Digging for Treasure, Part 4

Taking a moment to shine a light on some games that are underappreciated, forgotten, or simply unnoticed

To say that there are a lot of games out there would be the understatement of the century. So many games come out each year that it’s impossible to keep up with them all, meaning that many of them fly under the radar. There’s also the matter of older games being forgotten simply because younger generations of gamers were never exposed to them. This is an injustice; and although I cannot fix it, I can at least combat it. This is a series dedicated to showing some love for games that deserved more attention than they received.

“Voodoo Vince”


This is a game that no one I’ve ever spoken to has heard of, and that’s a real shame. “Voodoo Vince” is brimming with the sort of light-hearted whimsy and originality that seems far too difficult to find in games these days. You take control of a little voodoo doll named Vince, and the gameplay centers around that fact.

The combat and puzzles in the game rely on Vince damaging himself in some way to affect his enemies and environment. I really appreciated that take on combat. You can still kick and punch, but the real power comes from the various voodoo abilities that would utterly destroy anyone who isn’t a voodoo doll. Every power has about the same effect on opponents, but it’s still fun to see the unique animation for each one. The creativity, humor and charm of “Voodoo Vince” are what make it stand out, particularly in today’s ocean of cookie-cutter games.

“Fatal Frame”


Games like “Fatal Frame” make me look back fondly on a time when horror games were good. Most horror games have moments where you have no choice but to run away from imminent danger. Then there’s “Fatal Frame.” Taking place in a decrepit mansion in Japan, the game follows Miku Hinasaki as she searches for her missing brother. “Fatal Frame” wastes no time in demonstrating that Miku is not alone in the house; there are numerous other guests of the paranormal variety. Yes, I mean ghosts. Lots of rather unfriendly ghosts.

There’s no running in “Fatal Frame.” Armed with a special camera that can capture spirits, you have no choice but to face the horrors coming to kill you. It’s delightfully creepy. I still vividly remember an encounter with a ghost simply named Broken Neck. I sat far from her, camera at the ready, as she slowly made her way closer and closer to me while saying, “It hurts.” When she got close enough for me to make out her face, I came to the lovely realization that her head was upside down. Any horror fan owes it to themselves to play this game.

“Legend of Legaia”


This right here is a game that deserves more love than it ever got. “Legend of Legaia” is a Playstation-era RPG that released to little fanfare. I do have to admit, sadly, that the story and writing are not very good. The plot is cliché, and the writing is just bad, simply put.

However, the game makes up for it with aesthetically pleasing environments and, more notably, an innovative battle system. As was the case with most RPGs at the time, encounters consist of turn-based combat. “Legend of Legaia” differentiated itself with unique fighting mechanics I have yet to see elsewhere. Rather than have people simply click the “attack” button, “Legend of Legaia” gives players an attack gauge. The idea is to press the directional buttons to input your own combos, and if you’re lucky, you’ll put in a sequence that unlocks an “art.”

These are special combo attacks that deal much more damage than standard attacks. As you unlock more arts and your attack gauge gets larger, you can string together your own art chain combos with deeply satisfying results. It’s a fun, interesting spin on the typical turn-based formula that turns combat into something in the vein of a fighting game, and it’s the primary reason RPG fans should give this game a go.