Classic Gaming- Street Fighter Alpha 2: (1996)


Street Fighter Alpha 2 is another gaming classic that was very popular in various arcades nationwide during the mid-90s.  When Capcom had released Street Fighter Alpha 2 in 1996 many people were very happy with some of the improvements that was made in this game following its 1995 prequel. Alpha 2 had not only featured enhanced gameplay but it also brings back a few older characters from the Street Fighter series while introducing new characters such as: Dan Hibiki , Gen, and Sakura Kasugano from Rival Schools.  When the game was first released many people were excited to have both Akuma and Dan as free playable characters without any type of cheat code to unlock them.  The introduction of Sakura had many people thrilled because some gamers were huge fans of the Rival Schools series while others referred to her as a female version of Ryu.  Another character that was added to the game included one of the boss characters from Final Fight Rolento.


This game was cool because the developers added special features to the gameplay that made each battle more exciting.  An example would be the “custom combo” sequence which allows players convert regular moves into chain combos depending on how full their super gauge is.  Also, Street Fighter Alpha 2 gives each character their own respective stage unlike Alpha 1 where certain venues were shared.  This game had also included a larger roster than many of the previous games.  Similar to its prequel Street Fighter Alpha 2 had included hidden characters but only this time they were alternate versions of Akuma and Ryu.  Both hidden characters can be selected if players know about the cheat code to do so.


Street Fighter Alpha 2 had received positive reviews from various gaming publications since its release along with earning the title of being one of the best arcade titles in 1996.   After its arcade release Street Fighter Alpha 2 was ported to numerous game consoles including PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and even the Super Nintendo which was probably the least superior version in comparison to the original.  Overall, Street Fighter Alpha 2 is a very fun game and many people who are fans of the series would probably argue that it was one of the best that Capcom has ever created.



Classic Gaming- Street Fighter Alpha Warrior Dreams: (1995)


This Street Fighter game was the first of three in the Alpha series that was originally released in 1995.   This game had made astounding improvements on both their graphics and gameplay following the release of Super Street Fighter II: Turbo in 1994.  However, there were noticeable changes made in Street Fighter Alpha included the addition of brand new features that made the game more exciting.  The super moves in this game are more powerful than ever and players are allowed to execute chain combos, alpha counters and many more.  Players are also allowed to execute super moves without having to completely fill up their super meter which was something that could not be done in Super Street Fighter II: Turbo.


This game had also seen the exclusion of several characters from the Street Fighter II series along with the addition of new ones.  Street Fighter Alpha had saw the introduction of characters such as: Birdie, Charlie, Guy, Rose, and Dan Hibiki who was a hidden character.  This title had also featured the return of Akuma from Super Street Fighter II: Turbo but only as a hidden character.  The cool thing about this game is that one does not have to beat the game to unlock either character but rather follow a certain sequence on the character select screen in order to choose them.  Trying to choose either character is tough because one has to be precise one how they execute the sequence or they will be unable to select either Akuma or Dan.


Along with the inclusion of brand new stages the game featured very good soundtrack for each character which contributes to the replay value for this title.  Shortly after its release Street Fighter Alpha Warrior Dreams was praised by critics and gamers alike for its innovative gameplay.  This game was highly rated by various gaming magazines including Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro,  PlayStation Magazine.  Even though, many people remember the first Street Fighter Alpha as a very fun classic title as the series progressed games would only get better over time.


Classic Gaming-Super Street Fighter II: Turbo (1994)


Super Street Fighter II: Turbo was a very popular Capcom game that was developed in 1994.  This game was one of many versions of the original Street Fighter II which was released in 1991.  As many gamers know Street Fighter II is probably one of the most popular games that Capcom had developed in the 90’s and quite possibly of all time.  The original version of Street Fighter II known as “World Warrior” was released for both the arcade system and Super Nintendo but only featured eight playable characters while including four non-playable boss characters.  It was not until the following year when the “champion edition” was released for the Sega Genesis in 1992.  The champion edition had included not only better graphics and  gameplay but it also included the four  boss characters: Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison as playable characters. As many people know Capcom had made additional versions of Street Fighter II including  “Hyper Fighting” and “Super”.  Both versions had included new features and improvements including faster gameplay and new moves for each character.  Super Street Fighter II included the introduction of four new characters: Dee Jay,  Fei-Long, T. Hawk, and Cammy.


Out of the four characters who were introduced many gamers would probably argue that Cammy was the most popular for her cool move set and sex appeal.  It was not until Super Street Fighter II: Turbo where gamers had witnessed the debut of one of the most powerful fighters in the series known as Akuma.  Many would argue that Akuma was a more difficult boss than M. Bison ever was especially in the Alpha series as time progressed.  However, Super Street Fighter II: Turbo was an awesome fighting game that was praised by critics and fans alike due to developments ranging from enhanced gameplay along with added characters, stages and features.  Super Street Fighter II: Turbo  had also allowed each character to utilize super moves during battle which makes this version stand out more than the others.


Each version of Street Fighter II along with this one had received very positive reviews from various gaming publications including Gamepro, EGM, Eurogamer, and many more for its groundbreaking gameplay.  Some people would argue that Super Street Fighter Turbo: II along with the other versions of SFII had played a significant role in revolutionizing the fighting genre of gaming.  The Street Fighter series has definitely provided people with some of the most iconic names in gaming today including Ryu,  Guile, Chun-Li and many more.  While Capcom had continued to make dramatic improvements to their games throughout time we the fans continue to be impressed by the results.  Overall, Super Street Fighter II: Turbo is an instant classic that will never get old if one is a true fan of the series and has loved the game since its release during the early 90s.

Retro Gaming 80’s -Tetris: (1984)


There have been many games over the past few decades were designed to challenge individuals mentally. One of the games that many people are familiar with includes the Russian puzzle game known as Tetris.  Since its release in 1986 Tetris has not only received numerous remakes over many years but has been seen by many critics as a iconic puzzle game.  Some people would argue that Tetris is an educational game that is good for cognitive functioning that constantly challenges the players to make decisions based mostly on memory.  There are also others who feel that the game is too repetitive and simplistic but would argue on how fun it is.


Tertis has become so popular in many countries including America to a point where the game has been released on numerous consoles from the Nintendo Entertainment System to mobile devices which can be downloaded from various app stores.  While Tetris many look like a boring title to many people of today’s generation in the past many retro gamers use to kill a lot of time playing it on their Gameboys when they were bored or on a road trip.  One thing that was noticeable about Tetris includes each level becoming more difficult as one progresses throughout the game.  Increased difficultly in video games is nothing new especially when one progresses throughout the game but in Tetris everything seems to become more inconvenient as one tries to clear the puzzle by eliminating every row until there is nothing left.


Difficultly in various Tetris games usually surface when the speed of the game increases or one is not able to get the desired blocks they want.  To many people the level of difficult usually begins around level 5 but this generally depends on the player and how much of an expert they are on the game itself.  Overtime this game has become so popular that publications such as Electronic Gaming Monthly and IGN had ranked it among the top ten in the “Greatest Games of All Time” category.  Overall, Tetris is often looked at as the innovator of puzzle gaming and has left a huge impact on the genre since its inception.

Classic Gaming- Final Fantasy XII: (2006)


When we think about classic RPG games we think about many titles released for various consoles including Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox.  In the RPG genre one of the first titles that come to mind is the Final Fantasy series.  Square Enix have produced many great Final Fantasy games for over the past decade including IV, VII, VIII, and IX.  But when we talk about great Final Fantasy games it would almost be impossible to exclude XII from that category.  Final Fantasy XII was probably the best 3D games in the series that was developed for PlayStation 2 by Square Enix in 2006.  Final Fantasy XII was definitely one of the best 3D installments in the series and while many people have been demanding a remake or re-release for this game they are still waiting for Square Enix to take action.  There have been several reports throughout the past year about game being re-released but many people are not entirely sure if it will  happen or not.


If Square Enix does remake Final Fantasy XII it would be nice to see it released on the PlayStation Network.  The re-release of Final Fantasy XII will give many people who have never played the game on the PS2 an opportunity to experience the outstanding gameplay it provided.  The game’s re-release will also give people who have played it an opportunity to relieve past in high definition with key characters such as: Balthier, Vaan, Ashe, and many more.  As many people know this game was highly rated by various gaming publications including IGN, Edge, EGM, and GameSpot along with winning numerous “Game of the Year” awards in the year 2006.  Since it has been almost a decade many people would agree that if there was a Final Fantasy game that deserves a remake along with FFVII it would be XII.

Classic Gaming- Soul Calibur IV: (2008)


Soul Caliber IV was the long awaited sequel to Soul Calibur III which was developed by Project Soul and released by Namco for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2008.  This game had showed a significant amount of improvement from its prequel Soul Calibur III in both gameplay and graphics.  A great feature that was included in Soul Calibur IV included the option of online gameplay which was not available for Soul Calibur III which was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005.  There were also new game modes added to Soul Calibur that made this title more interesting for many players including “Tower of Souls.”  The Tower of Souls mode allowed players to earn rewards through winning battles.  Soul Calibur IV had also provided players with an enhanced character creation mode that allowed people to customize their own characters. Along with utilizing different weapons and styles of various fighters created characters also have critical finish which was a new element that was added into game.


Another great feature that added to the gameplay included ripped clothing and broken armor when the battles became very intense.  Usually, when one player executes a critical finish on their opponent they can sometimes lose all of their armor instantly which many thought was very cool.  While the improved gameplay & mechanics drew the attention of many gamers the some of the main focus was shifted to the new characters that were included in Soul Calibur IV. This game saw the introduction of a new boss character known as Algol who many people believe is a tough opponent while he is a push over to others.  Another character included in the series is a princess known as Hildegard Von Krone who holds a grudge against Nightmare for attacking her kingdom.  Shortly after her inclusion into the game she had quickly became one of most popular characters in the Soul Series and has been compared to other characters such as Ivy for her beauty and toughness.


This game had also saw the addition of Star Wars characters including Darth Vader, Yoda and the Apprentice also known as “Starkiller.”  Having Star Wars characters in the game was cool but the only catch was that players had to pay a fee to download them from either the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live.  Shortly, after its release Soul Calibur IV was well received by critics and fans alike for its enhanced gameplay and addition of characters that made this title a memorable classic.  Soul Calibur IV was not only praised by various gaming publications but it had also won the award for “Best Fighting Game” at the Spike TV Video Game Awards.  This game was also named the “Best Xbox 360 Fighting Game” by IGN in 2008.  Many people argue that Soul Calibur IV along with Street Fighter IV were two of the best fighting games produced in 2008.  It is also popular believe that both Soul Calibur IV along with Street Fighter IV had contributed to reviving the fighting genre after its decline in popularity in the early to mid 2000’s.  Overall, Soul Calibur IV was one of the best fighting games to be released for the Xbox 360 and while many might argue that its not the best game in the series it still a very fun game to play.



Classic Gaming-Soul Calibur III: (2005)


When we think about classic fighting games there are many game series usually come to mind.  While the Soul Series may not be the first to come to mind it is very close to many gamers.  Soul Calibur III was developed by Project Soul and released by Namco in 2005.  Soul Calibur III had done a great job on improving many features from its prequel including gameplay and graphics.  Another great feature about Soul Calibur III includes the amount of detail they placed into different game modes Take of Souls, Soul Arena, and World Competition mode.  One mode specifically known as “Chronicles of the Sword” was very interesting because it allowed people to create their  own character using “Character Creation Mode” to battle countless enemies while winning gold, leveling up, along with acquiring the territories of fallen foes.  Unfortunately, “Chronicles of the Sword” was only a one player mode but it gave players hours of excitement and gameplay; this mode was also a unique innovation that was added to the Soul series.


Many of the characters who were available in Soul Calibur II had returned in this game except exclusive characters such as Link, Heihachi Mishima, and Spawn depending on the entertainment console.  Other characters who were removed included Inferno, Necrosis and Seong Han-myeong.  Despite, losing a some characters the series had gained a few such as: Tira, Zasalamel, Setsuka.  One of the most interesting things about Soul Calibur III includes how much time the developers had put into adding depth into the game.  The offline content of Soul Calibur III was well developed because there no online gameplay.  The fact that Soul Calibur III was made exclusively for PlayStation 2 makes the game an instant classic since its not available on any other console.


Shortly, after its release Soul Calibur III had become very popular as a fighting game and was highly praised by critics and fans alike.  The innovations Project Soul had made to their game had caught the attention gaming publications and has received numerous awards.  Soul Calibur III had won awards for “Best Fighting Game” at the E3 2005 Game Critics Award and the E3 2005 Gamespot Award.  This title was also named the “Best Fighting Game” by IGN in 2005 for its awesome gameplay, graphics, and storytelling.  Overall, Soul Calibur III was a great game but some people may debate whether or not its the best in the series.

Retro Gaming- Soul Calibur 2: (2002)


Soul Calibur 2 was another title in the series that was developed by Project Soul and produced by Namco and Electronic Arts in 2002.  Similar to the original game this title was also released for the arcade system before being ported to various consoles.  This title was a very fun to play when it was first released and is still one of the most enjoyable games in the series.  Soul Calibur 2 had featured enhanced graphics and improved gameplay compared to its predecessor which instantly drew many gamers to the arcade cabinet in the past.  Anyone who has played any of the Soul Calibur games in the arcade would probably remember spending countless quarters on completing the game while gaining as much satisfaction out of it as possible.


As good as the arcade version was following its release various ports of Soul Calibur 2 had special additions that would make the game more attractive to people who wanted to buy it.  An example would include the inclusion of characters in the game that were not available in the arcade version of Soul Calibur 2.  The game had featured characters such as: Link for Nintendo Gamecube, Heihachi Mishima for the PlayStation 2, and Spawn for the Xbox console.  While exclusive characters provided an attraction for each respective console the game had also saw the return of the most popular characters in the series such as: Ivy, Sophitia, Maxi, Mitsurugi, and others.


Along with presentation of recurring characters Soul Calibur 2 had also added new characters including Cassandra, Raphael, Talim, Yun-seong.   Out of the new characters added to this game some would argue that Talim or Raphael was the most popular.  Since its inception Soul Calibur 2 has also been ported to the PlayStation network and Xbox Live in High Definition.  Soul Calibur was named the “Most Addictive Game” in the Spike Video Game Awards in 2003 and has received five star ratings from gaming publications such as: GamePro, GameSpy, and Nintendo Power. While there have been various ports for Soul Calibur 2 the game is just as exciting despite what console one decides to play it on.

Classic Gaming- Soul Calibur: (1998)


Soul Calibur was a 3D fighting game developed by Project Soul and released by Namco for Sega Dreamcast in 1998.   The original Soul Calibur marked the birth of the series that many gamers have enjoyed next to other 3D titles such as Tekken and Viruta Fighter.  Similar to the Tekken series Soul Cailbur was an innovative 3D fighting game that kept players on the edge of their seats.  However, the Soul Cailbur had allowed each character to utilize weapons in battle. While many games in the past such as Samurai Showdown allowed characters to use weapons during battle many would argue that the original Soul Calibur along with Mortal Kombat 4 took the action to another level.


Along with having a great storyline and excellent gameplay Soul Calibur had also included characters that remained very popular throughout the series including Ivy, Sophitia, Siegfried and many others.  Soul Calibur was originally released for the arcade system before it became ported for the Sega Dreamcast as many people know.  However, both critics and fans believe that the Sega Dreamcast version of Soul Calibur is just as good if not better that the original arcade game.  While the graphics for the Sega Dreamcast version was praised the game itself had also gave people multiple gameplay options that was not included in the arcade system.


Similar to Tekken 1-3 the original Soul Cailbur was an awesome 3D fighting game for its time and still remains very popular today.  Soul Cailbur has received numerous re-releases on networks such as Xbox live and mobile devices such as the iOS currently available at $14.99.  This game has received numerous awards by many different  publications for containing a variety of elements that contributed its replay value.  Both AllGame and GamePro had given Soul Cailbur a five star rating while Electronic Gaming Monthly had rated a game a perfect ten.  In addition, this game had won the “Best Fighting Game” award at the E3 Game Critics Award in 1999.  Along, with receiving high ratings Soul Cailbur had also become one of Sega Dreamcast’s fastest selling games reaching over 1 million units shortly after its release.  While this game may be considered very old by today’s standards many people who originally played the game for the arcade system was lucky enough to witness the birth of the Soul Series.