It seems very odd that in a time when itâ€™s vital for a game to turn a profit, there are a still a few games released with very little publicity or fanfare. Games such as these, for instance:
Of Orcs and Men â€“ PS3, 360, PC
We assume the title is meant to be a play on â€˜Of Mice and Menâ€™, and if that is the case then we approve. This RPG was sneaked out during the summer where it met a steady string of 7/10 review scores.
Although quite a hard game to find in the UK, we imagine thatâ€™s not the case in other parts of Europe â€“ a lot of the reviews online are from gaming sites based in Germany, Sweden, Italy and Finland. “Dat est gut” no doubt at least one of them said.
Damage Inc.: Pacific Squadron WWII â€“ PS3, 360
Flight games do have quite a large following. Well, certainly on PC, but not so much on consoles. This sky-bound shooter was available as a standalone game or bundled with a flight-stick that could be customized with a ‘decal set’ (read: super fun stickers).
We havenâ€™t seen either for sale on the high street. In fact, the flight-stick set is still a staggering Â£89.99 on Amazon.
See also: Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers and Jane’s Advanced Strike Fighters.
Capcom Digital Collection â€“ 360
When Ubisoft announced a retail collection containing just three Xbox Live Arcade games, most of the gaming websites covered the news in great detail. When Capcom announced their collection containing twelve XBLA games though – including Final Fight Double Impact and Super Street Fighter II HD – barely an eyelid was batted. We have absolutely no idea why.
Now available for around Â£15, itâ€™s very good value for money and loaded with easy achievements. Just don’t expect to find many people playing the likes of 1942 online.
Shifting World â€“ 3DS
Usually when a demo of a 3DS game is available on the 3DS eShop the game in question ends up getting a little bit of extra press coverage. Nintendo sites, if nobody else, are quite happy to dedicate news articles to reporting that demos of new games are now available. That didnâ€™t happen with monchrome puzzler Shifting World though â€“ both the US and European releases passed everybody by.
Given the mediocre review scores itâ€™s probably for the best.
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward â€“ 3DS, Vita
A demo of this RPG is also available on the 3DS eShop, but even that combined with a Â£24.99 price tag and slew of glowing review scores failed to get tongues waggling.
We should be incredibly grateful that it was even published in the UK seeing that its predecessor â€“ 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
â€“ wasnâ€™t released over here.
New Little Kingâ€™s Story â€“ Vita
Itâ€™s sad to think that New Little Kingâ€™s Story has more than likely sold worse that the Wii original, a game that failed to set the charts alight itself despite gaining glowing review scores. It even made the cover of NGamer magazine.
Pre-orders for New Little Kingâ€™s Story in particular must have been criminally low â€“ every single online retailer had a different release date for it and as such it ended up arriving almost out of the blue. Fans of the different and quirky would do well to take a look.
Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants â€“ PS3, 360
With no new Tropico city-building sim to publish on consoles this year, Kalisto thought that Port Royale 3 would make a good substitute. It didnâ€™t prove to be, but itâ€™s still far from the worst game to be released in 2012. After youâ€™ve earned enough money to buy a fleet of ships and set up a few trade routes, there isnâ€™t a great deal to it other than holding down a button to speed up time while your coffers fill up with cash.
Hopefully the gameâ€™s failure to sell wonâ€™t stop Kalisto publishing other niche titles on consoles â€“ the two Tropico games are underrated gems.
Fate/Extra â€“ PSP
The PSP did receive a few new games this year and, amazingly, not all of them were annual sports titles. We reviewed Rising Starâ€™s Blazing Souls: Accelate back in June and found it to be a bit of a slog with little reward.
Thankfully for fans of RPGs, Fate/Extra was also released in Europe, and was a much better role player, set in a curious virtual world. Publisher Ghostlight even gave it the collectorâ€™s edition treatment.
US gamers also received another two JRPGs â€“ Gungnir and Ragnarok: Tactics. Four RPGs in a year – thatâ€™s not a bad way for a system to bow out, even if we can’t buy half of them in this country.