Retro Gaming- Contra: (1988)


When it comes down to classic run and gun titles from the 8-bit era of gaming one of the many titles that instantly comes to mind is the original Contra game that was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System during the late 80’s.  The original Contra game is generally regarded as one of the coolest run and gun games for the NES for a variety reasons.  Not only did Contra have rich level designs but it was also included single and multiplayer gameplay that would allow people to invest a considerable amount of time into learning how to play the game wisely.  Despite, how fun Contra was for the NES the game itself seemed very difficult especially if one was a beginner because there were so many ways to lose a life.

If one was a novice at Contra their best bet would be to enter the cheat code on the main menu screen before starting the game since it would grant them thirty lives in the beginning.  While entering the thirty lives cheat code would be helpful to many players in stopping the Red Falcon in Contra it probably would not reduce the level of difficulty that the game presents by much.   While the first couple of stages in the game seem tolerable in terms of difficulty Contra may seem impossible to complete around the time players get to level six especially without the cheat code.   If player somehow made it to the final boss battle at the Alien’s Lair in stage 8 they were definitely in for one of the toughest battles in the entire game.  As great as Contra was for the NES it felt like it was simply impossible to complete without cheat codes.  In fact, Contra for the NES is also regarded as one of the most difficult games to have ever been released during the 8-bit era and was arguably more challenging than its successors released for the SNES and Sega Genesis during the early 90’s.

Retro Gaming-The Karate Kid: (1987)


We all remember how cool the Karate Kid movie was back in the 80’s.  Shortly, after the movie became a hit Atlus had developed a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System which many people probably criticize to this day.  Generally, when it comes down to movie based video games many people generally have a negative opinions about them since they usually fall below the expectations of what they would expect.  The Karate Kid looked like a game that could have been much better than it actually was if the developers were more creative in making the game.  In Karate Kid for the NES players control the main character Daniel LaRusso and must navigate through four different levels in order to complete the game in its entirety.    The first level was a tournament where Daniel must defeat four consecutive fighters in a tournament before progressing to the side scrolling levels that follows the first stage.

Even though, there are only four levels the game itself is really difficult for a variety of reasons.  The controls for the Karate Kid seemed very stiff and there were also too many ways to lose a life.  Also, as players progress throughout the game the opponents become tougher along with the fact that Daniel’s fighting style never changes since he does not learn any new abilities.  While the graphics for the NES Karate Kid game was decent some would argue that the gameplay itself could have been much better.   Some would also agree that Karate Kid could have been longer and less challenging than it was. If Karate Kid was released a few years later for the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System its quite possible that the game could have been a pretty good overall if Atlus had put more effort into improving quality of the game.  While Karate Kid for the NES is generally panned by critics for a variety of reasons nobody can deny  that the first two movies were great and played a significant role in arousing the curiosity of people who were fans of them to check out the game itself.

16-Bit Gaming- Batman Returns: (1992)


We all remember the famous movie Batman Returns which was released in theaters worldwide in 1989.  While the movie for Batman Returns was well liked by many people following its release the video game was also considered to be very popular along with being one of the 16-bit titles of its time.  When video game movie of Batman Returns was developed in 1992 it was released for a variety of game consoles including the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Mega-CD,  NES and Game Gear.  Out of all of the video game releases many people would argue that the Super Nintendo version of Batman Returns was probably the best.  The Super Nintendo version of Batman Returns not only had detailed graphics but it also included special gameplay which facilitated between beat em up and 2D side scrolling action.  While the beat em up levels of Batman Returns looked pretty cool and resembled games such as the Final Fight series the 2D side scrolling stages seemed somewhat constrictive since players were more limited in their actions.

The 2D side scrolling levels were tough to complete since players could only attack using weapons like the batarang and smart bombs.  Also, the battle against the Penugin is very difficult since players were limited in their actions along with the fact that almost every boss in this game seemed tough to defeat.  Some people might argue that Catwoman was easier to defeat than the Penugin which is saying a lot.   Even though, Catwoman is a difficult boss in this game that players must battle more than once she is probably easier to defeat than the Penugin since Batman is with more freedom to move around the level.  When people start playing Batman Returns for the first time they are most likely to be impressed by numerous aspects of the game from the intro all the way down to the character and stage designs of this title.  Batman Returns for the SNES is probably one of the coolest games that Konami has made among many in the early 90’s.  While the NES and the Sega Genesis versions of Batman Returns are cool in their own respective ways many would argue that the SNES version was the most superior version of the game overall.

Classic Gaming- Mortal Kombat: (1992)

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When it comes down to memorable fighting games of the 90’s it almost impossible for anyone to forget about the original Mortal Kombat game that was released during the early part of that decade.   When the original Mortal Kombat game received it arcade release in 1992 many people were both impressed and shocked by the level of violence included in the game.  While games like the Street Fighter II series were popular throughout most of the 90’s the Mortal Kombat series in many ways rivaled it.  While the Street Fighter II series had great gameplay, character designs and cool mini games Mortal Kombat had also included those same elements.   One of the key elements that Mortal Kombat had that made it stand out from the Street Fighter series was the use of fatalities after players win using their respective character.  Not only was Mortal Kombat one a groundbreaking fighting game but it also introduced some of the most legendary characters in the gaming world today such as Liu Kang, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Kano, Raiden and Sonya Blade.

Mortal Kombat one also features two boss characters known as Goro and Shang Tsung along with a hidden character named Reptile.  Along with having cool characters the plot for Mortal Kombat was also interesting since it involved a deadly fighting tournament in the Earthrealm which Shang Tsung was seeking to control for centuries. Even though, Shang Tsung is the final boss in this game players have to complete an entire arcade ladder full of fighters to get to him.  The arcade ladder in Mortal Kombat may appear easy to some people towards the beginning but slowly becomes more difficult as players reach the endurance battles before battling Goro and Shang Tsung.   Playing the original Mortal Kombat games in arcade centers was fun depending on how many quarters people had on them.  While the home console versions for Mortal Kombat was also exciting for many people opinions may vary on whether Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo had a superior port in comparison to each other.  Even though, the Sega Genesis version of Mortal Kombat allowed players to perform fatalities some would argue that the SNES version had better graphics.  Despite, which version of the game people have played a majority of them can agree that the original Mortal Kombat game was definitely one of the most revolutionary fighting games to have ever been released in general.

Classic Gaming- Zombie Ate My Neighbors: (1993)


When it comes down to classic games during the 16 bit era for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System there are various titles that instantly come to mind.  Zombie Ate My Neighbors was one of the few titles for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that many people who owned the console would consider a classic.  Even though, the plot for this title was simplistic Zombie Ate My Neighbors was still a very exciting game.  The main characters include two teenagers named Zeke and Julie who are on a mission to stop Dr. Tounge who is responsible for creating all of the monsters that players must destroy throughout the game. While Zombie Ate My Neighbors can be a very fun game its also one of the most difficult run and gun titles to have ever been released during the 16 bit era.  Along with having over forty different levels the game itself included various types of monsters including werewolves, zombies and aliens. While playing Zombie Ate My Neighbors with a friend in co-op mode is helpful in trying to complete the game many people may experience a lot of difficultly getting halfway through it.

Back in the day many  NES & Super NES games were notoriously hard complete due to the amount of difficulty they  presented.  While Zombie Ate My Neighbors was considered to be challenging many people will argue that the game itself was simply impossible to beat especially if one played by themselves  Some would argue that there were too many stages in the game and that making it to level ten would be considered a great accomplishment.   The password feature in Zombie Ate My Neighbors was very helpful because it allowed players to continue making progress where they left off after losing.  If this game did not have a password feature it would be simply impossible to complete while discouraging many players from even making an attempt to finish the whole thing.  Even though, Zombie Ate My Neighbors was also released for the Sega Genesis the SNES version is arguably more superior in terms of graphics which was one of the many aspects that made it very appealing during the early 90’s.  When it comes down to run and gun games Zombie Ate My Neighbors is considered to be a classic that many would agree still holds up to this day in terms of replay value.

Games in the 00’s – Luigi’s Mansion: (2001)


The early 00’s was such a cool time period to be gamer with the release of various consoles such as PlayStation 2, Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube.   When it came down to the Nintendo GameCube one of the most unexpected titles that we got involved the release of Luigi’s Mansion in 2001.  One of the reasons why this game was so significant was because it was the first major 3D game that Luigi has ever had in the entire Mario series.  While Nintendo had the option of using the traditional platform genre in regards to gameplay they decided to make this an action adventure title instead.  The plot for Luigi’s Mansion is basic and involved Luigi winning a contest that he never entered in order to win a haunted mansion that turned out to be invested with ghosts.  Shortly, after learning that the mansion is haunted Mario is eventually kidnapped by ghosts and trapped inside a painting leaving Luigi to rescue him from danger.  Another interesting twist to this story included the fact that the mansion was created by none other than King Boo.

Luigi’s Mansion was unique not only because it placed the spotlight on someone other than Mario but also because it deviated from the traditional platform genre that Nintendo has used in countless Mario games making this title more interesting.  Luigi’s Mansion had great character models and graphics that felt like it was ahead of its time during the early 00’s especially for a console like the Nintendo GameCube.  Since its release Luigi’s Mansion had managed to sell at least 2 million units worldwide which was very impressive considering the fact that Luigi is known mainly as a sidekick character to Mario. Even though, Luigi’s Mansion was not as popular as games like Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy for the Nintendo Wii many people would agree that the game itself was exciting.  Luigi’s Mansion also exceeded the expectations of many people who thought this game would be a flop and proved that Nintendo can be as creative as they want to be in terms of development .

Gaming from the 00’s – Metroid Prime: (2002)


When it comes down to GameCube titles from the early 00’s one of the best games that many people generally talk about regarding that console included Metroid Prime.  When Metroid Prime was first released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002 many people were very impressed by many aspects of this game including the gameplay, graphics along with the general feeling it provided in relation to older installments in the series such as Super Metroid for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  Metroid Prime was a game that was highly anticipated prior to its release considering the fact that we did not get a game for the Nintendo 64.  Unlike, Metroid Fusion which was a 32 bit 2D title that was also released in early 00’s Metroid Prime does a great job in capturing the feeling of isolation in an open world environment which adds to the quality of the game as players control the main character Samus Aran.

After watching the epic intro for Metroid Prime along with starting a journey on Frigate Orpheon people had the chance to realize that this game was worth the wait despite the fact that Nintendo never released a title for the Nintendo 64.  When people look at the artwork and design of the game itself it truly feels like the developers put a tremendous amount of effort into making the game appear far more realistic than it has ever been.  If Metroid Prime had been released for the Nintendo 64 the game could have been very popular.  But since artwork and quality were among significant aspects that defined Metroid Prime it would be hard to tell if the game would have been as popular as it was for the Nintendo GameCube.  Anyone who owned Metroid Prime during the early 00’s could easily argue that it was probably one of the best first person action-adventure games they have ever played and one of the best games that Nintendo and Retro Studios had ever produced for any console in general.

Games from the 00’s – Metroid Fusion: (2002)


The Metroid series is considered to be one of the coolest that Nintendo has ever made since its inception back in 1986.  Since the late 80’s many people have enjoyed the Metroid series and as time progressed it has improved with age.  One of the most exciting time periods to be a fan of the Metroid series was during the early 00’s since Nintendo had developed two of the best games within the series in 2002.  The same year Metroid Fusion made its debut for the Nintendo GameCube was also when Metroid Fusion was released for the Game Boy Advance.  As cool as Metroid Fusion was for the 32 bit Game Boy Advance console some might argue that Metroid Prime may have overshadowed this game when they were both released on the same day.  Even though, many would agree that Metroid Prime was awesome in its own way they would also tell you that Metroid Fusion was probably one of the best 2D installments in the entire series next to Super Metroid which was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the early 90’s.

Those who were die hard fans of the Metroid series during the late 80’s and early 90’s loved Super Metroid when it was released in 1994.  But despite how enjoyable Metroid Fusion was long time fans of the series sometimes criticize the game for feeling different from Super Metroid even though the visual design looked similar.   Metroid Fusion was an interesting games that had some pretty cool qualities such as a nice story, cool cutscenes along with navigation rooms which made completing missions and progressing throughout the game more convenient.  The story regarding Samus being infected by X Parasites on planet SR 388 was interesting and was something that could easily grab the attention of those who appreciated the storytelling aspect of the game.  When it comes down to Game Boy Advance titles of the early 00’s many would agree that Metroid Fusion was definitely one of the best 32 bit titles of its era.

Dreamcast Games- Sonic Shuffle: (2000)


When it comes down to Sonic games one of most unusual but fun titles in the series included Sonic Shuffle.  As many people know Sonic Shuffle was released for the Sega Dreamcast in the year 2000 and while some might argue about the game itself being a rip off of the Mario Party series others thought it was pretty cool.  In Sonic Shuffle up to four players can be included along with having up to eight playable characters in the game.   The concept of Sonic Shuffle is very interesting because there is a heavy emphasis on the utilization of a deck of cards from the numbers one to six in order to complete various actions such as battling and traveling around each board.  Even though, there are only five boards in the whole game trying to collect a precioustone in each stage is longer and tougher than many people would expect.  Despite how challenging Sonic Shuffle can be at times the mini games are very especially when the game itself is played with a few friends.

Also, the plot for Sonic Shuffle was intriguing because since it featured a new antagonist besides Dr. Eggman named Void who was responsible for shattering the Perfect Precioustone leading to the universe being in chaotic state.  During the first time playing through the game players general control the original four characters Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy Rose.  As cool as Sonic Shuffle was for the Dreamcast some people were probably surprised by the fact that the game did not have a sequel or develop into a series.  Even though, critics may have various opinions about Sonic Shuffle the game itself was fun overall and definitely had a decent replay value to it.  Sometimes breaking out of the platform genre is something that Sega needs to do to keep the Sonic series more interesting.  While some might argue that Sonic Shuffle was not among the best Sonic games that Sega has made others can say it was the most fun non-platform titles they have played in the series overall.

Video Games in the 00’s – Sonic Battle: (2003)


When it comes down to Sonic games for the Game Boy Advance a majority of the most popular titles were mainly platformers.  Sonic Battle was one of the few games in the Sonic series that was popular during the early  00’s that was not a platform game to be featured on the Game Boy Advance.   Sonic Battle was a pretty cool fighting game that featured both single and multiplayer gameplay.  Along with having pretty cool 2D visuals the plot for Sonic Battle was also interesting.  Sonic Battle focuses on Eggman’s plans to capture a robot called Giznoid which was created by an ancient civilization a few millenniums prior to the time period the game takes place in.  The Giznoid who is also named Emerl by Sonic goes on to play a substantial role throughout the game as many characters have various encounters with him.

Sonic Battle features some of the most popular characters in the Sonic series includes Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Cream, Rouge the Bat and Shadow the Hedgehog.  One of the most unique things about Emerl was that he could copy the ability of his opponents along with being able to harness the powers of the Chaos Emeralds.  Sonic Battle was a pretty unique game for its time especially considering the fact that the developers did not make that many titles with this type of genre.  The concept of having 2D graphics and sprites battling in a 3D arena was great and gave Sonic fans something new. Sonic Battle was exciting because it deviated from the  typical 2D platform genre that many fans are used to seeing in the Sonic series.  Sonic Battle looked like a game that could of been more popular if it was released for a home based console.  But the fact that the Sonic Team was able to make a game like Sonic Battle for the Game Boy Advance shows how creative and innovative they were back in the early 00’s.