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  1. #1

    Torchlight II - multiplayer on Polygon

    I’ve been working on a list, but my access to the internet is limited seeing as how my ASUS laptop is now in… counts 13 pieces. =D Here is a start.
    “Different” is a word with many meanings. I try to seperate “different” games into many categories. There’s Niche Series, Spinoffs, Genreless, Mashups, Paradigm Shifts, and what I call Homage titles.
    Niche Series titles would be anything immediately recognisable from a distance. For example, anything from Suda 51 (Killer 7, Shadows of the Damned, Lollipop Chainsaw) You will not find any games like these unless it’s a SUDA 51 title. I didn’t even know Shadows of the Damned was Suda, but it didn’t take long before I figured it out, looked on the box, and grinned like an idiot.
    Other Niche Series would be anything Shin Megami Tensei (Digital Devil Saga, Persona, Catherine) or Thatgamecompany (Flow, Flower, Journey.) Sometimes a Niche Series can come in the form of artwork and finesse put into the titles, such as anything from Clover Studios (Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and God Hand.) Last, but certainly not the least… I buy everything Double Fine (Psychonauts, Costume Quest, Stacking) makes and I loved every single one of them. Yes, even Brutal Legend. One could actually say that the game was insanely unique because it combined just about EVERY genre into one game. Whether you liked that or not… that’s your call.

  2. #2
    Despite the cries of most people, I actually find a lot of joy in spinoff titles. Sure, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest did not hold a candle to Final Fantasy IV or VI, but I feel if the name “Final Fantasy” was not attached to it, it would have been received much better. Mega Man X: Command Mission is to this day one of my favorite RPGs. It introduced characters that I WISH would be used outside that title.Mega Man Battle Network series was another drastic change from the formula that I played the hell out of. Mega Man Starforce was good too, but I didn’t find it quite as good as the MMBN1-3, but better than 4-5. I’m not sure why Kirby’s Dream Course caught me the way that it did… but it did. And Theatrhythm Final Fantasy has had me hooked for 50 hours and counting. Despite it following the naming convention, Breath of Fire V could easily be considered a spinoff title as it is drastically different than the rest of the series.
    Genreless games are those that you really cannot draw much of a comparison to other titles. Games like Tokyo Jungle, Journey, Nobi Nobi Boy, Katamari Damacy, or oldies but goodies- Blast Corpsand E.V.O. Search for Eden. What ARE these games? They walk their own path. They’re often pretty tough to describe. But they are definitely worth a look or two.
    Mashups have become more common over the years, as people try to blend RPG aspects into just about everything. But RPG + Rhythm? RPG + Bejeweled? Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and Sequence attempt the former, and Puzzle Quest 1 & 2 try the latter. Other Mashups noteworthy are Orcs Must Die and Dungeon Defenders (Tower Defense + Action), Sanctum (Tower Defense + FPS), Nuclear Dawn (RTS + FPS) Let’s not forget Portal (First Person Puzzler) and its sister, Quantum Conundrum.

  3. #3
    Paradigm Shifts are games that take an existing genre in a direction that just hasn’t really been done before. Often times, this is surprising to people who haven’t played the game, because it doesn’t LOOK all that different. Driver:San Fransisco? YARLY. Find me another racing game that can hold my interest for more than 30 seconds and I will give you $5. STALKER, Bioshock, System Shock, Deus Ex, and even the N64 Turok games really stick out of the FPS genre for really taking their job above and beyond just shooting enemies in the head then moving forward. “Tales of _” and Shadow Hearts series stick out of the RPG genre like those neon yellow “High Collision Intersection” signs they have in Canada. Both change the battle system of traditional RPGs significantly, while Shadow Hearts’ story gets about as F-ed up and macabre (yet also hilarious) as a Suda 51 title. Dustforce is a very fun racing platformer…where you sweep up leaves. I guess you can call Soul Blazer, Terranigma, Dark Cloud 1 & 2 a Paradigm Shift that never caught hold… unfortunately.
    Homage titles are ones that throw back to Paradigms that have been lost in time. Such as difficulty (Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls, Dust:An Elysian Tail [On Harder Difficulties]), Art Style (Binding of Isaac, Super Meat Boy, FEZ) or beauty in simplicity (Bastion, Cave Story.)
    I tried to stick with recent available titles. I’ve found few games like Parasite Eve, but good luck getting your slimey little hands on those. All in all, ATLUS as a publisher should really stick out to you when looking for a game that is truly unique. Obviously, with the amount of titles I listed, I couldn’t go deep into all of them, and certainly my list isn’t complete. Those were all just off the top of my head. If you need more detail on any of these, just ask.

  4. #4
    Now that’s a hell of a list. After reading some of the examples you listed I’d say I’m probably looking more for Niche and Paradigm shift games, though I like spinoffs too. I have a hard time discovering Paradigm shifts because, like you said, they don’t look particularly different and with the enormous variety out there I’m not inclined to explore each one deeply.
    I remember seeing Kirby’s Dream Course back when I was little, but never had a chance to play it. Thanks for reminding me of it! I’ll be sure to search around for that one.
    I saw Theatrhythm at PAX and thought it looked interesting… don’t have a 3DS yet though.
    Besides those right now I’m looking into getting Breath of Fire V, Persona 4, Journey, the Metroid Prime series, and STALKER, Okami, and Dark Souls. Already have Persona 4 coming in via Amazon Prime.
    Also, get yourself a new laptop .

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