Games that have taken you by surprise this gen

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Trying to think of a suitable title for this but hopefully you can work out what I'm getting at. What games have taken you by surprise this gen? What games did you play and then were unexpectedly taken back by how good they were?

The games that come to mind for me are mostly all downloadable games, and are what inspired me to create this topic.

I only got this a few days ago when I saw that it was £2 on PlayStation Plus, and it's one of the main reasons for thinking up this thread. It's a puzzle platformer. You control Tim, who goes through levels trying to collect puzzle pieces, but also has the ability to mess with time, reversing it and stopping it etc. Some of the puzzles seem impossible, even on the first level! But I persevered and spent ages really messing around and thinking, and I eventually solved every world. There is a massive satisfaction after completing it, especially if you don't use any guides/videos to help. There's even a deep story hidden away in there, and I still don't know what the hell is going on. If you've still got your PS Plus subscription, do yourself a favour and spend a couple of quid on this masterpiece.


Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
I heard about this from a mate last year who said it was awesome, then Marzy posted the thread when it came out, and I decided to give the demo a go. I loved it and took a chance with the game. I'd never had so much fun with one simple game in so damn long. It looks good, the music is awesome, and it's just so bloody addictive. The speed you get up to really puts you on edge and the thrill you get when you eat a shitload of ghosts is so sweet. I just had to get all the trophies in this one and play the hell out of it.


Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
I was a bit sceptical of this game when they announced it because it looked so different to normal Tomb Raider, but I decided to give it a go when the price dropped a little bit, and I'm glad I did now. This game is another puzzler, but with platforming and shooting from an isometric viewpoint. It still manages to retain that Tomb Raider feel through the level design, gunplay and puzzles. There are quite a lot of levels to get through, with some massive enemies and lots of good puzzles, difficulty levels, and tons of unlockables. The replay value comes in trying to beat the challenges and levels in certain time limits, collecting hidden items, unlocking new guns, powerups, and costumes. There's even 2 player co-op online and offline, although no voicechat makes playing online difficult when the other player is clueless. You don't need to be a fan of Lara or Tomb Raider to enjoy this game. If you love platforming, good arcade shooting and puzzle solving, you'll love Lara and the Guardian of Light.


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Everyone knows this series now, but I included it because I never expected it to be so damn good. I bought the first game for a fiver off a mate and loved it. I didn't pick up the sequel till a year after its release, but it was everything I enjoyed about Uncharted 1 and ten times more. What's more, I didn't discover the online multiplayer until well after beating the story. I loved the game for its story mode, and then I found this! The MP itself created another 20 hours of gameplay for me, and is probably the first real online game I got into. These sort of games make me glad I'm not a Nintendo fanboy anymore. I've become hooked on the series and will be buying Uncharted 3 on day one.
Even watching the trailer for U2 gets me all excited, and I've replayed this game over 5 times.


Seconded on Uncharted 2. Although I fully-expected it to be good (and therefore I should not put it on my list), competitive multiplayer issues aside, the main game was so fucking good that I defy anyone to not put it on a list of good games.

Ultimate Mega Drive Collection

Weird choice, but hear me out. The prime reason this gets the nod is the sheer value it represents, which is significant in it's own right. In comparison to how other companies like to release their back-catalogue these days (i.e. as DLC, and will put a big hole in a fiver), with this disc SEGA showed that they still had a willingness to provide real bang-for-buck with a retro compilation of around fifty games.

Even at the original new price (which I think was £29.99), this was astonishing value. That you can now pick this disc up for your PS3/360 new for less than a ten bill.. you get the point. It took me by surprise that SEGA was still up for doing this sort of thing. Not only that, but provided the biggest collection yet. So even more value-for-money than the ones they did years ago on PS2 before DLC and all that guff.


I hope Okami counts as this gen, but I'll write a review, or something like that explaining my thoughts behind it.

Another game that came to my mind was Little King's Story. From gameplay videos, it looked boring and some of the game mechanics looked a little off, but after playing it, boy was I wrong. How could a game like this have so much charm and be so addictive?

Also, as a side note, I've noticed that I really like games where you have to take over or clean other lands or kingdoms. Another example of a game I enjoyed where you had to do this was Black and White 2. Do you guys know any more games like this?

Mario Sunshine fits the bill, if you haven't played it. It's not the best Mario at all, but it's fun and you do go about cleaning up the island.

Cryostasis: The Sleep of Reason

I was expecting a fairly drab but atmospheric Half-Life style FPS. While the gameplay is rather simplistic, repetitive and excessively streamlined, it has probably one of the most interesting plots of any FPS, told in an interesting non-linear fashion. It leaves a lot open to interpretation in a really satisfying way. It's really sad that the developer no longer exists and that the publisher gave up promoting it and sells it for almost nothing.

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

I've already played sunshine, and twilight princess falls in the same mold too.

Another game that surprised me was Zack and Wiki. Like Okami, it's critically received very well but no one bought it. I decided to pick it up, and from what I remember, it was a lot of fun. I think I made it to the last level before another game piqued my interest though.

Portal requires a spot in this thread, and for my personal pick i'm going with Half Minute Hero on PSP

Not sure how I forgot about this one, but Portal was such a brilliantly made game. Solve puzzles by using teleports for your character or objects to pass through with the portal gun. Comes on The Orange Box, a collection of Half Life 2 and its Episodes, Team Fortress 2 and Portal itself. I'd heard so much about it, but knew nothing, and it was such a pleasant experience. The AI voice that guides you and then slowly starts to go mad produces some lol-worthy moments. Just waiting for Portal 2 to drop now so I can experience more of this awesome puzzle series.


To be perfectly honest, this whole generation of games has taken me by surprise. Normally I wouldn't say such a thing, but at this time last year I wasn't playing any video games at all and was thinking about giving gaming a rest. That being said, two games have really caught me off guard this generation.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Don't shoot! I swear I have a reason for putting this here. Truth is, I hated shooters. I was one of those evil rpg junkies who would never touch a CoD and made fun of those who did. Then my friends PS3 died on 'im and he lent me a slew of games, all shooters. Something about this game just clicked with me. I was so bad at it(only getting one kill a game.) But I kept playing and now rarely loose a match! A year ago, I would have said you were crazy.

I saw trailers for this and thought, "Oh, another japanese fan-service game." Not the case at all. played the demo one day and realized what it was really about. I also love, love, love the voice work. Best American voices in an anime style game ever. It's team persona, so what else should I have expected but greatness?

Yeah, I really wanna get my hands on Catherine at some point. I recognised Troy Baker's (Snow, FFXIII) voice immediately. Doesn't come out here till October 28th though. Hopefully it will drop for Christmas.

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