gamers. I have no idea why this game didn’t sell millions upon millions of copies.
It centers on Jade, a strong photo journalist, who is working with an underground movement to unravel an alien conspiracy. It’s set in the future and features interesting characters and diverse environments. The game combines elements of platforming, stealth, action and even racing. The stealth missions are fun and often involve snapping damning photos, and they don’t get trying or boring like other games’ stealth missions. It’s also nice to see a female lead not cut from Lara Croft’s cloth.
For the last several years there have been rumors of sequel, but I’m not holding my breath.