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.

Retro Gaming- Mario Kart Wii: (2008)

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The Mario Kart games released by Nintendo have always been plenty of fun.  This was especially true when people had friends over for multiplayer gameplay.  Since the early 90’s the Mario Kart series has evolved in more ways than one.  Not only did the Mario Kart series make a successful transition from 2D to 3D gameplay but Nintendo have always found ways to keep the series interesting by adding new elements of gameplay.  Mario Kart Double Dash released for the Nintendo Gamecube in the early 00’s allowed players to have two characters race in a single vehicle.  Mario Kart Wii provides players with the opportunity to race throughout the game using a steering wheel along with the option of using a control pad.

Trying to play other Nintendo Wii games using the Wii Remote & nunchuck had seemed difficult but playing a racing title such as Mario Kart Wii appears to be both fun and challenging.  Mario Kart Wii is not only one of the most realistic games in the entire series but it also included many elements from the previous games in the series that older fans are familiar.with.  Mario Kart Wii includes over 20 characters along with some new ones including Dry Bowser, Rosalina and Funky Kong that people can unlock as they progress throughout the game.  Along with the general modes such as Grand Prix and Battle this game featured a new one called Tournament which can be played online on the Mario Kart Channel.  Depending on what type of gamer you were you either liked Tournament mode or you did not.  Sometimes Grand Prix mode was good enough for many people while others had no interest in playing online due to issues of other players cheating during races.

Along with the gameplay the visual design for the stages in Mario Kart Wii were fantastic.  Some of the stages in this game that were very cool included Daisy Circuit, Koopa Cape, Mushroom Gorge and Koopa Cape.  Bowser’s Castle for whatever reason is always among the best when it comes to stages in any Mario Kart game along with being the most challenging.  Since its release Mario Kart Wii has sold at least 36 million units worldwide along with being the best selling game within the entire series.  The amount of sales for Mario Kart Wii was almost six times more than its predecessor for the Nintendo GameCube known as Mario Kart Double Dash which sold close to seven million worldwide.  Since the release of Mario Kart Wii it has been commonly referred to as one of the best racing games that Nintendo has ever made during the 2000’s decade.

Retro Gaming- Super Smash Bros Brawl: (2008)

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Super Smash Bros Brawl was one of the most exciting multiplayer games for the Nintendo Wii when it was first released in 2008.  This title had included over 40 exciting stages with close t0 40 characters that people could choose from.  The roster expansion in this game was probably one of the most noticeable features of this game along with the cinematic cutscenes which made Super Smash Brow Brawl that much better than it predecessor.  Another thing that was awesome about Super Smash Bros Brawl included the fact that people had the option of playing the game with a control pad opposed to a Wii remote and & nunchuck.  Trying to play Super Smash Bros Brawl with a Wii remote and nunchuck was fun but at the same time seemed very difficult especially when it came down to unlocking trophies in the game.  There are at least 500 hundred trophies unlock  in Super Smash Bros Brawl which gives people the opportunity to spend countless hours to complete the game in its entirety.

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Along with having fantastic gameplay and cinematic cutscenes Super Smash Bros Brawl had pretty cool music featuring original tunes from many Nintendo games from the 80s  90s and the 2000’s.  Super Smash Brows Brawl had also included some cool remixes from classic games such as the Underground theme (Super Mario Land), Cornier (Star Fox), and Forest of Hope (Pipkin).  The remake of WarioWare, Inc was also pretty cool because it had a late 90’s- early 2000’s vibe to it.  Super Smash Bros Brawl was the first title within its series where online gaming had become a significant part of the gaming experience.  The online gameplay featured through Nintendo Wi-Fi connection made Super Smash Bros Brawl much more exciting and was among the many aspects of game that stands out along with the difficult level of this game.  Since its release Super Smash Bros Brawl has sold at least 13 million copies worldwide which was a significant increase from its prequel which reached over 7 million units globally.  To this date Super Smash Bros Brawl is the best selling game within its series right above Super Smash Bros Melee which was released for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001.  Not only was Super Smash Bros Brawl one of the best selling games for the Nintendo Wii but it also has a pretty high replay value that would make people want to hold on to it for a while before trading it in.

Should Square Enix release another Chrono game in the future?

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The Chrono series was considered to be among one of the best role playing games during the 1990’s for consoles such as the Super Nintendo and PlayStation.   When the first two Chrono games were released during the 90’s they were both praised by fans and critics due to its excellent gameplay along with its ability to tell compelling stories that got people interested into the game itself.  While there is nothing wrong with the story or gameplay aspect of the Chrono series the popular belief among the executives in Square Enix was that people who were fans of the series lost their interest somewhere between the late 90’s and early 00’s.

Many people generally debate on which Chrono game was the best between Trigger & Cross since both titles were great.  Some would probably give the slight edge to Chrono Trigger because it forced Square Enix to be more creative in terms of gameplay & musical composition since it was a 16-bit game released for the SNES.  Since the release of Chrono Trigger many people had developed a strong feeling of nostalgia for another 16-bit based game in the series.  During the early 00’s a fan based game called Chrono Resurrection was set to be released during the later part of 2004.  Chrono Resurrection would have made an excellent Christmas present for anybody was a hardcore fan of the series during the mid to late 90’s.  Unfortunately, Chrono Resurrection was cancelled by Square Enix before its set release date towards the Christmas of 2004.  If Square Enix for whatever reason decides to make a new Chrono game in the future should it be a high definition 3d game similar to that of the Final Fantasy series or should they utilize the same 2d gameplay that made the series popular to begin with?

Classic Gaming- Super Mario Galaxy: (2007)

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When many people think about video games that are instant classics most people generally turn to the legendary Super Mario series.  Mario has been around for over three decades and as time moved passed the quality of the games in the series has continued to improve dramatically.  During the mid 90’s Nintendo had graced us with the release of Super Mario 64 which was probably one of the best 3D platform games to be released for the Nintendo 64.  The cool thing about Super Mario 64 was that Nintendo had found a way to utilize the same main characters while making the gameplay entirely different from the 2D games along with some of the past 3D titles.  Firstly, the space theme of Super Mario Galaxy was great because it was something that Nintendo has never really done in the past with series.  Second,  Super Mario Galaxy had included an optimal quality orchestral soundtrack for this game.  The BGM for Super Mario Galaxy was amazing and is considered to be one of the many features that gave life to the game itself.  Many people would argue that the soundtrack for this game was just as good or even better than that of Zelda Twilight Princess which was released for the Nintendo Wii in 2006.

Super Mario Galaxy includes some of the best cinematic cutscenes that you will ever see in any game within the Mario series.  Also, Super Mario Galaxy seeming took a page out of the book of Zelda Twilight Princess when it came down to in game interaction.  Similar to Twilight Princess their is limited audio that features characters speaking in their own unknown language along with Princess Peach saying Mario’s name.  For other characters dialog text is featured when they speak because audio is not necessary for every single person in the game.  One of the aspects about this game that is similar to Super Mario 64 includes the fact that players must collect 120 stars as Mario while passing throughout various galaxies.  But unlike Super Mario 64 after collecting 120 stars players can finally play as Luigi in order to do the same exact thing.  Along with making Luigi a playable character Nintendo decided to make a multiplayer mode which was something that many of us thought we would never see for a 3D Super Mario game.

Along with some new characters and features players also have the ability to try and complete the game using the Wii remote & Nunchuks.  Completing any Mario game using anything other than a control pad seems very different is tough.  Fortunately, Super Mario Galaxy has a co-op mode where the second player can operate the “Star Point” which was something that was very innovative in the series in general.  Since its release Super Mario Galaxy has won numerous “Game of the Year” awards from publications such as GameSpot, IGN, Nintendo Power and Kotaku. Over the years Nintendo has constantly found ways to reinvent themselves and Super Mario Galaxy is another game that provides proof since its regarded as one of the best action adventure games of the 00’s decade.

Classic Gaming- Banjo Kazooie: (1998)

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Banjo Kazooie is well known as being one of the best platform games to be released for the Nintendo 64 by a video game company called Rare during the late 90’s.  There were many things about Banjo Kazooie that was interest because not only was a family friendly platform game that appealed to children but the creators were also very creative when developing certain aspects of this title.  When it came down to gameplay and mechanics Banjo Kazooie had often been compared to the likes of Super Mario 64 because of its 3D gameplay.  Banjo Kazooie had featured many cool stages such as Treasure Trove Cave, Mumbo’s Mountain, Bubblegloop Swamp, and Gobi’s Valley.  Just because the background for each stage looks impressive does not mean that its not difficult.  The entire game is very challenging especially when you go certain for items such as puzzle pieces in order to progress throughout the game.

The music for Clanker’s Tavern perfectly captured the vibe of the state especially when you underwater the music changes into this nice melodic tune that has a magical feel to it.  Even though, the whole game was tough some of the hardest stages in the game included Treasure Trove Cove, Click Clock Woid and Freezeezy Peak.  The plot for this game was a bit unsettling because it was about a witch named Gruntilda who kidnaps Banjo’s younger sister named Tootie because he was jealous of her beauty.  Despite, how creepy the main antagonist seems it makes the witch seem much more sinister.  The trivia game show part of Banjo Kazooie was very creative because it was something that you normally don’t see in platform games.  Despite, how simple the plot this game was there were also a set of challenges that made players think very hard how to complete Banjo Kazooie.  Some people might argue that Banjo Kazooie was more difficult than Super Mario 64.  After its release this game received praise from numerous gaming publications including GamePro, Gamespot, and IGN which gave Banjo Kazooie excellent reviews and high scores in terms of ratings. Banjo Kazooie also sold at least two million copies since its initial release which might have exceeded the expectations of many people. Even though, Banjo Kazooie made for an excellent 3D platform  title many people probably wonder if the game would have been as popular as it was if it originally started out on a 8 or 16 bit console.

Classic Gaming- Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos: (1990)

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We all remember how epic the original Ninja Gaiden game was for the NES during the late 80’s   Ninja Gaiden was considered to be one of the best platform games to have been released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The original Ninja Gaiden game was not only very impressive but it looked like the creators spent an extensive amount of time developing elements of the game that made it stand out from general platform titles for the NES.  Everything from the cinematic cutscenes to the storytelling along with the gameplay was executed with perfection in the original Ninja Gaiden game.  When the original Ninja Gaiden game was first released in 1988 many people were anticipating the possibility for a potential sequel for the Nintendo Entertainment System sometime in the early 90’s  Luckily, many people got their wishes answered a lot sooner than expected as Temco had released Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos the following year in 1990.  One of the cool things about this game is that the plot was connected to the prequel.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos follows the defeat of Jaquio in the prequel and focuses on Ashtar as the main antagonist for this title.  The opening for this game was pretty cool but many people debate on whether or not it was as good as the first Ninja Gaiden title.  Some people would probably choose the original over Ninja Gaiden II since it marked the birth of the series.  In terms of a better intro many would probably choose the original opening over the one for Ninja Gaiden II because sequence in the very beginning seemed more action packed. The intro for the Dark Sword of Chaos was pretty cool because you learned about Ashtar’s plan for world domination and while this was happening you were being introduced to the main characters of the game.  The plot for this game involved Ashtar’s desire to rule the world with the “Dark Sword of Chaos” along with opening the “Gate of Darkness.”   As you start Act 1 you will notice the improved graphics and gameplay while progressing throughout the first level.  In this Ninja Gaiden game Ryu can utilize special abilities such as creating shadow clones of himself which can help him defeat enemies especially boss characters much faster.

There are also a few plot twists in Ninja Gaiden II which made things very interesting including Irene being kidnapped  along with discovering the Jaquio had been revived following Act 7-2.  Prior to reaching the scene involving the unsettling discovery of Jaquio’s rebirth the developers did an amazing job adding more emotion into the game as you got closer to the end.  The scenes between Ryu & Robert S. T.  following the end of Act 6-3 along with 7-1 were fantastic.  Similar to the original Ninja Gaiden the developers were able to create feelings of anticipation & suspense with certain cutscenes especially with the inclusion of melodic soundtracks.  The only thing about Ninja Gaiden II was that the 8-bit cinematic beauty of Temco could only be fully witnessed by people depending on how much progress they make in the game.  Its not secret that Ninja Gaiden II is almost as hard as the original if not more difficult considering the fact that its slightly longer.  While the original Ninja Gaiden for the NES only included six acts the second included seven.

Even though, this game was really difficult many people had fun playing through each level depending on how much progress they made.  Some of the coolest stages in the game included Acts 2-2 along with 4-2 which had great visual designs.  The hardest stages in Ninja Gaiden II for the NES normally depends on who you ask but around Act 5 things get very tough.  Some people would be lucky to even make it to Act 6 or even complete the game itself for that matter.  If you somehow made it to Act 7 the boss battles were almost impossible to complete along with the game itself being unforgiving.  Ninja Gaiden II:The Dark Sword of Chaos was an excellent sequel to the first title because it maintained the same elements that made the original 8-bit game a masterpiece.   In terms of complexity some may agree that Ninja Gaiden II for the NES was not quite as suspenseful as the prequel especially towards the beginning.  However, almost everyone will agree that Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos is one of the hardest games that they have ever played for the NES during the 90’s.