Retro Gaming- Golden Axe: (1989)

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There were so many beat em up games that existed back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and Golden Axe is one of the many titles that comes to mind when some people think of the beat em’ up genre of gaming.  When Golden Axe was first released in the late 80’s the gameplay & graphics for this title was impressive.   Golden Axe is known by many to be a very exciting 2D hack & slash game where players can navigate throughout various levels with the option of three characters who have the ability to perform magic spells and ride monsters as they progress through various stages.  The plot for this game involves being presented with the duty of rescuing a King and his daughter from Death Adder.  While some might argue that the plot for Golden Axe seemed generic and the gameplay was somewhat repetitive others would disagree and claim that Golden Axe was one of the best beat em up games during the early 90’s.  As exciting as Golden Axe was the game was a lot tougher than it looked especially if one tried to complete the whole thing by themselves.

If you were new at Golden Axe  than co-op gameplay with a friend would be highly recommended since the game becomes noticeably more difficult after a short period of time when passing through a few levels.  When it comes down to gameplay some people would probably prefer the arcade version of Golden Axe slightly more than for the Sega Genesis.  However, the Sega Genesis version of Golden Axe was also very impressive and the soundtrack produced by the console’s soundchip added to the appeal of the home port of this game.    Since it first came out in the late 80’s Golden Axe has been re-released on various other consoles including PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 as a part of a collection of 16 bit Sega games.  Whether people have the original Golden Axe cartridge or has Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection it is still a very fun classic to play and one of the most interesting beat em up titles that Sega AM1 has developed during the 16 bit era.

Sega Games- Shining Force II: (1993)

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When it comes down to RPG titles of the early 90’s one of the most memorable games for the Sega Genesis was the Shining Force II.   The Shining Force II had included incredible gameplay and graphics for the Sega Genesis and it was also one of those games that some people would argue was better than most Super Nintendo titles in terms of quality.  When Shining Force II was developed by Camelot Software Planning it felt like it stood out from several Super Nintendo RPG tiles such as Final Fantasy & Breath of Fire. While players can to many basic things in the game such as leveling up and equipping characters with armor the battle cutscenes were significantly different from anything one would see in a regular RPG title.  The animation for the battles in Shining Force II were fantastic and players were allowed to have at least twenty members in their party as they progress throughout the game.  Another interesting thing about the Shining Force II included the plot in which a demon ends up controlling a king due to the actions of a thief searching for jewels.

The result of the thief’s actions leads to a war between two kingdoms leaving the heroes to resolve the issue at hand.   Some would agree that the plot for Shining Force II was unique because it was something that felt original and diverted from generic storylines used in RPG titles where players are required to rescue someone.  While going through the game people can play with many characters including Kazin, Sarah, Bowie, Jaha along with many others.  The amount of characters the Shining Force II gives people to play as was another feature that made this RPG title stand out. While other RPG titles limits players to a certain amount characters the Shining Force II allows people to choose several which keeps the game itself interesting while learning how to play it.  When it comes down games for the Sega Genesis the Shining Force II was probably one of the best RPG titles one could come across during the 16 bit era.

Retro Gaming- Super Star Wars Empire Strikes Back: (1993)

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There are many people who loved Star Wars series for many years since most of the movies are nothing short than amazing.  The Empire Strikes Back was definitely one of the coolest in the series following its release back in the 80’s.  When a game based on Star Wars Empire Strikes Back was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the early 90’s some people were probably thrilled about the whole thing.  Even though, most people generally have low expectations when it comes down to game movies Super Star Wars Empire Strikes Back was an exception because in some ways it was much better than the 1992 prequel that was also released for the SNES.  Super Star Wars Empire Strikes Back allows people to play as characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewie with each having their own respective powers.  One of the cool things about playing as Luke in this game is that you eventually obtain the power of the force after meeting Yoda which allows the character to utilize it in several different ways.  When it comes down to dealing with opponents and navigating through levels players have the options of using Force Elevation, Slowdown, Freeze, Saber, Control, Saber Deflect, Mind Control along with the ability to become invisible.

The only problem that some people may have with having the force as a special ability is that they are given too many powers to master in such a short period of time.  Also, the game had presented some tough enemies including the Yedi’s who had the ability to freeze people and the game itself was very tough to complete.  When LucaArts & Sculptured Software both designed this game they made sure that it was more challenging than its predecessor. While players did not have the ability to save their progress they had the option of entering passwords to continue where they left off in the game.  One of the features in Super Star Wars that seems to stand out the most was the use of Mode 7 in some of the stages which made the game enjoyable especially when players had the chance to destroy AT-AT’s.   Traveling through the icy world of Hoth along with the boss battle with Darth Vader at the end of the game makes Super Star Wars Empire Strikes Back an enjoyable classic for the SNES.  Finding an SNES cartridge for Super Star Wars in retro game store would be difficult today since its considered to a gem that many people would hold on to before selling it.

Retro Titles- Mega Man X5: (2000)

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The Mega Man X series is definitely one of the best when it comes down to run and gun platform games.   When Mega Man X5 was released back in the year 2000 many people thought the game was just as good as its predecessor Mega Man X4.  Similar to Mega Man X4 the main antagonist for this game is Sigma who returns again after being defeated multiple times in the previous games.  However, in Mega Man X5 there are some differences from X4 including the fact that Sigma hires a reploid named Dynamo to do his bidding.  Also, in Mega Man X5 Sigma’s focus was to create chaos in the world by spreading a virus.  Meanwhile, Sigma’s reploid henchman Dynamo was preparing to set a space colony known as “Eurasia” to crash into the Earth giving the heroes less than a day to stop it.  There were two things about the plot for Mega Man X5 that was pretty cool one of them being the “Eurasia” reference which was the idea that all the continents in the world were once connected.  Also, the concept  of preventing a space colony crashing into Earth was an idea that was later used by Sega for the plot of Sonic Adventure 2 which was released in 2001.

One of the things about Mega Man X5 that was also pretty cool included that the focus for the story in this game was slightly more on Zero than Mega Man.  Similar to the previous installment players have the option of playing as either Mega Man or Zero.   While Mega Man can use energy blasts Zero can utilize melee attacks with his sword.   The graphics in Mega Man X5 were impressive and made people feel like they were playing a high quality SNES title on the PS1.   Along with having nice graphics and enjoyable gameplay Mega Man X5 has that unpredictability factor when it comes down to completing the game. In Mega Man X5 there are multiple endings to the game involving Zero’s fate which many people enjoyed since it made them eager to complete it more than once.  While some people may argue that having Sigma as a recurring antagonist in the game was a bit tiresome others loved it because he was very popular.  Overall, some might agree that Mega Man X5 was better than X4 and was a Capcom game that they would be mostly likely to keep for a while before selling it.

Retro Games- Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure: (1998)

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There are many people who are familiar with Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure especially since its just started airing on Toonami back in late 2016.  The manga for Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure has been around since the late 80’s and the series is well known by people who grew up during the 90’s and the 00’s.   When it comes down to gaming one of the many titles that some people remember in relation to Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure is the game which was released in arcade centers during the late 90’s.  When Capcom had released Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure for the CPS-3 Arcade board during the late 90’s those who played the game were astounded by the graphics especially considering the fact that it resembled that of Street Fighter III: Double Impact which was released back in 1997.  While Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure resembled Street Fighter III: Double Impact in terms of graphics the gameplay felt similar to that of the original Marvel vs Capcom game which was released also in 1998.

While the game had basic game modes such as arcade, versus and training mode the in game mechanics for Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure was pretty cool especially with the Stand Attack feature which was something that you don’t see in hardly any 2D fighting titles.  Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure allows people to play with various characters including Shadow Dio, Joseph Joestar, Jotaro Kuji and many more.  The cool thing about home ports for this Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure title was that the home ports were just as impressive as the arcade version of game.  In terms of which version in general is the best outside of the arcade version of Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure many people would probably argue that the Dreamcast port was impressive.  Not only did the Dreamcast port feel like the actual arcade version of the game but it also included more characters which was to the delight of many people who owned the game.  Even though, Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure does not get talked about as much some people would consider this 2D fighting classic to be underrated while being a game that is worth playing if you are a fan of the series.

Retro Games- Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga: (2003)

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The early 00’s was such a good time to be a game because there were so many innovative games out there for various consoles such as PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and the Game Boy Advance.  When it comes down to innovative titles for the Game Boy Advance one of the many games that come to mind is Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga.  This game was one of the many RPG titles that most people found interesting following the release of Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64 in 2000.  In terms of plot Mario and Luigi Superstar was creative and decided to deviate from the norm of keeping the setting in the Mushroom Kingdom just like many Mario games does.  Instead the plot for this game takes place in mainly in the BeanBean Kingdom after Mario & Luigi formed a temporary alliance with Bowser after Princess Peach’s voice was stolen by one of the main villains known as  Cackletta.  The other main villain known Fawful serves as Cackletta’s assistant to help her carry out her plans to use Princess Peach’s voice to have anything she desires through a sacred object after its awakening.

The cool thing about Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga was that it felt like a 32 bit Paper Mario game in terms of graphics.  The level up system was also interesting since it included various stats including health points, energy points, power, defense, speed, and stache.  While critics may have complained about the controls of this game the actually gameplay itself was quite impressive for a Game Boy Advance title.  Not only was Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga an impressive GBA title but it also managed to sell over two million units since its release in 2003.  Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga managed to sell more than other popular RPG titles such as Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Golden Sun and Final Fantasy IV: Advance.  Usually, when it comes down to Mario RPG titles they are generally exciting because we can always expect something really different in terms of storytelling.  Not only was Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga creative but it also considered an instant classic that is more expense than the average GBA title that anyone would see if they went to a used game store.

Classic Games- Mega Man X4: (1997)

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Back in the day the Mega Man X series rarely failed to impress numerous people who were huge fans of the series.  When the Mega Man X series first started in the early 90’s a lot of people were impressed by the gameplay, graphics and storytelling that was featured in the first three games that were released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  While the first three games in the Mega Man X series were very exciting they were also just as challenging as well.  The late 90’s was an interesting time period for the Mega Man series especially 1997 & 1998 due to the release of both Mega Man X4 and Mega Man Legends for the PS1.  On one hand Capcom had finally decided to make a 3D Mega Man game which many people had been waiting since the 80’s to see and on the other the Mega Man X series felt just as popular as ever around the late 90’s.  When Mega Man X4 was released for the Sony PlayStation many people were impressed by the high quality visual display it presented along with advanced 2D gameplay in comparison to the preceding games in the series.

Along with the graphics one the many things that made Mega Man X4 a must have title for the PS1 was the fact that it was the second game that featured Zero as a playable character.  While having Zero in a Mega Man game felt similar to playing as Knuckles the Echidna in a classic Sonic title being able to choose another cool character besides the main protagonist made things more interesting.  The plot for Mega Man X4 was also interesting seeing that the setting took place in the 22nd century and focused on the misunderstandings between the Mavericks and the Repliforce caused mainly by Sigma after being defeated on three different occasions.  While the animation cutscenes for Mega Man X4 was a great feature that added to the overall quality to the game itself many would say that it contributed to making the story that much better than its predecessors for the SNES.  While the story for Mega Man X4 some could argue that it was kinda dark considering the fact that Sky Lagoon fell on another city and literally killed thousands of people in the process.  Even though, the reemergence of Sigma was a predicable element in the storyline for Mega Man X4 it was still a very good game overall.  While Mega Man X4 is not considered to be most popular game within its series it still managed sell over million units worldwide since its release for multiple consoles including the Sega Saturn and the PS1.

Classic Gaming- Contra III: Alien Wars (1992)

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When we look back at gaming specifically for consoles such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System sometimes its hard to believe how many great titles were released during the early to mid 90’s.  When it came down to side scrolling run and gun games Contra III: Alien Wars was probably one of the coolest titles available for the SNES along the Mega Man X series during the first half of the 1990’s.   Contra III: Alien Wars was not only the third installment within its entire series but it was also the first game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as well.  When the Contra series first started in the late 80’s many people were impressed by the 8 bit gameplay that Konami had produced for the first two games.   Contra III: Alien Wars was a game that exceeded the expectations of many people who were fans of the series because there were countless improvements that this game had in comparison to its last two predecessors.  The graphics for Contra III: Alien Wars was simply fantastic.  The opening intro along with various cutscenes in the game really added to the quality of Contra III.  Also, the in game mechanics for Contra III was amazing because it allowed players to witness first hand how innovative Konami was in terms of level design throughout the game.

When it comes down to stage design levels two and five stood out the most mainly because of the overhead gameplay the Contra III provided with the utilization of Mode 7.  Not only was the overhead feature included for single-player gameplay but it also worked if there were two players as well.  While some might argue that completing levels two & five in multiplayer mode is tough due to the split screen feature many can also agree that most of the stages in general is very hard.   Speaking of difficulty Contra III: Alien Wars was one of those games that challenged players to complete the game on the hardest level possible in order to get the best ending.  The best thing about playing through this game multiple times  was that it allowed players to get better on levels such as easy or normal before completing it on hard.  This 16 bit classic which was set in the 27th century allows players to enjoy an exciting adventure while defeating the Red Falcon and its forces in six different levels.  When it comes down to classic games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Contra III: Alien Wars is generally one of the top games that many people who grew up in the 16 bit era of gaming think about.

Will the first year sales of the Nintendo Switch Surpass the PS4?

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There are many people who are excited about the upcoming release of the Nintendo Switch is suppose to be available in gaming markets in March 2017.  While the presentation of the Nintendo Switch was innovative and quite impressive many people are wondering how the console will do in terms of worldwide sales.  As many people know the PlayStation 4 has recently been dominating the gaming market as far as consoles are concerned especially with the recent releases of the PlayStation 4 Pro and the VR.  Even though, the PlayStation VR is very expensive there are many people who are interested in owning the headset along with buying high quality consoles that include 4k resolution, Blu-Ray compatibility and other advanced features that adds to their gaming experience.  In terms of sales the PlayStation 4 had managed to sell at least 15 million during their first year.  Shortly, after the Xbox One arrived in gaming markets the console had managed to sell at least one million units within a day.

When the Wii-U was first released in gaming markets in America it reportedly sold less than one million units in countries like North America but still managed to sell over a quarter million within its first week.  While the competition in the gaming industry is fierce with rival corporations such as Sony and Microsoft there is a good chance that Nintendo’s new console will catch the interest of many people who are looking for something that is innovative with the Switch.  While the price of the Nintendo Switch is rumored to be around $300 similar to that of the Wii-U Basic it can be one of the many factors that contributes to console performing very well in terms of sales in North America.  Will the Nintendo Switch is expected to do great in sales during the year 2017 surpassing the PS4 in first year sales would prove to be a tough task considering all of the products they currently have in retail chains around the world.

Gaming in the 00’s- New Super Mario Bros: (2006)

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The Super Mario series has been around since the 80’s and has remained impressive since its inception.  While many people were excited about the original Super Mario Bros game when it was first released for the Nintendo Entertainment System the New Super Mario Bros kinda felt like a blast from the past with new added gameplay elements to make things more exciting.  One of the many aspects about the New Super Mario Bros included the gameplay.  The graphics for the New Super Mario Bros where pretty cool because it felt like some of the older 2D Mario titles but with 3D graphics.  Throughout most of the New Super Mario Bros players find themselves playing as Mario or Luigi in order to thwart the plans of Bowser Jr. after he kidnaps Princess Peach.  This Mario game features at least eighty different levels along with eight different worlds which give players the chance to play a 2D platform title with 3D graphics.

The power ups provided in this game were also pretty cool as well because it made everything much more interesting in comparison to previous 2D Mario titles.  In Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo DS players ca n utilize Mega Mushrooms to increase their size which is very convenient especially during boss battles where the enemies can be defeated by jumping on them only once.  This is especially true regarding the boss battle with Bowser Sr. along with most of the fights involving Bowser Jr.   While some people might consider Bowser Jr. to be a pushover battling him and Bowser Sr. can prove to be an overwhelming task without any type of power-ups at all.  Not only is the game reminiscent of the older 2D Super Mario Bros its also quite challenging which is one of the many things that contributes to overall replay value of this title.  When it comes down to games for the Nintendo DS the New Super Mario Bros was one of the most fun titles for that console along with being very successful in terms of sales by reaching over 30 million units worldwide.    Sometimes its hard to believe that its been over a decade since this game was released worldwide for the Nintendo DS but for those who grew up in the 00’s the New Super Mario Bros was definitely one of the coolest handheld Mario titles during that time period.