Games That Time Forgot
It's November, in a year that ends in the number "9," which means that soon enough, you'll be reading "best of the decade" lists on every gaming site known to man (including Crispy Gamer, naturally).
But the games we're pulling together in this feature won't appear on any of those best-of lists. These are the games that get kicked to the bottom shelf of your game store's "pre-owned" section. These are the games that get confused looks when you mention them in conversation.
These are the Games That Time Forgot.
Just because time has forgotten these titles, though, doesn't mean you should forget them, too. So for each year from 2000-2009, a member of Crispy's Game Trust has chosen one obscurity to bring back into the limelight. The rationale behind the selections is simple: We know these games aren't classics, but we believe they deserve to be remembered.
A list like this is more personal and subjective than most, so as we revisit some of the past 10 years' most curious curiosities, post your own remembrances of unfairly forgotten games in the comments.
2000 - Spider-Man
"There have been plenty of Spider-Man games since Neversoft's 2000 release. Most of them resemble Neversoft's 2000 release." -- Kyle Orland
2001 - Rails Across America
"When reviewers dug into early builds of Rails Across America, it confounded them. 'What are we supposed to be doing in this game?' they must have wondered to themselves as they tried to build a railroad from Quebec to Boston or Richmond to New York and continued to fail." -- James Fudge
2002 - Mad Maestro!
"For those paying attention, it was a unique and exciting take on a young genre that has had some subtle but profound influences on its future direction." -- Kyle Orland
2003 - Freedom Fighters
"Perhaps time has forgotten Freedom Fighters because of its banal, totally forgettable, terrible name. It sounds so much like about a thousand other games that even if you haven't played it, you're still pretty sure you probably have.
But Freedom Fighters was actually a great goddamn game." -- Scott Jones
2004 - Jet Li: Rise to Honor
"When Rise to Honor came to the PlayStation 2 in the fall of 2004, it wasn't tied to any movie release. Instead, it tried to be its own feature film." -- Evan Narcisse
2005 - Shadow of Rome
"No game captured the bloody, gory, sail-on-little-limb-sail-on spirit of the arena quite like Shadow of Rome did on the PlayStation 2. Now this, my friends, was a game." -- Scott Jones
2006 - Every Extend Extra
"Every Extend Extra harbors a similar level of visual abstraction as Rez; but there's no story, no attempt to have any of it make sense. More than in any of Mizuguchi's other games, it's a pure experience that you have to feel your way through." -- Evan Narcisse
2007 - Myst Online: Uru Live
"Uru: Ages Beyond Myst was to be a realization of the Myst dream -- an interconnected set of virtual worlds that gamers could explore and share at will ?
but every attempt to bring it to the Internet was met with failure." -- Gus Mastrapa
2008 - Bangai-O Spirits
"Bangai-O Spirits was an odd and unfairly overlooked shoot-'em-up from Treasure, the studio responsible for such bullet-hell classics as Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga. Bullets in those games pelted the screen like sea spray.
On a cart the size of a communion wafer, Bangai-O Spirits blew all those games out of the water." -- Ryan Kuo
2009 - Retro Game Challenge
"'PUSH START' used to mean 'push Start.' As in, stretch your thumb to the middle of the controller and push the honest-to-goodness Start button to begin the game. At some point in the late '80s, 'PUSH START' came to mean 'push anything.'" -- John Teti