Games You Never Heard About Before Playing



  • Unfortunately I haven't been able to go out to pick up physical games lately due to the pandemic, so I don't have recent retro game pickups I can recommend...



  • When I was a kid pretty much all my game purchases were just random pickups from the local secondhand shop (or occasionally gamestop) that happened to be cheap enough. Played a lot of cool games that I would have never heard of otherwise that way. Zone of the Enders and Gitaroo Man are some of my favorite examples off the top of my head.

    Wish I could still do that these days but between that store being closed and the fact that it's just way easier to look something up and then check ebay for a cheap copy there's no real good time or reason to bother. I guess perusing the eshop/steam/whatever is a decent alternative but even then I usually do at least some research before I hit buy. I guess recently I picked up DEATH COME TRUE since it just looked interesting enough from the eshop page and wound up enjoying it.



  • I actually had this experience with a pretty big game: Uncharted 3. Most of the games I played back in the PS3 gen were based on what's in stock in the local game shop, and I only casually followed gaming news. One day I visited it to get a new game, and this game caught my eye. It was the steelbook version and it looked beautiful, never seen a game case like that before. I am familiar with the dev's name: Naughty Dog. I knew they made Crash Bandicoot, which I have played before. Somehow the whole Uncharted series slipped past me up until that point, so I know nothing about it. I bought it, and the rest is history.

    If we're talking about something smaller, then it has to be Katawa Shoujo for me. All I know about it before playing is that it's a visual novel featuring girls with disabilities. That didn't necessarily interest me, but since it was a free game I gave it a shot anyway. Fast forward 2 days later and I already played like 10+ hours of it. It definitely made me emotional at a lot of points. I remember one of the moments in the game that felt like something Ian would write, it felt depressive in a very abstract way and it's pretty beautiful. I think I haven't actually completed the game yet, there's still one route that I haven't played (I think there are 5 main routes with good and bad endings, and one extra route).



  • Beyond Good & Evil
    Probably saw some ads in magazines in the time (at least I think I might have) but ended up buying it mostly completely blind.



  • Its alot more well known now but i didn't really know anything about Xenoblade at first. Then the trailee for Xenoblade on 3DS looked cool.
    I endee up putting time into it during my hour long train rides to and from work.

    I wasn't really interested in it at first because i was never big into jrpg's at first.

    After actually playing through it though, Xenoblade Chronicles is now one of my favourite games of all time.
    Since Shulks inclusion in smash and XC2 on the switch it's starting to become more well known though.



  • I don't have many of these. Back in the day (late 90s - mid 2000s) 95% of my game consumption was rentals (and 5% arcade), but most of the games I rented I'd heard about in magazines or on The Electric Playground.

    The one impluse buy that I can recall is the XBLA indie game "I Made A Game With Zombies In It". The obscurity, deconstructivist title, and super cheap price was a perfect storm. And it turned out good.

    Two of my favorite games of all time I first saw & played on demo stations. Star Fox 64 (the first Nintendo game I ever played), and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (I was somewhat familiar with Morrowind from EGM's review of it, but I had little interest in RPGs, especially fantasy RPGs).



  • Hard to pick out examples because I feel like this happened to me so frequently as a kid. I'd go to Blockbuster, see a million games on the shelf and have no context for any of it. Some were hits (Legends of Wrestling, Pikmin, Oblivion, Bloodmoney) and some were duds (Resident Evil 0, Pokemon Snap).

    Basically, from the time I was like 8-13 I subscribed to Tips & Tricks Magazine as well as PSM. If neither of them mentioned a game, I probably didn't know too much about it. That sorta ended around 2006 when I joined GameTrailers and became hyper aware of the gaming landscape, but back before then I'd play everything based on box art and what my friends told me.

    EDIT:

    Damn I decided to google "Tips & Tricks Magazine" and I'm getting hit with some heavy nostalgia. For context, it was mainly a video game guide style magazine but I liked it cause it had cheat codes at the back and I don't even know if I had internet until 2003 or 2004. I'd sometimes just rent games that were featured in the magazine without knowing anything about it. I actually had these issues here:

    Final Fantasy Dirge of Cerberus was one of those games. It totally sucked, even by kid standards. But then I also remember playing The Italian Job and not hating it. Kids don't know anything...

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  • @dipset
    Man thoese covers hitting me right in the nostalgia?
    Remember thier sibling magazines Expert Gamer/GameNow?



  • I really miss getting physical magazines! I have a huge box of old Game Informers I got over a lot of years that I used to take notes in on upcoming games. I'd love to have that back for bathroom reading, or just general nostalgia!

    Just remembered another blind pickup! Back when my brothers and I first got a PS2, one of the games I got was Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. I played it for about a week but it stopped working because of the black disc, first Gen PS2 laser issue. So we went back to Circuit City and I grabbed Jak and Daxter because I recognized Naughty Dog and the cover looked cool. I didn't know anything about the game though, and it kept me satisfied for a really long time! I think that first game is still my favorite, I was never as down with the franchise after it got more serious and started being more about stealing cars, racing and shooting dudes.



  • These are the oldest game magazines I have. Aside from the Nintendo 64 one, which is printed on thick (expensive) paper, they don't look nearly as good as these copies, having been loved half to death. ^_^

    Nintendo Power #103, December 1997

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    Electronic Gaming Monthly's Player's Guide to Video Games for the Nintendo 64 #3, Winter 1997

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    Tips & Tricks #38, April 1998 (alternate Canada-only cover)

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    GamePro #117, June 1998

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    Electronic Gaming Monthly #110, September 1998

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    1999 Video Game Buyer's Guide (Fall 1998)

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