Every series has a "black sheep" a game that deviates from the formula, does something different, does something wrong or just isn't liked. These games aren't considered as good as the rest of their series, and in some cases, that is true. However black sheep games tend to be labeled as "bad" when in fact they're anything but bad. The worst games in some series are still better than the crap that's out there. So here's 10 black sheep games I have a soft spot for.
1. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Link's bizarre side-scrolling game is said to be the black sheep because it's a side scroller and therefore less of an RPG than the other Zelda games. A lot of people say this and I call them douchewads. Zelda II is the only game in the series with more than a few towns to visit, spells to learn and experience points. It also even has it's own strange take on random encounters in the field. This was the first Zelda I ever played and I don't see what's so bad about it. Some people also consider it to be ridiculously hard, and while it's certainly challenging, I say these people need to get a grip, it's not that bad. Definitely worth checking out.
2. Super Mario Sunsine
Even that weird-ass Reggie said this one was a let down. Then again, he's a fat neck'd fuckface who wouldn't know his ass from his elbow if you gave him an anatomy textbook on CD. The fact is, there's nothing wrong with Super Mario Sunshine, there's a whole lot right with it. The concept is odd, but really the concept of a fat Italian plumber rescuing the mushroom princess from an evil turtle really isn't all that normal to begin with. Sunshine has a lot to offer, not the least of which is a healthy challenge, something many modern mario games are missing. Though Galaxy would out-do it, Sunshine should be fondly remembered.
3. Street Fighter III
Why is it you never hear people talking about Street Fighter III. I mean there's a reason you never hear people talking about the first game. It was not that great and it's rather obscure, only reaching home console twice (Turbografx 16 under a different title and then PS2 in an anthology.) People are all sorts of over the moon about Street Fighter IV, but they all talk about it in comparison to II. III is widely ignored except by tourney players and that's a shame, as it's a whole hell of a lot better than II and perhaps IV. What's funny is that everyone praises IV (rightfully so) for staying 2D but that's what they bitched about with III. Oh and there's new characters. Boo fucking hoo. This game fucking rocks.
4. Metroid II: Return of Samus
While it's true that many Game Boy titles in popular franchises are weaker, smaller versions of their NES and SNES counterparts, this definitely does not hold true for Metroid II. Although it is somewhat linear, it outstrips the original in every way, including graphics. The linearity of it actually helps, as the original game was very sprawling and forced you to hand draw maps (or get a guide). The third game perfected it, mixing the free roaming of the first game with a great map system, but for now this would do. For some reason a lot of people passed on this game, and it has yet to be re-released in any form. Shame.
The N64 CastleVania (which many retardedly refer to as "CastleVania 64") is better than you've heard. A lot better than you've heard. The game suffers from what I like to call Independance Day Syndrome. It was well received when it was released, with good reviews and a general positive buzz. Then one day, everyone turned on it like a fat chick at a buffet and branded it a horrible abomination that should be remembered as a disappointing entry into the series and one of the most pathetic games ever. While I can't explain why that happened other than some sort of freaky Watership Down shit, I can say that the initial impressions were the truest. No, it's not as good as Symphony of the Night, but yes, it is good. Though it would be supplanted by the superior Legacy of Darkness a mere few months later, the game is anything but bad, and should definitely be checked out.
6. Mega Man 8
What is it about Mega Man 8? It does everything the first 7 games do and arguably does them better than it's predecessors Mega Man 6 and 7. Is it because it's on Playstation that it's widely ignored? I kinda think being on one of the most popular systems of all time would help. Yes, the X games were better at this point, and the main series seemed very cartoonish and cutesy in comparison, but it's always been that way. Seriously. Look at the designs of the characters in the original game. Mega Man 8 is great and should be remembered as such.
7. Doom 64
One could argue that Doom 64 is the true Doom 3. Or maybe that's Final Doom and this is the true Doom 4. Either way it's not a remake and actually ends the Doom story in a somewhat satisfactory way. The game is masterfully fantastic and it got horrifyingly terrible reviews and was mostly ignored. Even Doom fans dismissed it, claiming it was too dark. I mean, what? This is actually my favorite Doom game, and there's even a great PC version (called Doom 64: The Absolution) that is an absolute blast. It may have unfairly been compared to GoldenEye at the time, but I actually prefer this game.
8. Mortal Kombat 4
I find it weird that many people say 4 is where the Mortal Kombat series jumped the proverbial shark, when in fact, this is when the series actually started to be...good. Seriously folks, the first three MK games were all sorts of bullshit. As a huge fan of fighting games, I find them depressingly dull, the graphics outlandishly stupid (fuck digitized graphics) and all the characters remarkably similar. Take out the special moves and they're ALL THE SAME CHARACTER. Now while you could make the similarity argument for MK4 at least this game started off in the right direction and mixed it up by bringing character specific weapons into the mix. Not to mention it's a whole lot prettier than that digitized mess. I'll never understand what it is about this game that many don't like, but I have to talk it up to terrible taste if they liked Mortal Kombat 3.
9. StarFox Adventures
All right, I know. It barely resembles Star Fox it plays like Zelda-Lite and the Arwing parts are not terribly exciting and definitely tacked on. That being said, does any of that mean the game is bad? If you said yes, then fuck off my blog, you're a tool. The game is fine, with amazing graphics and a decent storyline (for a game about furries saving the universe). We know it was originally a game called Dinosaur Planet on the N64 that they tacked the Star Fox characters on to after it got moved to GameCube. What people fail to remember is this was done because the characters already resembled the Star Fox ones. It's bizzare and has nothing to do with the other Star Fox games, but damnit, it's good.
10. Sonic 3D Blast
The new Sonic games suck. Say it with me folks. "The New Sonnic Games Suck" Some of the old ones suck too, but not this one. Often disregarded as horrid, the game is actually quite fun. It's a departure to be sure, but so was spinball and tails' skypatrol and knuckles fucking asshole adventure and whatever else they released for game gear and 32x and saturn and the sega toaster VR 32 bit CD mega latte drive. This one came out for Saturn and Genesis (I played the Genesis one) and I was surprised at how decent it is for a slow paced isometric game. I know you hated it back in the day, but play a few minutes of Sonic Unleashed and then tell me with a straight face that Sonic 3D blast sucks. Yeah, now you actually KNOW the meaning of suck.