The 1990s were a strange time. A game like Harmful Park should have been an instant classic, and lauded for its innovative level design, unique style and competent gameplay. Instead it never made its way out of Japan, and today is a rare gem usually selling for over £100 online. Ironically it’s a hugely accessible game that turns a niche genre into an experience any kind of gamer can enjoy.
A lot of the time the value of a retro game is directly related to its quality; there’s higher demand for good games so naturally they should cost more. However, there are other factors at play too, for example rarity and desirability. There’s even a few great games that didn’t sell too well, and now there are more than enough copies to go around. Today I’ve gathered ten of my favourite titles that are not only brilliant, but for a variety of reasons are completely worthless too.
This week I purchased a rather strange looking device; the Namco neGcon controller. Characterised by the large swivel mechanism in its centre, this PlayStation accessory was originally created to allow for full analogue control in Namco’s console port of the game Ridge Racer. Today it can be used with a wide selection of classic PlayStation racers, and I’ll be taking a look at its functionality, as well as some of these titles, in full detail below.
It’s 1990. Videogames are a $3 billion industry and Nintendo owns 90% of it. The other 10% is made up of wannabes that include SEGA, who in the next three years will transform themselves from obscurity into the market leader. This is the story of Console Wars, and Blake J Harris retells the greatest battle in videogame history in an exciting, detailed, and ever-so-slightly biased way.
Anyone following DC may be vaguely aware of the evolution of my SEGA collection, and in the past I’ve documented both my Mega Drive and Dreamcast buying sprees. Alongside the Saturn my collection was nearing completion, and finally this week I turned my attention to the one console that was notably absent; the Master System.
Nintendo’s GameBoy Advance is a classic console. It has a strong library of both original games and SNES favourites. Mario is great, Zelda is great, and Metroid is great. But you probably already know this. Overall the system has less ‘hidden gems’ than others, largely down to the fact that its lifespan was cut short by the release of the Nintendo DS only three years later. However, there’s still some amazing titles that never got the recognition they deserve, and today I’ve picked out ten of my favourite.
Do you like obscure tactical RPG games from the 1990s that were never released outside of Japan? Probably not, but Langrisser IV’s appeal isn’t as limited as you might think. From start to finish this is an epic and engrossing adventure, and one I’m surprised hasn’t appeared on more ‘hidden gems’ lists. Welcome to the world of Langrisser.