Past Featured GamesDid you know that you can add a game of the week to MobyGames? If you have an idea for a featured game, go ahead and add it.
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Seen by many as the high point of the Wonder Boy series, Dragon's Curse (I call it by its TurboGrafx 16 name because that's the game's best version) is a remarkable example of "Metroidvania" platformer. It has a large interconnected world full of secrets, which is a joy to explore. In a RPG-like fashion, you can buy and equip various weapons and armor, as well as find secondary weapons of limited use. But the game's coolest feature are its transformation abilities. What other game lets you become a tiger-man, a piranha-man, and a hawk-man, among others, and explore the vast world in a variety of exciting ways? Dragon's Curse is as rich and as rewarding as a platform game can only be. Be sure not to miss it if you like the genre.
Jan 07, 2013, submitted by YID YANG (164669)
The Japanese-only Sharp X68000 was primarily known for its high-quality arcade conversions. But it also had a few outstanding exclusive games. Aquales is one of them. Predating Cybernator (and, if you ask me, surpassing it), it is a mecha platformer with everything you would expect from a great representative of this sub-genre. Controls are never frustrating, stages are large, graphics are beautiful, and the varied weapons work like a charm. Interesting original features include a grappling hook that is needed to access many areas, and a light RPG angle: there isn't much customization, but defeating enemies nets you experience points and you can gain a few levels. All in all, Aquales is just too cool in every aspect, and a must for those who like navigating bulky robots through platform stages.
Dec 31, 2012, submitted by YID YANG (164669)
Die Bahnwelt is a sadly unknown, obscure top-down "run and gun" shooter exclusively released for the Japanese Sharp X68000 computer. It was made by Glodia, the (again) sadly (again) unknown creator of excellent RPGs originating on computers, such as Emerald Dragon. Die Bahnwelt has no RPG elements, but it is story-driven and at times feels like an RPG. Everything works in this game - exploration of vast mazes, intense shoot-outs with robotic enemies, side-kick system (you can even give orders to your companion), varied weapons, challenging boss battles, unmistakable anime vibe. And last but not least: you can save anywhere. I hope there is someone out there for whom this is as important as it is to me.
Look at it this way: I'm not a fan of the genre, and yet I really enjoyed playing this game. Nowadays, when Sharp X68000 emulation is painless and easily accessible, you have no excuse for not trying this game, unless you absolutely cannot stand fast-paced shooter action.
Dec 17, 2012, submitted by YID YANG (164669)
The Legend of Xanadu
For some reason Japanese action RPGs could never compete in popularity with their turn-based brethren. I'm not talking about pseudo-RPGs like Zelda games, but about the real deal, with experience points, levels and all. During the glorious 16-bit era, The Legend of Xanadu and its sequel were top of the line in this genre. Taking everything that made Ys fun, Nihon Falcom delivered an unusually rich, expansive game, with large areas open for exploration, lightning-fast trademark combat, interesting gameplay ideas (leveling up weapons and armor), plus tons of extra goodies such as AI-controlled companions, day-and-night cycle (with people actually going to bed), and cool platforming end-chapter sequences with fear-inducing boss battles. This game must be played to experience the peak of creativity in Japanese action RPG design.
Dec 03, 2012, submitted by YID YANG (164669)
Ys: Book I & II|
Nihon Falcom is rightly considered one of the chief founders of the action RPG genre. While their early Dragon Slayer installments would probably come across as too old-fashioned today, the same can hardly be said of early Ys games. Yes, their "bumping" combat is almost comically simplistic, but some of us would prefer their incredibly fast-paced gameplay over the dragging routine of Japanese turn-based RPGs. Years before Diablo, Ys perfectly captured all the addictiveness of bare-bones dungeon-crawling action RPG without being afflicted by the curse of randomly generated locations, and combined it with the charm and warmth of Japanese RPG design. The PC Engine CD version was for the long time (until a late Windows remake came) the definitive version of these classics, with beautiful cutscenes, voice acting, and CD-quality music.
Nov 19, 2012, submitted by YID YANG (164669)
Sabotain: Break the Rules
Aspiring to be a "Russian Deus Ex", Sabotain was panned by local critics and went by ignored and ultimately forgotten. While a comparison to Deus Ex is far-fetched, Sabotain is much more interesting and entertaining that critics made it out to be. Solid RPG system and a large, atmospheric, colorful world to explore make up for the so-so shooter mechanics. If ambitious concept and immersive environments help you forgive lack of smooth gameplay and polish, and if you have a soft spot for those weird, yet strangely appealing "post-Soviet" shooters, give Sabotain a chance. There are so few FPS / RPG hybrids out there that this effort by Russian developers merits attention.
Sep 30, 2012, submitted by YID YANG (164669)
Age of Wonders
Age of Wonders is the definition of fun exploration in strategy games. Besides conquering cities, you can investigate caves, crypts and castle ruins for treasure, dungeons to save prisoners and find allies and use altars to unleash powerful magic upon your enemies. There are 12 races, each with its unique combat units and an incredible lore ornating them. Of course you'd want to know how you ended up fighting penguins or how is the Lady of Pain planning to keep you into submission!
The gameplay is what's really important. Besides the usual TBS elements, levelling up your heroes and choosing their abilities gives the game particular charm. In tactical combat, numerical superiority is of little importance, as long as you have the right unit for the right job. Try it and see why many think that Age of Wonders has surpassed both its inspirations and look-alikes.
Aug 31, 2012, submitted by CalaisianMindthief (3061)
Mid-nineties were "Middle Ages" of sorts in the timeline of Western RPGs: the glory days of Ultima were over, and the revival of the genre by Fallout was yet to come. In that dark time, the modest Albion was like a beacon of light. This surprisingly deep and engrossing RPG stands firmly in the tradition of Serpent Isle, offering a rich, fascinating world to explore, at the same time following a tightly scripted story. Interesting tactical combat, plenty of intelligent and original gameplay features, and great attention to detail make Albion one of the top underdogs in RPG history.
Jul 31, 2012, submitted by YID YANG (164669)
Even considering all those other great games Monolith released, TRON 2.0 stands out as one of their very finest offerings. Expert level design, unique visuals, and humor are just some of its strengths. To me personally, the game's main attraction was in its surprisingly strong RPG elements; it plays equally well as a simple FPS and as a game in which collecting items and micro-managing your character is one of the priorities.
What did you say? How well does it capture the spirit of the movie? No idea, I haven't even watched the movie. Reason more for all of you to try this game - it doesn't depend on the license to be great.
Jun 30, 2012, submitted by YID YANG (164669)
Professor Layton and the Curious Village Casual gaming can never be taken seriously, surely? There's just no way a game with actual purpose can exist for a target audience who just want to waste a few minutes. Apparently not so. In a change from writer Akihiro Hino's usual forte of high-concept role-playing, this tale of a man in a top hat and is young assistant of questionable history and their investigation into the entrapments of wealth would be all well and good on its own, but the real master stroke came from designer Akira Tago and his self-contained logic puzzles you can absorb however you feel, showing the industry that casual gamers can handle a complex storyline alongside their crossword.
May 31, 2012, submitted by CrankyStorming (2613)
The Orange Box
So you pay your £45 for a box with a compilation disc in it. How many full retail games would you expect it to have? Whilst you would expect to get a thoroughly normal 1 full, recent retail game on your nice new shiny disc, Valve took the seemingly unprecedented route of putting five (yes, five, cinco, cinq, fem or fünf, what ever you would like to call it), recent full retail games (Half Life 2, Half Life 2: Episodes 1 & 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2) into a single package, thus making it the bargain of the decade.
And these games weren't a bunch of cheap games that had rushed development and promptly packaged together in the hope to making a quick chunk of money, these were top wrung, fully polished games of the highest caliber.
Valve were rightly praised for doing this, and gamers loved them for giving them so much for so relative little.
But unfortunately with the current economic climate, bargains such as this will probably never be seen again.
Apr 30, 2012, submitted by havoc of smeg (12014)
Think games have lost their way? Find games boring? Do you yearn for some old school gaming in a new school world of gaming?
If you have answered 'yes' to any of those questions, then by Jove, this is for you! From the outset, Bulletstorm's creators People Can Fly designed it to be, well, bonkers. And boy do they succeed, giving the player the ability some of gamings' most likable well crafted characters, a very entertaining skill point system and a distinct lack of both seriousness and political correctness.
In a world of FPS grind's and online games filled with abuse hurling pre pubescent kids, Bulletstorm's single player campaign is a refreshing blast of retro gaming fun, and a contender for 2011's game of the year.
Mar 31, 2012, submitted by havoc of smeg (12014)