EGM's at it again

EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly, North America’s highest circulated video game magazine) is about to hit their 200th issue. In celebration, for the 1 year building up to it, they release a Top 10 list of something related to video games. For the last couple of months, someone or another (I think I did once) has posted this list for being egregiously incorrect. This months, though, is far more spot-on than they’ve been, but I’ll let everyone else decide for themselves.

<HR>Taken from <I>ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY</I>, issue 192, June 2005
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<B><I>COUNTDOWN TO 200</I>: TOP 10 CULT GAMES</B>

<I>We continue the march toward EGM’s 200th issue, conquering all enemies in our path and placing them in numbered lists for all to see. This month, we look at cult classics – games that have overachieved in the critics’ eyes, but underperformed in the mainstream. As always, feel free to tell us just how very wrong we are on <A HREF=“http://lithium.1up.com/zd?category.id=egm”>1UP.com’s EGM boards</A>.</I>

<B>10. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee • PS1 • 1997</B>
Developer Oddworld Inhabitants burst onto the scene with this quirky, quasi-political game that took a different approach that refreshed the stale platformer genre.
<B>What’s next:</B> Sadly, the studio is calling it quits for a while.

<B>9. Samurai Shodown II • Arcade • 1994</B>
While <I>Street Fighter</I> and <I>Mortal Kombat</I> were slugging it out for your hard-earned quarters, the weapon-based SS2 quietly made a name for itself while tucked away in the dimly lit corner of the arcade.
<B>What’s next:</B> <I>Samurai Shodown V</I> (XB) is slated for a release later this year.

<B>8. R-Type Delta • PS1 • 1999</B>
The lack of fanfare that accompanied this challenging yet rewarding game’s arrival served as a depressing signal that the good ol’ days of 2D shooters were coming to an end.
<B>What’s next:</B> The last game in the sereis was called <I>R-Type Final</I>. Draw your own conclusions.

<B>7. Gunstar Heroes • Genesis • 1993</B>
Developer Treasure has built its reputation on adrenaline packed 2D games like <I>Heroes</I> that feature untraditional gameplay concepts, off-the-wall stories, and epic boss battles.
<B>What’s next:</B> <A HREF=“http://agora.rpgclassics.com/showthread.php?t=22380”>The Internet tells of a mysterious new <I>Gunstar Heroes</I> game for a portable system</A>. Stay tuned.

<B>6. Dragon Force • Saturn • 1996</B>
Strategy-RPG fans have an unspoken bond, as if they and they alone understand and appreciate the genre’s nuances. This game helped solidify that camaraderie.
<B>What’s next:</B> A graphically updated version comes to PlayStation 2 this fall.

<B>5. Tetris Attack • Super NES • 1996</B>
Its frantic pace and addictive nature made <I>Tetris Attack</I> (arguably) the greatest puzzle game of all time. The game has also appeared as <I>Pokémon Puzzle League</I> for Nintendo 64 and in the Japan-only <I>Nintendo Puzzle Collection</i> for GameCube.
<B>What’s next:</B> Nintendo still has no plans to release its <I>Puzzle Collection</I> in the U.S. Boo!

<B>4. Phantasy Star • Sega Master System • 1988</B>
Sure, Nintendo’s first console had <I>Mario</I> and about a gazillion other blockbusters, but it didn’t have <I>Phantasy Star</I>, a role-playing game for Sega’s 8-bit system that spanned the solar system and featured dungeons so difficult you had to draw your own maps.
<B>What’s next:</B> The offline mode in <I>Phantasy Star Universe</I> (coming to PS2 this fall) will have to serve as an unofficial <I>Phantasy Star V</I>.

<B>3. NiGHTS • Saturn • 1996</B>
No, we aren’t suffering from short-term memory loss. Last issue we included <I>NiGHTS</I> on our Top Ten Most Overrated Games list, and we stand by that call. But just because it’s overrated doesn’t mean it can’t be a cult classic, and this is a great game with wonderful visuals (for the time) and an interesting take on burgeoning 3D game ideas.
<B>What’s next:</B> Pleas for a sequel remain unfulfilled. Keep hope alive.

<B>2. Ico • PS2 • 2001</B>
Likewise, despite the hyperbole, <I>Ico</I> is one of those remarkable experiences that are sadly in short supply these days. Critics adore <I>Ico</I> and its ardent fan base cites it as an example of how gaming has the potential to be truly artistic.
<B>What’s next:</B> <I>Ico</I>'s makers bring us the just-as-peculiar <I>Wanda and the Colossus</I> (PS2) this holiday season.

<B>1. Panzer Dragoon Saga • Saturn • 1998</B>
Only a few thousand copies of this superlative RPG were made available to U.S. Saturn owners. And nowadays, the only way to get a hold of it is by selling some blood and then hitting up eBay. But it’s totally worth it.
<B>What’s next:</B> We’re hoping a follow-up to <I>Panzer Dragoon Saga</I> will come to next-gen consoles.

<B>Honorable Mentions</B>

  • <I>Phantasy Star Online</I> series • DC/GC/XB • 2001/2002/2003
  • <I>Devil’s Crush</I> • TurboGrafx-16 • 1990
  • <I>Valkyrie Profile</I> • PS1 • 2000
  • <I>LandStalker</I> • Genesis • 1992

Yay on VP! Boo on Landstalker, that game was annoying as all get-out. -_- I do note the vast overrepresentation of Sega systems on that list… I guess because not many people owned it, that any good game on a Sega system is by definition underrated.

PSO is there but PSIV isn’t? WTF?

It’s very nice seeing VP there as an honarable mention,but I hacve to really dissagre with Phantasy Star,I really consider 2 and 4 way superior to 1,I realy can’t say much since I haven’t played much of those games,but one thing is true,it is more spot-on.

I think they were trying to give props to the PS series, and PS1 was probably the lowest selling entry in the series.

The three Saturn games definitely deserve it. Well, MAYBE not Dragon Force. DF is a great game and all, but I dunno if it’s a top 10 cult classic. PDS and NiGHTS are perfect though.

Maybe they’re considering it as the father of the MMO. Personally, i’d replace gunstar heroes with Guardian Heroes, as its far better, and Treasure’s best work to date.

Everquest and Ultima Online both pre-date Phantasy Star Online, though PSO was certainly the first console mmo.

PSO wasn’t really even an MMO. It had aspects of them, but it was mostly just an online RPG since you could really only play with 3 other people.

Yea, thats what i meant.

I want to know what happened to the rumors of Panzer Dragoon Orta on XBox. Did it ever get released?

and yes, I see this list as more accurate than previous lists featured in EGM.

I think Phantasy Star might refer to the series as a whole. Though PSIV was a good game, it didn’t feel like a Phantasy Star title. I never once had to draw a map for a dungeon in PSIV. Also it was ridiculously easy when compared to the other three titles. I beat PSIV in 27 hours. Still a good game, though. The first one is hard, and I can never get to a high enough level to do anything in it. It doesn’t help that you start the game at level 1 with no money and the monsters outside town(though low level) can kill you in three strikes. Granted, you start at level one in most RPGS, but at least you have enough money to buy a sword and shield, and a couple potions/herbs.

I can see how VP might have a cult following. I put so much time into that game, and I regret selling it now. Even though I totally killed any replay value that it had to offer by putting 300+hours into it

Panzer Dragoon Orta came out on Xbox back in 2002. It’s available for less than $30 in most places, often under $20.

I hate when that happens. Even though I love these game, it’ll probably be a very long time before I’m able to play FFIX (100+hours), FFTactics (60+) or Baldur’s Gate 2 (Holy fuck, I don’t even want to know.) without kicking myself.

YES ZOMJ YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS BUY IT. BUY IT NOWWWWWWWWW.

Its so fucking good. And so much replay-ability! I got that and Morrowind at launch, and i STILL play them. You’ll never get bored of it.

\m/ pdo

Neither of those games were available at launch… >_>

Which at the time was precisely why I chose the PS2 over the Xbox. I was looking forward to both Morrowind and Panzer Dragoon Orta. But if I’d known that the 1st gen PS2 Hardware was shit, I would have went with the Xbox.

<------owns a GCN, currently, but plans to get a PS2(2nd Gen) and will try to talk mom into getting me an Xbox 2 for B-day

Xbox 2 might not be compatible with Xbox 1 games. M$ (I use that abbreviation because it’s well known, not because I think I’m clever) keeps saying it will be, but ATI (who is making the Xbox 2 video card) says that the hardware specifications might make it impossible. We’ll wait and see, though.

As for the PS2, get the model SCPH-50001. It resembles the outer appearance of the original model, but doesn’t have the iLink port. It’s the most stable model so far, as those tinier “PSTwo” models snap at the first opportunity.

Really? I got them soon after then. Or something.

And whats an iLink? Is that the firewire and usb stuff in the front?

It’s basically a small firewire port next to the USB ports on the front. And PDO and Morrowind were both available in 02, I believe, which was the year after the Xbox’s launch, so you could have gotten them fairly early. I didn’t buy my Xbox until both were available.