Discussion Forgotten Games

FunnyJay

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Let's go further back in time. It's...

Sid Meier's Covert Action








Now this is a classic that I personally only discovered 10 or so years ago and missed back in the day. But let me tell you, this definitely still holds up!

You play as secret agent Maximilian/Maxine "Max" Remington and your mission is to stop terror plots and apprehend the 26 masterminds that are causing trouble throughout the globe.
At the beginning of each case, you get some small hints to what organization might be involved, and what city to travel to. Then you are set completely free to investigate and hopefully stop the evil plot.
The plot unfolds in "real time", where each member of the plot chain carries out their part, travels around and hands off to the next person in the plot chain before going into hiding if your not quick enough to catch them.

You have to figure out what is going to happen, who is doing what and then try to stop all the members of the plot in the most efficient way possible.
I say efficient, because if you disrupt the plot chain to early, all the following members of the plot cannot complete their part and immediately go underground, making it impossible to find and arrest them, even if you actually managed to foil the plot.

The main gameplay is centered around a series of minigames that correspond to the different skills of our hero:

  • Placing wiretaps (Electronics)
  • Solving encrypted messages (Crypto)
  • Tailing cars (Driving)
  • Breaking and entering (Combat)

Among these, you can in a way choose your favorite way of playing. The only part that is pretty much mandatory is the breaking and entering bit.
I usually like to place wiretaps to receive photos and encrypted messages, making an occasional break in to place bugs and find secret documents, and then spend time deciphering said messages to find out the plot.
Then it's "just" a matter of finding each person of the plot in time and breaking into their hideouts to arrest them.

Personally, I never liked the driving part of the game very much, but your mileage may vary.

If you failed to catch the mastermind in time, they go underground to show up in a later case.

All cases and details are procedurally generated from different templates, so the variation is quite alright. It also has several difficulty settings, and let me tell you, the higher ones are REALLY HARD. Just jumping one difficulty (which you can do after each completed case) can really change things up.

Fun fact is that Sid Meier is said to have coined a rule called the "Covert Action" rule after having made this game.
That rule states "It's better to have one good game than two great games."
If you have too many different games or minigames in one game, they conflict with each other for the players attention. In this case he probably thought the action part of the game (which is very involved) makes you forget the big picture of trying to solve the plot and find the mastermind.

This one is a real hidden gem, the like which I pretty much never have seen anywhere else.

And it is still available for purchase! I really recommend this one if you think this sounds interesting.

 

FunnyJay

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Let's talk:

Gangsters: Organized Crime






A mafia strategy simulator game from Hothouse Creations, released back in 1998.
You start your very own crime family by recruiting lieutenants, assigning them squads and pressure the neighboring stores and apartments for cash.
You can buy properties and set up illegal enterprises hidden behind legal fronts.

But your crime family is not alone in the city. Three other families occupy the same city, and the police is ever present.
So you have to decide: expand your criminal enterprise and take out the other families, or decide to go legit and become mayor of the city.

I played this a bit back in the 90's on a computer that was really not powerful enough to handle the simulation and graphics, so everything moved really slow. It's also quite difficult.

You plan out your actions before hand, then execute a "turn", where the game switches to real-time with pause and your gangsters execute your plans. You can give new orders in real-time, but all the major decisions must be taken before a new "turn" starts.

In a way, it's a bit boardgamey, and there is no set campaign to play through. A sequel was released, that had more of a linear approach with missions and a single player campaign.


Still available today on GOG:
 

FunnyJay

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Another entry in the "FunnyJay talks to himself"-thread :face-with-stuck-out-tongue-and-tightly-closed-eyes:

Stunts a.k.a. 4D Sports Driving




Now this is really something special! A racing game from 1990/1991 with a built-in track editor!
You could choose from a multitude of different cars, ranging from slow as heck up to Indy-cars, and then race around courses featuring bridges, jumps, loops, slalom obstacles, sloped turns etc!
You could drive against the clock, or against one of the colorful opponents. My favorite was always to stick the opponent in a really crappy car and see them totally fail a jump and crash into something, while I drive past in a fast sports car.

The editor was really cool, but sometimes finicky, because sometimes the levels wouldn't load correctly, and just deposit you back to the editor without telling you what was wrong with the track you had built.

There was also a really funny physics bug which was caused by landing at a specific angle with your car after a jump. This would cause the physics engine to flip out and launch your car hundreds of meters into the sky, before crashing back down to Earth.

This game is not available commercially today, but can be found on other sites on the net. There also seems to be a freeware remake called Ultimate Stunts, however it seems the last available update for that is dated 2012. Can't vouch for the remake, since I haven't tried it myself.
 

FunnyJay

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I feel like shit lately so don't have the mood to write🙁

Really appreciate your input to the thread. Thank you. :cat-heart-blob:
Hey, no worries! Feel better!
i spent SO MUCH time with this one

pretty sure i still have a few 5.25" floppies with custom tracks i made somewhere :p
That sounds so awesome! I actually never had a 5.25" drive. We had 3.5" on our first computer.
 
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EdwardTivrusky

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My first computer had a wealth of storage capacities available!
You could use C15, C30, C45 or C90 cassettes. It all depended on what cassette recorder you attached to it :D
 

Panda Pedinte

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Looney Tunes Space Race





As I said previously I'm playing some old games, especially DC ones and the first I choose to write about is this game. Keep in mind the game isn't a technical masterpiece, and there also was a PS2 version though I never played that one.

Let's go back 21 years ago, little Panda Pedinte all happy with his Dreamcast was looking to buy a new game, and I what grabbed my attention was Looney Tunes and Space. At that moment the only other "kart" racer I had experienced was Mario Kart on SNES (I hated it, but it's not the right time to talk about my tastes or lake of in games).

So I bought launched the game and choose Daffy Duck, and there goes my whole afternoon. Playing against my brother always was a fun moment for both of us as we could be laughing for various hours while playing.

The game is a simple, there are various tracks, and as you progress through the races you get tokens to unlock challenges.
 

Pommes

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I played so much of Stunts when I was younger :cat-heart-blob:
Editing tracks was difficult because the game crashed when the wrong keys where pressed in the editor (we had no mouse at that time).
...
There was also a really funny physics bug which was caused by landing at a specific angle with your car after a jump. This would cause the physics engine to flip out and launch your car hundreds of meters into the sky, before crashing back down to Earth.
...
The physics bug in question (warning for the old-school sound) :
 

FunnyJay

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Not as forgotten as others in this thread, but still not talked about that much any longer:

Outcast





Released back in 1999, a parallell universe is discovered by scientists and a probe is sent to investigate. A hostile alien creature damages the probe, which leads to the creation of a black hole that threatens to engulf Earth if the probe is not repaired and returned to Earth in time.
An expedition of scientists is assembled, with former US Navy SEAL Cutter Slade providing security.

When you, as Cutter Slade, arrive at the alien world of Adelpha, the team of scientists are nowhere to be seen, and the alien species of the Talan greet you as their prophesied savior Ulukhai. The world of Adelpha is besieged by the mysterios being Faé Rhan who has created armies of Talans and rule with violence and fear.
The Talan entrust you to find 5 sacred relics that can help defeat Faé Rhan, while you also have to locate the team of scientists and the probe. And save Earth in the process.

This game was incredibly ambitious for the time. This is pretty much open world before the concept had been coined. You are pretty much free to travel to any corner of Adelpha and tackle the different regions with their different problems in any way you want. Besides the main quests of finding the scientists and the relics, you can also cripple Faé Rhan's army by doing a side mission in each region. For example, convincing the farmers to stop providing food to the soldiers.
The game also features a totally broken stealth system (the tutorial is pretty much not possible to complete, so they let you pass it anyway) and some iffy puzzle-platforming sections in at least one of the regions.

The game used an unusual voxel-based engine, that was tough on systems back in the day, and horrible to get to work on modern systems. Therefor, back in 2014, when the original devs bought back the rights, they created an update version called Outcast 1.1 and released it for free to all digital owners. This newer version had better performance, support for higher resolutions and worked better with modern systems. This was the one I played, since I only played the demo on a severely underpowered system back in the day.

After this, the creators started on a complete remake of the game called Outcast: Second Contact. I cannot vouch for this version personally, since I haven't played it.

Fun fact, you can hear one of the Star Wars themes being played on a flute in the desert city if you find the correct spot to stand in.

The original (Outcast 1.1):

And the remake:
 

Swenhir

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This game was incredibly ambitious for the time. This is pretty much open world before the concept had been coined. You are pretty much free to travel to any corner of Adelpha and tackle the different regions with their different problems in any way you want. Besides the main quests of finding the scientists and the relics, you can also cripple Faé Rhan's army by doing a side mission in each region. For example, convincing the farmers to stop providing food to the soldiers.
The game also features a totally broken stealth system (the tutorial is pretty much not possible to complete, so they let you pass it anyway) and some iffy puzzle-platforming sections in at least one of the regions.

The game used an unusual voxel-based engine, that was tough on systems back in the day, and horrible to get to work on modern systems. Therefor, back in 2014, when the original devs bought back the rights, they created an update version called Outcast 1.1 and released it for free to all digital owners. This newer version had better performance, support for higher resolutions and worked better with modern systems. This was the one I played, since I only played the demo on a severely underpowered system back in the day.
This. I adored that game and I dare say that it's an undersung pioneer. Its rendering, the aesthetic, the systemic nature of NPC interactions - it was a crazy ambitious game without even getting into the voxel tech. I'm really amazed at the creative courage they had.
 
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FunnyJay

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the systemic nature of NPC interactions
The fact that you can go up to any random Talan, and ask them the way to something or a specific Talan, and they will either point the way to that place/person, or actually run ahead and show you the way!
No quest markers here at all!
 
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Panda Pedinte

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Demolition Racer was released originally for PSX and the re-release for the DC was added the No Exit subtitle. As the title clearly states it's a game about destructing cars, there are different leagues but with the exception of one all of them are "races" but there is a catch. you do not only need to finish in 1st but also need to gather enough points as the classification is defined by the points you got during the race multiplied by the multiplier you get according the place you finished.

One interesting point about the game is you can get tokens during the races and if you pass to the next one and have enough tokens you can buy some upgrades, though the only worth are the engine and armor, upgrading the handling will make your experience worse. Talking about handling, the cars do not control well but you can still have fun.

The biggest positive point are the songs, there are songs from Fear Factory, Cirrus, Empirion, Junkie XL, Brujeria and Coffee Boys and it makes me feel like this



Some badly taken screenshots:


 
OP
Cacher

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Many people hoping to play Crash 4 on Steam, but while mainline Crash games are great, I would love to play Crash Bash again on modern platforms.



Crash Bash is a party game featuring eight playable characters from the Crash series. Compared with other party games, it has level of progression where players need to earn trophies and collectibles to advance to the next level of minigames, which are increasingly difficult and complex. Each level even has a boss fight at the end in which players need to fight the boss together.



Me and my brother had poured insane number of hours into this game when we were young. Our favorite is the pinball minigame where you need to push the balls into other players' yard. It starts very simple at first but the later levels are extremely hard to beat, with new mechanics like suction, curve balls, defense field and unstable stage.



Another favorite from me is Tank Wars, where players need to destroy enemy tanks with mines and shots in a Bomberman-like field. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, enemies may destroy each other and you can win without doing anything lol.

I haven't played too many party games in my life, but Crash Bash definitely left a mark in my childhood. It is fun, satisfying and sometimes infuriating to play. I bet the game can sell gangbuster on Switch so hopefully someone at Activision can realize its business potential now and give it a sequel treatment soon.



Regarding the game mentioned in this post, I am trying to get some screenshots so it will take more time. Please look forward to it!
I tried to research on my next post, and I can't find one single in-game screenshot of this game on Google.

Holy shit. Truly forgotten.
 

FunnyJay

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OK, I have to admit that I haven't played a lot of the following game, but I still feel it is a forgotten gem, and it deserves a highlight.

Hidden and Dangerous






In the year of 1941, at the height of WW2, a team of four commandos are deep beind enemy lines and need to finish their missions swiftly and with stealth.
You control one of the commandos in first/third person mode, and can give orders to the other three through a strategic overlay. Commandeer vehicles and do everything you can to complete the objectives.

Personally, I got to this game a bit late, and haven't really dived into it the amount that it deserves, but will try to do so someday. I remember that the controls were a bit messy.


The sequel is also available for purchase:

I don't know if the sequel has more QoL improvements over the original. Perhaps someone here has played it and can share their opinion?
 

EdwardTivrusky

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Hidden & Dangerous is up there with Project IGI for me. Sure it was a bit janky, especially with grenades and doorways if i remember correctly, and it was really damned difficult at times but they were great games i played for hours back when i had time to try, fail, try, fail, try, fail and try again.

It's literally been a decade since i last played either of them so i couldn't tell you the differences between the original and the sequel unfortunately.
 

prudis

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damn i had a blast with Hidden & Dangerous 2 back in the days .... still got the legit CDs somewhere

But yeah , ultimately the next game after H&D2 (Mafia 1) was their breakaway game .... which in th end resulted in them getting ackquired by 2K. With Mafia 2 pretty much ruining it while lots of them went to found Warhorse, 2K Czech slowly became shell that was later assimilated into hangar 13