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Coffee Talk #332: Pleasant Videogame Surprises


Posted on April 7th, by raymond padilla in Coffee Talk, iPhone, PC Gaming, Today's Specials, Videogames. 44 comments

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the Red Sox’ awesome losing streak, your favorite Transformer, or the hottest Spice Girl, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Yesterday’s column was too much of a downer. Let’s move out of the bitter barn and play in the hay! Today I’d like to hear about games that surprised you. I’m talking about games you didn’t expect much from, but ended up loving.

As for me, Civilization Revolution for iPhone was one of the best gaming surprises I’ve had in years. I bought the game when it was on sale for $2.99 and ended up playing it for hundreds of hours. It was perfect for long flights, bus rides, killing time before a sports game starts, and avoiding work (wait, that last one is bad). I thought I’d like Civilization for iPhone, but I ended up loving it (as much as Charlie Sheen loves cocaine).

Now it’s your turn! Please share some of your best videogame surprises.





  • smartguy

    Here are a few surprises:

    Heroes of Might and Magic IV – $10. Love this style of game

    Uncharted – borrowed it. Knew nothing about it. Blown away

    Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom – This game was really good

    Phoenix Wright – I wish I could play them for the first time again

    Metal Gear Solid – borrowed this and became Kojima Fanboi 1

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      Majin shouldn't have surprised you. I said it was cool during E3 2010. :P

    • smartguy

      EDIT:

      Super Brothers: Sword & Sworcery LP.

      Hard to beat the price to awesome ratio in that game.

  • Nightshade386

    I rather enjoyed the console version of Civ Rev, and I'm pretty awful at this types of games in general. But they made it pretty accessible, which while I'm sure was the immediate kiss of death to most hardcore RTS fans, made it worth playing for me.

    Other notable surprises:

    Portal – It's one of those games that you tend to not believe the hype on until you actually play it.

    Beyond Good & Evil – I tried it on a whim. Still one of my favorites.

    Bully – I never liked any of the GTA games, but I love Bully.

  • N8R

    @ side note

    I have this song stuck in my head:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buqtdpuZxvk

  • Lunias

    Lock's Quest (except the camera control). I still have music from that stuck in my head.

    Super Smash Bros. Melee. I never heard of the first one, but when I saw this in a used game bin, I was like "WOAH! Mario, Samus, Link and Pikachu are all IN THE SAME GAME?!" I wasn't disappointed.

    Elite Beat Agents and Rhythm Heaven both surprised me. When the DS first came out, Elite Beat Agents was the first demo I tried, and I was addicted. I had no idea a simple game like that could be so fun! When Rhythm Heaven came out, I was skeptical, but I found it to be very fun as well.

    The Worms series is pretty much Territory Wars, but with worms and a boatload of weapons to choose from. It's fun!

    PS: How many of you would like to see a Territory Wars in a gaming console?

    • smartguy

      @Lunias

      How would that translate to a console? I'd like to see the effort.

      You mentioned Worms…I enjoyed playing that with friends.

      • Lunias

        Well, Worms works pretty well already. Maybe making an online console version with more weapons and levels, then adding some cool abilities and stuff…? Worms worked well enough, so Territory War wouldn't be too much of a stretch. Hey, what if they made it for iPhone or something? It seems like the right size, and it's popular enough…

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      Have you played Ouendon? It's the game iNiS made before Elite Beat Agents. Very, very cool.

      • smartguy

        no i have not.

  • bsukenyan

    I feel like I haven't seen a game that was "surprisingly good" in a long time, and the last time I would have played one I wasn't old enough to know that it should have been bad, or I couldn't tell that it was bad. I guess I take that back, L4D was a complete gamble for me. I traded in CoD: MW for that game after I beat it and I didn't really know what to expect because all I ever heard about the game was that you had to play it online and that it was really hard. I didn't really know what to expect from that game but I was NOT disappointed at all, in fact I love the series now that I actually know what the game is like. In fact I'm probably about to play L4D2 now.

    Another game I suppose could fit this category was Mirror's Edge, but honestly I had very high expectations for that game before I ever played it. I felt I knew the style of game I was getting into from all the trailers I watched and demos I saw before I ever got the game. Like I said, that one was not a let down at all.

  • smartguy

    I'm bunned that this isn't a VW or some other conversion van. I guess a caravan mod will have to do. Please look at this. I'd prob drive this if I got to wear a shredder mask or something to hide my identity. Do you think he has a system blaring the theme song?

    http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/?p=45725

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      If I drove Optimus Prime, I'd blast "The Touch" everywhere I went.

  • smartguy

    Does anyone here take any supplements or anything for working out or training? I was taking Oxy Elite Pro for a pre workout and it really screwed with my body. Now I'm taking Animal Rage. Good stuff, but it will make you sweat while you sit down. I took it around 2pm CST and still have the juice from it.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/univ/animal-rag

    • SlickyFats

      @SG

      I don't take any currently, but one of my friends is a body builder and a model and takes copious amounts of everything. Jackd3D is one of them and it is like cocaine.

      I have a friend who is supposed to be bringing me some supplements, he started his own body building formula line. Don't know the name but as soon as I get it I'll let you know.

      • smartguy

        @Slicky

        Awesome. I took Jack3D as well. That 1/3 methyl or however you say it is the active ingredient and that was really tearing my body up. My heart would race for hours on end and stuff. I'm not sure if it is safer than ephedra lol.

        That Rage stuff is good though. I'll buy it from Amazon next time now that I'm out of credits on that other site.

  • Big Blak

    Metal Gear Solid on the Ps1 was that game for me. We had an old TV so it was really dark, but more importantly than that I didn't know what I was doing. It was months later at my cousins house that I saw the beauty of MGS. I went home and played through the darkness and my father happened to notice (he was kind of pissed because I didn't play it after begging for it) how awesome the game was too. Long story short we (he) got a new TV and it was a long while before I got my hands on that game again lol.

  • Big Blak

    @ All

    Speaking of Ps1 I just got a Ps2 for the first time ever. I needs some help with games lol.

    Why not a Ps3 you ask? Can't afford to pay for 2 premier consoles and their games, but I can afford the shit outta some ps1 & 2 games!

    • smartguy

      @ BB

      In this order play

      Sons of Liberty

      Snake Eater

      ZOE 1

      ZOE 2

      Kingdom Hearts (if you haven't already)

      Damn dude. There are literally 100 games you should pick up but start with those. I insist.

      • Big Blak

        Ok, I beat Sons of Liberty and platyed ZOE when it was first out but I didn't like it all that much. Kingdom Hearts is a no brainer lol.

        • smartguy

          @BB

          Did you play ZOE 2? It was considerably better than the first. Done in a nice Anime style.

          Also because of this convo, I just purchased the MG game bundle off of Amazon. Ray should be able to confirm this lol. I now have a hankering to play the first one again and my copy of twin snakes is gone for some reason.

          • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

            Thanks for the purchase!

          • Big Blak

            Omfg dude I (like totally) have that MG bundle in my girls cart on Amazon. No I never played ZOE 2, I shall google it!

            • smartguy

              @BB

              You have excellent taste sir! haha. I bought a used one for $30 from goHastings reseller.

              ZOE 2 was great. The music is good, the gfx are great, and story telling is awesome. You also feel like a total badass quite a few times in that game. I really am wishing for another entry in that series.

              • Big Blak

                @SG

                I don't trust used games online because I can't see them. Do you buy used games online often?

                • smartguy

                  @BB

                  Only from reputable buyers. Typically if you have an issue with them (I've had an issue with 1 movie and 1 game) the seller responds pretty quickly if you mention getting Amazon involved. In fact in both instances they told me to keep the "damaged" product and sent me new product on 2 day shipping free of charge.

                  • bsukenyan

                    Opposite of those experiences the past two games I bought online used: one was scratched up so bad it didn't play until it get cleaned at Family Video for an extra fee, and the other was a bootleg that didn't work at all. The seller in that one took forever to do anything even after Amazon was involved.

                    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

                      Used stuff is easier on eBay, simply because PayPal almost always sides with the buyer.

            • bsukenyan

              I always have so many things in my cart or my wishlist on amazon…*sigh* if only I could afford it all. haha!

    • Lunias

      A PS2? Well, I don't own many games for mine, but I've got some favorites…

      Star Wars: Battlefront II is a pretty good Star Wars FPS game. There's plenty to do, and the replay value is good, too! It has online multiplayer as well, so feel free to try that.

      I have Okami for the Wii, and the brush isn't too precise for that. I bet the brush would be used easier on the PS2 version. It's an amazing game, and if you don't have it, PICK IT UP. NOW.

      Many people argue that the most recent Final Fantasy games aren't good, but I say there's at least one exception: Final Fantasy XII has memorable characters, a very large world with a huge amount of side-missions, and it looks amazing graphics-wise. It also has some pretty good voice acting. The only problem I've heard of is the battle system (modeled MMORPG style).

      Burnout 3 is my favorite racing game, as it involves much more than racing. Namely, purposefully wrecking your opponents to gain nitro. Sound cool? It gets better; there's a whole host of specialized takedowns, unlockable events and cars, and even a mode where you try to cause a lot of damage by causing a crash. Just don't try this at home, okay?

      SOCOM is one of Sony's popular FPS games; although I don't know much about it, I've heard it's good. Maybe rent it, if you can?

      Finally, I've looked around on the internet, and critics have raved about a game called Ico. i know absolutely nothing about it, so look it up.

      Sorry it's so long; I had to talk about each one. Hope you find something worthwhile here!

      • Big Blak

        I was on the fence with Burnout 3 but I love Split/Second so I will give it a try. I had Battlefront on the Xbox.

        • Lunias

          I first tried the Xbox version of Battlefront, but the buttons weren't very good. I like the PS2 version much more.

          Split/Second has a PSP demo on PSN that I tried. Something about the unpredictability of the races is enticing, yet repelling to me. I might try it eventually.

      • smartguy

        FF12? I couldn't get over the girl looking boy as the main.

        • Lunias

          Vaan? He IS pretty feminine… The only reason you can tell he's a guy is because he doesn't wear a shirt.

      • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

        I disagree on XII and would put X up there with the best in the series. XII is a game that should have been great. I'm a huge Matsuno fan, but he didn't deal well with the pressure and had to "remove himself" from development.

        • smartguy

          Yeah I'd put X at number 3 in the series.

          FF8

          FF4

          FF10

        • Lunias

          Yeah, I've heard good things about X as well, but forgot to mention it.

          And that's X, NOT X-2.

          • Lunias

            Just so you don't try to get the wrong one.

        • Nightshade386

          Yeah, I actually quit playing XII about halfway through. You could completely trick out the Gambit system to fight every fight for you, and as such it turned out that you didn't have to do much. After about the 3rd time I fell asleep during a battle only to wake up and find out that I'd "won," I turned the game off permanently.

          • Big Blak

            I'm going to get all the FF 1-8, MGS 1,2,& 3 (via the bundle on Amazon). After FF9 I lost interest in the series.

  • bsukenyan

    @Ray

    I put some of my bred and trained pokemon on my pearl version which I mostly have only as part of my now growing collection (which will one day be all of the pokemon games) and to get extras of the recent events. I was just past the third gym when I put on a snorlax, charizard, and togekiss along with a dragonite used only for fly/surf HM combo. I used only the first three mentioned pokemon to battle and fought all trainers, gyms, and the elite four—no grinding or anything, just a straight playthrough. I assumed it would go well since they were bred and trained well, but even I was surprised how smoothly the whole thing went.

    I was mostly doing this as a more fun way of getting them to level 100 instead of boring grinding on HG, but now I think I will go and get some more legendaries for trading purposes later. They will come in handy trying to get my last few legendaries.

  • Iceman

    I wasn't expecting much from Eternal Darkness; Sanity's Requiem and it totally blew me away at how well it messes with your head. Do not play that game at night with all the lights off.

    Also: Halo CE. I was actually dissing the Xbox back then as a "me too" console until I actually played the game. Based on my brief experience with the multiplayer and watching someone else play parts of the game, I went out and bought my first Xbox and a copy of the game. I think it was the first console I've ever bought with my own money. Microsoft sold me on that one game much like the old Zelda and Mario games sold me on the past iterations of the Nintendo consoles.

    -M

    • Nightshade386

      @ Iceman: I had this same experience with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I was ver ydismissive of the original XBOX and then I saw KotOR being played and went out and bought an XBOX the next day.

  • smartguy

    @iceman
    I agree with both of those.