Last night I returned home from PAX AUS 2014. Long story short, it wasn't perfect, but it was quite possibly the best weekend I've had this year. It was a lot of fun. If you'd like to continue reading, the long story is just below.
Buckle up. This is gonna be...
The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era is home to some really amazing games that were criminally under-appreciated and/or overlooked. As the industry ushers in a new generation of gaming with the recent arrival of Sony and Microsoft's next-gen gaming systems, we here at GameRevolution want to take a brief look back at just a few of the many games throughout this past console cycle that didn't get the attention they deserved.
Of course, there are loads of amazing games that deserve a nod, but in order to condense it down into a manageable list, we carefully selected seven. And they are...
After releasing a solid, albeit somewhat repetitive PlayStation 3-exclusive game titled Heavenly Sword, Ninja Theory went back to the drawing board and crafted an amazing, story-driven action adventure that rivals some of the best in the business. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West boasts a stellar combat system, cinematic platforming, and two of the most fleshed out characters the industry has ever seen. If you're looking for an adventure that will capture your emotions and stick with you long after the credits roll, Enslaved is an absolute must play. Sadly it didn't sell very well, but fortunately for you, it's dirt cheap.
Catherine isn't a game for everyone, but those who are a fan of anime or any of Atlus' work simply must give this game a chance. One part block puzzle game, the other social simulation, Catherine is like nothing you've ever played before. The game questions your morals, provides a healthy dose of twitch-based challenge, and tells a captivating story that has a plethora of different outcomes. Sure, it's completely ridiculous and silly at times, but its Japanese charm is too difficult to resist. Trust me, if you give this game a shot, you won't be bored.
Resistance 3 is the best first-person shooter on the PlayStation 3. Yeah, I said it. Insomniac Games' trilogy capper is easily one of the finest games the studio has ever made, taking the best elements of the first two games and throwing out the remaining garbage that weighed them down. It's dark, dreary, and super tense, as humanity teeters on the brink of distinction. Insomniac really found its footing with this third entry, which makes its weak sales so tragic. We'll probably never see another Resistance game, or another shooter with such an innovative arsenal, and that is a real shame.
This past generation wasn't home to very many great Japanese role-playing games. Square Enix botched the Final Fantasy franchise, disappointing long-standing fans of the series. Fortunately Mistwalker's Lost Odyssey graced the Xbox 360, serving up a traditional JRPG that felt comfortably familiar, yet refreshingly new. With a unique battle system, a colorful cast of endearing characters, and an epic quest that spans three discs, Lost Odyssey isn't just one of the best role-playing games available on Xbox 360, it's one of the best games of the entire generation. It's just a shame its platform exclusivity was its undoing.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is the game that Fable should have been. This fantasy-based action role-playing game boasts some of the most engaging and downright fun combat around. It's super smooth and simply a blast to play. It's also got a vast open world to explore, plenty of size quests off the beaten path, and an epic narrative that will hold your interest from beginning to end. Too bad 38 Studios went bankrupt and Big Huge Games never got the chance to make a sequel.
Halo 3: ODST
What?! A Halogame is on this list? Yes, Halo 3: ODSTdeserves a nod for its incredible campaign and Firefight mode. Because it was viewed as merely a spinoff, it failed to garner the level of attention or excitement from gamers that a mainline entry typically did, and that's a real tragedy because ODST has quite possibly the best campaign of all the games in the series. Sure, it doesn't star Master Chief, but it tells an interesting and thought-provoking tale about a group of ODSTs. The narrative structure is incredibly inventive and Bungie's bold decision to mix up the formula provided a fresh look into Microsoft's amazing sci-fi universe.
This list simply wouldn't be complete without Valkyria Chronicles—and no, I'm not just saying that because GameRevolution's Anthony Severino would have my head if I failed to include it. The game's gorgeous hand-drawn watercolor art style is an absolute marvel to behold; you won't find another game out there that looks quite like it. But Valkyria Chronicles is so much more than just a pretty face. The game's tactical-heavy gameplay will have strategy fans engaged for dozens and dozens hours. Managing your crew of soldiers and laying waste to your opponents on the battlefield is a blast and incredibly rewarding. Oh yeah, it's also got a fantastic story with some really memorable characters. Too bad we never saw a fully-fledged console sequel.
Which games do you think were the most underrated this past console generation? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.