Fighting Run

Fighting Run is simultaneously a game that’s a gigantic pain in the rear and also one that I kinda love. Everything about this game is just so dang cool! The aesthetics create an environment that’s both grim and silly, the concept is something that so rarely gets an entire game dedicated to it, and the mechanics leave a ton of potential for an indie developer to build upon and the foundation for a passionate competitive community to take root in. If this game was something people were aware of and if it was just a bit more polished, I seriously think it could be a proper cult hit!

Override

Override might not be the most exceptional shoot ‘em up ever, but it’s one that does nearly everything well, and the things it doesn’t do as well were corrected for its remake, which is a privilege most games don’t get to experience. Between the PC Engine version’s approachability and the Sharp X68000 version’s added bells and whistles, there’s something here for everyone who has even a passing interest in shoot ‘em ups. Override can be safely recommended for those unfamiliar with the genre as something that’s reasonable for them to finish (I beat it on my first attempt and I’m not good at the genre!), whereas veteran players can try to go for Last Battalion's elusive second ending to get the thrills they seek.

Super Metal Crusher

Super Metal Crusher is an impressively ambitious idea for 1991 that tragically falls flat on its face. The sheer number of attributes and options you have at your disposal mean nothing when you're expected to watch your robot wander about and hope for the best. A startling lack of gameplay variety and reasons to learn how the game works makes the experience lose its shine very quickly, but to its benefit, there's little else out there like it...

Jaseiken Necromancer

Inspired by the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and H.R. Giger, Jaseiken Necromancer gives off an appearance of sophistication, seemingly offering a gritty, mature experience you wouldn't get on your aging 8-bit consoles. But in reality, it's no different than all of those Dragon Quest clones, offering remarkably little of interest in terms of mechanics or world building while putting up one heck of a fight the whole way through.