We live in a world of digital downloads and re-releases. However, there are some games that slip through the cracks. Lost In Time is about those games. The Stone Age Gamer Podcast’s Kris Randazzo shines a spotlight on a different game each month that is only playable on its original medium due to unpopularity, rights issues, or just plain old bad luck. Sometimes they’re popular titles that are tied up in a number of legal hurdles, sometimes they’re hidden gems that are worth tracking down, but they’re always games that are an important part of history in one way or another, and well worth discovering.
Doc gets off the bike
Copyright-infringing, one-wheeled wonders!
Might solve a mystery, or rewrite history, if you can find it
Wario loves bombs, and hates Bomberman
Rise from your grave… again!
A bongo-powered platformer? Sign me up!
Why the heck is this game not available?
Do you like Zelda? Do you like adventures? You’ll like this game too.
Adventures in East Driftwood with an unforgettable target shooter
What? There was a better version of Mario Bros.?
The Sega Saturn’s coolest launch title with the weirdest name
A Mega Man of many talents
Sometimes things are lost in time for a reason.
Nothing says awesome like a man dressd in pink with a star on his face
The very first Belmont to wield the whip
A forgotten chapter in a legendary series
Metal Gear Solid V may very well signify the end of an era for the Metal Gear Franchise, what with Kojima and Konami not exactly being best buds these days. So, what’s a Metal Gear fan to do? How will they occupy themselves once the MGS V well runs dry? Why, delve into the back-catalog, of course! There have been a ton of games in the Metal Gear franchise over the years, and while some of the more obscure titles haven’t exactly been of the highest caliber (I’m looking at you Ac!d) there was one oddity that lives up to the legacy.
Frogger is one of the all-time great arcade classics. It’s easy to play, difficult to master, and fun for all. There was a sequel back in 1984 for home consoles that tried to take the Frogger gameplay to the next level, but it never managed to recapture the magic of the original. However, in 1997 Hasbro Interactive struck gold with the hapless frog protagonist and spawned a string of retro revivals in the process. Frogger had returned, and it was great.
It’s all about a stick figure on a bike
There was a time in the late 80’s/early 90’s when people everywhere seemed obsessed with California. Something about the Golden State’s beach culture resonated with the youth of America and before you knew it, florescent colored clothes, skateboards, and surfer-dude lingo were absolutely everywhere. But even before TV shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and Saved by the Bell became unavoidable, video games began capitalizing on the craze. One of the very first to do so was California Games.
Let’s replace a mechanical dragon with Dolph Lundgren. No one will notice!
I went on a little expedition to my local store. I bought a selection of seasonal beers from breweries I know and trust. For the most part, I was immensely disappointed. There were attempts at kolsch, weak Belgian blondes, thin lagers with a hint of fruit. Boring, poorly executed, and predictable. And then I tried Great Lakes Brewing’s Chillwave Double IPA. I am no longer disappointed.
A tough game to find, but is it worth the price?
The Virtual Boy is an odd duck. Nearly everything about it absurd, and it was something of a commercial and critical failure. Still, it was a Nintendo product, and as such has gathered quite the cult following, which isn’t entirely without merit. While the console itself might not be the best way to play a game (and that’s putting it nicely) some of the games in its 14-title US library are actually quite good. Among them is the sole release from Atlus, who itself has a rather serious cult following. Being such a singular product, Jack Bros. has skyrocketed in value over the years. The question is, is it worth it?
It’s better than “Next” it’s “New”!
Tetris is quite possibly the most perfect video game ever created. No matter who you are, the concept is understandable. It’s the epitome of “easy to play, difficult to master”. It’s also a venerable brand, and as such, there have been a multitude of attempts to cash in on the name.
What’s an Area 88?
Side scrolling shooters are awesome. They have tons of great action set pieces, intense challenge, and they’ve been around forever. Whether you’re talking about Defender, Daruis, or R-Type, The “shmup” is a genre that’s filled with a multitude of bona fide classics. However, one game rises above the rest. One game got so much right, I would dare to say it’s the best the genre has ever seen. It’s also likely never to be seen again. That one game is UN Squadron for Super NES.
Why settle for ducks when there’s a safari out there?
We all remember Duck Hunt. The dog, the tree, the Zapper. It had everything. Well, almost. For all it’s charm, it lacked diversity. If you wanted a change of scenery, you had two options. You could try your hand at Clay Shooting, or you could go somewhere else entirely. Why settle for mere ducks, when you could go on a safari?
More imagination than you can shake a cyborg teddy bear at
The more modern games get, the less likely they are to be lost and gone forever. Or, so one would think. Strange things happen in the video game industry, and companies come and go all the time. Nowhere was this sentiment more prevalent than during the Dreamcast era. Not quite old enough to be retro, but not quite new enough to be considered current, Sega’s little white box that couldn’t brought us some truly fantastic games, some of which can still only be played on the console they were designed for. One of those was a humble little game about toys, destruction, and the limitless joy of a child’s imagination.
It’s all about the Nibbley Pibbleys
Platformers were everywhere on the NES. Sure, there were many different types of games on the console, but no genre was more prevalent than the almighty platformer. You had plumbers, superheroes, children vaguely endorsed by McDonald’s, and anthropomorphic frogs. However, as broad as the genre was, every once in a while a platformer found a way to go against the grain. All you needed was a pair of sneaky snakes, a rockin’ soundtrack, and an isometric 3D perspective.
Way better than Video Pinball
Pinball and video games go hand in hand. They’ve been linked to one another since the golden age of arcades, but there’s nothing quite as connecting as the pinball video game. For generations, game makers have been trying to bring the pinball experience home without having to spend thousands of dollars on an actual pinball machine. Atari made a few attempts, and eventually got it right. The end result was, well, magic.
Quite possibly the coolest boat in history
RC Pro-Am for NES was a revelation. Simple, addicting, and insanely fun, this isometric racing game was a staple for most NES owners in its day, and while it received its own sequel very late into the console’s life, the geniuses at Rare had another brilliant idea: What if, instead of RC cars, you controlled a boat with a helicopter propeller that could shoot missiles, jump over waterfalls, and slay dragons? Thus, Cobra Triangle was born.
Cute vampires, delicious tomatoes, and magic hats
Vampires have taken on many forms over the years. There’s your traditional Castlevania types, your sparkly Twilight types, and even your Sesame Street Count types. In June 1994, Bullet Proof Software thought Super NES owners could use a new type of vampire: the adorable, tomato juice drinking, magic trick enthusiast type. In a market already flooded with mascot characters with names like Bubsy the Bobcat, Awesome Possum, and Aero the Acrobat, Bullet Proof Software took a chance on a little vampire prince named Spike McFang, and the SNES library is just a little more charming because of it.
Blaster Master for NES is awesome. With a Metroid-style open world, top notch graphics, and a fantastic soundtrack, there’s little not to love about the original Blaster Master. What most people don’t know, is just how many sequels it got. From Game Boy to PlayStation, Sunsoft has been trying to recreate the success of the original for years. Way back in 1993, while the NES was reaching the end of its days, Sunsoft wanted to make a 16-bit sequel to their flagship title. Blaster Master 2, however, wouldn’t be what fans expected.
Avoid the bouncing balls
Of all the video games that have slipped through the cracks over the years, Robert Cook’s D/Generation is perhaps the most unjustly obscure. This PC title from 1991 is a wonderful gem that suffered from poor marketing all around. To date, I only know 2 people besides myself that have even heard of D/Generation, and that’s shame. Featuring clever puzzles, bizarre enemy design, and some hilariously weird dialogue, it’s a mystery why more people haven’t played it.