Putting aside sales, review sores, and preferences pertaining to exising ideas in the gaming universe, what makes a title original? If you would love to see more original titles release, then you must support the ones that have made it this far in the first place. But first, you have to be able to recognize a truly unique title. It’s unusual nature will typically drive many gamers away due to the initial fear of what is unknown.
This is an understandable reaction and yet a foolish one because although you don’t want to spend your dollars on a wasted purchase, you will never know how good a game is until you try it for yourself. Many games that seem strange and different in annoying ways end up becoming a masterpiece. A masterpiece which you almost didn’t recognize hidden amongst the piles of sequels, prequels, and threequels we all know by heart.
(Click the game title to go to the games/developers website and find out more about the titles)
#5. Sorcery (PS Move) – Sorcery basically single handedly made the PlayStation Move a complete success, at least in terms of good hardware design being put to use. This title allows players to bring Move wielding from an akward truce between controller and game to a symbiotic relationship of gamer to experience, grinding your own herbs by hand to create potions and more.
Performing with cutting-edge technology this New IP was made possible by the vision of a new way of playing games. The title will go on to spawn a sequel in the near future, offering deeper immersion for another iteration. Well surpassing any earlier attempts at such an idea, Sorcery made its mark to stand out as the 5th most original gaming experience this generation.
#4. BlindGiRl (Xbox Live Arcade) – From humble indie roots this rose grew from concrete into the second most original gaming experience of this generation. Much as the title hints, you play as a blind girl. The title has also gone on to spawn a sequel, BlindGiRl2. The visuals in this game are what draw your attention immediately.
Amazingly the game features a sonar-like system in which sounds paint a picture to the world around you. Using an abstract and previously unseen visual display like this makes you think in new ways. It feels like you’re playing a whole new genre when you play a game like this and that’s why it’s on this list.
#3. Stacking (PlayStation Network / Xbox Live Arcade / Windows PC) – The developers of Costume Quest and Brutal Legend, Double Fine Productions, brought out Stacking as a downloadable title that was developed in the spare time of the team. While in the midst of larger corporate projects Tim Schafer’s team put together this incredibly unique gameplay concept in which players must navigate a world of russian stacking dolls.
Each stacking doll is a person in this world, however you can assume control of them by jumping inside. With so many different goals, abilities, and challenges this game turns out to be a full featured game. The title was also made available for the Windows PC earlier last year. I offer a full salute and kudos to Double Wide for this unique title.
#2. Flower (PlayStation Network) – Winner of Best Independent Game of 2009 among other awards is the PS3 exclusive Flower. Never before has a game thrown caution to the wind in such a quite literal sense. Having a completely unique and ever-changing way that the world is expressed to you is the perfect definition of an original game.
Flower was approached as a work of art and it turned out to be one by many’s account. All games should strive to have such originality, however I particularly encourage the abstract approach. With so many over-used color palletes and asset catalogs in the game industry today it’s refreshing to find games truly starting from scratch with their designs and ideas.
Gamers of all kinds were able to enjoy the title, and it has received numerous awards for its innovations in gameplay design, which were honestly exaggerated by the backdrop of an industry severely lacking creative releases.
#1. LittleBigPlanet (PS3 + PS Vita) – A game where you can make your own games. It has been attempted before, but never quite like this. Gamers were treated to a delight with LBP when Media Molecule brought out a very powerful community network capable of hosting games for tons of players simultaneously on levels created by players, published by players, and played by players all on the PlayStation 3 console. We’ve seen everything come from the LBP universe at this point from fully functional computation devices being crafted in virtual reality to full featured games and broadway plays being produced within LBP. This game came out of nowhere and shocked the entire industry, even the haters had to recognize.
With a healthy living, breathing online community full of builders, testers, tinkerers and gamers, LittleBigPlanet has spawned three releases across the PlayStation hardware family with likely more to come. The best thing about the game is that it has virtually unlimited re-playability with thriving communities online constantly creating new levels. The originality never ends, which is why we award LittleBigPlanet the prestige of #1 Most Original Game of this Gen.
Honorable Mention: Borderlands (Multi-Platform) – although many of its concepts were already pre-existing, we would feel wrong if we didn’t mention Borderlands amongst the most original titles of this console hardware cycle. For us at RealGamerNewz, Borderlands was the first true mix of role playing and shooting seen since the original Deus Ex. Ever since the first trailer in which we were told that “FPS and RPG made a baby” it has been a never-ending adventure for millions of gamers who fell in love with Gearbox and 2K’s sexy formula. The series is alive and healthy today spawning a sequel which recently had a cumulative DLC released.