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What ever happened to non-hyped games?
Posted on Friday, February 8 2008 @ 22:03:30 PST

This has been a topic on a number of other blogs but I still have to agree on some point. Back in 2005-2006, a few games for the DS and GBA came out with almost no hype or very little announcements about their releases. I mainly mean Drill Dozer, Gunstar Super Heroes and Age of Empires: Age of Kings.

Age of Empires: Age of Kings has to be the 2nd or 3rd best TBS game on the DS, after Advance Wars, but the game itself was amazing. 5 civilizations, over 60 units to recruit, well over 30 technologies (if I remember), 5 campaigns and an amazing multiplayer. Sounds alot like Advance Wars, right? So it should be a winning strategy and gain the attention of gamers everywhere and especially, fans of the TBS genre. Sadily, it was undersold and the only time I saw it was in a issue of Nintendo Power, saying that it was one of the most underratted games in the year it came out. It really is a shame, the game is just plain amazing. Even the single player has plenty of meat in it. The already mentioned campaigns, over a dozen maps to play on and through the single player mode, you can actually buy new units and maps. I found it for about $17 (a while ago), in great condition, and I had already saw it there atleast 3 months before I bought it. Why nobody bought it was beyond me.

Drill Dozer was to simply put, the best platformer for a handheld in 2006. The game company might not ring a bell (Game Freak) but they did make Pokemon (if I'm right). The gameplay was different, original in a sense, but nontheless, excecuted perfectly. The shoulder buttons used to spin the drill clockwise and counter-clockwise. If it was just mapped to the X and Y buttons, then it would probably detract from the "fun factor". Even after beating a level, you can replay it to go to the areas you missed getting into due to not having a certain upgrade. And there are still treasures to collect. AND, the secret areas that can be explored after buying a map to that area. Once more, the only knowledge I had of the game was from NP, and this game must be a part of every Nintendo gamers collection.

Gunstar Super Heroes, not quite up to the greatness of the original Gunstar Heroes but it's still amazing. Fast paced action, diversity in gameplay in certain levels (one plays like Flicky, another like Super Thunder Blade, etc.) and to simply put it, amazing graphics. With all the explosions, and blasting and the whatnot, it's a wonder the GBA can still keep up. With little slowdown to slow down the gameplay, the action stays hot. It reminds me of Astro Boy: Omega Factor (never played it, but I want to), both side scrollers, both hidden gems, and both amazing games; if you can find them. I was lucky that I saw it at the local game store, around Christmas and bought it instantly, couldn't let any of those kids get their grubby hands on it.  I can replay it again today, and still enjoy it as much as I would when I bought it.

This may be short, pointless, and boring, but I had to give these games a shout-out. Games that will soon, become forgotten to the gaming masses, only remembered by those who bought them and enjoyed them. So treat yourself to a hidden gem, they are easier on your wallet than a new released game.

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