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Lost Classics: Outlaw Tennis (Xbox, PS2)

outlaw.jpeg10 years ago, I introduced powet staple $20 Game of the Week with a look at this game. After doing this column almost every week for 10 straight years, maybe now is a good time to revisit it. This is one of the few games that I still have in my collection, and it’s one of the few original Xbox games that are backwardly compatible on the Xbox 360. I remembering purchasing this game like it was yesterday. I had just paid off my tuition for fall of 2005, and I was looking for a game to keep myself occupied until school started. A trip to gamestop saw this title available for only $20. On a whim, I picked it up, and enjoyed it enough to use it as a stepping stone to start a weekly column. While it hasn’t aged well since then, Outlaw Tennis still retains its own unique charm.
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Lost Classics: Violent Storm (Arcade)

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Violent Storm, a spiritual successor to Konami’s Crime Fighters and Vendetta, was one of the many beat-em-ups that littered the arcades during the mid-90s. Along with Metamorphic Force, it was one of the last beat-em-ups that was produced by Konami. Playing as one of three heroes, you set out to rescue a girl named Sheena from a group of enemies known as the Geld Gang in a post apocalyptic (of course you wouldn’t know it from the parks, trains, and stores that are fully functional and pristine looking) world. Nothing about it stood out among other titles of its day, but there was nothing terrible about it either. It was pretty much a beat em up that had everything that made the genre great: large character sprites, colorful enemies, 2-player action, and cool moves. It’s a shame it never received a console release either. If you come across the cabinet, you’d do well to pop in a quarter or two.



Lost Classics: Metroid II – The Return of Samus (Game Boy, 3ds Virtual Console)

Metroid2_boxartMetroid II is seen as the dark horse of the franchise. In fact, it was slightly panned by critics when it was originally released. However, while it wasn’t as received as favorably as its predecessor at the time, it would go on to become one of the biggest games on the original Game Boy, and the events of the game would have major repercussions for every other Metroid game that followed outside the Prime trilogy. Taking control of series hero Samus Aran, players travel to SR388, the Metroid homeworld to permanently wipe out the species (of course we all know how that ended). There is even a counter to display the number of Metroids remaining on the planet to drive home the fact that Samus is basically attempting galactic genocide. In a bit of a departure from the series norm, Samus starts the game with both the missiles and the morph ball. In true Metroid fashion, players will find other suit upgrades. Despite the Game Boy’s limited color palette, the game’s graphics are surprisingly detailed. You’ll also encounter bizarre new enemies, and you’ll see the evolution cycle of the titular creatures. Fans of the series will no doubt want to play this game. If you’re a member of Club Nintendo, you can get this game on the 3DS virtual console for only 150 coins until June 30th.



Lost Classics: The Video Power Team (Animated TV Show)

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A few weeks ago, I did a Lost Classic about Captain N. If that show represented every gamer’s ultimate fantasy, this might represent every kid’s delusion: video game characters coming out of their games to hang around with them. Even worse, most of the characters were from spme rather forgettable titles, and it was made by the late, not-so-lamented, Acclaim entertainment.
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Lost Classics: Captain N The Game Master (Animated TV Show)

Captain-N

Admit it: If you played Nintendo as a kid, this was your ultimate fantasy. Whisked off to a world inspired by your favorite video games, teaming up with your favorite characters, and scoring with a hot princess. From 1989 until 1991, Nintendo, DIC Entertainment, and Saban made it a reality, although the execution was a bit off.
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Canceled Part 5: A Maximum Letdown Special

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This past memorial day, we remembered the brave men and women in our military who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We as gamers also remember the many games that have been left on the cutting room floor, some due to budget issues, others due to executive meddling, and others due to censorship. This list of titles once again mentions 10 games that didn’t make it past previews and concept stages. Some titles we were better off without. However, other titles were potential classics that were killed off before their time. All games mentioned deserved their time in the spotlight, even if metacritic would have given them a rating of only 5.5.
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Lost Classics: Codename Tenka (Playstation 1)

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If a game like Tenka had been released in this age of gaming, it would have been dismissed as another me-too dudebro shooter. Thankfully, it was released during the Playstation One era, and its graphics and gameplay helped to set itself apart from other first person shooters of the day. Taking control of Joseph Tenka, you are out to get revenge against the sinister corporation Trojan Inc after you are attacked by one of its experimental bioweapons. You’ll make your way through 20 levels while shooting a variety of enemies. This game was notable for a few reasons. First, instead of picking up a series of weapons, Tenka just carries one gun, and picks up enhancements for it that lets it shoot different types of ammo. Secondly, it was one of the first FPS games to render enemies in 3D (as opposed to using pixelated 2D sprites) and feature a crouch button. While neither of these seem like that big a deal, they both added new enhancements on both graphics and gameplay. Developed by Pygnosis (Lemmings), Tenka was another classic addition to the FPS genre and deserves it’s place alongside the Rise of the Triads and Duke Nukems.



Lost Classics: Age of Empires 2 (PC)

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Age of Empires 2 is one of the most influential entries in the real time strategy genre. Combining Civilization-style world building with traditional 4X strategy gameplay, AOE 2’s game mechanics still help it remain popular among gamers to this day, even more so than it’s HD remake.
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