Is Tetris the best puzzle game of all-time?

As many people know the series Tetris has been around since the 80’s following the inception of its very first game back in 1984. The legendary tile matching puzzle game was developed by Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov and is a game that has been released for multiple game systems around the world such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy and the SNES under the name Tetris & Dr Mario in ’91. Since its inception Tetris became a game that became easily accessible through iOS mobile devices throughout the 00’s and 10’s decade as more remastered versions of the game was released. While the 2D tile matching puzzle genre is not as popular today as it was back in the 80’s & ’90’s some of the most recently installments within the Tetris series would not even exist with the original game from ’84. Between late ’18-early ’19 we got to see the release Tetris Effect for the PlayStation VR and Tetris 99 for the Nintendo Switch. Both Tetris that were recently released gain mainstream attention and were praised for being innovative by fans and critics alike. While Tetris VR offered players a more atmospheric yet sensational experience pertaining to gameplay Tetris 99 introduced a multiplayer Battle Royale mode which was addictive.

It should also be noted that at least one Tetris game has appeared on just about every major game console that ultimately became successful in terms of sales for over the past 30 years. There have been a few Tetris games that has involved iconic cartoon or video game characters such as Mickie Mouse and Super Mario mainly during the 90’s. Also, puzzle games such as Puyo Puyo, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Kirby’s Avalanche and Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo were all titles inspired by Tetris following their respective releases between ’91-’96. However, the Tetris series had always remained a top attraction within the puzzle genre of gaming as it continued to appear on younger generation game systems while still appealing to gamers from 80’s & ’90’s. It was reported back in 2018 that Tetris was one of the best selling games ever with at least 170 million copies sold since its ’84 release. Without the original Tetris game where would the puzzle genre of gaming be today in terms of popularity? Tetris pretty much put the puzzle genre of gaming on the map and is quite possibly more of an attraction today then it was during the 80’s and 90’s.

Did some of Nintendo’s best Zelda games come from the 90’s?

When we think about highly successful Zelda games that has been released on various Nintendo consoles for the past 30 years there are many games that comes to mind. The original Zelda game appeared on the NES back in ’86 and we also got to see Zelda II: Adventure Of Link the following year in ’87 which had gameplay that was different from its predecessor; Adventure Of Link is often viewed as the black sheep of the series because of its gameplay. By the time Zelda: Link To The Past was released for the SNES in ’91 it ended up becoming one of Nintendo’s most high profile SNES game of the 90’s decade. Since its release Zelda: Link To The Past ended up become one of the best selling titles for the SNES and ended up reaching over 4.6 million in sales. In fact, The Legend Of Zelda: Link To The Past ended up becoming the 7th best selling game for the SNES and is considered to be a legendary action-adventure game that still holds up to this day. Less than, two years later the world got to see the release of Zelda: Link’s Awakening in June 1993. Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda title to ever appear on Game Boy and was also highly successful. Critics praised the soundtrack & story for Link’s Awakening as it went on to sell over 3.8 million on Game Boy.

Following the initial success of Zelda: Link’s Awakening in ’93 the game was eventually ported for Game Boy Color in ’98; this was the same year that Ocarina Of Time was released for the Nintendo 64. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time was arguably the best game within the entire series depending on who you ask. It felt like Nintendo gave new life to the series once it became 3D and it was noticeable in Ocarina Of Time. Features such as good storytelling, level design, robust gameplay, optional side-quests in addition to challenging boss battles made Ocarina Of Time a timeless N64 classic. Since its initial release back in November 1998 Ocarina Of Time has reached over 7.6 million in worldwide sales for the N64 and became the fourth best selling game on that console. Zelda Ocarina Of Time was eventually followed more than a year latter with the release of Majora’s Mask for the N64 in 2000.

As far as visuals and gameplay was concerned Majora’s Mask was similar to Ocarina Of Time but the game had a notice darker tone. It should also be noted that opposed to having Ganondorf as the main antagonist Majora’s Mask saw the debut of a new villain named Skull Kid. Majora’s Mask was a game that also ended up becoming highly successful and reached over 6.3 million copies in sales for the N64. Despite, not selling quite as much as Zelda: Ocarina Of Time it was still impressive to know that Majora’s Mask ended up becoming 12th best selling game on the N64. While there have been some other highly successful Zelda games from other decades such as the first NES games from the 80’s it seemed like they were outshined by the installments for the SNES, Game Boy and the N64 from the 90’s. In the 00’s Majora’s Mask along with Zelda: Twilight Princess from ’06 were also very impressive and stood out in a time where the shooter genre of gaming began to surge in popularity.

In the 10’s decade we got to see the release of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch; the game became way more popular than the likes of Hyrule Warriors and Zelda: Skyward Sword. In addition, we got to see a digitally remastered Switch version of Link’s Awakening from ’93 with 3D graphics and backgrounds during September 2019 which was pretty cool. While everyone has their favorites on which games within the Zelda series are the best there is no question that some of the most iconic titles Nintendo made definitely came from the between the mid-80’s and early-00’s time period.

Was Donkey Kong a better boss than Bowser?

When we look back one first major titles that Mario appeared in during the 80’s the Donkey Kong arcade game instantly comes to mind. As many people know the original Donkey Kong game is considered to be legendary and sees Mario as the main protagonist as he attempts to reduce his then girlfriend Pauline after being captured by D.K. While Donkey Kong is mainly considered to be more of a heroic figure in gaming nowadays back in the early 80’s he was Mario’s main rival. Similar to Wario who made his debut in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for Game Boy in ’92 Donkey Kong started off as a villain before becoming popular enough to become a heroic figure. Both Donkey Kong and Wario had their own video game series with difference being Donkey King becoming more mainstream and successful than Wario did. As a villain Donkey Kong seemed pretty generic since all he did was toss barrels at Mario to prevent his Rome rescuing Pauline. Bowser who made his debut in Super Mario Bros in ’85 has remained the main villain in the Mario series for over 30 years.

Despite, the never-changing damsel in distress formula that Nintendo uses in Mario games involving Princess Peach various games in the series had different gimmicks or settings which kept player emotional invested in them. Its hard to see Mario being around for over 30 years with Donkey King as the main villain since he ended upcoming a charismatic character within the gaming world. While Donkey Kong may not have been a better villain than Bowser he definitely popular enough to earn Nintendo millions of dollars over the past couple of decades. In fact, if Mario had not become Nintendo’s main mascot it quite possible that Donkey Kong could have ended up being the face of Nintendo. Just about every Donkey Kong game that we have seen since the 80’s has either become very popular or successful in terms of console sales.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Gradius V: (2004)

When we think about popular Konami games that came out between the 90’s-early 00’s titles such as Contra III: Alien Wars, Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, Dance Dance Revolution and others. It seems like most of Konami’s best video games came out during the 99’s which is a statement that many would agree is accurate. However, in the early 00’s we did get to see some cool games that Konami was involved with such as: Silent Hill 2 and Gradius V which were titles that both appeared on the PS2. Gradius V was considered to be the sequel to Gradius IV which was an arcade exclusive in Japan following its release in February 1999. As people know the Gradius series started back in 1985 back when the scrolling shooter of genre was more popular. The side-scrolling shooter genre started to decline in popularity around the mid 90’s onwards and it a bit surprising that Gradius games were still being made between the late 90’s-early 00’s. Gradius V was an arcade line shooter with optimal visuals that allowed both single and multiplayer gameplay. Throughout, the game power-ups can be acquired through destroying enemies in game modes such as Score Attack.

The Weapon’s Array Screen allowed players to choose what type of power-ups they could utilize throughout different levels; players also had the option of customizing the Vic Viper ship using various different weapon combinations which made Gradius V intriguing. As far as sales were concerned Gradius V obviously did not do too well since the scrolling shooter genre of gaming had declined in popularity by the early 00’s. If Gradius V were released a few years earlier sometime around the mid 90’s between the ’94-’97 Time period it could have possibly of been a much bigger attraction than it was on the PS2. As a side scrolling intergalactic shooter game Gradius V was praised by various gaming publications including GamePro & IGN and was seen as game that looked like it belonged in the 90’s decade

Retro Gaming 00’s- Jet Set Radio: (2000)

When it comes down to underrated classics from the early 00’s in terms of gaming one of the few titles that often gets overlooked is Jet Set Radio. For those who do not know Jet Set Radio was a game developed by Smilebit and published by Sega before its official release for Dreamcast in June 2000. Jet Set Radio was an action-platform sports game that emphasized the concept of rollerblading along with competition amongst street gangs in order to win turf within Tokyo-ko that was up for grabs. However, the competition in Jet Set Radio involved criminal activity in form of graffiti and was broadcasted by DJ Professor K; this leads to the increased presence of law enforcement lead by Captain Onishima to crackdown on street gangs within Tokyo-to. Jet Set Radio sees the main character Beat and his crew known as GG’s compete and defeat rival gangs such as Noise Tanks, Poison Jam along with the Love Shockers. Following their victories over rival gangs the GG’s end up releasing a mysterious record that has the power to unless a demon. In addition, to dropping a new vinyl record the GG’s acquire new members to their group named Combo & Cube.

The new GG members explain how their hometown Grind City has taken over by a conglomerate known as Rokkaku along with their friend named Coining captured in the process. Players then discover that the Rokkaku plans on stealing the GG’s vinyl record to make a contract with the demon it possesses in order to take over Tokyo-to. The GG members eventually defeat the main antagonist Goji Rokkaku who was the CEO of the Rokkaku conglomerate in end and an interesting discovery was made. Despite, Coin’s fate being unclear its learned that Goji was driven into madnesses by wealth; the streets of Tokyo-to also become free following Goji’s defeat towards the end of the game. As far as gameplay is concerned Jet Set Radio had some cool modes despite being a single-player only game. The Rival Showdown Mode allowed players to unlock new characters. The Street Mode was also plenty of fun because players had two different options in terms of what type of gameplay they could partake in. While one option in Street Mode consisted of tagging turf areas the other involved spraying members of a rival gang.

The cool thing about the the Street Mode In Jet Set Radio is that its somewhat similar to Grand Theft Auto; law enforcement presence increases as players partake in more criminal activity in relation to graffiti. Players can eventually unlock Trial Mode through completing certain parts of the game which adds to the overall replay value of Jet Set Studio. Since its release for Sega Dreamcast Jet Set Radio was critically acclaimed by various gaming publications and has received several re-releases on game systems such as the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and PlayStation Vita in 2012. The storyline along with the cartoonish visuals with cel-shaded graphics made Jet Radio Radio standout; the game felt like it was ahead of its time since cel-shaded graphics did not begin to catch on in video games until the second half of the 00’s decade. Despite, the Dreamcast performing poorly in worldwide sales following its ’98 release Jet Set Radio from ’00 was definitely a timeless gem that emerged from Sega 128-bit game system.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Def Jam: Fight For NY (2004)

When we think about some of the most popular fighting games from the first half of the 00’s decade its almost impossible to have a conversation about the topic without mentioning Def Jam: Fight For NY. For those who do not know Def Jam: Fight For NY was developed by AKI Corporation & EA Canada and published by EA Games and was released in September 2004. Def Jam: Fight For NY was the direct sequel to Def Jam: Vendetta which came out in 2003. Def Jam Vendetta was critic acclaimed for mixing the elements of hip-hop and pro-wrestling together while providing players with high quality gameplay cinematic storytelling; these features were greatly approved upon in Def Jam: Fight For New York. Not only was the storyline in Fight For NY almost twice as long as its predecessor but this game also introduced a new boss character named Crow who was portrayed by famous rapper Snoop Dogg and portrayed as the main villain. It should noted that the final boss in Def Jam Vendetta D-Mob returns in Fight For NY along with various new rappers such as Sean Paul, Lil Flip, Omar Epps, Bone Crusher, Bubba Sparxxx and others. We also got to see returning rappers such as Method Man, Ludacris, N.O.R.E., Joe Budden, Redman and others.

In addition, to having more rappers in Fight For NY the game placed more emphasis on fighting styles than that of Def Jam Vendetta. Fight For NY allowed players to either create or choose characters that could have up to three different fighting styles including submission, wrestling, martial arts, kickboxing and street-fighting. We also got to see brand new modes of battle in Fight For NY. Along with the standard battles that took place in nightclubs Fight For NY included parking lot brawls, subway fights cage matches and was probably the first pro-wrestling based game ever to introduce an inferno match. Similar to the original Def Jam game players had a momentum meter that allowed them to utilize their special move once it was filled which take a significant amount of damage from their opponents; in some instances opponents could be KO’ed if their health bar was low enough. The story mode was very intriguing from the start as the main protagonist of the game is an unknown suspect who helps D-Mob escape the cops after being arrested following the events that took place in Def Jam Vendetta. After helping D-Mob escape the cops the unnamed hero must prove his worth to D-Mob by constantly fighting at different venues and winning various nightclubs such as 7th Heaven, Syn Energy Power Plant, Terror Dome and others by defeating members of Crow’s crew.

At some in the game the main protagonist ends up gaining a girlfriend and she is eventually kidnapped by Crow and his crew due him along with D-Mob’s gang becoming a threat within the nightclub scene. In order to save his girlfriend’s life the main protagonist must win back all of the clubs he earned for D-Mob which end up making the player a traitor against his own will in the process. Afterwards, players eventually discover that Crow never planned on letting the player’s girlfriend live regardless after he refused to finish off one of D-Mob’s right hand men Blaze a.k.a Method Man after being brutally ambushed near the end of the story. In end players had to rescue their girlfriend and defeat one of Crow’s right hand men from a burning building before it collapsed before the final confrontation. After defeating Crow in the end the player ultimately ends up aligning himself with D-Mob once again while clearing his name in the process. Def Jam: Fight For NY was quite possibly the best installment within the entire series and arguably the most popular fighting game of ’04. Not only was the storyline in Def Jam: Fight For NY better than its predecessor but the replay value of the game itself was high since there was plenty of unlockable content and characters in general. Despite, appearing on the PS2 & GameCube in ’04 its a bit of a shame that Fight For NY was never remastered in high definition for current generation consoles. Either way, Def Jam: Fight For NY was quite the best non-WWE pro-wrestling game to have been released within the 00’s decade.

Was the 2000’s the best decade for the Metroid series?

When we look back at a majority of Metroid games that has been released over the past 30 years there were various installments that were considered to be memorable within the series. The original Metroid game from ’86 is where it all started and was followed by Metroid II: The Return Of Samus for Game Boy in 1991. Despite, how popular the first two Metroid installments were they did not compare to Super Metroid which appeared on the SNES back in ’93 as far as popularity was concerned. Super Metroid had sold over 1.4 million units worldwide since its release and the world see another Metroid game until late 2002. Metroid Prime was a game that fans waited about nine years for and ended becoming a massive success on the Nintendo GameCube. Not only did Metroid Prime surpass Super Metroid in sales but it managed to reach over 2.8 million units worldwide becoming the seventh best selling game on GameCube. In fact, Metroid Prime had managed rivaled the likes Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in popularity in ’02; Metroid Prime was so popular it was named “Game Of The Year” by multiple publications such as: IGN, GameSpot, GameSpy and others. It should also be noted that Metroid Fusion was also released for Game Boy Advance around the same time as Metroid Prime and ended being very successful as well.

Metroid Prime eventually ended up spawning two highly successful sequels which included Metroid Prime 2: Echoes from ’04 and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in ’07 which both appeared on the Wii console. Despite, neither installment selling as much as the original Metroid Prime game following their respective releases they were both critically acclaimed action-adventure titles that appeared on the best selling game system that Nintendo had ever made aside from the Nintendo DS. Many people in general would argue the the 00’s was the definitely the most productive decade for Nintendo in producing Metroid games. As far as the 00’s being the best year for the Metroid series is concerned its debatable since Super Metroid was arguably the best game in the series depending on who you ask. Also, we got to see a digitally remastered version of Metroid II from ’91 on the Nintendo 3DS back in 2017 under the name Metroid: Samus Returns. The remastered version of Metroid II was quite possibly the best Metroid game of the 10’s decade along Metroid: The Other M which came out on the Wii console in 2010.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)

When we think about high profile video games from the early part of the 10’s decade that many people were impressed by Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a game that was developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix and was initially released back in August 2011 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. Deus Ex: Human Revolution had appeared on Mac OS X the following year in April 2012 before it was ported to the Wii-U in October 2013. This was a single-player multi-genre game that included role-playing, stealth and first person shooter gameplay while being set in the not to distant future of 2027. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a science-fiction game that was intriguing because it focused on the growth of mega corporations at the expense of society. In addition, the idea trans-humanism was also emphasized as players controlled the main protagonist and ex-SWAT officer Adam Jensen in a futuristic cyberpunk world. The plot saw Adam who worked for a high advanced biotechnology company known as Sarif Industries become critically injured towards the beginning of the game. Players learn that Sarif Industries was attacked by a terrorist organization and the CEO of the company David Sarif ends up using an advanced augmentation procedure in order to save Jensen’s life.

Throughout the game players learn how the augmentation of humans not only lead to the rise of power of mega-corporations in the world but how society became divided as a result. While there were those who believed that augmentation is progressive to humanity in general others felt that the process was immoral. Individuals who subjected themselves to augmentation were viewed as the upper class of society while the rebels and those who lived in poverty had been viewed as the lower class. For those who were augmented due to the advancement of biotechnology and cybernetics they were required to take an immuno-expensive drug known as Neuropozyne; the drug was designed to prevent the human body from rejecting technology and was very expensive along with being scarce. There many who believed that the conflicts created by the augmentation controversy were conspiracies created by secret societies in a attempt purposely cause division in society. As players progress throughout Deus Ex: Human Revolution they see that the game takes many unexpected twists and turns as they got closer to completion.

Startling yet distributing revelations come light throughout the story as players delve deeper into discovering the dark truth about human augmentation as Adam Jensen. Its revealed that the creator of the biochips Hugh Darrow wanted humans to ditch augmentation technology after realizing that it drives people into madness. The gameplay for Deus Ex: Revolution was quite impressive especially since it vacillated from players shooting through multiple enemies to using stealth like approaches to combat foes similar to anything you would see in a Metal Gear Solid game . The upgrade system in regards to the Adam’s abilities required various Praxis Kits for his augmentations which all included different types of modifications. Changes to Adam’s augmentation can significantly affect his defense, strength and energy level consumption throughout the game. The interactions with non-playable characters also felt realistic as it pertained to the main story or side quests since the choices players made in relation to the dialogue yielded consequences that would affect what action they would take next. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was praised by both fans and critics and spawned a successful sequel entitled Deus Ex: Mankind Divided for consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows in 2016. Shockingly, Deus Ex: Human Revolution was never remastered in high definition for the PS4 since its release but its still arguably the best installment within its series behind the original game from 2000 depending on who you ask.

Retro Gaming 00’s- TimeSpliters: (2000)

When we think about first person shooter games that seemed like they were ahead of their time TimeSplitters is a game some would definitely think about instantly. The reason why TimeSpitters seemed like it was ahead of its time was mainly because the first person shooter genre did not necessarily blow up in popularity until around the mid 00’s onwards, following the release of the first two Halo games from ’01-’04 the first person shooter genre was slowly becoming more mainstream as we got closer to the start of the 10’s decade. For those who are unaware developed by Free Radical Design and published by Eidos Interactive and was released for the PlayStation 2 in late October of 2000. The cool thing about TimeSplitters was the fact that it was a game that somewhat resembled GoldenEye 007 for the N64 but it had a different theme which revolved mainly around time travel. Players had the opportunity to journey throughout various locations dating all the way back to the early part of the 20th century to the 2030’s. Also, TimeSplitters was a game that could be as easy or difficult as players wanted it to become since the setting affected the artificial intelligence in relation to dealing with enemies.

Opposed to placing emphasis one just one main character similar to how general first person shooter games do the story in TimeSplitters follows eighteen different protagonists; players got to choose one out of two characters in order to complete certain missions which mainly consisted of collecting certain objects within different levels. In addition, to the main story there were offline gameplay modes such as level designer along with the multiplayer four person “arcade” mode which added to the overall replay value of TimeSplitters. Visuals TimeSplitters looked great for its time and was a game that ended up becoming critically acclaimed while spawning two sequels between ’02-’05. Aside from the likes of the Unreal Tournament from ’99 and Golden 007 which came out in ’97 TimeSplitters was a first person shooter that can be viewed as one that contributed to the rise of popularity within that genre throughout the 00’s decade. It would have been cool to see an HD Remake of the original TimeSplitters game from late ’00 but unfortunately the game’s publisher Eidos Interactive had become defunct by the Spring of 2009. The developer Free Radical Design would also eventually become defunct by the Summer of 2014 leaving the possibility of a remake of any kind out of the question.

Could Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night have worked on Dreamcast in ‘98?

When we think about some of the most popular action role-playing platforms titles of the 90’s Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night is one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind. Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night was initially released for the Sony PlayStation back in March 1997 and was eventually ported for the Sega Saturn in June 1998 but remained exclusively in Japan. As many people know the Sega Saturn was considered to be somewhat of a flop since it managed to sell less than 10 million units worldwide following its release back in 1995. The Sega Saturn was not quite as popular as Dreamcast was during its release in 1998; it makes you wonder why Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night was never ported for the Sega Dreamcast in 1998. Dreamcast was definitely more popular in America than the Sega Saturn was despite not being near as popular as the PS1 was during the mid to late 90’s. In theory, Castlevania: Symphony The Night could have stood out on the Sega Dreamcast in ’98 onwards especially since there were hardly any high profile JRPG’s on that console.

There may have been a few RPG titles such as Skies Of Arcadia, Shenmue, Time Stalkers, Grandia II and Phantasy Star Online that could have competed with Symphony Of The Night to some extent in terms of popularity. But the Castlevania series had since the 80’s and was a recognizable name even to casual gamers by the mid to late 90’s. Also, Castlevania: Symphony Of Night was probably the best game that Konami had produced during the 90’s and was even better than Super Castlevania IV for the SNES. As good as Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night was following its release in ’97 2D gaming was slowly starting to lose its popularity. By the late 90’s people were mainly into 3D action adventure, role playing and arcade fighter type of games. While Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night could have been a huge attraction on Sega Dreamcast more people most likely would have preferred the PS1 version of the game more.