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Added by VierasTalo on 3 Jul 2011 10:54
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My Top 5 of Underrated Video Games

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Why was it overlooked?
F.E.A.R. wasn't really blammed by the critics, but as time went on the overall game soon became nothing but a footnote in the pages of history, and despite spawning a franchise, has become more of a cult favorite rather than something to glamor over. It's generally accused of having monotone levels, cheap jump-scares and one shitty plot.

Why do I love it?
Simply put, F.E.A.R. has some of the best FPS-action I have ever seen. The AI is to this day a landmark in that category, as the enemies can outflank you, use cover efficiently and most of all use uncanny teamwork to make you screw up. They don't focus on shooting you in the face, but instead making you get yourself killed. The aggression here is to this day unmet by most shooters, as all the Modern Warfare in the world will never beat these Armacham-forces using team work no matter how much they run towards you hurtling bullets.

The action is also greatly aided by your only true tactical aid - the ability to use bullet-time. Combined with an awesome amount of particles bouncing off of all surfaces when shot at, there is graphical beauty here of absurd proportions, as you run in slow motion through a hail of gunfire, breaking glass and sparks flying everywhere. Due to the limited amount of your bullet-time, you also have to apply it with great precision in order not to die really, really fast. The story may be somewhat subpar (although nowhere near as bad as in the sequels and expansions), but it's a good enough excuse to do some intense gunplay. The maps are somewhat monotone, but when you're constantly shot at you don't really pay much attention at how often Monolith reused the same textures in the cubicle walls.

In consensus, F.E.A.R. is one of my favourite FPS-games, with a shooter mechanism at it's core that's gold to this day.
VierasTalo's rating:
People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
GUN - PC Games

Why was it overlooked?
GUN is ugly. It's really not a good looking game. For something released on the 360, it looks more like an early PS2-game with a rather good framerate and draw distance. The overall structure of the game was also called a bit off, with no western hallmarks such as duels being anywhere in the game.

Why do I love it?
It's a lot of fun. The storyline doesn't take itself too seriously, and the gameplay is reminiscent of something you might have seen back in the late days of the PS1 if the hardware would have bent over for a good old third person shooter. The western-mood is still strongly present in the milieu, and horseriding hasn't been this fun even in Red Dead Redemption. The action also has a very healthy amount of variety.
VierasTalo's rating:
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
The Punisher - PC Games

Why was it overlooked?
It's a movie tie-in. It's easy to overlook these games, and that's what happened. Here's a short list of what the critics and the players seemed to dislike in The Punisher:
- Repetitive action
- Poor sound design
- The gameplay feels like Max Payne without bullet time
- The storyline is stupid and mundane, and the cutscenes suck
- The graphics are plain aside from the character models
So, whoa. That's some list right there.

Why do I love it?
The Punisher is one of the more immersive games I've ever played. It makes you feel very much like The Punisher. After playing the game for a while, when you enter a room, you immediately learn how to pick your targets. You're there to punish some assholes who deal dope, guns, people, whatever. You quickly zoom your eyes across the room, checking the weapons and proximity of the people in it. Grab the nearest dude with the shotgun for a human shield, position yourself properly and take the other two out with headshots, then dispatch of the shield with a well-placed shot to the nuts. You take no prisoners. You're The Punisher. You kill. You stab people in the face, feed them to piranhas, throw them off buildings, anything you can. You're an unstoppable killing machine of bizarre proportions, and nothing, I repeat, nothing will ever stand in your way.

This is the feeling the game actively enforces upon you. It scores you points depending on how well you play as The Punisher, using human shields, interrigation techniques and not biting the bullet until there are no more punks left to kill in the world. The game throws enemies at you with different weapons who require different tactics to overcome, and this keeps the experience fresh. You can play this like a bullshit shooter where you run up to everyone and quick kill them, or if you play this the way the developers intended, you will get one of the better third person shooter-experiences ever.
VierasTalo's rating:
People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0

Why was it overlooked?
There is no long story behind this one; Silent Hill 4 was just plain different from all the others in the series. A vast amount of the game wasn't set in Silent Hill, the gameplay was more action-based and the overall difficulty was ramped way higher than before. The storyline is batshit crazy and no one ever explains it fully in-game, and the game is packed with visual and contextual metaphors which help you unlock the puzzle behind how the hell you got locked into your apartment. Thanks to the severe departure from the style of the previous games, this one was mostly called a nice try, but ultimately a failed attempt at making something new.

Why do I love it?
Everything I said above. It's hard, scary and different. There is a level of excentricity in The Room which is rarely seen in horror games. About 1/5 of the game is composed of you just walking inside your apartment in first person, and uncovering gradually more and more disturbing things. As the game unfolds, you will notice fungi and other growth all over your walls, and eventually you might peek into one of those moldy patches to notice a hand reaching out to get you. The mood here is just so scary due to the fact that you never know what will happen next. The serial killer-storyline is fun to unravel in your own head and the sound design is some of the most superb in all the series, and for Silent Hill, that's really saying something. It truly is a shame that during the third person segments, the game really is sometimes too hard and cumbersome to play, because a little extra polish could've saved this one to a five-star status in my books.
VierasTalo's rating:
People who added this item 62 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Alpha Protocol - PC Games

Why was it overlooked?
Oh, Obsidian. I could fill this list with their games, but I opted to just use my favourite one. Alpha Protocol was called out for not only being buggy, but also it's very core gameplay mechanics. When you shoot someone, aiming carefully at their head, the bullet might hit the body instead. This was something most people did not enjoy, but...

Why do I love it?
There's a reason for why it won't hit the head. Alpha Protocol is an RPG. It is not a third person shooter. When you take aim and shoot, the aim is only half the battle. Dice are thrown at the background, using your skill meter and aim as help to decide whether or not you hit that nogging of the bad guy. You need to learn the in-game mechanics by, I don't know, reading the manual, before truly getting into it, as this will help you play the game. It is as it was designed. You need to play Alpha Protocol on it's own terms instead of pretending it's Splinter Cell Conviction.

And boy, if you do! This is possibly the closest game we've gotten since the original to a true Deus Ex-sequel. The story branches off in hundreds of directions according to your decisions and actions, and most levels have several ways of navigating the terrain. The skills you can develop already give you about five or six different ways as to how to get through any situation with guns, electronics, speech or fists. The story is peculiar in it's creation, as it is unbelievably witty and funny for something this serious. The main character actually comes off as a charismatic secret agent, and the whole game I would describe as a gorgeous blend of the tv-show Alias and Deus Ex.

Also, as a footnote, I never ran into any bugs during my three playthroughs on the PC. As usual with Obsidian, the publisher yet again screwed them over, making them release not only a technically unfinished game, but also banning them of developing any patches for it despite their best wishes. In short: Sega, suck a dick.
VierasTalo's rating:

The title sort of explains itself. Feel free to comment and give your own thoughts on these games.

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