Dragon Force

Five awesome games you didn’t know existed

If there’s one eternal mantra that applies to all who play games, it’s that none of us will ever have time to play every game that sounds interesting or appealing. In some cases, it’s a matter of playing other games that deserve our time; for others, they might just not know that better games exist than, well, whatever first-person shooter was just released. Better games do exist, and they’re ready for you.

1. Dragon Force

Released on: Sega Saturn

Why it’s unknown: Because a terrible “power metal” band has the exact same name and hogs all the Google search results.

Average price on eBay: $80-150

Dragon Force

It’s a shame that Dragon Force isn’t better known. It took everything that makes the “rock paper scissors” gameplay of real time strategies enjoyable and simplified it. It managed to do this while somehow maintaining a steady difficulty curve. Although, by the time you’ve gone 20 turns in the game, you own half the world and more or less pick who you want to go send out to steam-roll the enemies.

The only down side with Dragon Force was the micro-managing. Every single general in your army had an unique personality that demanded hours of your time. If you didn’t feed the attention seeking commanders precious moments of your time every month, they’d feel all undignified and leave your army. This made things especially complicated when your army consisted of 50 generals and talking to them demanded you go into a menu, select talk, hit the next button a few times, scroll down, and do the same thing for the next general.

Really though, Dragon Force is a rare strategy game that easily sits as a top ten for Sega Saturn titles. If commanding large armies in a rock paper scissor strategy game is your thing, give it a look.

Favorite childhood memory: Watching 120 dragons rip 20 archers to pieces in the purest definition of overkill.

2. Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of The Earth

Released on: Xbox, PC

Why it’s unknown: Released as the Xbox was heading out the door after everyone had thought it was canned. Additionally, it wasn’t marketed, at all.

Average price on eBay: $20


I’ve covered this game on multiple occasions because I believe it’s what survival horror COULD be. It took an average Joe and put him in a horrendous situation. The fact that he is an average person is pushed down the player’s throat as they find themselves running scared from insane monsters that want nothing more than to feel said player’s throat under their claws. Accuracy is a luxury, getting cut in the leg slows movement, and the player can slowly go insane if they have to stare at terrible things too long. It was a perfect horror game.

The scariest of this game was not the parts where the scary monsters popped out at the player. The scariest scenes were when the player knew they had to get from point A to point B, but had limited resources to do it. There are multiple instances when the player will not have enough ammo to go in guns blazing, but rather have to resort to weapons as a last resort as they try to run from the enemies. Ultimately, the game felt like a true survival experience.

Scariest childhood memory: Jumping from rooftop to rooftop to escape hungry cannibals.

3. Dragon Warrior Monsters

Released on: GBC

Why it’s unknown: Pokemon, Digimon, and Monster Rancher cast a colossus sized shadow over its release.

Average price on eBay: $10


I don’t much enjoy RPGs. Maybe it’s because I didn’t eat enough paint chips as a child. They’re just not fun, and I generally can’t connect with the characters unless they have a 2 foot orange fawk hawk and throw volley balls at enemies. Even so, Dragon Warrior Monsters is a game that I have enjoyed for many years. It was a game that was light years ahead of Pokemon when it came to unique ideas, and felt good to play.

The story was simple enough. Your sister get’s kidnapped by a black fuzzball, then a white fuzzball recruits you to fight in a bizarre tournament. The tournament is then supposedly magical and the grand prize is one wish. Unfortunately, as the your character is only ten years old, that wish is to be reunited with his sister and not to have access to Megaman’s power armor. Either way, the child agrees and is sent into a depraved wilderness to tame horrendous beasts with nothing more than beef jerky and a blue slime (you know, the weakest enemies in Dragon Warrior).

It was a simple RPG, but there was so much to do. Hours after the main campaign was completed, there were other dungeons to explore, and more monsters to collect. Ultimately, it was probably the largest game to come out for the game boy.

Best childhood combo: Three grizzly bears. AWWWW YEAH!

4. Misadventures of Tron Bonne

Released on: PSX

Why it’s unknown: No marketing. I literally only found out about the game because Amazon recommended it to me.

Average price on eBay: $140


Anyone who loved Megaman Legends owes it to themselves to at least look this game up. Everything that players loved about Megaman Legends (except Megaman) makes a glorious comeback. The world, the characters, even the humor all came roaring back. It was the perfect spin-off.

The game starts with Teisel putting the family business of thievery and treasure hunting deep in debt. The criminal syndicate who he robbed from is pretty unhappy about this and kidnaps him for ransom. His little sister Tron must then go out and rescue his sorry butt by doing various mini-games that range from spelunking to box-man puzzles. The nice variety provides a small distraction, but at the end of the day the actual mission gameplay is very similar to Megaman Legends. The only difference is that you’re now a giant robot instead of a small boy.

Perhaps the defining feature of The Misadventures of Tron Bonne was how in depth the game was. With menus galore, and characters all having unique personalities, it was easy to get lost in the game.

Favorite childhood mission: Robo-spelunking.

5. E.V.O. Search For Eden

Released on: SNES

Why it’s unknown: Because it was 20 years ahead of its time and didn’t follow [then] modern trends. Not to mention reviewers seemed less forgiving towards unique ideas back in the 90s. Guess they didn’t know Call of Duty was right around the corner.

Average price on eBay: $170. However, in about a year, I’m pretty sure the ROM files will be legal to download.


I saved E.V.O. for last because it’s really something special. Not that the other games on this list aren’t special, but everyone knows that no one cares about the titles that make up these “top X games of (insert whatever themed “Best-of” list some random site is doing this week here) – they want to see the last game. That’s fine, not reading the entire article means you don’t get the Counter Strike Global Offensive steam code I cleverly hid in one of the other title’s description.

E.V.O. is odd in the fact that it represents of a genre of gaming that only has one other notable title to it (that being Spore). It’s a game about evolution that starts with fish and ends with man. You start as a creature who is promised by a super hot flying space babe named Eden, that if you commit total genocide for 4.6 billion years and destroy all intelligent life in the world, she’ll let you be with her. It’s the kind of story that Suda 51 gets all misty eyed over.

E.V.O. did not have good controls. It did not have good sound. It required too much of the SNES and, in response, was met with clunky visuals. What E.V.O. did have was an unique gameplay concept that let players evolve into a wide variety of amazing creatures. Want to be a T-rex? Be my guest. Long neck with an unicorn horn? BAM! Little Foot the unicorn! It was the kind of game that let you play it the way you wanted to play it. And it came out in 1993.

Favorite childhood “cheat”: Evolving to have a horn to restore all my health in the middle of a boss fight.

Honorable mentions

Dark Savior: A Sega Saturn game that had so many branching story lines my head spins when I think about it.

Mother 3: A superb game that never officially made it out of Japan. English ports exist in ROM form, but nothing solid ever hit U.S. Soil.

Michigan: Report from Hell: A Suda 51 title that isn’t too well known in the states simply because it never came out in the states. The game was all about documenting a zombie/mutant outbreak as a camera man.

Vampire: The Masquerade: The perfect sandbox game. A game filled with unique quests, interesting characters, a large development system, and replay value like nobody’s business. Didn’t make the list because Steam pops it on sale so often that I’m surprised everyone doesn’t own a copy.