5). Forgotten Worlds (Arcade, Multiple other consoles)
Capcom and arcade machines go together like bread and butter. However, Forgotten Worlds is a game that’s rarely mentioned except amongst die hard shooter fans. It has everything that makes shooters great: power-ups, tons of enemies, and massive bosses. What makes this game stand out is its controls. Players spin to shoot in eight directions while the level scrolls, all while being able to move around the stage. Not only that, but two players could play on the same screen! Couple this with cheesy voice acting and you’ve got a hidden gem.
The reason this game is so low on this list is due to the characters appearing in other Capcom projects. They try to toot their own horn as much as possible. For example, the Unknown Soldiers were helper characters in the first Marvel VS Capcom. These characters also appear in Namco X Capcom alongside a few soundtracks.
If you can find the Turbo Grafx version or the Capcom Classics Collection, pick it up. Hopefully Forgotten Worlds can be a little less forgotten.
4). Goemon’s Great Adventure (N64)
Sure, 2.5D platformers are fairly common, especially in the last three years with Nintendo releasing games like Donkey Kong Country Returns and the New Super Mario Bros. This style was rather rare on the N64, but a couple games did pull it off. One of the best was Goemon’s Great Adventure, a game that was a part of the Mystical Ninja series. It allowed two players to explore at the same time and had a rough difficulty. Players could choose one of four characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The whole game is themed with classic Japanese mythology, giving the game tons of charm from the get go.
To add more variety and wackiness, each stage ended in a giant robot battle. These first-person battles are a blast to play and they remain challenging. Overall, the game is hard to beat, fun to play with friends, and odd enough to feel unique and new. I definitely recommend finding it.
Now if only there could be a revival of this series, we could all enjoy quirky Japanese ninjas.
3). Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES)
Little Nemo started out as a beloved comic series, which later became an animated film. Then, Capcom got a hold of it and used their super platforming powers to make a great game. This game is beyond hard, forcing players to search every nook and cranny of the level to find keys to open a door to the next level. Enemies are abundant and spawn constantly, but luckily Nemo has the power of candy, which he uses to coerce animals out of their skin. These gross suits become Nemo’s power as each animal provides different bonuses such as a high-jumping frog to a violent gorilla.
Even though the game is brutally difficult, I always find myself coming back to it. Dig out your gray boxes and slap in the cartridge, because this one is worth it.
2). Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (SNES)
Alright, I’m guilty of loving the early years of Capcom and this list is loaded with Capcom love, but these games were buried in Megaman sequels and Resident Evil spin-offs. During the golden age of gaming, or the lifecycle of the NES, SNES, and such, Capcom turned almost everything they touched into gold. Nowadays, a Disney game is plagued with repetitiveness, lazy design, or marketing schemes involving toys. Capcom made several amazing Disney games, but Magical Quest was the one I actually played as a kid.
My cousin and I both owned a SNES. I lucked into borrowing his copy and after playing the hell out of it, we got together and played the game together for even more fun. Mickey has all the staples a video game hero should have. He can jump and throw things with the best of them, yet his greatest power is his ability to stop time to change clothes. Each costume has its own abilities which can sometimes lead to secrets and easier ways to beat enemies. Bosses are awesome, difficult, and all share a common theme. They all have Pete’s face, which sounds creepy, but actually works.
Even to this day, when I go to my cousin’s house, we sit and play Magical Quest. It’s just that awesome. Recently, I discovered the game had a few sequels and we’ve been hunting them down like crazy. We’re also planning to get the newest remake of Castle of Illusion, but have yet to buy it.
If you like Disney and video games, you deserve to play Magical Quest.
Before I declare my absolute favorite obscure game, let me mention a few games worth looking into that almost made the cut.
Now, each of these games are awesome in their own ways. Some of them are so rare that their almost not worth mentioning and others include characters that received other titles. However, there is one game that trumps them all. A game so good, I sobbed a bit when it froze and I’ve spent money on getting it professionally repaired.
1). Radiata Stories (PS2)
The RPG genre is my favorite. These games typically take a lot of hours to complete with complex characters, monsters, and stories. Some of the best games ever made were RPGs and it’s a shame Radiata Stories didn’t get the attention it deserved. The game did well in Japan, but was jaded in the states by Final Fantasy XII and Dragon Quest VIII. It came out at the end of the PS2’s life and I actually bought it on a complete whim. That day I discovered over a hundred characters, references to Star Ocean, and a combat system that let the player create their own combos. This combined with the beautiful art style set up one of my favorite games.
The plot is fairly simple (following common tropes), but what set it apart was the humor. There are some gut-busting scenes between the characters. Basically, there’s a war going on between the humans and the more monstrous races of the world, which eventually leads the player to choose a side. The plot then switches to that perspective, with its own special characters to unlock.
I also enjoyed all the different costumes and weapons Jack Russell (the main character) could equip. He can use four different styles: sword, great sword, spears, and axes. Each style has unlockable attacks and changes the gameplay enough to keep the combat interesting. However, the best thing about Radiata Stories is the amount of team members.
There are 176 characters to add to the friends list, including dwarves, knights, orcs, and even characters from other games including Valkyrie from Valkyrie Profile. After beating the game, players can also start over with all their skills and friends list members, allowing players to try other choices and play styles.
All in all, Radiata Stories is another RPG that deserves a sequel or re-release. There is a short manga series, but a new game is sorely needed. I loved the playfulness of the story and quirky characters. Find a PS2, spend the money to get a new copy, and enjoy Japanese Role-Playing at its finest.
Square-Enix games deserve a break every now and again.
You can watch me and my friends play a few of these games on Forever Classic. NOTE: I’m extremely silly in these videos and I have a fairly foul mouth, just be warned.
Goemon’s Great Adventure: