Retro Gaming- Kirby’s Avalanche: (1995)

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There is nothing like the classics when it comes down to gaming on 16-bit consoles in the early to mid 90’s.  Kirby’s Avalanche was a puzzle was released by Nintendo after HAL Laboratory, Compule and Banpresto had collaborated to develop around the mid 90’s.  The cool thing about this game along with many other puzzle games of that era included the fact that it was influenced by Super Puyo Puyo.  While being mainly influenced by Super Puyo Puyo Kirby’s Avalanche had included elements from some of the previous games in the series such as the soundtracks and included them into this title while putting a creative twist to it.  The plot for this game focuses on the Kirby’s goal to win the Avalanche Tournament in the Fountain of Dreams after it was setup by the main antagonist King Dedede.  Similar to that of Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine players have to match up blobs of the same color to pull of combos to defeat their opponent throughout each round.  The initiation of chain combos leads to rocks filling up on the opponents side of the screen causing their space to fill up faster and leading to their defeat.

The cool thing about this game was that you did not have to complete the game without knowing what to do.  Kirby’s Avalanche had a lesson mode that showed people how to play the game prior to participating in the Avalanche Tournament.  In the tournament players must go through twelve stages before reaching the final boss King Dedede.  While the whole game itself is very tough one generally improves over time through trial and error. Many people generally see Kirby’s Avalanche as Nintendo’s answer to Sega’s Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine released in 1993.  In terms of which game was more difficult opinions generally vary among many people.  However, in terms of soundtrack some people might give the slight edge to Kirby’s Avalanche because it sounds more light-hearted and melodic opposed to the mechanic based sounds of Mean Bean Machine.  The cool thing about this game also includes the fact that Kirby is also apart of the main plot for this game opposed to Mean Bean Machine where Sonic the Hedgehog is nowhere to be found.  The ending for this game deals with Kirby winning a trophy while Mean Bean Machine focuses on foiling Dr. Robotnik’s plans. Kirby’s Avalanche was definitely a fun classic for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and even though the puzzle game concept was not original many people will enjoy it if they are a true fan of the series.

Retro Gaming- Rad Racer: (1987)

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When most people think about racing games of the 80’s one of the many titles that instantly comes to mind is Rad Racer which was developed by Square back in 1987.  It was around this time period where Sega Outrun was popular worldwide following its arcade release during the summer of 1986.  After the arcade release of Sega Outrun the game was ported to the Sega Master System the following year in 1987. After Rad Racer was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System many people were impressed by the visual aspects of this game.  Rad Racer had looked similar to an arcade game which was pretty cool considering the fact that it was an 8-bit game along with having realistic gameplay by NES standards.  Many people had enjoyed Rad Racer following its release but the main problem they had with this game was that it was too difficult.

While completing each course players are timed and have to travel at a certain speed.  Players not only complete each level within the time limit but also have to avoid travelling to fast because driving off course slows them down significantly and deters their progress from complete each course.  Along with trying to complete each level there were some cool visual effects some of the stages where the sky changed while you were driving.  The BGM for Rad Racer had also added to the appeal for this game along with making it more exciting than it already was in terms of gameplay.  For over the past two decades fans of the Rad Racer series have been hoping for a 3D remake of this racing classic because the first two games had a lot of potential to be great racing games on consoles such as: Nintendo 64, PlayStation or any of the other game systems that was released during the 2000’s.  If Square had decided to either remake or create a new Rad Racer game in this day and age it would probably be well received among fans and have a decent buyrate.  Technology has evolved a lot since the 80’s and Nintendo has become more innovative than ever when it comes down to gaming.  When Nintendo had released  Mario Kart 8 for the Wii-U the driving wheel was a great feature that added realism to the game itself.  Releasing Rad Racer for the Wii-U could prove to be an awesome experience that provides strong feelings of excitement for modern day gamers and nostalgia for older ones.

Was the Sonic Advance series better than the Sonic 3D games during the 2000’s?

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Before the start of the new millennium Sonic the Hedgehog was popular worldwide as a fast paced 2D side scrolling platform game.  When Sonic the Hedgehog made its transition from 2D into 3D gaming there were many critics were not too impressed with Sonic 3D Blast released in 1996.  However, when Sonic Adventure was released in 1998 many people believed that it was a much better game than Sonic 3D Blast.  Over two years later when Sonic Adventure 2 was released many fans were highly impressed with the gameplay, plot, along with the introduction of new characters such as Shadow and Rouge.  Along with the release of Sonic Adventure 2 in the early 00’s the Sonic Advance had also started a few months later that same year in 2001.  The Sonic Advance series for the Game Boy Advance was fun to play because the 2D graphics & sprites was reminiscent of the Sega Genesis during the early 90’s.

Ever since the release of Sonic Adventure 2 most of the 3D games in the series had fallen below the expectations of both critics and fans alike.  Sonic Adventure 2 was an awesome game to play on both the Sega Dreamcast along with the Nintendo GameCube. If Sega wanted to make a Sonic Adventure 3 it would of been very difficult prequel in terms of storyline along with living up to the high quality expectations of fans around the world. Even though, various games such as Sonic Heroes, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic Secret Rings have done pretty well in terms of sales some might argue that they were not quite as exciting as Adventure 2.  The Sonic Advance series had utilized the old 2D side scrolling platform formula which would appeal to people who were fans of the older games during the early 90’s.

Not only were the 2D graphics and sprites for Sonic Advance fantastic but the gameplay was better than ever.  Sonic Advance 3 was pretty cool in terms of gameplay because along with choosing any character one could pick whoever they wanted as a partner.  However, the original Sonic Advance game has sold more worldwide than its successors by reaching over two million sales.  Sonic Advance was probably one of the best selling games in the Sonic series next to Rush and the Secret Rings.  Sometimes it makes people what if Sega made Sonic the Hedgehog 4 the same way they did the Advance series as a home console?  Either way, one can make the argument that in someways the Sonic Advance series was somewhat more enjoyable then some of the 3D Sonic games released for home consoles such PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii.

Classic Gaming- Tekken 2: (1995)

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We all remember the hit arcade game created by Namco known as Tekken 2 from the mid-90’s.  Tekken 2 was one of the biggest and most popular arcade titles to have ever been released worldwide.  The appeal for this game mostly stems from its three dimensional design and gameplay along with the inclusion of a captivating storyline.  As many people know the storyline for Tekken 2 focuses mainly on the aftermath of the King of the Fist Tournament along with Kazuya Mishima gaining control of the Mishima Zaibatsu.  Along with Kazuya’s rise to power he is confronted by the likes of Jun Kazama who was sent to arrest him along with Heihachi Mishima who seeks revenge following his defeat in the previous game.  This 3D fighting title was probably one of the most revolutionary games to be released along with Virtua Fighter because it helped pave the way for the future within its genre in terms of gameplay.

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Tekken 2 had some pretty cool 3D in game mechanics along with memorable characters such as: Jun Kazama, Nina Williams, Paul Pheniox, Michele Chang, Marshal Law and many others.  Along with having awesome characters each one had fantastic soundtracks for their respective stages making the gameplay much more exciting while adding life to the game itself.  When Tekken 2 was released for the PlayStation there were thousands of copies flying of the shelves within the first week.  Tekken 2 was so popular in arcade centers by the time it was ported for the PlayStation it sold over 250,000 copies within the first day.  In terms of preference some people would choose the PlayStation version over the arcade for various reasons including the controls along with the arranged soundtrack the home console provided.

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Others would probably choose the arcade version over the PlayStation because the atmosphere of going to a game center during a Friday or Saturday night to play a game like Tekken 2 is an experience that is highly different than just staying at home.  Since its release for the Sony PlayStation Tekken 2 had sold at least 3 million copies worldwide and has been known to be one of the most popular fighting games for that console.  The 1990’s was an excellent decade for gaming and the development of ground-breaking titles such as Tekken 2 among many others shows us why.

Should Nintendo develop a Super Mario Land 4?

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As great as the Super Mario games have always been there were always some titles that many people enjoyed but does not get mentioned quite as much as the main series.  Super Mario Land was a sub-series that Nintendo that made its debut for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1989.  The Mario Land series was pretty cool especially 2 & 3 because they were very different in comparison to the main one.  While Super Mario Land 2 had included a new plot with a new villain named Wario  the sequel entitled Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 focuses on how the main antagonist from becomes the protagonist with the purpose of buying his own castle.  Ever since Super Mario Land 3 Nintendo has provided him with his own series therefore place little to no emphasis on Mario at all.  While many people would admit that Super Mario Land 3 was a great way to build another character in the Mario franchise others feel that Wario’s time as the main villain in the sub-series could have been longer and would have been more interesting.

Another thing about the Super Mario Land 2 & 3 was the creativity utilized in both games because they felt different from what people are generally familiar with in the main series. Super Mario Land 2 had included some boss battles with unlikely opponents along with the battle in involving Wario.  Not only was Wario tough to defeat in this game but he was also able to utilize some of the same attacks that Mario had after receiving a power-up.  After defeating Wario in Super Mario Land 2 the ending seemed a bit anti-climatic when Mario took his castle back.  As interesting as the plot was for both games it would have been cool if they were featured on home based consoles such as Super Nintendo Entertainment System.   Also, when they were both released for Game Boy Super Mario Land 2 & 3 were both in black & white white and still received great reviews from critics & fans alike.  If Nintendo decided to create another Super Mario Land game should Wario be a play a significant role in the game along with Mario or should they develop a entirely new plot?

Classic Gaming- Excitebike: (1984)

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Excitebike was definitely one of the most memorable and toughest racing games to be released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  When Excitebike was released in the early 80’s some people were amused by a variety of things this game had to offer.  One of the cool things about Excitebike includes the realism.  This game was a lot tougher than it actually looked because not only was it difficult for players to complete one lap without falling off their bicycle but they also had to pay close attention to the temperature of the vehicle they used.  If the temperature of a player’s bike got to high it stopped for a short period of time until it cooled off so they can resume to race.  Also, when it came down to jumping off ramps one had to be very careful because if they were not driving in the right speed they could easily crash.  When it comes down to racing games some might argue that it is generally easier to utilize a joystick rather than a control pad with an A and B button.

Along with the realism included in this game Excitebike gives players the option of either racing solo or against the CPU.  When players are competing against the CPU they are expected to place among the top three in the preliminary race before entering the championship rounds.  Some people feel that placing in the top three was among one of the forgiving aspects of Excitebike because if players were required to come in first place that be too hard for a first timer.  One of the most difficult aspects about Excitebike had dealt with mastering the controls.  Even though, this game is a lot more difficult than it looks trying to complete one lap without falling of your bike seems almost impossible especially if you are trying to finish in first place.  As popular as Excitebike for the NES during the 80’s this game never received a sequel during the 90’s for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  In fact, the original Excitebike game did not receive its long awaited sequel until it was released for the N64 in the year 2000.  It would have been interesting to see what a sequel for Excitebike have looked like for the 16-bit SNES but having a fully 3D game was even better.   The original Excitebike game may not have been the best in terms of graphics but it was probably one of the most challenging racing games for the NES.

Retro Gaming- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3: (1994)

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We all remember Wario who made his debut in Super Mario Land 2 after he tried to take over Mario’s castle.  Wario Land was the sequel to Super Mario Land 2 and the cool thing about this game was that Wario was the main protagonist with a completely different plot that had nothing to do with getting any type of revenge on Mario.  In Super Mario Land 3 Wario had decided it was time for him to get his own castle because it was something that he always wanted to do.  Wario’s desire to have his own castle leads to the main plot for this story which involves batting Captain Syrup and her group known as the Black Dugar Gang for the purpose of collecting treasures throughout the game. After collecting completing the game Wario would then turn to a genie would  give him a castle depending on how many coins or treasures he had collected throughout the game.The amount of treasures and coins collected determines what type of house Wario gets ranging from a cabin all the way to a castle.  Wario Land has multiple endings which was very unique considering the fact that many of the previous Mario games only had one main ending.

Since Wario was a new character to the Super Mario series in the early 90’s Nintendo had the opportunity to takes chances in Super Mario Land 3 by diverting from the same formula that have been utilized in many Super Mario games in terms of gameplay and plot since the 1980’s. Since its initial release Wario Land has sold at least 5 million copies worldwide which was pretty for a new character that made his debut as the main antagonist in the preceding game he was in.  As good as this title was for Game Boy some people probably had wished that Wario had remained as one of the main villains of the Mario series longer than he was.  The boss battle with Wario in Super Mario Land 2 was interesting and in some ways refreshing because it was one of the few games where the spotlight was not on Bowser.  The transition that Wario made from being the main antagonist in Super Mario Land 2 to being the protagonist in Super Mario Land 3 was pretty cool since many people wanted to play as him.  Also, some people would probably argue that Wario is not a real hero but rather an anti-hero as opposed to Mario which would only add to his popularity and appeal as character in the series.  Generally, its tough to decide which game is more fun between Super Mario Land 2 & 3 because they were both very exciting to play for slightly different reasons. But when it comes down to the Super Mario Land series in general each game is considered to be an instant classic that many people enjoyed playing for the Nintendo Game Boy in the early 90’s.