Hidden gems: that need more love.

So I was looking though my steam library and some games that I love seem to have very few people who know about them. So its time to highlight a few of them and ask if any of you have any that I might now know about to add to my wishlist.

First is
Golden Treasure: the Great Green.
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/1065100/Golden_Treasure_The_Great_Green/
This is a hard game to really describe, you play as a dragon and you explore the world and get stronger and grow. It is mostly text based with a lot of encounters that vary based on your choices and your skills and your choices will carry over from life stage to even your next life, since it is kind of a hard game and it even has turn based combat. There is a free demo on steam that can help you understand what kind of game it is better then I can describe since again, its hard to describe, but it does a great job of making you feel like you're something besides human.

Next is
Wings of VI
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/318530/Wings_of_Vi/
This is a very hard platformer where you play an angel who's land is taken over by a demon who escapes. Unlike something like Super Meat Boy, you can fight back against your enemies, but its still really hard and very rewarding, just remember to rest your thumbs.

Then we have
Slipstream
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/732810/Slipstream/
This is an old school arcade type racer. Its really not much more than that but it feels really good to play and I love the style of the game even though I'm not really that into racers.

as long as we are in old school, lets do a sexy one
Sakura Dungeon
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/407330/Sakura_Dungeon/
This was probably the first sexy game I played. (it needs a patch that can be easily dled from the dev's patreon for free) Its a dungeon crawler, an old school one where you are just wandering around a maze and occasionally fighting turn based battles. If the game was just this, it would be solid but dull. What sets it apart are its cast of women and the women you find in the dungeon. You play as a 800 year old kitsune who was broken out of being sealed up is trying to take back over her dungeon. All the monster girls you find in the dungeon can be captured and persuaded to join her cause and for the most part I really mean persuaded, not like forced into it. There is a lot of yuri in this and no rape, so neat.

Finally
Vessel
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/108500/Vessel/
This is a puzzle platformer with great atmosphere where you tend to use water and goo creatures to help you get through the world. It's been awhile since I last played it so I don't really remember the plot but I did love the gameplay and its got some great puzzles.

So that's all the ones that come to mind for me at the moment, can you find any games in your list that seem to have under 1k reviews that you love and feel deserve more attention?

Dang, i'd have more if this was for PS2 games, I don't have a ton on my steam list, but for the "under 1k" club:

FRACT OSC:
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/243220/FRACT_OSC/

It's a musical explorative puzzle game akin to The Witness, though a lot shorter of course. Really nice game, especially if you like creating music of your own. The only stipulation I can give is that its pricepoint of $15 is a little high for a puzzle game of its length, but maybe i'm just spoiled by games like The Witness and Baba Is You.

Runner3/Bit Trip Runner 2/Bit Trip Runner:
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/516130/Runner3/

Was actually surprised this had less then 200 reviews, maybe it's less known than I thought. It's a somewhat-rhythm based runner. Not to be confused with an "endless runner", all levels are hand crafted and last around 2-3 minutes. Plus it has a lot of very "unique" music to say the least, I enjoy the soundtrack a lot. The entire series is solid, but check out the previous entries if it catches your fancy.
Did I mention Charles Martinet is the Narrator for both Runner 2 and 3?

Impulsion:
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/811270/Impulsion/

An FPS platformer where you run through a series of obstacle courses with your two specialized-guns; one gun that shoots a speed-up bubble, and the other that slows things down and gives you a double jump while inside. A fairly simplistic game, but it's well made and might scratch an itch.

The last one I have just barely passes the "under 1k" reviews and is less hidden and more forgotten;
Thief 2:
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/211740/Thief_II_The_Metal_Age/

An old but still solid stealth game, worth a try if you really need a decent stealth game to play. Be warned that you will likely need to download a third-party patch called "T2Fix" to fix the games gamma slider and allow the game to be played in full resolution.

Project Nimbus

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You fly a giant mech in the far future with floating cities 'n' shit. It's a completely open, third-person shooter as well. No rails here. Graphics can be a bit weak, but the game is super fun to play. There's a story, but I kinda just ignored it for more mech action.

Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/257030/Project_Nimbus_Complete_Edition/

Override

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Trying to recreate the feel of the classic mech shows, where each team member piloted a different limb, you can play with friends on this one and control a single mech. Each person gets their own body part to handle for attacking, blocking, or even looking around. You can play it solo as well, which is equally enjoyable. The gameplay reminds me a lot of the old Godzilla games from the PS2/Xbox era.

Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/709440/Override_Mech_City_Brawl/

Viscera Cleanup Detail

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This game may be more popular than I think, simply because of the meme potential. Either way, you play a janitor cleaning up the gory aftermath of various events in most games you'd cause or be a part of. It's a very repetitive game that doesn't require too much brain power. Great to play when you want to watch something but need your hands doing something. It's got some spin-offs too, one set in Shadow Warrior and another after Santa had enough of his elves.

Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/246900/Viscera_Cleanup_Detail/

I've played Slipstream and Thief 2, and I can definitely recommend both. I'll add a few more on of my own.

428 Shibuya Scramble
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/648580/428_Shibuya_Scramble/

Ever wanted to try reading a visual novel, but you're turned off by the art styles and the anime cliches? Here's a visual novel with an entirely unique art style and set of cliches based on live-action detective dramas - all of the game's graphics are done with still shots of real actors playing out each scene instead of talking heads with the occasional full-screen artwork. The game has more 'gameplay' depth to it than a lot of VNs as well, since you have to figure out which choices for each character allow them to move forward through a temporal gridlock that you can easily check back and forth through without a network of save files. It's on sale right now for pretty cheap, too. (May not be on sale by the time you read this.)

Touhou: Luna Nights
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/851100/Touhou_Luna_Nights/

Touhou is probably the biggest indie series in Japan, but you don't need to know anything about it to enjoy this 'fangame'. All you need to know is that you're a maid who works for a vampire, who can throw knives and manipulate time. This game is a Metroidvania that uses a 'graze' mechanic based on bullet hell shooters that allows you to quickly refill your health and mana by living dangerously. Sakuya's suite of time manipulation powers are pretty great as well. Though I said 'fangame' before, this is a professional product well worth the asking price, if you don't mind a few rough edges in the translation.
Also check out Hidden Star in Four Seasons, a game from the main Touhou series, if you want to try a real bullet hell. There's a translation patch available if you care about the in-game text, otherwise there's guides online to explain the mechanics.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/745880/__Hidden_Star_in_Four_Seasons/

Wild Guns Reloaded
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/585910/Wild_Guns_Reloaded/

The original Wild Guns was an arcade-style shoot-em-up for the SNES. From an over-the-shoulder perspective, you shoot up bad guys and bosses while dodging left and right through a techno-Wild West setting. The remake touches up the graphics and the soundtrack, but keeps the core gameplay experience intact from the SNES original, with a few extra stages and some new characters thrown in. I suggest mainly playing with the original two, Clint and Annie, since Doris and Bullet are both unintuitive and kind of game-breaking.

Barony: https://store.steampowered.com/app/371970/

A first person 3D voxel Rogue-like Dungeon Crawler. A lot of fun, active devs in the forum to help you, fun to figure out how to play. I just got the first Monster Pack DLC that lets you play as Skeleton, Vampire, Succubus and Goatmen, along with 4 new classes. (Default is just human but plenty of classes to choose from)

First few times I played it I got wrecked, but now I am pretty good at beating it consistently, though the new Monster DLC is challenging for me, tried the Vampire Accursed today, oof, that is a tough, though potentially fun option.

Also has online co-op, though don't expect to just jump on with randoms any time soon.

If anybody is looking for a fallout like isometric RPG, underrail just got a pretty sizable expansion.

If you want a top down roguelike, tome 4 (tale of maj'eyal) is free (or you can buy it for a small price on steam with a couple of added stuff) and has been seeing semi regular update for years at this point.

Star wolves is a little series of space RTS like game, think freelancer but with a bigger focus on story and you control multiple ship at once, I recommend the 3rd entry.

Sword of the star is a cool space 4x (pretty lite on most x though) where you can intricately design your own ship.

Thea is a sorta 4x (but not really) adventure game where you grow your village while exploring a large world.

I tried to set this as 1k reviews since under that tends to mean its not well known. Anyway, have some more lesser known shooter games.

Overload
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/448850/Overload/
Its Descent, its made by the original creators of Descent and it plays just like Descent but much prettier. It's also fantastic and a ton of fun. If you don't know what Descent/Overload is, they are full 360 degree fps game where you fly a ship through various bases, blow up bots, destroy the core then escape before the base blows up. Its a really great game, but you might want to make sure you don't get motion sickness, cause if there is an fps that will give you it, its this one, there is also vr mode.

Rive
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/278100/RIVE_Wreck_Hack_Die_Retry/
A side scrolling shooter platformer which I totally managed to miss till I got it as part of a humble monthly bundle. Its a really good solid game with great shooting and a really nice asthetic.

Butcher
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/474210/BUTCHER/
This is a hard side scrolling shooter with low res pixel graphics. It does take some getting used to the small pixels but its a very satisfying hardcore experience.

Steredenn
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/347160/Steredenn/
This is a side scrolling roguelite shooter and its amazing. The randomization elements in it work really really well, better then pretty much any other roguelite outside of something like Enter the Gungion or Binding of Issac. The shooting feels really good, you have a number of ships to choose from each with their different play style, its got great pixel graphics and a killer sound track that makes Doom 2016 jealous.

I'm gonna add to the shooter mix above me, since my Steam library is small, and most of the games on there are not hidden by any means (Dust: An Elysian Tail, for example, is still a gem. But it has sold well over 1 million copies, so it's hardly obscure. Major props to that game though, well worth checking out!)

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A wonderful mecha shoot em up that has a great soundtrack, plenty of style, and a really neat concept where the game switches between side scrolling, vertical scrolling, and 3rd person scrolling dynamically during the course of each level, and even during boss fights. It makes everything feel, well... dynamic! An absolutely excellent game and my favourite shoot-em-up currently.
Steam link, also on PS4 and Switch: https://store.steampowered.com/app/283680/Astebreed_Definitive_Edition/

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Now this one's quite different from the norm. The game has an all-blue colour scheme (Save for the enemies, which are red), and its mechanic is that you use the trigger buttons (or keyboard keys) to rotate your ship's view on a 360 degree tube axis. If you can't find your target above you, maybe's it's below you, so you rotate your view accordingly. This also means avoiding enemy fire as well, as some bullet patterns remain in the direction they were fired. You're able to shoot in front of you and into the background, so if an enemy is approaching from a large distance, you can find them and take them down before they get close. It's really fun, and a quite unique concept that stands out from the rest.
Steam link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/313400/REVOLVER360_REACTOR/

Worgen:

Next is
Wings of VI
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/318530/Wings_of_Vi/
This is a very hard platformer where you play an angel who's land is taken over by a demon who escapes. Unlike something like Super Meat Boy, you can fight back against your enemies, but its still really hard and very rewarding, just remember to rest your thumbs.

Ahh the beloved 2D platformer. Basically classic gaming distilled down to its essence of skill and elegant simplicity of design.

About the toughest recent 2D platformer I recall playing through is Bloodrayne: Betrayal.. Not sure how tough Vi is by contrast, but the better reception is encouraging that it will at least be a bit "fair" tougher.

I'm also curious about They Bleed Pixels. I like the basic art style and animation, plus being H.P. Lovecraft inspired is a nice touch.

For an interesting puzzle game, there is The Bridge. It has a solid blend of logic and physics-based puzzles along with a dose of optical illusions to keep things from getting predictable.

Elvis Starburst:
I'm gonna add to the shooter mix above me, since my Steam library is small, and most of the games on there are not hidden by any means (Dust: An Elysian Tail, for example, is still a gem. But it has sold well over 1 million copies, so it's hardly obscure. Major props to that game though, well worth checking out!)

image
A wonderful mecha shoot em up that has a great soundtrack, plenty of style, and a really neat concept where the game switches between side scrolling, vertical scrolling, and 3rd person scrolling dynamically during the course of each level, and even during boss fights. It makes everything feel, well... dynamic! An absolutely excellent game and my favourite shoot-em-up currently.
Steam link, also on PS4 and Switch: https://store.steampowered.com/app/283680/Astebreed_Definitive_Edition/

I've been meaning to get Astebreed, but keep forgetting. I'll put it in my kart later.

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

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Can be described as bloody palace mode the game with schoolgirl Vergil. It's difficulty and awesome.

Slipstream
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/732810/Slipstream/
This is an old school arcade type racer. Its really not much more than that but it feels really good to play and I love the style of the game even though I'm not really that into racers.

I recommend Horizon Chase Turbo too. It was free on PSN, but the price for it still good.

hanselthecaretaker:

Worgen:

Next is
Wings of VI
https://store.steampowered.com/app/318530/Wings_of_Vi/
This is a very hard platformer where you play an angel who's land is taken over by a demon who escapes. Unlike something like Super Meat Boy, you can fight back against your enemies, but its still really hard and very rewarding, just remember to rest your thumbs.

Ahh the beloved 2D platformer. Basically classic gaming distilled down to its essence of skill and elegant simplicity of design.

About the toughest recent 2D platformer I recall playing through is Bloodrayne: Betrayal.. Not sure how tough Vi is by contrast, but the better reception is encouraging that it will at least be a bit ?fair? tougher.

I?m also curious about They Bleed Pixels. I like the basic art style and animation, plus being H.P. Lovecraft inspired is a nice touch.

For an interesting puzzle game, there is The Bridge. It has a solid blend of logic and physics-based puzzles along with a dose of optical illusions to keep things from getting predictable.

Wings of Vi is one of those really hard but fair hard games, there is very little bullshit design in it, its more about reflexes and mastery and giving you the tools you need. Its been awhile since I played the demo for Bloodrayne but I remember the controls feeling a little floaty and unresponsive... I think, its been years and years.

Something about They Bleed Pixels didn't do it for me. The checkpoint system was pretty annoying, you had to charge it up by killing enemies then be standing still on a single surface for a few seconds, which gets annoying to do later on. Which is a shame since I really wanted to see where it went, maybe I'll try playing it again, I think when I originally played it I had other games I wanted to play more and it just got shelved.

Shadow Tactics is one of the best stealth games released this gen.

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I am going to recommend Yoku's Island Express which I feel a lot of people missed last year.

This is the Switch trailer but it is out on pretty much ever other platform. It is in short, a pinball influenced Metroidvania published by Team 17. It is cute, has a great soundtrack, a bit short but can probably be picked up fairly cheaply now. So, if you like pinball or Metroidvanias, then I think you should have a proper look at it. There is a demo for it on PS4 and Switch so you can try before you buy.

*cough* *cough* ...Outer Wilds

Oh man, it's that time again to pimp out some of my favorite games that nobody seems to talk about. I'll keep it short, since I'm sure everyone has seen me talk about said games at some point.

Kerbal Space Program

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Basically, it's a sandbox game about building and flying spacecraft, with little green dudes call Kerbals who look a bit like off brand minions(and even speak in their own version of incomprehensible speech). You have a space complex, the ability to recruit kerbalnauts for your spacecraft and a massive amount of parts to build whatever you want(including aircraft, rovers, space stations, some people have built naval vessals through some creative means). What do you use these for? Well, there's a rather large planet to fly around(though not terribly detailed) and a solar system not unlike our own to go out and explore. The real challenge comes from your ability to build and your ability to pilot, because there's a fairly robust physics engine in the game and just figuring out how to land on the moon for the first time is a major challenge when you're learning the game(kinda like in real life). So it's a game that makes a number of concessions to playability while still being a hell of a lot more like actual spaceflight then like 90% of every video game/movie/etc out there. You will learn how astrophysics work, at least on a basic level, to get anywhere in this game and you'll probably still have some disasters(a common joke is "Built new rocket, launched it, rocket immediately made a 180 degree arc and crashed into the ground, no survivors. 10/10")

There are a couple different modes, from pure sandbox where everything is unlocked from the start, up to a career mode where you have to pay for everything and accidents can destroy your ability to make any money at all. There's also a science mode in the middle that works more like the sandbox but there's a tech tree you need to unlock as you play(but money isn't a factor).

It's also incredibly mod friendly and one of the few games I've actually cared about modding.

My only criticisms is that there's a bit of a learning curve involved(though not nearly as much as when the game first came out, due to adding tutorials) and a number of mods tend to get glitchy when the game is updated(especially on major updates), so mods that stopped being supported might not be feasible anymore. This is kind of a problem when, as of the last time I played, the only way to have a flight computer in game was to use the MechJeb mod, which should be part of the base game.
image

Kentucky Route Zero
image
This might be one of the best Walking Simulators ever made. Basically a wierd little exploratory adventure game set over the course of a summer night in rural Kentucky but it feels like you've stumbled into a version of America according to David Lynch. It's haunting and mysterious in a way that so few games get right, along with a small group of people who end up tagging along on this journey with you and the rather interesting denizens you stumble across at night. It's a world that's amazing to explore despite it's short length

The downside is that the game is episodic and still isn't finished. Of the 5 planned episodes, only 4 are out with episode 5 still out there somewhere in dev hell. Production pace has become downright glacial, with the first episode dropped in 2013 and they're down to less then one episode per year at this point(episode 4 has been out 3 years at this point). Which would be somewhat understandable if the episodes were fairly substantial but you can finish each one in 90 minutes or an hour, easily. Even with a small dev team, they're taking a very, very long time to finish this up.

To put this in perspective, Hollow Knight also has a small team, was kickstarted a year after the first KRZ episode dropped and came out 2 years ago. Undertale and it's sequel of sorts(whatever Deltarune is) have both come out since the first episode dropped. Undertale was developed by one guy.

Dalisclock:
*snip*

Ok, Kerbal under no circumstances works for this list. Its sold at least 2.5 million copies, it might not get talked about a ton but its hardly hidden.

Lets do some point and click games.

I'll start with Foxtail.
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/581360/FoxTail/
This one is still in early access and only has a couple chapters out so far. But its quite charming with a great art style and gameplay that reminds me of Legend of Kyrandia. One really interesting thing that it does is give overall puzzle objectives but then give multiple ways to solve them. Really the only downside is that the story isn't finished yet and you can tell the makers first language isn't english. It has some odd word choices, nothing that makes the game hard to understand but something that would sound really awkward if you heard someone say it.

Next is,
Chook & Sosig Walk the Plank
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/899470/Chook__Sosig_Walk_the_Plank/
This one is finished. It has a quite nice art style with fun characters and a DnD type framing device, it has multiple endings depending on how you solve certain puzzles. I've also never seen this many undead characters in one place just being cool.

Now we have,
The Miskatonic
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This one is kinda different. Its much closer to a VN then a real point and click. But its got a good dark comedy plot with a very interesting art style that kinda gives it a bit of a sexy look, despite starring characters you wouldn't actually want to touch or smell.

And now for something completely different.
X-Morph Defense
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https://store.steampowered.com/app/408410/XMorph_Defense/
This is a tower defense game with a twist. You play an invading alien force who builds up defenses to stop the humans from destroying your cores. What adds the twist is that this is also a twin stick shooter. You can switch between either building turrets or becoming one of 4 different ships that specialize in destroying different types of enemies. The game also has a pretty impressive physics damage model so you can blow up a building and have that block a path for on coming enemies and such. Just we aware, this is a hard game, it doesn't really pull many punches so you have to be on the ball or it will wreck you, especially on the later stages.

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Inquisitor Martyr. Its basically Diablo 2 set in 40k. Its a dungeon crawler with multiple character builds, weapons galore, an a fun mechanic to generate your own dungeons using the Emperor's Tarrot. You get to pick the enemy, the difficulty, the mission, the twist, and all that effects the loot amount and type. Its great fun!
https://store.steampowered.com/app/527430/Warhammer_40000_Inquisitor__Martyr/

Dalisclock:
Kentucky Route Zero
image
This might be one of the best Walking Simulators ever made. Basically a wierd little exploratory adventure game set over the course of a summer night in rural Kentucky but it feels like you've stumbled into a version of America according to David Lynch. It's haunting and mysterious in a way that so few games get right, along with a small group of people who end up tagging along on this journey with you and the rather interesting denizens you stumble across at night. It's a world that's amazing to explore despite it's short length

The downside is that the game is episodic and still isn't finished. Of the 5 planned episodes, only 4 are out with episode 5 still out there somewhere in dev hell. Production pace has become downright glacial, with the first episode dropped in 2013 and they're down to less then one episode per year at this point(episode 4 has been out 3 years at this point). Which would be somewhat understandable if the episodes were fairly substantial but you can finish each one in 90 minutes or an hour, easily. Even with a small dev team, they're taking a very, very long time to finish this up.

To put this in perspective, Hollow Knight also has a small team, was kickstarted a year after the first KRZ episode dropped and came out 2 years ago. Undertale and it's sequel of sorts(whatever Deltarune is) have both come out since the first episode dropped. Undertale was developed by one guy.

Sell me on this. I got up to Chapter 3 and am just not into it. To me, it relies on being quirky and hasn't got any substance to it. Does Chapter 4 get any better?

trunkage:
Sell me on this. I got up to Chapter 3 and am just not into it. To me, it relies on being quirky and hasn't got any substance to it. Does Chapter 4 get any better?

I hate to say it, but if you've finished through chapter 3 and aren't feeling it, chapter 4 isn't going to make you reconsider. It has a different dynamic(a trip down the underground river with the occasional choice of locations to visit along the way) but the feel is much the same.

It's kinda like playing Earthbound. It's the particular feel of the game that either does it for you or it doesn't. If it doesn't, there's not much else to change your mind.

 

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