Console Coup de Coeur
Here's an idea that I've been kicking around for the forums for some time, so now that I have a few minutes I think I'll give it a try. I'd like to see what other users on the forum might contribute.
I've taken the French phrase "coup de coeur" from the demoscene portal www.pouet.net . What it means is something that you found and surprisingly loved, a treasure that isn't necessarily well known. Something that came as a very pleasant surprise to find. Lesser known classics in your personal world.
For my entry, I nominate Jumping Flash! on the PSX. It was one of the very first titles released for the console in 1995, and it's a cracker. It's a very early example of the 3D platforming genre, predating Super Mario 64 by at least a year. Unlike Nintendo's title, it is played from a first-person perspective. According to Wikipedia the develper had released a very similar game a year earlier on the Sharp X68000 computer. Aside from that (which I have never seen) the only earlier game I can think of offhand that remotely approaches it is the 1990 game Alpha Waves (Continuum in North America) on the Amiga, Atari ST and DOS.
This is a very difficult style to pull off, yet the developers have done so magnificently. Thanks to large platforms, the use of a triple jump to gain extra height and the camera tilting downwards while in the air, the worlds become navigable with only a few minutes' practise. It also has bright, colourful, happy looking graphics despite the low polygon count common to games of its time and what has got to be one of the brightest and happiest soundtracks I have ever heard in a game.
If you have any interest at all in the 32 bit era, do give Jumping Flash a try. Whether you do or not, please do share a few of your own lesser known or obscure favourites in the thread.