Lately Nintendo has been receiving a lot of criticism for leaving out the hardcore gamers. Furthermore, a huge criticism of the more recent systems has been the lack of second and third party support. Essentially, if you have a Nintendo system your library is expected to contain primarily first party games such as Mario, Zelda, and Metroid. While this may be the case, there are tons of great second and third party Nintendo games. Sure there is Final Fantasy, Goldeneye and whatnot, but what I'm interested in is the more overlooked games. Here I will provide you with what I consider to be the top 10 most overlooked second and third party games to appear on a Nintendo system.

Blaster Master: Enemy Below is the pseudo sequel of the cult classic Blaster Master for the NES. The game plays near identical to the original and sports some excellent graphics as well as sound. The game has you playing as a man in a huge mech. Essentially, you go from one level to another finding upgrades and keys to progress further in the game, a bit like Metroid. Each level is connected to one another, but each level is also widely different. The game can be a bit frustrating at times, but those with the patience will find a highly enjoyable game. It's wierd that a new installment to the Blaster Master series would go relatively unnoticed. Perhaps this is due to the mistake that is Blaster Master for the Genesis.

Extreme-G is a futuristic racer which was overlooked by the likes of games such as F-Zero and Wipeout. This game was fast and frantic. Each track was unique and had it's own feel to it. The game boasted a superb framerate, great graphics, and fine tuned controls. There are weapons at the players desposal as well as nitros to maintain or take the lead. The game was a blast to play and sported decent multiplayer as well. Really, the game doesn't do anything spectacular, it just does everything right.

Somwhere, someone is happy about the inclusion of this game on this list. Gotcha Force is a mech fighting game which utilizes a blend of Pokemon's collection to create an intriguing and enjoyable experience. The story in Gotcha Force is terrible, there's no two ways about it, but at least it's an excuse to pit mechs against one another. There are insane amounts of weapons and mechs utilize adding diversity to what could have been a very lackluster and uninspired game. The AI is fairly good, and at some times provides a real challenge, and if you don't like single player there is always the multiplayer. Though a good game, Gotcha Force is just too cliched for its own good.

Talk about an overlooked masterpiece. Crystalis is 'that SNK rpg for the NES'. If you had to compare it to any game, I suppose it is best to say the game is like Zelda. The action is real time, the puzzles are frequent, and the story is entertaining. The game is set in a post apocalyptic world in which you take control of a nameless hero set out to topple the empire which is threatening to take control of the world. The game is a joy to play. Imagine a hybrid of Secret of Mana and Zelda and voi la, you have Crystalis. The fact that an NES game can be this much fun and have such an epic feel begets the question why didn't the game become a hit? Well, it does have a cult following, but it deserves more.

Everyone has a game they really like that is based off of a cartoon or movie. This just so happens to be mine. Buster Busts Loose is surprisingly a blast to play and really, I dare say, there isn't much like it. The game has you playing as Buster, and you must make your way through a plethora of levels ranging from a school, a train, a pinball type thing, a football game that you actually play football during, and finally a Star-Wars esc level just to name a few. The game is unique, quirky and fun. Buster has a speed meter which you can utilize to run up walls and perform wall jumps or simply dash forward at incredible speeds. As stated before, each level is unique, and they are all fun. It's sad though, games based on cartoons tend to be overlooked.

I'm fairly sure no one has heard of this game. In it's simplist essence, Trog is a Pac-Man ripoff. That being said, Trog is an outstanding prehistoric Pac-Man ripoff. In Trog you control Blinky or Spike and collect rocks that are the same color as your dinosaur. What makes Trog unique is the ability to start fights with the enemies. If they are in your way feel free to beat them up, shoot fire at them, stomp on them, eat them, whatever. Be forwarned though, the further in the game you get, the smarter the enemies become. Trog boasts what could be the best multiplayer on the NES. In multiplayer, the two players can help each other to beat the game, or compete against each other to beat the level by means of beating each other up and whatnot. All in all, Trog is simply fun. Perhaps it was just overlooked as another Pac-Man clone. It's a shame.

A rare site we have here; a Rare game goes under the radar! Bad puns aside, this game has really gone with the wind. There was a small buzz before and during the release of this game, but now nothing. Jet Force Gemini is the definitive third person shooter. This game has it all, guns, explosions, monstrous bosses, you name it. Pretty much you take control of one of three characters and go across the galaxy on a quest to take down Mizarr, an evil emperor of sorts. Each planet and space station you come across in your journey is massive and teeming with aliens and bugs of all sorts waiting to be destroyed. As intense as the action is, the musical score is phenominal. Each musical piece sets the tone for the area and makes you feel as though you are a part of the madness. Though there are is much going for the game, the second half of the game turns into nothing more than a collectathon. Perhaps this turned off gamers and stopped the hype, I'm not to sure.

Really, any game in the Soul Blazer series could be put here (unless you consider the Granstream Saga part of the series). Anyway, Terranigma is arguably the best RPG on the SNES. The problem though, is that the game never received an American release and thus is fairly unknown. This is saddening considering it is a sequel to Illusion of Gaia which was released here in the states, and it is also an amazing game. The game boasts an excellent cast of characters, great gameplay, outstanding story, and some of the best music and graphics to grace the SNES. The game's story follows Ark on his quest to restore the world. While that may not sound too grandiose, the story rivals that of the big leauges such as FFVI. If you have played Illusion of Gaia, you have a general idea for this game, except everything is bigger and better, except the buzz surrounding the game.

Astro Boy: Omega Factor is an outstanding beat-em up by Treasure. What sets this game apart from the rest of the crowd is the intuitive use of RPG leveling to increase your abilities, some of the most intense boss battles, a diverse mixture of levels, and one of the most outstanding stories to grace a game. As with any Treasure game, the action is frantic and furious. Enemies come in left and right ranging from men in trench coats to giant flying birds. Stages range from your simple side scrolling fighting frenzies to flying stages much like gradius. As stated earlier the bosses are insane to say the least. They came in all shapes, sizes and forms, and they are all difficult. Why this game never became a hit is beyond me. But like every other Treasure game, it will always have a cult following, and this game more than deserves it.

This is by far and away the greatest 2d racing game. Simply put, there is nothing like it. Uniracers is a sidescrolling racing game in which you control a unicycle and race another unicycle. As wierd as it sounds, this game is amazing. The techno music and vibrant colors set the mood for an experience unlike any other. In order to gain speed you perform a series of tricks such as a forward roll or helix. Each course is unique and provides a series of loops, sharp turns, jumps, essentially everything you imagine. Besides the creative and, for lack of better word, unbelievably fun racing levels there are the trick levels in which you attempt to rack up as many points as possible performing various tricks on a specially designed circuit. There is a plethora of levels which will keep players coming back for more as well as a very steep difficulty. It's a shame this game was released during a time when quirky games weren't all the popular.

Though Nintendo had a drought of second and third party games during the N64 and Gamecube days, there have been, and always will be games which go unnoticed. Get out there and look around, I'm sure you will find some overlooked second and third party games not on this list such as Beyond Good and Evil, Sunset Riders, Yo! Noid, etc. Nintendo systems may seem like they are dominated by first party games, and while that may be the case, there are still tons of games which will consistently be overlooked. These 10 just deserve a bit more recognition.

List by Pasiderva (08/06/2007)

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