Another classic gem brought by Treasure! You play as Headdy, a strange puppet with the ability to change heads by picking up a certain power up. Some heads were purely for combat, like the 3 way shoot style head, or the head that constantly shot mini stars to kill everything nearby. Some heads also function for mobility, like the spike head that let you attach to walls, which you could then spring up further from, or the hammer head that destroyed certain blocks, along with doing extra damage to enemies.
Along with the fun gameplay, Headdy sports some amazing graphics for the time, using neat tricks to similar a spinning tower, or a stage were the floor would actually tilt towards the screen, causing you to scramble against the tilt to keep from falling off the stage. The settings were bright and colorful, with very distinct areas to fit the theme of the game actually being a stage play, and the enemies were strange to say the least. Sadly, the NA release completely removed the story, but the game deserves recognition, and for that, lands at #10.
Typically when you start explaining a game by saying you found it in a bargain bin for $5, it's assumed the game sucks. Not the case with Dashin' Desperadoes. It's a racing/platformer where you as a red cowboy race a green cowboy for the girl of your dreams. Sometimes it just a race to the end, or a race to the end and back with a gift she wants, all while dodging obstacles and throwing mario kart style items at your opponent. Variety though, is where this game shines. Along with those, sometimes you'll be asked to chase down an animal that stole something from the girl, or play whack-a-mole by jumping on a certain amount of enemies before your rival can, or after 3 rounds in each world, you have a boss battle against your rival who has tried to kidnap your future wife!
What really held this game back was the speed and scope though. A remake would be perfect for this game. The game moves at Sonic speeds, but has the level design of a Mario game, meaning you're constantly hitting things which can cause a lot of frustrating game overs. The other problems is related directly to that, and it's the scope of the camera. Even in single player, the game is split screen so you can see where you are in comparison to your opponent, but the camera is in really close, and your character is centered in the screen so you can keep an eye out for your rival. The problem is you rarely know what's ahead of you, causing a lot of hits, meaning lots of wasted time. Dashin' Desperadoes isn't perfect by any means, but it definitely has potential, which is why it's here at #9.
#8: Geist (GC)
Geist (German for ghost. Thank you 3 years of high school german!) is a game with a premise that carries it. You play a ghost, and you must navigate from one area to another by possessing people, and the only time you're able to possess someone is when they are frightened. Enter the handy little microwave across the room from them. Take control of that, cause it to explode, freaking out your target. Maybe drop a glass bottle out of sight, and they start to panic. Now jump into your victim and proceed. Once in a person, the game turns into a fairly generic FPS, and honestly, I remember nothing of the story, but the game is named after what makes it interesting. With a bit more polish and creativity with the shooting side of the game, I think Geist could have a fantastic sequel, and I'm love to see it make a comeback!
#7: Dick Tracy (NES)
How many of you know who Dick Tracy is? How many have at least heard the name? How many of you who hear the name and think about the game imagine the NES game? Most people think of the Genesis version, a behind the back 3rd person shooter similar to Wild Guns for the SNES. While that game is fun, the NES version has so much more to offer.
NES Dick Tracy is a platformer, and it's really not that great, but the ideas it had could make a fantastic game, and something similar has been made. In Dick Tracy, you start at your PI office with a single clue and an address. Drive to the address, make it to the end, and find either another clue, or a person directing you to where to go next. Rinse and repeat until you find the culprit. What makes this more than a glorified fetch quest are when you find people at the end of a clue. These are Dick Tracy villains, and your get two options. Interrogate or arrest. All you have to do is interrogate, the villain will tell you the next clue, and then you go on, only choosing arrest once you've reached the end of your clue sheet.
For it's time, not much else could be done, but with games like Phoenix Wright and LA Noire, this could be something huge! Find the clues, find the suspects, interrogate them until one cracks, and use that evidence and testimony to convict the guilty party. The Dick Tracy license isn't really needed in this day and age, but bringing back this gameplay and tweaking it for modern day gaming could be a huge hit, which is why I say I'd love to see at least a "spiritual successor" to the NES Dick Tracy.
Deadly Arts is a subpar 3D fighting game if I've ever seen one. Most of the characters are kinda bland, the movements and attacks sluggish, and the controls somewhat awkward. Two major things though keep this game fresh in my mind though. Interactable environments, and the character creator. Interacting with the stage was a big deal then, and while it wasn't destructible, you could do wall run attacks, wall throws, and escapes using the walls.
The character creator is where things got really cool. The character creation options weren't massive, and instead of choosing the colors individually you chose a color palette. What was different is you only got some basic moves to start with, then you began training. Pick an opponent from the regular cast and fight. Lose, and they'd let you choose one of their normal moves to add to your moveset. Win, and they'd give you more options. Fight them often and win and they'd open up some of their more specialized moves to you, of if you got a perfect victory, they were ready to teach you almost anything. To keep you from making the ultimate fighter, after a certain amount of fights, you would face the game's sub boss, who would teach you a final move of your choice, then you'd have to defeat the boss. Once you win, your created character is unlocked for all other modes, and you can save their data to a memory card to battle your friend's created characters.
With a better combat engine, much more character specific creation options, and destructible environments ala DOA, Deadly Arts could make a huge comeback! Maybe not something for the competitive crowd, but Deadly Arts could make a successful return I believe.
Saturday Night Slam Masters is a wrestling/fighting game in it's own category. While the original game here is more akin to a wrestling game with Street Fighter style special moves, the sequel that was released only in Japan was much more a standard fighting game with a wrestling motif. In this case, we're looking more at the original. Each character had unique super moves, some that could be done just while standing, others needing to be performed during a grapple. Wear your opponents life bar down, and go for the pin or submission. The lower the health bar, the harder it is to kick out of a pin, being impossible if your health is fully gone, and submissions being a win if your opponents health is depleted at anytime during the move's animation. A true sequel seems very unlikely, but a remake with a couple more characters added in could be just what the doctor ordered for a unique fighting game experience.
Take an already good sports engine, replace all the real life players with skeletons, zombies, frankenstein monsters and such, and what do you get? These games! Both games are frantic and fast paced, offering chaotic arcade style fun. Added in a couple of obstacles thrown in at random like weapons thrown in by fans, or pitfall traps and you've got a sports game that non sports fans will love. That is why I'd love to see this series make a full comeback, and the same reason I think it'd do well. The only real options for sports games anymore are the sim style games that cater to the fans of those sports, but those of us who don't want a new game every year with just a roster change, or would like just some crazy hectic fun would gobble this game up if done well.
In Space Station Silicon Valley, you play as a robot's computer chip, hijacking robotic animals to platform and puzzle your way through a ton of different levels and biomes. After your leader crashes your space ship into Silicon Valley, a space station filed with robo animals, it's up to you to find your robot parts with the helps of the animals all around. Sometimes you'll have to fight them with other animals to stun them, allowing you to switch bodies, other times you'll have to use a mouse with wheels for feet to race a rocket dog to make him surrender his body to your cause. The game is strange, doesn't make a lot of sense, and is an absolute blast to play! A sequel would be great, though even just a remake or even a rerelease on the Wii U store would suffice. This is just a game that was forgotten in the sands of time.
A Japanese only SNES game that has a very interesting premise. The game starts with your choice of 1 of 7 characters, each with their own time period, storyline, gameplay style, and moves in combat. Pick a character, play through, and once you beat the typically short story, it's time to pick your next character. After clearing all the stories, an eight story opens up, and after that, you get to start the final chapter of the game with your choice of a starting character, choosing one of the original 7 characters. As you continue through the final chapter, you'll come across the other characters that will join your party.
Live A Live is a game we in NA never really got a chance to experience, but it's a game that stands up even today, and I feel like a sequel could only improve on this unknown gem!
Cyborg Justice was an old-school beat'em up with some neat customization. Choose a head, torso, legs, and weapon for your character and beat your way through wave after wave of other cyborgs. What made this game cool was how your customization choices actually affected your skills. Some legs wouldn't take damage from traps, or do super jumps, or a backflip dodge. Some of the weapon choices you got were things like an energy cannon, rocket fist, buzzsaw, etc etc. What made it even cooler, was the ability to take what you wanted from your enemies. Pick the flamethrower when you started, but that buzzsaw is starting to look real good? Rip your enemies arm off and then cut them in half with your new arm weapon. Need a super jump to make a gap? Good thing this enemy isn't to ATTACHED to his legs! (I'm sorry) Running low on health? Rip an enemy in half and drain the last of his electric energy to restore some health.
The main thing that held this game back was the controls. Must people had the standard 3 button controller, though I was lucky and had a 6 button controller, though it didn't help much. Even with 6 buttons, the commands for certain things we're way too precise or complex, and for example, you NEED the super jump in the first level to get past a death pit. Didn't choose them to start with? Better hope you get lucky and can pull them off your enemy before they explode, or the rockets at your back kill you. The other big problem was instead of a time limit. After defeating all enemies on screen, if you weren't already moving right, missiles would start firing from the left to push you forward, and they hurt pretty badly.
A reboot of the series would be amazing, being a 3D brawler kinda game with either branching paths or secrets depending on your cyborg's loadout. Simplify the controls by adding a grapple button, then making a button from there corresponding to what you're trying to remove from your opponent, and get rid of those **** MISSILES! Cyborg Justice, my #1 choice for a game series to be brought back to life!
Just for fun, here's two extra that just missed the list.
Sunset Riders - Contra meets the Wild West. Amazingly fun, the only thing I'd like to see of it is a remake with redone graphics.
Beast Wrestler - This game is awful, though the premise could make a fantastic game now. Pick a monster, pit it in arena combat, then allow it to combine as you rank up to create a new, stronger creature!
Overall, I hope you enjoyed this top 10 list, and that you'll think yourself about some games you'd like to once again see the light of day!
List by ArrestedGaming (10/07/2013)
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