I played a ton of video games as a kid, but I was largely at the mercy of what was popular or what my parents got for me. They were VERY good about picking up great games for me and my siblings, but some games I just missed for one reason or another. A few of these you may have seen on my article at The Gr1nd, and that’s because I’ve been going back and playing old games I haven’t finished quite a bit lately. Here are 5 (really 6) of my favorite games that I missed out on when I was growing up.
- Ninja Gaiden
God I love this game. Ninja Gaiden is widely known as an incredibly tough game. I can agree that the game is hard, but I don’t ever feel frustrated with the game. It plays so well that I can usually take multiple deaths in stride, well…Until Level 6-2. Level 6-2 is a bane on my existence and I hate it…until I fly through it after some initial runs. This game makes me want to throw my controller at some points, but when I finish a troubling spot, I always feel incredibly accomplished. This is a satisfying game that I’m kind of glad I didn’t play until I was an adult. I still have yet to beat Ninja Gaiden, but I’m sure it won’t be long at this point. It honestly may make it into my top 10 after I finally finish it.
- Journey To Silius
A lot of people probably played Journey To Silius for the first time as adults. This is a game that is very often seen on people’s “hidden gems” lists, and for good reason. Journey To Silius is an incredibly well crafted experience. It’s tough, and it only leaves you with a limited amount of continues, but it rarely feels unfair. It’s a game, like Ninja Gaiden, about learning the levels and enemy patterns before you are able to proceed. This is another game I still haven’t beat, but I take some time out every month to try and tackle it, and I get a little bit further each time. Journey To Silius is an incredible run and gun shooter that you shouldn’t miss.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
I’ve done a full review on Sonic the Hedgehog, and I’ve warmed to the game even more since. While it still has it’s frustrating points, and it’s still a freaking SEGA game, I still enjoy popping this in on occasion. I didn’t grow up with a Genesis, so I had very limited time with this game growing up. As an adult, it’s one of those games that I learned how to play and get decent at. While I’ve beaten the game a few times now, I still have yet to collect all the chaos emeralds. I still maintain that this game is more fun than the second one, but I know I’m in a small minority.
- Contra/Super C
It’s a twofer! I still have no idea how I missed Contra growing up. This game is incredibly fun and a good challenge without feeling impossible. Add in an incredible soundtrack, and Konami has made themselves one of the best games of all time. I’ve done a video on this game, outlining the differences between the NES and Arcade versions, and it’s without a doubt that the NES game, while technically graphically inferior, is the more polished game. If you’ve played Contra to death, I suggest trying it’s lesser known sequel, Super C, which is an improved game that uses the same awesome formula Contra was known for. Run and gun thrills, big bosses, awesome music, the whole shebang.
- Super R-Type
Super R-Type is a horizontal space shooter, a genre that I didn’t really find a lot of interest in until I was older. I played Gradius III quite a bit, even during the PS2 era, because it aged so well. I wasn’t aware of the R-Type series until I started collecting and saw this game at Goodwill. I picked it up and I was very pleased with it. It’s got excellent graphics and sound, and interesting shooter gameplay mechanics that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve never been too familiar with shooters, so the way the game handled power ups was completely new to me. It’ll take a very long time for me to beat it, but I keep hacking away at it, a little at a time.