Retro Gaming 10’s- Killer Instinct: (2013)

When we think about popular fighting games from the early part of the 10’s decade one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is Killer Instinct from 2013. Many people were presently surprised to see the Killer Instinct series make a return and it felt like one of the biggest comebacks in relation to the fighting genre of gaming since Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds from 2011. Killer Instinct was initially developed by Rare along with Helix Studios while Iron Galaxy worked on seasons two and three and published by Microsoft Studios. Even though, Killer Instinct was a Xbox One exclusive it was still a game that provided many long time fans of the series with a sense of nostalgia. Also, Killer Instinct ’13 was the first major game within its series since ’96 when the world got to see the release of Killer Instinct 2/ Killer Instinct Gold for Arcade/N64. Unlike, previous installments Killer Instinct ’13 utilized high quality 3D graphics and visuals opposed to 2D sprites. The visuals in Killer Instinct ’13 looked betty than Super Street Fighter IV from 2010 and the combo system in this game was better than ever.

Along with the return of Combo Breaker gameplay mechanic Killer Instinct ’13 included features that we have never seen in any of the previous games within the series. During season two of Killer Instinct we got to see environmental finishing moves along with stage ultras which was somewhat reminiscent of what was included in Mortal Kombat IX. Another noticeable feature that was included in this game was “Instinct Mode” which served multiple purposes as far as helping players achieve victory during battles. Instinct Mode was useful for stopping Ultra Combos in addition to increase a character’s immunity as it related to receiving damage from opponents. As far offline gameplay in general was concerned Killer Instinct ’13 had a slew of game modes than just about an other fighting titles from the early 10’s. There were game modes such as “Dojo” which emphasized tutorial gameplay for beginners along with “Shadow Lab” AI studied how players fought and created a challenging opponent based on their techniques.

Also, the “Shadow Lords” Mode that was added in Season 3 during Fall 2016 was very interesting especially considering the fact it was the first time that we saw a story mode in any Killer Instinct game since its inception back in ’94. There were so many items to be unlocked within Killer Instinct ’13 from costumes to music and players were generally rewarded for their progress in game modes such as Shadow Lords which added to the game’s overall replay value. The online multiplayer game mode was organized in the form of a monthly tier system which included classes such as: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Killer. On a monthly bases online players were rewarded for ranking within the top 30 within the Killer class and motivated others to try and achieve top status for gaining PRO Status.

As a fighting game there is almost no question that Killer Instinct ’13 was of better quality and had more depth than Super Street Fighter IV and even Mortal Kombat IX to sone extent. However, the Killer Instinct series had been absent since the mid 90’s and had definitely lost a lot of momentum prior to the release of KI ’13. As popular as the series was back in the 90’s or even the early to mid 10’s the Street Fighter & Mortal Kombat series have always seemed more mainstream than Killer Instinct in general. Either way, Killer Instinct ’13 was definitely a game that ended up succeeding the initial expectations of many people in general. As far as quality and overall replay value is concerned Killer Instinct ’13 was quite possibly one of the best fighting games of the 10’s decade overall.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Gravity Rush: (2012)

As far a high profile action-adventure games are concerned as it relates to the 10’s one of the few titles that turned heads several years ago was Gravity Rush from 2012. For those who do not know Gravity Rush was published by Sony Computer Entertainment and it initially appeared on the PlayStation Vita in 2012 before being ported for the PS4 in various countries between late 2015- early 2016. Gravity Rush has a pretty bad but interesting story that revolves around a girl by the name of Kat and a mysterious cat named Dusty. As players progress the game they learn more about Kay’s backstory along with Dusty’s ability to control gravity. It turns out that Dusty had used her power to fight off creatures created by Nevi. In the game Kat & Dusty were regarded as a heroic figures and would often aid the police forces during her time in Hekseville. While Kat along with Dusty are viewed as heroes within Hekseville the game sees the emergence of the main antagonist Alderman D’nelica.

The reason that D’nelica is the main villain Gravity Rush is due to his desire to create an oppressive military state within Hekseville at almost everyone’s expense. To make matters worse D’nelica attempted to control both Hekseville and Navi with a weapon known as the Sea Anemone which ultimately got out hand once he initiated its self-destruct sequence; leading Kat and fellow allies Yunica and Raven to prevent destruction from occurring. There were many twists and turns in Gravity Rush that kept the story interesting while providing players with suspense and unpredictably as events unfolded within the game. One of the fascinating things about Gravity Rush included Kat’s adamant decision to steer clear of joining the military despite Nevi being a mutual threat. Also, characters such as Yunica who started of as a villain and member of the disbanded Jellyfish forces ended up aligning herself with Kat to stop D’nelica. Also, Syd who was a police officer that eventually became apart of Jellyfish military ended up committing “treason” as he attempted to help Kat following her being captured later in the game.

Similar to other popular action-adventure games from the late 00’s- early 10’s such as Mirror’s Edge, Assassin’s Creed II and Dishonored the theme for Gravity Rush revolved around the main protagonist fighting against corruption among authority figures within society; the storytelling aspect of Gravity Rush along with the art style were both impressive for a PS Vita game. In fact Gravity Rush was probably one of the coolest action-adventure games to have never appeared on the PlayStation 3. Gravity Rush was a game that was critically acclaimed by most people while spawning a successful sequel in 2017 which saw improvements as it related to in- mechanics. Sometimes its hard to believe that this cel-shaded action-adventure gem came out seven years ago during the tail end of the PS3/Xbox 360 generation of gaming. While Gravity Rush May not be considered among the best action-adventure titles of the 10’s decade its definitely one that many people still remember from 2012.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Tekken Tag Tournament 2: (2011)

When we think about some of the best fighting games from the early part of the 10’s decade one of the many titles that comes to mind is Tekken Tag Tournament which came out in September 2011. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was developed and published by Bandi Namco Games and was without a doubt one of the most high profile fighting games of ’11. In fact, Tekken Tag Tournament is often viewed as a better game than Capcom’s Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds which was released in February 2011. Not only did Tekken Tag Tournament 2 sell more than 1.5 million by 2013 but it won numerous awards for being the “Best Fighting Game” of 2012 from numerous gaming publications. One of the reasons why Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was so big was because it was the highly anticipated sequel to the original game which came out over twelve years prior in 1999. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was was considered to be the next big title within its series following the release of Tekken 6 from 2007. In addition, to being released for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 there was surprising a Wii-U version of the game that was released back in November 2012.

Seeing a Tekken game on a Nintendo console back in 2012 was very surprising since the first and quite possibly the only time that has ever happened. In Tekken Tag Tournament 2 we got to see high quality visuals along with improved gameplay in comparison to that of its ’99 predecessor. The inclusion of longer tag combos and double team moves were solid features in addition to the game mode included in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. There were various game modes that players had the option of choosing such as arcade, versus, survival and time attack. Also, players had the option of participating in normal tag battles versus two on one handicap matches. The introduction of a new game mode Fight Lab was pretty interesting along with return of Tekken Ball mode in the Wii-U version of the game. Tekken Tag Tournament 6 had a stacked roster of characters from all the previous Tekken games even classic characters from 2 & 3 such as Forest Law, Michelle Chang, Tiger Jackson and many others.

Also, popular favorites such as Jin Kazama, Heihachi Kazama, Kazuya Kazama, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, King and Yoshimitsu returned in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 as expected. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was definitely seemed more superior than Street Fighter X Tekken which came out 2012 especially since it felt like there was more to do as it related to offline gameplay. As far as top fighting games of 2011-2012 are concerned many people would say that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was as popular as Dead Ir Alive 5 following its release in ’12. Even though, Tekken 7 was supposed to be the final game within its series many people would love to see a potential Tekken Tag Tournament 3 from Bandi Namco Games. There is no doubt that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was one of the best installments within the entire series and was one of the best fighting games of the 10’s decade.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Dead Or Alive 5: (2012)

When we think about top fighting games that have emerged throughout the 10’s decade titles such as Super Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat IX, Injustice, Soul Calibur IV, Tekken 7 others instantly come to mind since they were all enjoyable titles. During the early part of the 10’s decade the games just mentioned were all remarkable and had replay values that were high while receiving good to average reviews from fans and critics alike. One of the many fighting games from the early 10’s that many people enjoyed was Tecmo Koei’s Dead Or Alive 5 which was developed by Team Ninja and released back in September 2012. Dead Or Alive 5 initially appeared on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and was the highly anticipated sequel of its ’05 predecessor Dead Or Alive 4. Despite, not receiving as much mainstream attention as Capcom’s fighting titles Dead Or Alive 5 was considered to be more superior in terms of gameplay compared to the likes of Super Street Fighter IV or Street Fighter X Tekken. Also, Dead Or Alive 5 had a healthy balance of game modes as it relates to offline/online gameplay.

Dead Or Alive 5 included offline modes such as Story, Arcade, Survival and Time Attack. Players also had the opportunity to partake in online gameplay were they can participate in lobby and ranked matches with other competitors around the world. When playing online people could create and host tournaments that could include up to sixteen different people. The training mode in Dead Or Alive 5 was more superior than its predecessor since new features such as Online Dojo was introduced. In Online Dojo players had the opportunity to spar with other players online during training which was something that was not too common in fighting games back in day. The Spectator mode which allowed players to watch their fights back back felt like an added bonus to Dead Or Alive 5. The gameplay in Dead Or Alive 5 was also very impressive with the inclusion of new mechanics which made the battles feel more realistic. The “Power Blow” attacks along with the “Cliffhanger” sequences added more life Dead Or Alive 5 and made the fights seem more epic than that of DOA 4.

The retention of tag battles and the inclusion of other fighting features such as “Critical Stuns” and “Critical Combos” were features contributed to the overall appeal of Dead Or Alive 5; making it one of the most enjoyable titles within its genre back in the early 10’s. Since 2012 Dead Or Alive 5 has been re-released multiple times due to its level of popularity amongst gamers. Dead Or Alive 5 was ported to the PlayStation Vita as “Dead Or Alive Plus” while an updated version of the game DOA 5: Ultimate appeared in the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360. We finally ended up getting Dead Or Alive 5: Last Round in 2015 for the PS4 & Xbox One which was without a doubt the best version of the game. While Dead Or Alive 6 which recently came out back in January 2019 is quite impressive some might argue that DOA 5 was a stronger entry overall. The inclusion of DLC characters like SNK’s Mai Shiranui In DOA 5 was like cherry on top of the cake for the game making for a memorable fighting title as it pertains to the 10’s decade.

Should Persona 4 have been ported for the PS4?

When we look at high profile RPG games from the 00’s decade Persona 4 is one that instantly stands out. It seems like Persona 4 was quite possibly Atlus’s best RPG game prior to the release of Persona 5 back in 2016. Although, we got to see Persona 4 Golden ported for the PlayStation Vita back in 2012 at some point the game should have been released for the PS4 sometime after November 2013 when the console itself was released worldwide. Almost everything about Persona 4 was impressive from the storytelling, suspense and dark atmosphere all the way down to the visuals and gameplay. While Persona 4 was a huge attraction for the PlayStation 3 Atlus should definitely have followed up with the game’s success by having it ported for the PS4 especially since the current generation console is not backward compatible. Since its release Persona 4 has received numerous accolades for being one of the greatest RPG’s of all-time and best games ever made by a couple of gaming publications.

The emphasis on the vices of television along with the mixture of both fantasy and reality in Persona 4 was excellent and made for a compelling story that could keep players actively engaged. Persona 4 was so popular that the game received its own animated television series back in 2011 which ironically was the year the game itself was set in. The television series was followed by an anime film which was released back in 2012 known as Persona 4: The Animation -The Factor Of Hope- in Japan shortly after. In addition, to having an animated film another television series began known as Persona 4: The Golden Animation which began during the Summer of 2014. Its safe to say that Persona 4 was definitely the most popular game within its series alongside with P5 and its a bit shocking that the game was never ported for PS4 within the past six years or so. Seeing Persona 4 on the PS4 anytime between ’14-’15 would have been great but apparently Atlus had no plans at all to make it a reality during that time period.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road To Boruto Confirmed for Switch in 2020!!!

As it relates to big releases for the Nintendo Switch next year one of the few things that people are talking about right now is the upcoming release of Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road To Boruto for the Switch console. Road to Boruto 4 was initially released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft during the early part of 2016 was one of the most popular fighting games of that time period. Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road To Boruto was developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Bandi Namco Entertainment with the video game series being around since the early 00’s. It has recently been revealed that Road To Boruto will be heading to the Switch console on April 23th in Japan. Also, Road To Boruto will be receiving a worldwide release for the Switch console the following day on April 24th next year.

While the upcoming Switch port of Road To Boruto is big need that has everyone excited people are questioning whether or not the Switch port will on par with the PS4 or Xbox One versions of the game. As far as in game content is concerned we do know that all versions of Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road To Boruto will include a new set of DLC in the form of costumes and characters such as Monoshiki & Kinshiki. As a fighting game there is no question that Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road To Boruto will be a huge attraction for Switch owners who do not currently own it for the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One.

Monolith Soft is recruiting staff for Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2

One of the hottest topics that the gaming world is currently talking involves the upcoming release of The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 for the Nintendo Switch. As it currently stands we have yet to receive an official release date for Breath Of The Wild 2 since the game is nowhere close to being finished. In fact, we have recently learned that video game developer Monolith Soft is currently searching for skilled individuals to be apart of their team in order to complete The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2. The first Breath Of The Wild video game was released back in March 2017 the same day the Switch console came out. Since its release The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild has won numerous “Game Of The Year” awards while managing to reach over 14 million copies sold worldwide. Looking for staff members to help with the development of The Legend Of Zelda 2: Breath If The Wild might not be too difficult. The question is whether or not the new staff members Monolith Soft decides to hire are suitable replacements for previous members who left the company.

Based on what we know Monolift Soft is looking for character modelers, concept art designers, and map modelers for the upcoming Zelda game. It seems almost certain that Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 will not be released this upcoming year in 2020. At this rate we might see the official release of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 in either 2021-2022 depending on how progress Monolith Soft has with development. Some would say that Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 is almost as far from being complete as Metroid Prime 4 is for the Nintendo Switch. But then again we have seen actual footage in the dorm of a reveal trailer for Breath Of The Wild 2 unlike Metroid Prime 4.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Persona 4: (2008)

When many people think about high profile RPG’s from the 00’s decade one of the many titles that instantly comes to mind outside of the Final Fantasy series is Persona 4. For those who do not know Persona 4 was a social simulation RPG that was initially released in Japan in July 2008 before coming to America in December of that year. Persona 4 was released in other countries during the early part of ’09 and appeared on the PlayStation 2 before it was ported to the PS Vita in 2012. The game itself is considered to be one of the most popular installments within the entire set along with the likes of Persona 5 which was released a few years ago during 2016. Persona 4 had a very intriguing plot with the overall tone of the game itself being very dark considering the series of tragic events that players discover towards the beginning of the game. The main character who is named by the player discovers several gruesome murders by diabolical beings know as Shadows that exist within the TV World. Players learn that the Shadow creatures that live within theTV World are a manifestation of negative and repressed emotions of people and are responsible for the horrific events that occur within the game.

Players are able to travel freely between the real world with the help of an ally named Teddie as they eventually rescue other characters such as Rise, Yosuke, Yu, Chie, Yukiko, Kanji who later become playable throughout the game. As players progress through Persona 4 they will come across various unexpected twists and shocking turns that will keep them engaged in the storyline. Eventually, its discovered that the main character’s home room teacher was killed by a student from another school out of boredom which was a big mystery as several murder cases were being investigated. However, Mitsuo Kubo who was the culprit for the player’s home room teacher murder had no part in the demise of other individuals within the game. It turns out that the demise of a television announcer along with another high school student who discovered the body was caused by a police detective named Tohru Adachi. The revelations regarding the murders comes after Taro Namatame is falsely accused of the crimes even though he claimed responsibility for his involvement in trapping Rise, Kanji, Naoto and Yukiko earlier in the game.

Following the boss battle with Adachi things took a really bizarre turn as he becomes possessed by the Japanese God Of Fog known as Ameno-sagiri. We then learn that the fog is lethal to humans since it greatly contributes to their ignorance and ultimately transforms them into shadows. Once players get through the final boss battle Ameno-sagiri retracts the fog from Adachi who then turns himself in for his crimes. One of the cool things about Persona 4 was how the story felt like art imitating life as far as vices of watching too much television is concerned. Also, what was more interesting about the story for Persona 4 was the fact that the setting took place in 2011. Since its release back in ’08 Persona 4 has been critically acclaimed and is seen as one of the best RPG titles of all time. Despite, the Persona see being around since ’96 during the PS1 era gaming it seems like the series has more popular between the late 00’s-mid 10’s with P4 & P5. There is no doubt that Persona 4 deserves a HD re-release for either the PlayStation 4 or PS5 game console because its was definitely one of the best games that Atlus has ever made in general.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Kirby’s Dream Land 3: (1997)

When it comes down to classic platform titles for Nintendo based game systems many remember the Kirby Dream Land series which started back in the Spring ’92 on Game Boy. The original Kirby Dream Land title for Game Boy was considered to be a high profile classic that sold at least five million copies worldwide. A few years later Nintendo released Kirby Dream Land 2 back in ’95 and despite not being quite as successful as its predecessor was still considered as good in terms of gameplay. Following the release of Kirby Dream Land 2 the third installment within the DL series was released in Japan and America between ’97-’98 for the Super NES. It was a bit surprising seeing Kirby Dream Land 3 for the SNES around the late 90’s especially considering the fact that the Nintendo 64 was released back in ’96. Also, considering that Game Boy had become even more popular by the late 90’s with games such as Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow some people would question why it even appeared on the SNES console in ’97.

While its possible that Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was overshadowed by various high profile released for the PS1 & N64 by ’97 it was still considered to be critically acclaimed game. Kirby’s Dream Land 3 saw the return of Dark Matter the main antagonist from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 along the inclusion of multiple endings depending on how the game was completed. Throughout the game Kirby aligned himself with various friends such as Gooey, Coo and Rick along with other new characters as he seeks to restore peace to the universe following the destruction of the Planet’s rings by Dark Matter. As players progressed throughout the game they were required to collect Heart Stars leading up to the final boss battle. The final boss battle in Kirby Dream Land 3 relied on whether or not players collected all of the Heart Stars which made things more interesting.

For those who did not collect all of the Heart Stars they had to battle King Dedede while he was possessed by Dark Matter just to fight him again in his normal state. If players did not collect all of the Heart Stars before completing the game they were left with a cliffhanger ending which would urge players to play through it a second time to try and unlock the true ending. The true ending of the game came after players battled the true main villain Zero following their encounter with King Dedede & Dark Matter. As far as gameplay and graphics are concerned Kirby Dream Land 3 was definitely the best within the “Dream Land” series because it was on Super Nintendo opposed to Game Boy. However, despite how cool Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was it came out on the SNES a few years to late. Its possible that Kirby’s Dream Land 3 could have been more popular if the game was released for the N64 between ’97-’98. Either way, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is still an underrated platform classic that would probably be considered a 16-bit hidden gem for the SNES console.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood (1993)

The Castlevania series has been around in the gaming world since its inception back in September 1986 when the very first game in the series appeared on the 8-bit NES. Ever since, the Castlevania series began in the mid-80’s Konami had produced installments within the series on both the NES and the Super NES that were considered to be memorable. Castlevania I-III which were released for NES between ’86-’89 are considered to be 8-bit classics. Also, Super Castlevania IV for the SNES was very impressive following its release in ’91 for special features in relation to Mode 7. Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood was originally released for the PC Engine CD exclusively in Japan before being ported for the SNES and released in various countries between ’95-’96 as “Dracula X”. Unlike Super Castlevania IV Simon Belmont is not the main character in Rondo Of Blood. In Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood players control Richard Belmont a descendant of Simon Belmont in the early 1790’s during a time where Dracula is resurrected. While Dracula is the main antagonist of Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood Simon Belmont must defeat all of his minions to rescue his love interest by the name of Annette.

While attempting to rescue Annette and various other women who were captured by Dracula’s minions players have to travel through nine different levels with a limited amount of weapons at his disposal. Some of the features included in Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood that was interesting included the alternative routes that players had the option of taking which rescuing maidens when traveling throughout castle. Players also had the ability to unlock Maria Renard who was considered to be a distant relative of Simon Belmont who also had her own unique set of attacks when combating enemies. As far as quality is concerned many people would definitely choose the PC Engine CD version of this game over the “Dracula X” port for Super Nintendo. However, the musical quality for the SNES “Dracula X” version of Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood was surprisingly great especially the “Bloodlines” soundtrack from Stage 1. While Rondo Of Blood was a very fun and adventurous 16-bit platformer for the SNES many people might not place it on the same level as Super Castlevania IV or even its ’97 successor Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night for the PS1 in relation to popularity. While its arguable which game within the Castlevania series was most popular back in the 90’s there is no question that Rondo Of Blood/Dracula X was a memorable side-scrolling 16-bit classic that would still hold up to this day.