Retro Gaming 00’s- WWE WrestleMania XIX: (2003)

When we think about retro wrestling games that were considered underrated classics from the 00’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is WrestleMania XIX for the Nintendo GameCube. WrestleMania XIX was developed by Yuke’s and published by THQ and was initially released in September 2003 months following the actual pay-per-view event which took place on March 30th that year. As far as the game itself was concerned WWE WrestleMania XIX was definitely a significant forward from its 2002 predecessor WrestleMania X8 which also appeared exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube. The graphics in WrestleMania XIX looked much better and had arguably one of the greatest rosters that you would ever see in a wrestling game. The in game mechanics in WrestleMania XIX was also more robust as pertained grappling/striking while allowing players to bust the opponents naturally or through the use of weapons. There were various match types that players could choose from such Single, Tag-Team, Cage, Hell in a Cell and others which many people may have enjoyed. Throughout, each player had both a spirit meter allowing with the ability to utilize stored specials in order make their character perform their respective finishing maneuver.

Another feature WrestleMania XIX had was the inclusion of a brand new game mode which had never been seen in a wrestling game before. The “Revenge Mode” introduced in WrestleMania XIX was rather interesting because it was more mission-based and included players completing various objectives in various venues with their selected character. The whole purpose of Revenge Mode is for the player to even with his boss following their termination at the beginning of the story. The completion of various yet increasing difficult tasks eventually leads players to go one on one with Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XIX who proved to be more challenging than most people would want to admit.

After completing Revenge Mode players eventually gain access to various locations they fought at outside of the squared-circle and have the ability to engage in multiplayer games that involved eliminating their opponents, smashing up objects or capturing important items. The WrestleMania XIX game also included a training mode for beginners who wanted to get better along with detailed stats on each character. Players also had the ability to create their own wrestler within WWE WrestleMania XIX and were given more material to work with in comparison to that of its 2002 predecessor. As pro-wrestling sports game WWE WrestleMania XIX was definitely one of the coolest games within that genre during the 00’s along with the likes of Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain, WWE Smackdown vs Raw: ’06 & ’07 and WWE Day Of Reckoning 2.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Star Fox Adventures: (2002)

When we think about classic games for the Nintendo GameCube that appeared back in the early 00’s there are several titles that instantly come to mind. The GameCube era saw the release of famous titles such as Mario Kart: Double Dash, The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Sunshine and many others that were enjoyable classics that people would love to see ported for a current generation console like the Nintendo Switch. But as it pertains to popular games for the Nintendo GameCube many people remember Star Fox Adventures which initially came out back in September 2002. As far as gameplay for Star Fox Adventures was concerned we got something uniquely different. Unlike, the Star Fox games for the SNES & N64 Star Fox Adventures was not only an action-adventure title but it was also a beat em up game as well. While some people saw the inclusion of beat em up gameplay as a positive in Star Fox Adventures fans of older installment criticized because they believed it was not needed. The visuals and character design for Star Fox Adventures were impressive as we saw return of reoccurring characters such as: Fox, Slippy Toad and Falco Lombardi.

It should also be noted that Star Fox Adventures saw the return of Andross as the final boss despite his defeat in the prequel Star Fox 64 eight years prior. The game had an intriguing plot that involved warring tribes in a fictional place known as Dinosaur Planet. While Star Fox Adventures saw the Earthwalker and CloudRunner tribes feud with each other we saw the introduction of a new character who ended up being Fox McCloud’s love interest named Krystal. It turns out that Krystal had a tragic backstory that involved the destruction of her home planet Cerinia along with the death of her parents. In this game Fox McCloud has to retrieve four Spellstones that were stole from the Force Point Temples by an antagonist known as General Scales to prevent the destruction of Dinosaur Planet. Also, Fox McCloud was expected to give Krazoa Spirts in order to return Dinosaur Planet back to normal before he final encounter with Andross.

There were so many things about Star Fox Adventures that were simply impressive from the graphics to the cinematic cutscenes all the way down to the voice acting. Following its release in 2002 Star Fox Adventures had reportedly at least $30 million in America by ’06 and did good in sales during its first week. While Star Fox Adventures has been praised by many critics & fans over the years the game never remastered for any other console outside of GameCube. While Star Fox Adventures may not be considered the best installment within its series it still exceeded many people’s expectations following the release of Star Fox 64 in 1997. However, despite how good Star Fox Adventures was it did not quite the same level of popularity as Star Fox 64.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Guitar Hero: World Tour (2008)

When we think about popular music games that has appeared on multiple back in the late 00’s one of the few games that instantly comes to mind is Guitar Hero: World Tour from 2008. For those who do not know Guitar Hero: World was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision considered to be the direct sequel to the original installment which was released for the PlayStation 2 back in 2005. Similar to the original Guitar Hero game players were able to use a guitar-like controller. However, Guitar Hero: World Tour had included some additional accessories such as: microphone and drum based controllers which added to the overall realism and quality of the game. As far as features are concerned it seemed like Activision was doing whatever they could to compete with rival game Rock Band from ’07 with Guitar Hero: World Tour. In fact, Guitar Hero: World Tour had features such as the common score mechanic during multiplayer gameplay which was something that the first Rock Band game included.

In addition, to having an impressive in-game mechanics Guitar Hero: World Tour had an impressive single-player & multiplayer career mode. Being able to compete various musical objectives while running into boss battles and earning various awards in the form of money & customization items made for a solid and intriguing career mode. Another great feature that Guitar Hero: World Tour had was Battle Of The Bands mode which allowed up to four players in a band to compete against other teams online. While Guitar Hero: World Tour was a pretty fun game in general it’s debatable which version of the game was the best. Guitar Hero: World Tour had appeared on multiple game consoles such as PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows between 2008-2009.

Some might argue that the Wii version of Guitar Hero: World Tour was the most enjoyable given that players were able to utilize the Wii Remote & Nunchucks for drumming. Using the Wii Remote & Nunchucks in Guitar Hero: World Tour was something that players could do in the exclusive Mii Freestyle Mode on the Wii console. As far as quality is concerned in relation to visuals some would probably prefer the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 versions of the game. While its a bit surprising that Guitar Hero: World Tour was ported for the PlayStation 2 the console itself was still an attracts and more affordable during ’08 in comparison to that of PlayStation 3. While Guitar Hero: World Tour May not be the best entry in the series many people would probably place this game within top three for being the best installment within the entire series.

Retro Gaming 00’s- League Of Legends: (2009)

When we think about high profile video games to have appeared on Microsoft Windows during the 00’s decade League Of Legends from 2009 is one that instantly comes to mind. League Of Legends was developed and published by Riot Games and was a multiplayer online battle arena game that has generated an unbelievably large fanbase around the world since the game’s inception. The isometric gameplay coupled with 3D graphics and alluring visuals in League Of Legends were all qualities that captured the attention of many people who were PC gamers throughout the 10’s decade. Also, League Of Legends had various game modes including Co-op vs AI, Normal & Ranked Matchmaking and others that kept players busy and excited as they learned how to improve their skills. The champion concept within League Of Legends is unlike anything an average gamer will see in any video game. As far as quantity is concerned it was reported that as of the year 2020 League Of Legends has over 145 different champion types with multiple options how how different teams choose to battle them. One of the few things that is unique about League Of Legends is how much the game has evolved throughout the 10’s decade especially with the inclusion of special game modes that were around for a limited period of time between 2013-2016.

The level of popularity that League Of Legends has achieved within the past decade is unbelievable especially within the past couple of yeasts. On a monthly basis League Of Legends was averaging around 100 million active players back in 2016. We then fast-forward a few years later and learn from Riot Games that League Of Legends average at least eight million players per day which was revealed by the company back in September 2019. As far as monetary status is concerned League Of Legends has generated billions over the several years. One of the best years League Of Legends as it relates to revenue was ’17 when it generated approximately $2.1 billion. While League Of Legends did not earn as much annual revenue during ’18 or ’19 it still managed to generate at least one billion within each respective year. While League Of Legends reportedly earned $1.4 billion in revenue during 2018 Riot Games saw an increase the following year as the game generated $1.5 billion in 2019. In addition, to being one of the most popular online games of the 10’s decade League Of Legends is a title that is often featured at Esports events; League Of Legends has become a fan favorite in Esports competitions along with the likes of Overwatch, Rocket League and DOTA 2. While everyone had their opinions on what the best online game has been within the past decade or so its almost certain that many people would put League Of Legends within the top ten.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Kirby & the Amazing Mirror: (2004)

When we think about memorable games that appeared on Game Boy Advance back in the 00’s Kirby & the Amazing Mirror is one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind. Kirby & the Amazing Mirror was released back in ’04 and was both a platformer and metroidvania game. The game has a rather interesting plot that involved the Mirror World which was located in sky within a place known as Dream Land. Players learn that they must rescue Meta Knight following his loss to Dark Meta who sliced Kirby up into four different beings. Dark Meta had also sliced up the Mirror that Meta Knight was locked to eight different pieces. After the mirrors are scattered players had to search for them while controlling Kirby. Along with battling sub-bosses, venturing through different world and solving puzzles players can gather items to enhance their in-game performance. In addition, to robust gameplay players have three mini-games they can enjoy known as “Kirby’s Wave Ride, Speed Eaters and Creative Hack which all contributes to the overall replay value Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. The visuals for Kirby & the Amazing Mirror is stunning has a great look to it.

One of the reasons why Kirby & the Amazing Mirror was a pretty cool game because the plot found a healthy balance between between being both dark and kid-friendly. As good as this adventurous platformer was it was seemingly overshadowed on the Game Boy Advance especially with games like Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire and Super Mario Advance 4 being huge attractions on the handheld game system. A game like Kirby & the Amazing Mirror really could have stood out on the SNES back in the early to mid 90’s and is one that can be considered an underrated gem for Game Boy Advance.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Mega Man Zero: (2002)

As many people know the Mega Man series was very popular during the NES/SNES era of gaming from ’87-’96. There also a couple MegaMan games such as X4 & X5 that appeared on the PS1 between ’97-’00 that many people were quite fond of. It seemed like the MegaMan series began to go down downhill following the 90’s. Even though, the series did not receive as much mainstream attention hardcore fans still liked the Mega Man Zero game that appeared on Game Boy Advance back in 2002. Mega Man Zero had an interesting plot were the setting of the game took place a century following the Mega Man series and saw the reploid Zero as the main character opposed to X. In fact, the story for this game was very intriguing because the main villain of the game was a copy of Mega Man X who strived for world peace. Copy X can be seen more as a anti-villain because despite his good intentions he ultimately became a dictator. Copy X wanted to eliminate all Reploids who opposed his will while controlling Neo Arcadia in the process. In order to stop Copy X players control Zero and have to compete various levels before battling the Four Guardians before reaching him.

Despite, its level of difficulty Mega Man Zero was still popular enough to spawn three sequels between ’03-’05. Mega Man Zero was praised for various features such as being able to quit certain missions while progressing through the game along with its visuals. Others from previous installments of the Mega Man series returned in this game such as gaining and utilizing the powers of defeated bosses which would ultimately prove to be helpful against tougher opponents towards the end of the game. It was pretty cool seeing a Mega Man game where Zero was in the spotlight and felt somewhat refreshing to the series in general since he was very popular following his debut in Mega Man X back in ’93. Mega Man Zero was definitely one of the better games within the series that the gaming world got a chance to see during the 00’s; this game looked like something that could have been an attraction on the SNES or PS1 during the mid to late 90’s. While Mega Man Zero was not quite as popular as Mega Man X or the NES titles from the series from the late 80’s-early 90’s it was still a memorable classic for the Game Boy Advance that some people still have fond memories about.

Retro Gaming 00’s- King Of Fighters XII: (2009)

When we think about cool fighting games from the late 00’s that were memorable classics titles such as Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6 and Soul Calibur IV are all games that instantly come mind. While the three games just mentioned were all fantastic fighting titles there were games such as King Of Fighters XII from ’09 that does not get talked about as much as should. In fact, King Of Fighters XII is a game that was quite possibly underrated and definitely overshadowed during the late 00’s. Despite, not having a storyline similar to that of KOF ’98 or KOF 2002 this game saw the return of three vs three gameplay which has been a feature that has been apart of the series since 90’s. It should also be noted that King Of Fighters XII has removed a gameplay feature that was popular in KOF 2003 known as the “Tactical Shift System”. While SNK had decided to remove a gameplay mechanic they added something new known as the “Critical Counter System” which some would argue was a better feature than the “Tactical Shift System”. While players had limited time to link their attacks ending it all with a special move it was a feature that almost any character could use. The Tactical Shift System from KOF 2003 seemed like it was set up to benefit the leader of a team more than anything since they had exclusive accessories to certain moves during battles.

Also the inclusion of gameplay mechanics such as “Guard Attack” and “Clash Attack” both added to the overall quality to battles that took place in KOF XII. Along with having improved gameplay in comparison to the likes of KOF XI from 2005 King Of Fighters XII saw the return of popular characters such as Joe Higashi, Lori Yagami, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Robert Garcia, Ryo Sakazaki and more. Despite, the fact that SNK was still utilizing 2D sprites for the character models it was perfectly fine since they looked highly refined. In fact, some people would argue that King Of Fighters XII looked nicer and had more robust gameplay than Street Fighter IV from 2008. However, many would argue that King Of Fighters XI was a more solid entry than KOF XII in general. The presentation of King Of Fighters XII was good enough to capture the attention of those who were casual fans of the fighting genre of gaming. Also, SNK did make an effort to apply technical changes in KOF XII opposed to giving us the same exact thing from KOF XI with better aesthetics. While King Of Fighters XII May not have been the best fighting game from the late 00’s its definitely one that deserves more recognition than it receives.