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Buried treasure: Baten Kaitos

The Baten Kaitos series is not one that is widely known, a shame that is most likely due to marketing. First coming out in 2003 exclusively for the Gamecube, the game features a fixed camera on a beautiful (even today) and sometimes quirky world. The main battle system, and also a large part of the story revolves around the cards Magnus. Each hold special properties and some are even capable of evolving into other things through the passage of time. Near the beginning of the game you are even given blank Magnus to fill with the essence of many different things, from fire to pick-up lines, for various side quests.

Your role in Baten Kaitos: eternal wings and the lost ocean is a spiritual guide that bonds itself to the main character Kalas. As a spirit guide you influence certain decisions and make commentary that no one else can hear, causing Kalas to look like a crazy person when he responds to you. During the journey of saving the world from destruction you stumble across a colorful group of friends to help on your journey and while the voice acting is hit or miss the characters are engaging and full of personality. The story alone is reason enough to play the game, with a shocking twist that many never saw coming. (

Despite not having a big following the series got a second game in the form of a prequel: Baten Kaitos Origins in 2006. With a new gaggle of characters to play as, nearly everything about the game was changed, including the mechanisms of the card based battle system (some say for the better). The difficulty of the game was also jacked up, making the game a challenge for even seasoned gamers. While not as good as the first game, it is still solid, with bickering characters and an interesting cultist storyline. (

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