AS THE EIGHTH GENERATION of consoles is coming by year’s end, the games of the seventh generation are going to start popping up at pawn shops and used video game stores in abundance over in the coming months.
Here’s a list of titles you may have missed the first time around that you ought keep an eye out for when you’re scavenging around:
1. Mirror’s Edge
Your name is Faith, and you’re a sleek and sexy courier in a futuristic dystopian society, relaying secret messages while avoiding the government spys/agents, to help bring down the totalitarian regime. Now that sounds like a game people can relate to today, but in 2007, not so much apparently. A brightly lit, fast-paced, action-adventure, Mirror’s Edge deserved a better fate than reviewers or sales numbers gave it.
2. Just Cause 2
Given it’s a sequel, maybe it was the first Just Cause that was underrated, but this is the one you should snag out of the discount bin. A huge open-world adventure to overthrow an evil dictator may not be the most original idea but the gameplay is a ton of fun—especially the grappling hook and parachute. The Ai is great, enemies use the environment intelligently, and there are real consequences like you vehicle losing parts and functionality. All in all a hell of a good time and a can’t miss as a second-hand pick up.
How does a video game that looks like a comic book—especially one like Sin City—not do better? Maybe it was too stylised, or people prefer games in color, I don’t know, I just know this game should have been a bigger hit. Set in a city that has just been attack by terrorists who turn it into the “set” of a Hunger Games-style gameshow, you have to battle to become the top fighter and win a large cash prize. Oh, and maybe overthrow the terrorists while you’re at it. See, sounds like as much fun as it is.
4. Rayman Origins
You could be forgiven for missing this one or dismissing it as being for kids, it certainly looks that way, but you missed out on a whole lot of fun if you did. Probably the best side-scrolling platform game of this generation of consoles, Rayman Origins looks great and offers enough of a challenge to remind one of what makes a great platform game—fine margins. Sure it has a ridiculous childish story of nymphs and grannies but if you just focus on getting to the next platform, on making that jump, timing that swing, you’ll be enjoying this game for hours.
Possibly one of the most overlooked first-person shooters of this generation, don’t overlook Singularity should you spot a used copy. A shooter with survival-horror aspects, time travelling, and a nod to our old Cold War enemies the Soviets, this game has a lot to offer besides just shooting things. While it may have suffered upon release due to similarities to other shooters—Bioshock—even though it has more challenging puzzles, some better weapons and pays off with a better ending. But who ever said sales number represented quality?
6. Valkyria Chronicles
Sure, with all the WWII shooters and RPG’s out there did we need one that added in mystical elements? Maybe not, but Valkyria Chronicles still delivers a great time, and besides its only loosely-based on WWII, it takes place in Europa after all—which is nothing like Europe I’m sure—and it looks like anime—which has nothing to do with Europe. It’s a tactical RPG, with a turn-based system, so if you never liked Risk, you should probably steer clear, but if you like tactical RPG’s, how did you miss this one? It may well be the best strategy-based game of this generation, and is hours of entertainment for lovers of tactical warfare.
Any game premised on a poyete-induced psychedelic experience sounds like a winner to me. Set in a secret government training facility masquerading as a summer camp, Pschyconauts allowed gamers to develop the powers of clairvoyance, levitation, telekenesis, and invisibility, among others to fight bears and cougars and asylum dwellers. Yet somehow this great game didn’t have the sales to back up the fun, even with a piece of bacon used as a communicator—is there no justice in the gaming world?