Retro Gaming- Double Dragon: (1987)

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Double Dragon was an arcade game that was originally released in 1987.  This beat em up classic had featured two characters Billy Lee and his brother Jimmy Lee going into battle with the Black Warrior gang.  The main objective is for both brothers to rescue a woman Billy has a crush on after she is captured.  Double Dragon is one of the most popular beat em up games that was released in 80’s before it was ported to other gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System.  While the arcade version of Double Dragon was more superior than the NES its was also slightly different.  The NES version of Double Dragon was only one player along with having Jimmy Lee as the leader of the Black Warrior gang.  As many people know Double Dragon was also ported to  the Sega Master System and Game Boy with different features for each console.

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However, despite the ports Double Dragon had received many would argue that the arcade version is the best in terms of gameplay and graphics.  The arcade version of Double Dragon was not only a great gaming experience but also had a nice soundtrack especially since this game was made in the 80’s.  Double Dragon had included various elements that would make any normal beat em up game enjoyable including the use of weapons along adventurous stages where players must combat numerous enemies.  Some people would argue that Double Dragon is not as difficult as it may seem; but honestly one must ask themselves how many coins did they use before they completed the entire game.  Overall, Double Dragon was fun beat em up game for both kids and young adults and while the title grew in popularity it would only be a matter of time before it received a movie release in 1994.

Retro Gaming- Streets of Rage 3: (1994)

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Streets of Rage 3 was another beat em up game that was created by Sega in 1994.  This title is also the third installment in the Streets of Rage series that featured faster gameplay enhanced graphics and a more in-depth storyline in comparison to the previous two games.  Streets of Rage 3 was a game that was considerably more difficult than the first two games despite what level one played it on especially in the American version.   In Streets of Rage 3 the enemies in each stage seem to have every possible advantage along with the fact that each stage is longer then the ones for the previous games.  In one stage the player must run from an enemy who chases them with a bulldozer which was something that was not common in other beat em up games.  Also, there are levels where the players have to avoid multiple obstacles including being hit by trains and falling down trap doors that lead to instant deaths.

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It also appears that players do not receive as much help in Streets of Rage 3 in regards to items that replenishes one health bar; even if players to receive items that replenishes their bar it does not last very long.  Also, the boss battles in this game are difficult because on some stages players on some occasions are required to battle two are three bosses either simultaneously or back to back.  Some boss battles that are tough for players includes fighting “Mona & Lisa” on stage two or “Yamoto” on the fourth level.  Many people would argue that the bosses for stages two and four are the most difficult in Streets of Rage 3 especially for the US version.  Trying to beat this game along with a friend on multiplayer mode is hard enough while trying to complete the game alone seems nearly impossible for many people.  While some critics and fans may argue that the increased difficulty makes the game more challenging others would beg to differ and mention how unfair it is.

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Additional features presented by Streets of Rage 3 including multiple endings which  made up for the increased difficulty of this game.  Overall, Streets of Rage 3 was great beat em up game despite not being as popular as the first two titles.  While many Sega fans enjoyed the Streets of Rage series during the early 90s it leads them to wonder after two decades will there ever be a Streets of Rage 4?

Retro Gaming- Streets of Rage 2: (1992)

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Streets of Rage 2 is beat em up game that was created by Sega in 1992.  This game was the second installment in the Streets of Rage series created for the Sega Genesis and proved to exceed the expectations that many people had prior to its release.  Streets of Rage 2 is probably one of the best sequels to any beat em up game for a variety of reasons.  The second installment included better graphics, enhanced gameplay, and excellent musical composition.  The plot for this game was relatively similar to the original where Axel Stone & Blaze Fielding have to stop Mr. X and his crime syndicate from taking over a city.  However, this game includes the addition to two new characters including pro wrestler Max Thunder and a kid named Eddie Hunter also known as “Skate”.

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In Streets of Rage 2 people have the option of completing the game on single player or multiplayer mode if they have friends.  The gameplay for Streets of Rage 2 allows each character to move faster and utilize special attacks unlike the original game.  Also, the soundtrack for this game was arguably the best in the entire series.  The music producer for this game Yuzo Koshiro had made some memorable soundtracks that are considered legendary.  The music in Streets of Rage 2 was ahead of its time allowing players to enjoy the game while listening to early 90’s club music.  The first stage of the Streets of Rage 2 entitled “Go Straight” is probably the best soundtrack in the entire series; the tune for Go Straight is so popular it has received numerous remixes along with other soundtracks over the years by many people who enjoyed the game. There also many other memorable soundtracks in the game including  “Dreamer”, “Slow Moon”, “Under Logic” and others that many people thought was great.  Similar to the prequel each player must defeat a group of enemies in each stage accompanied with a boss battle in the end until they reach the final stage with Mr. X.

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The level of difficulty regarding Streets of Rage 2 is not too hard once the game has been played over a few times.  Some people would probably agree that Streets of Rage 2 was better than Final Fight 2 in some respects.  Streets of Rage 2 was so popular it was re-released on many different consoles including the PlayStation Network, Nintendo 3DS, and  Xbox Live Arcade.  Overall, Streets of Rage 2 is considered to be legendary among many gamers and is regarded to be one of the best Sega games of all-time.

Retro Gaming- Streets of Rage: (1991)

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Streets of Rage was a beat em up game that was developed by Sega in 1991.  This Streets of Rage was released during a time period where the beat em up genre was very popular among gamers around the world.  It is well known by many people that the Streets of Rage series created by Sega was competing with the Final Fight series developed by Capcom for the Super Nintendo.  While many gamers are polarized about the Final Fight and the Streets of Rage series in terms of which title is more superior both are  considered to be great.  The plot for Streets of Rage focuses on the main characters Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding, and Adam Hunter who seek to stop a crime syndicate after they have taken over an unnamed city.

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Streets of Rage just like any other beat em up game involves traveling throughout various stages and defeating a gang of enemies along with defeating the main boss at the end of each stage.  Once players reach the final stage they then face off against the main antagonist Mr. X.  If Streets of Rage is played on co-op mode both players have the option of either joining the crime syndicate or taking down Mr. X.  If both players make opposite choices they end up having to fight each other to the death before fighting Mr. X.  If one player defeats Mr. X after killing his partner they become the new leader of the crime syndicate leading to a bad ending for the game.  However, if both players decide to stick together and defeat Mr. X the game shows a good ending where the crime syndicate is stopped temporarily.

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Streets of Rage is known for many qualities including its gameplay and musical composition.  The soundtrack for the game was developed by Yuzo Koshiro who had created many memorable songs for each stage for both Streets of Rage 1 & 2.  The original Streets of Rage game was fun, family-friendly and appealed to many casual fans of the beat em up genre.  Streets of Rage is considered to be a classic among many Sega fans and the series would only improve during the development of the  second installment.

Retro Gaming-Final Fight 3: (1995)

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Final Fight 3  is a beat em up game that was released for Super Nintendo in 1995.  This game had marked the third installment in the Final Fight series.  In Final Fight 3 the plot revolves around a new criminal organization called the Skull Cross who have taken over Metro City.  In this game the main characters Mike Haggar, Guy, Lucia, and Dean have to stop the gang and make theme pay for their crimes.  The plot for this game is slightly darker than the first two games because Dean’s family was murdered by the Skull Cross gang which makes things more interesting.  This game provides a co-op mode where one player can either beat the game with another or with the CPU.

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The gameplay for Final Fight 3 is significantly better than the first two games especially with the addition of a super meter which allows different characters to pull off unique moves that takes up a significant amount of damage.  The feature of having super meters was popular in games such as Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo which added to the excitement of this title.  This game may appear to be repetitive as many other beat em up fighting games with generic plots and repetitive gameplay involving different stages; but some people who have played the game still find it challenging.  While Final Fight 3 might not be the most popular title of the series some people would argue that is was an underrated beat em up game which had improved dramatically in comparison to its prequel.

Retro Gaming- Final Fight 2: (1993)

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Final Fight 2 is the second installment of the its series after the original game was released by Capcom in 1989.   This game is very similar to the original Final Fight game in terms of  both gameplay and graphics.  Some of the main differences between Final Fight 2 and the original includes the addition of two new characters and changes in regards to the setting.  Final Fight 2 introduces two new characters named Maki & Carlos both with unique fighting styles.  This game also provides more adventure than the original Final Fight because rather than battling the Mad Gear gang throughout a city the main characters get to travel to different countries such as: England, France, Hong Kong and Japan.  The plot for Final Fight 2 shows that  Guy’s  fiancée gets kidnapped by the Mad Gear gang in Japan leaving  Mike Haggar, Maki, and Carlos to travel across the world to rescue her.

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Some people would argue that this game is a generic two button beat em up game that only requires mastery, patience, and strategy.  However, this game is not as easy as many people think it is.  Some of the boss battles in this game are tough especially the stage where you must have to fight Rolento.  By the time you reach Rolento’s stage most players are short on lives needed to progress throughout the game since players are stuck with a limited amount of lives.   The challenges may be something people complain about but it makes everything more exciting in the end.

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While this game was not as popular as the original Final Fight title the second installment was still a fun game for many players;  many people would argue that Final Fight 2 might have been better if it included Guy since the story revolved around his fiancée.  Overall, Final Fight 2 is just as good as any other beat em up game in the early 90s if you are really a fan of the series itself.

Retro Gaming- Final Fight: (1989)

Final Fight is a classic beat em up game that was originally released for arcade in 1989.  Final Fight among many other side scrolling beat em up games including the Double Dragon series was very popular during the late 80s and early 90s.  While the original Final Fight game was originally an arcade game it eventually became ported to game consoles such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  When the original Final Fight  was released for the SNES it did not perform as well as the arcade version due to technical limitations; but the game was eventually released and remake for various other game consoles including Game Boy Advance and is available on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

Final Fight had introduced a variety of stages where the player have the choice of controlling Mayor Mike Haggar, Cody, or Guy in order to save Cody’s girlfriend Jessica after being kidnapped by the Mad Gear gang.   It was around the early 90s when beat em up games started to become popular until one on one fighting titles such as Street Fighter II had emerged.  Side Scrolling fighting games were exciting for many people because the idea of beating up a bunch of goons along with the main boss reminded us of action & adventure movies.  The bosses of this game were not too difficult but many people who have played Final Fight would probably argue that Rolento was the toughest boss in the game.   Not only is Rolento super fast but he constantly throws multiple grenades without caring if he gets blasted or not.

The characters of this game Cody, Guy, and Rolento were so popular in Final Fight that Capcom had decided to use them in future Street Fighter games such as Street Fighter Alpha 2 and 3.  While the game was a smash hit in arcades during the early 90s many people regard Final Fight to be one of the best beat em up games of its time.

Retro Gaming- Sonic Adventure 2: (2001)

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This game is the second installment to the Sonic Adventure series which was originally released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2001.  Sonic Adventure 2 was critically acclaimed by many fans within the Sega community for its gameplay & design.  This title had also introduced a new concept where players were allowed to play as Sonic and his friends for the hero story or Shadow and his allies for the dark story.  In the hero story players are allowed to control Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in order to complete various missions that involve saving the world;  the dark story allows people to play as two new characters Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, and the recurring main antagonist Dr. Eggman who seek to conquer the world.  The missions in this game are generally more difficult than the original Sonic Adventure game.  The levels that many people would probably agree was the most difficult included the hunting levels with Knuckels & Rouge.

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Searching in large canyons such as Pumpkin Hill along with journeying into outer space just to search for emeralds adds way more excitement to this game.  The fast paced platform levels which included  Sonic & Shadow kept gamers on the edge of their seat as they progressed.  After learning about the origins of Shadow we learn about Dr. Eggman’s plan to control the Space Colony Ark.  Afterwards, the story dives deeper and we learn about Gerald Robotnik the main antagonist’s grandfather  who wanted to destroy the earth using his real ultimate life form in the form of a bio lizard.

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The biolizard eventually evolves into the “Finalhazard”  and threatens to destroy Earth by sending the Space Colony on a collision course towards the planet.  This ultimately leads to the final fight sequence where players are able to control both Super Sonic & Super Shadow in order to defeat the “Finalhazard.”  Sonic Adventure 2 not only had a great campaign mode but it also included a competitive multiplayer mode which added to the game’s replay value.  Sonic Adventure 2 had received favorable reviews from many different publications such as: GamePro, GameSpot, IGN and more.  Many people would agree that Sonic Adventure 2 is probably one of the best 3D games in the series; sometimes it makes many Sonic fans wonder whether or not there will ever be a Sonic Adventure 3 ?

Retro Gaming-Sonic Adventure: (1998)

There have been many great Sonic the Hedgehog games that were released during the 1990’s.  Many people would argue that most of the best Sonic games were released for the Sega Genesis because of its fast paced innovative gameplay.   When the Sonic series had utilized 2D graphics the gameplay along with the soundtracks was addicting to many gamers.  As gaming industry started to evolve by transitioning into  3D gameplay many people questioned how good the Sonic series would be.  When Sonic Adventure was released during the late 90’s fans of the series for many features it produced.  Similar to Sonic & Knuckles this game allows players to choose from one of six  characters: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose,  Big the Cat, E-Gamma.

Each character have their own respective stories throughout the game which are all connected to the main plot.  The main plot involves Sonic and his friends trying to stop Eggman’s plans to transform a monster known as Chaos from reaching his perfect state.  Throughout the game each character have to complete various stages  using their own unique abilities. However,  monster known as Chaos eventually gains all of his power from the negative energy of the Chaos Emeralds and transforms into his perfect state while becoming an enormous threat to their world.  While there is much debate about who takes the prize for being the most difficult boss in the game some would say that Perfect Chaos ranked very high.  On one hand the final boss battle is cool because people can play as Super Sonic; on the other hand Perfect Chaos health bar is enormous.

Sonic Adventure was a very fun game for the Dreamcast system because it  provided far better gameplay and graphics than the Sega Saturn.  Also, it was among one of the first Sonic games that added more depth to the main storyline.  Sonic Adventure was one of the better 3D games within in the series that many Sega fans still enjoy today.

Retro Gaming- F-Zero X: (1998)

There have been many great racing games that were released throughout the 1990’s including the two Mario Kart games for both the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64.  Another game that would probably come close to some of the Mario racing games includes F-Zero X which was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998.  F-Zero X was a direct sequel to the original game which was released in 1990.   This game had included some of the previous stages of the original F-Zero game including “Mute City” and “Big Blue” which were probably two of the most popular stages in the series. Along with being the first 3D F-Zero title ever released this sequel had included outstanding gameplay that exceeded the expectations of many people who have played it.  The Nintendo 64 allowed people to play older stages in a completely different way by turbo charging through the air and going through loops;  this was something that could not have been done for the original F-Zero for the SNES due to the limitations imposed by 2D graphics.

Thankfully, F-Zero X had added many features other than 3D graphics to make the game more enjoyable in comparison to its SNES predecessor.  F-Zero X included more game modes including vs battle, death battle and others that would contribute to the high replay value of this title.  This game was also very challenging because not only were players expected to race against 29 other opponents during grand prix mode but they also have to race to survive.  Along with stiff competition in the game there are multiple difficulty levels ranging from Novice (easiest) to Master (hardest).  Completing the game on Novice or even standard (medium) is one thing but trying to go any further with the amount of competition faces is a true challenge that will either force players to quit or to continue trying.

This game was well received by many gaming publications including Allgame, GamePro, GameSpot, and IGN for having great graphics and innovative gameplay.  Many people would agree that F-Zero X was miles ahead of its predecessor for the SNES and that it would also be considered one of the best racing games for the Nintendo 64 game console.