At this time of year, gamers the world over start to notice that there hasn’t been any big releases for quite some time. Combine this with the fact that Xbox One and PS4 are just around the corner, and it is easy to get a little apathetic with the current generation’s gaming offerings. However, let us spare a moment of thought for those games that, for whatever reason, we passed up when they were initially released. Below are three examples of great games that you might have missed this generation and should definitely consider ploughing some time into.
What happens when a Japanese studio takes a stab at a Bethesda-like open world RPG? Dragon’s Dogma takes the Elder Scrolls formula of a large world with plenty to do, mixes in some epic Dark Souls style boss battles, and sprinkles in magic of its own to deliver a whimsically charming open-world RPG.
Capcom recently re-released their adventure at a budget price with a wealth of additional content, improved graphics, and accessibility tweaks in the form of DD:Dark Arisen. The game is not without its faults – the voice acting ranges from passable to woeful, the start of the game is still a little slow, and even the updated graphics are a little uneven. But somehow DD manages to trump these minor annoyances with some excellent stand-out features: a follower whom you can customize and send to another player’s world, a flexible class system, deep combat with tons of abilities and spells, and an admittedly interesting lore.
You can currently pick up DD:DA for around $20 which is a steal.
The result of an absolute development nightmare, Sleeping Dogs first existed as part of the True Crime series. After a publisher switch and many more months of development, the game finally hit shelves in August 2012 to a warm reception from critics. United Front’s vibrant recreation of Hong Kong makes the game stand proud above the often generic ‘New York-like’ cities of most open world action games. Neon signs of every colour illuminate the night, vendors offer traditional Asian cuisine, and karaoke bars litter the streets. All of this plus many more smaller touches make the world a joy to navigate.
Sleeping Dogs includes a gripping story portraying the seedier elements of HKPD, Arkham style combat, and plenty of sidequests all clocking in at around 35 hours worth of gameplay. For about $15 Sleeping Dogs packs plenty of punches.
Without doubt, Rayman Origins is the pinnacle of 2D platforming. With Origins, Ubisoft has some how taken Rayman back to his routes whilst simulataneously thrusting him forward in a way which the likes of Mario and Sonic could only dream of achieving. Upon first playing the game, you’ll be taken aback by the wonderfully ornate watercolor worlds. After a few hours you’ll appreciate the perfect sense of progression as new concepts and obstacles are introduced. Finally, by the end of the game you will understand just what a beautifully executed piece of gaming this is.
The true magic of Rayman Origins happens when the game challenges you to beat a level that took you 10 minutes the first time, in 45 seconds. As you race through the level you start to realise that every detail, down to the spacing of platforms, has been implemented in a way which makes the level just… flow. On top of that the game lets you play it all in co-op so you and a friend can experience it’s mastery of a genre together. Rayman Origins can be picked up for around $15 and is a must buy.
The above games are three of many which have not got the spotlight or sales they deserve over the past few years. What hidden gems or under appreciated have you experienced this generation? Feel free to let us know on Twitter.