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    • CommentAuthorcragum
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    Yes to Grim Fandango, and probably anything else by Tim Schafer. At the very least, check out Psychonauts, which is available for the PS2.

    it's actually also avaliable for the xbox and pc (off stream) and can be played for free (legally!) at gametap til december 31

    as for a cult game, i'm going to have to say Vagrant Story for the PS1. the gameplay got a little repetitive, but it had quite possibly the most amazing story i've seen in a video game. in the prologue, the main character, Ashley Riot, is blamed for the murder of a duke. the game revolves around what happens a week before the murder in a dead/sunken city called LeĆ” Monde.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007

    Genre: Adventure.
    You are an amnesiac (no! wait! it gets better! Planescape: Torment also features an amnesiac and it's a rockin game, right?) who wakes up in an abandoned mental asylum. Escape is easy enough but then you have to struggle through your own damaged subconscious and regain your sanity.

    Genre: Action/Adventure
    Raz is a young acrobat who has run away from the circus to attend a summer training camp for psychics. His dream is to become a psychonaut, a trained operative in the ways of psychic combat. He enters the worlds inside the minds of those around him and does battle with their inner demons using an array of psychic abilities. I refer you to the Zero Punctation review of Psychonauts which got me to play the game.

    Genre: Text adventure
    Photopia is almost more of an interactive short story than a game. It's written beautiful and sad. The narrative is nonlinear (even though the gameplay is totally linear) but makes perfect sense and the story blossoms like a flower at the end. I loved this game. It's short and free. There's no reason not to play it. Go, play now:

    Genre: Adventure
    One of my favorite adventure games, second perhaps only to Grim Fandango. It's difficult to describe the plot of the game because it is a fantasy epic that takes place in a unique world. Here, read the Wikipedia entry: Loom (computer game)
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    As far as older "cult" games, Gunstar Heroes is a fantastic co-op gaming experience on the Sega Genesis. You can probably emulate it on newer platforms. I know they made a sequel (Gunstar Superheroes) for the GBA or something, but it was not co-op and lacked a lot of the charm and fun of the original.

    Basically a side-scrolling shoot-em-up where you can literally throw your partner at the enemies, and you can combine weapon types to come up with new and exciting wearpons (homing laser! double flamethrower!). It's a ton of fun if you can lay hands on it somehow. Not as exciting when played solo.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I pretty much agree with everything listed so far. Except for Stretch Panic, it's a strange game for sure, but it's not all that great. Lack on content, it's mostly boss fights so you really don't do anything that interesting in the game. It's something that could have been really cool, but was just meh instead.

    My topic choice is Okami

    It's out for the PS2 and it's coming to the Wii. You play the god Amaterasu in wolf form restoring the land and saving the village from the 8 headed dragon Orochi. The game play, at it's most basic is similar to Zelda. The gimmick in the game is you have a celestial brush which you can stop the action with for a moment and drawing symbols can cause gusts of wind or fire. These skills are also used to solve puzzles. For me I found the story charming but the real appeal to me what how the game looked. The style was done to look like old Japanese Brush paintings and they managed to make the whole game look like that and did it well.

    okami Okami
  1.  (77.5)
    I'll add to the praise for Eternal Darkness. The sanity meter is just so much fun, and I never stopped being surprised by it.

    My still-favorite rpg was on super nintendo, Chrono Trigger.

  2.  (77.6)
    It came out fairly recently, but seemed not to get noticed...

    Scarface: The World is Yours.

    Being a fan of free roam games like GTA et al, this game is pretty alright. You go around buying and selling coke to get money to buy a variety of things from henchmen to property. Of course you're after Sosa, the movies antagonist. You have to take over New Havana, Downtown, South Beach and North Beach, get rid of gang pockets, do an insane amount of missions...The fun never stops.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    And now that I'm home, smacking myself on the head for the Shin Megami Tensei games, whether you look into the survival horror Persona games or their RPGs, they're not cheerful by any means, but oh so very good. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne was the first non-Persona to make it stateside(I believe) and starts off with the world blowing up and then being recreated as a home to demons of all sorts that you recruit as you progress(a bit of awesomely evil Pokemon, I suppose) until your final confrontation with God.

    Just about any rougelike game should fall under cult status by default, my personal favorite has always been Nethack.

    A quick followup on why everyone should play Shadow Hearts: In the second game one of your party members is a vampire wrestler/defender of justice that wields various large objects ranging from a locker to a submarine. Oh, and the storyline is awesome WWI-ish alterna-history without cheesy happy ending and an excellent range of serious and humorous moments.

    And a few more quick hits as I take off again(Blade Runner Final Cut Whee!):

    Virtual On
    System Shock 1-2
    Castlevania(which further cults separately between a few of the games in the series)
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I am a huge, huge gamer, so yay. Let's dig out the cult stuff:

    Rainy Woods: This basically rips off Twin Peaks wholesale. You've got what appears to be the Black Lodge interior, a dead girl, a deadpan FBI agent, twins, midgets, lounge singers, etc. etc. etc. Lynch could probably sue over this, but whatever. If it's half as cool as the trailer makes it look, it'll be one of those things we have to get.

    Cave Story: This is a PC sidescroller done in the style of NES games, but with far better music, about ten times the length, a full cast of characters, and a secret Hell level to make you want to kill yourself just when you think you've gotten good at it. If you've ever played the likes of Super Metroid, the Legend of Zelda, Super Mario World, etc. you should pick this up immediately and give it a whirl. Best part? It's completely free. Probably the best free game ever. Unless you count...

    Knytt Stories: Another free game, Knytt Stories has a lot in common with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Again, 2D sidescroller, but the emphasis is on exploration and just taking in the very detailed world. The levels are huge and loaded with secrets, items, little hidden cinematics, and all kinds of cool crap. If you're the kind of person who loves the idea of videogames but doesn't find heavy action games or the like to be particularly appealing, definitely give this a shot. Doesn't cost anything, so what have you got to lose?

    Sam and Max: Remember the old Lucasarts Point and Click adventure game, Sam and Max Hit the Road? Yep! Those guys. The games are being released as "seasons", kinda like a TV show. You can order a season subscription and play each hour/two hour-long installement as they come out, or just buy them individually for nine bucks each. The humor is excellent, the puzzles are old school, and anyone who enjoyed Monkey Island, The Dig, Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, Loom, or any of the other ones will be right at home here. Also, Episode 4 of season 1 is free so you can download that one and check it out if you want. You get to see Max's Max's presidential campaign speech and fight with a robotic Abe Lincoln for position in the polls!

    Otogi: Probably the prettiest action game conceived by man. It's a japanese XBox game, which alone makes it a strange beast, but it's also probably the best japanese Xbox game. Not that there's a whole lot of competition, but hey. You play as a Japanese ghost warrior resurrected by some vaguely malevolent force to rid several ethereal areas of the demons that plague them. You really have to see the game in motion for it to work. It's stupidly pretty to look at, and the music is amazing. It also has a very floaty feel to it (befitting the whole supernatural angle) and pretty much everything in the game can be destroyed. By everything I really mean everything. You'll start on a level with an enormous temple in the center, several small houses, and maybe a bunch of stone statues, graves, and trees peppered about. ALL of this can be blown absolutely to hell and back. It's not uncommon to find a demon, beat them senseless with one of the bajillion weapons you get to play with, kick them through a fucking three story house (which then collapses beautifully), through the wall behind the house, and into the side of a mountain...Which you then blow up by summoning three huge dragons made of lightning that carve a massive hole in the earth. And that's like the second stage. There's a Sequel (creatively named Otogi II) that is every bit as good and gives you more characters to play with and even cooler stages to explode the shit out of. Good times.

    Aaaaand that's all I got for now.
  3.  (77.9)
    If I free associate "cult video games," the word that immediately comes to mind is Actraiser.

    It was a 1990 Super Nintendo game where you played a god. It alternated between levels of side-scrolling combat with demons and levels of Sim City town building in the places you'd just made friendly to human colonists. Fucking brilliant. Gorgeous score too.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    Yeah! Neverhood! The production values on that sucker were so good. Even the music. I went out and bought the freakin' soundtrack to that one. Didn't regret the purchase at all. Amazing kind of bluegrass-meets-beefheart thing going on there.

    I'm not a platform owner but there have been some games - mentioned above - that have made me think yeah maybe i'd buy one just to play that. THis is a great list for enabling such an act.

    A couple of games I can recommend:

    flOw. You play this kind of floaty centipedy thing that drifts around in a kind of underwater environment and eats stuff. as you eat stuff your body changes. THere are some things that are bigger than you, and som that are smaller. It's kind of like running around in an ecosystem more than it is a game per se. THere's a version for PS3 and a free flash version.

    Earthbound - this pretty much fulfils the definition of cult. It's an old NES game, one of those roleplayer/D&D kind of module things, but it's set in contemporary times, in a little village. You play a little boy who initially has to investigate a meteor crash, but as the game goes on there are more and more quests given to you. I can't really describe the storyline with any justice, but it's so endearingly sweet a game - you make little friends who help you on your way, and when you finally finish the game (no spoilers, don't worry) you get a chance to go back and visit all of the characters to say goodbye and thanks before ending the game. Your mother, father and sister are significant characters in the game - your mother looks after you and gives you dinner when your energy levels are down, your sister minds your stuff for you, and your dad (who only ever appears as a telephone) is essentially the save function, although he does also ring you occasionally if you've been playing hte game for a while, to recommend that you turnt he computer off and go outside to play.

    Seriously, I was actually sad when I finished the game. I'd been playing it for six months or more and I'd really got to like the little guys.

    It's always exciting to see games that step outside the box.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    Seconding flOw and Earthbound! The SNES version of Earthbound was released Stateside, there's a ROMhacked english translation of the NES original (called Earthbound Zero), and Earthbound 3 is out in Japan for the Gameboy Advance. No word on an official translation for that one yet, but ROMhackers are already hard at work to give us an unofficial solution.
  4.  (77.12)
    Lovecraft fans might be interested to know that there's a free mythos text adventure floating around on the net by the name of Anchorhead that is generally felt (at least in the interactive fiction community) to be the best Lovecraft game ever, and at least on par with Infocom. It can be had here:

    I guess, by definition, any text adventure could be considered a cult game, the audience for the things being so small.

    A Twin Peaks game, huh? I don't care if it is a rip-off, a game like that could convince me to shell out for a PS3. Eternal Darkness is making a Gamecube look pretty appealing, too.

    I'm really liking the list of games that's developing here.
  5.  (77.13)
    Sam and Max: Remember the old Lucasarts Point and Click adventure game, Sam and Max Hit the Road? Yep! Those guys.

    Sam and Max also began life as a late-1980's indy comic. Good stuff.
  6.  (77.14)
    Got to agree with Brandon Cyphered, as Actraiser is absolutely phenomenal. It was at least five years ahead of its time. There's a point at which one of your followers is mortally injured and asks to stand in his master's tears. You make it rain on him, and he dies smiling. Far more emotionally involving than a game of its time and type had any right to be.

    Incidentally, one of its followups, Terranigma, is the absolute definition of a cult game. An action-rpg, it was never released in the states, but had a fairly engaging storyline involving reanimating a dead world.

    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I want to thank Allan for the zero punctation link. I had never heard of this guy and I've now had a solid hour of ha-ha's. Thanks.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I have to second Grim Fandango. That was one of the best adventure games in history.

    I still play Ultima Underworld from start to finish at least once a year, because it is still one of the best written RPGs of all time.

    and I couldn't talk about cult games without mentioning Dizzy and its sequels. These games did things that the ZX Spectrum was never meant to do, and did them brilliantly.
    • CommentAuthorKunundrum
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    Xenogears and Earthbound were two of the best for sure. Very unique at the time they came out, and if you contiue to play games, you always compare the new ones to them, and the great expierences they were. Earthbound had some of the trippiest and craziest moments in gaming ever. I just wish I kept both of them. Xenogears is impossible to find.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I want to thank Allan for the zero punctation link. I had never heard of this guy and I've now had a solid hour of ha-ha's. Thanks.

    Your welcome. Yahtzee is a pretty funny guy and he has pretty good taste in games. Also his adventure game, 5 Days A Stranger is damn good and free. I haven't played any of the sequels to 5DAS yet but l have been playing Trilby:Art of Theft (same protagonist) that he just released which is a 2d stealth platformer. The later levels are fiendishly hard. His website is

    Oh, and I definitely have to second Terranigma. Probably my favorite Zelda style top down action RPG. Props also to Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia which are Terranigma's spiritual predecessors. Actraiser was also good and also an Enix game.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I just remembered a pretty cool free game, if you like pc adventure titles.
    Nick Bounty: A Case of the Crabs
    Detective Noir Comedy, pretty much sums it up. It's short, but fun.

    There is also a sequel The Goat in the Grey Fedora
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    To add to a very complete list: Defcon and BioShock.

    Defcon is a really simple nuclear war game with perfect, perfect Cold-War era presentation. It's also cheap. Introversion's previous game, Darwinia, is apparently also good, though I've never played it.

    BioShock is not much of a cult game, but it is insidious and beautiful and subtle and frightening, and has Some Serious Things To Say about games and free will and choice and so on. I can't recommend it highly enough. Also, System Shock and System Shock 2 were made by the same people, and are much older, but just as good.

    Oh! And Moonbase Commander, which is the best Scorched Earth variant ever made.