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.

Should Persona 3 be remastered for the PS4?

When we think about some of the most popular RPG games from the mid 00’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is Persona 3 from 2006. After Persona 3 was initially released back in July 2006 the game was seen as quite arguably the best RPG of that year. While Persona 3 appeared on the PS2 and the PlayStation Vita there are people who always question why the RPG classic never appeared on the PS3 especially considering the fact that the game console came out in November 2006. A remastered version of Persona 3 never happened and we ended up getting Persona 4 on the PS3 later in 2008. Despite, how popular Persona 3 was following its release it seemed like the success of Persona 4 took on a life of its own; we saw television series along with an animated film for Persona 4 between 2011-2015. Also, Persona 5 which came out back in 2016 was very successful and is one that people argue is one of the greatest RPG’s ever made. More people are looking forward to seeing the release of Persona 5: Royal Edition in future even more so than are to seeing a remastered version of Persona 3.

If Atlus wanted to release a remastered version of Persona 3 many would argue that the company could have done so within the past twelve years. Similar to P4 it should be noted that Persona 3 had its own television series and animated film. Persona 3 also had its own manga along with a intriguing plot involving Gekkoukan High School being infested with Shadows after becoming a tower known as the Tartarus. While the story for Persona 3 was one that was fascinating there is no doubt that P4 & P5 had better plots overall. However, a remastered version of P3 is one that fans of the series would have no problem seeing in the future whatsoever; but as it currently stands Atlus has no plans on making that a reality and it seems like something that is unlikely to happen. Maybe if the fan support for a remastered version of Persona 3 was high enough Atlus would take it into consideration but in the meantime we are anxiously waiting for the release of Persona 5: Royal Edition for PlayStation 4 in March 2020.

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.

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- MegaMan & Bass: (1998)

When it comes down to underrated games within the MegaMan series one of the few titles that comes to mind is MegaMan & Bass from the late 90’s. For those who do not know MegaMan & Bass was initially released for the Super Nintendo a Entertainment System back in April 1998 as Japanese exclusive. MegaMan & Bass did not come to America until August 2002 when it was ported for the Game Boy Advance. The interesting thing about MegaMan & Bass water fact that the game could have been very popular in America if it were released for the SNES anytime between the ’94-’96. Also, MegaMan & Bass saw the introduction of a new villain by the name of King while allowing players to play as either character in order to compete the game. In some ways Capcom’s MegaMan & Bass was a bit similar to Sega’s Sonic & Knuckles in the sense where players had the opportunity to select the main character along with his rival in order to fight against a much bigger threat. As far as replay value along with overall quality is concerned many would probably argue that MegaMan & Bass was a better game than MegaMan 7 from 1995.

In MegaMan & Bass players had the freedom to choose the which Robot Masters they wanted to fight in the beginning between which unlocked other bosses as they progressed throughout the game. Completing certain stages ultimately lead to players gaining access to the security room where players must destroy eight crystals collected by Robot Masters in order to unlock fortress stages. One of the downsides of MegaMan & Bass was that players could not switch back and forth between either character. Once a player had selected MegaMan or Bass they were locked as either character for the rest of the game. Despite, the improved gameplay that MegaMan & Bass has in comparison to MegaMan 7 the MMX series seemed way more popular during the mid to late 90’s. In fact, MegaMan X4 was released worldwide back in ’97 for the PS1 which became a way more popular game system than the Super NES. While its a shame that MegaMan & Bass did not receive a SNES release in America back in the late 90’s many people believe that the visuals we got to see on the Game Boy Advance in the early 00’s was more superior. As a action/platform game MegaMan & Bass was well received by fans and critics alike and felt more memorable than the MegaMan Zero series from ’02-’05 depending on who you ask. As far as underrated 2D platform classics from the 90’s are concerned MegaMan & Bass was definitely a game that should have been ported for PS1 during the late part of that decade. While the MegaMan X series was a blast from ’93-’00 MegaMan & Bass deserved an American release for the SNES despite how old the console had become by 1998.