Retro Gaming 90’s- Crystalis: (1990)

As far as retro RPG’s are concerned in relation to the Nintendo Entertainment System there have been several memorable titles from the 80’s and early 90’s. We got to see 8 bit RPG games such as Dragon Quest I-IV and Final Fantasy I-III between the ’86-’90 which were arguably more popular in Japan opposed to America. However, a game like Crystalis is never really mentioned in the same light as that if the Final Fantasy series despite the fact that its considered to be a cult classic by various gamers. In fact Crystalis is one of the most recognizable RPG titles that SNK has ever made and was released for the NES the same year the Neo Geo AES came out in Japan. Crystalis was considered to be a action-adventure/action role-playing game with a basic plot yet interesting involving an unnamed protagonist. The main character who awakes from a deep sleep makes some startling discoveries such as his presence being the key from saving humanity from destruction despite not remembering anything including his own identity. As far as the setting and the background for the game is concerned the idea of a fictional nuclear occurring in 1997 was one that was intriguing especially considering the fact that the game itself was released in 1990.

While the storyline, soundtrack and visuals for Crystalis were considered to be strong positives there are some people who would probably argue that the game could have been a masterpiece if it had better graphics. If Crystalis were released for the 16-bit Super Nintendo console which also came out in 1990 the game could have ended up becoming more popular than it was especially considering the fact that the NES was starting to get old during the early 90’s. Also, SNK is well known for their fighting games from the early 90’s such as Art Of Fighting, Fatal Fury and the King Of Fighters series. Crystalis was definitely a solid RPG title for its time and eventually ended up appearing on console such as Game Boy Color in ’00 and even the Nintendo Switch this past year in 2018 with different developers and publishers being involved in each respective port. While Nintendo Software Technology developed the Game Boy Color version Digital Eclipse worked on the Switch version with NIS America being the publisher. Seeing how popular if a RPG Crystalis was and still is today its surprising that the game never received a direct sequel on over 28 yearS since its release.

Metroid 64 vs Earthbound 64 which unreleased game for the N64 was a bigger deal?


When it comes down to video games from the 90’s we got to see plenty of great titles on the N64 such Super Mario 64, Banjo Koozie, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and many more.  While the Mario and Zelda series were btoh big on the NES along with the SNES we got to see brand new games featured on the Nintendo 64.  Seeing how successful both Earthbound and Super Metroid was for the SNES many peope were hoping that they would eventually see Metroid and Earthbound on the Nintendo 64 as well.   Unfortunately, neither Metroid or the Earthbound series never had a game on the N64 despite how popular they both were on the SNES.

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Following the success of Super Metroid in 1994 one of the biggest games in the series that Nintendo gave us was Metroid Prime which was eventually released for the Nintendo GameCube back in 2002.  Also, Mother 3 ended up being  developed by 1-UP Studio & HAL Laboratory and released exclusively in Japan for the Game Boy Advance back in 2006.  The fact that Metroid Prime appeared on the GameCube in 2002 made the game even more enjoyable considering the fact that it was the first major game in the series since the early 90’s.  As an action adventure game Metroid Prime was seen as one of the best by numerous gaming publications in 2002.  If anything Nintendo waiting to release a Metroid title for the GameCube console and skipping the N64 was a good decision in the long run.   While Earthbound 64 was a title that many people wanted to see the designers of the game considered it to be a very difficult task which let to the game being cancelled altogether by the developers who worked on the game.  In terms of which titles many people would have preferred to see on the N64 between Metroid 64 and Earthbound 64 is debatable.  However, some would probably give the edge to Earthbound 64 on being the biggest game to never have made it to the N64 since the idea of developing a Metroid 64 was never but into practice by Nintendo or any other video game companies.

Which Super Mario game was the hardest during the 90’s?

When it comes down to Super Mario games from both the 8 bit and 16 bit era its hard to determine sometimes such games were the best and the most difficult.  In terms of which Super Mario games was the best from the 90’s many people would probably go with Super Mario World for the SNES since it managed to sell over 20 million units worldwide since its release back in 1990.

Just because Super Mario World was one of the best selling games of the 90’s it does not mean it was the hardest.  Many people have various opinions on which 2D Mario games were the most difficult.  When it comes down to Mario games that make you want to slam your controller the titles that come to mind would probably Super Mario Bros Lost Levels or even Super Mario Bros 3.  

Super Mario 64 can also be one of the many Games in the series that would be considered hard to beat since players were required to complete certain levels multiple times in order to progress throughout the game.  Despite, how tough Super Mario 64 seemed more people had fun with the game opposed to being upset about the fact that they could not complete it.  Some people would agree that Super Mario Bros 3 was no as difficult as it seemed because players had the option of using the warp whistle.  In Super Mario Bros Lost Levels players had to make to certain stages in order to access warp pipes in order to appear in different worlds.  Despite, how difficult each game was they were still fun to play and have high replay values to this day

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.

Was the Neo Geo AES too expensive?


When we look back at the price of gaming back in the 80’s, 90’s or even the 00’s most game consoles that were released within those three decades were either reasonably expensive or at least affordable they stayed within a certain price bracket.  However, when many people look back at the Neo Geo AES which was originally released back in the early 90’s the American price for this game system was approximately $650 in countries such as North America.  After looking at the price of the Neo Geo AES over 30 years later after its release many people would still agree to this day that this game console was far too expensive during its time.  In fact, many people would probably argue that the Neo Geo AES is probably one of the most expensive game consoles of all time.  When the PlayStation 4 was first released in 2013 the average price for the console was around $400 which was also the original price of the PlayStation VR headset.

While the Xbox One was originally priced at $499 the price for that console was still significantly lower than the Neo Geo AES which was released by the SNK Corporation in 1990.  However, despite how expensive the Neo Geo AES was during its release it was known to produce advanced 2D arcade like quality in terms of both graphics and gameplay.  Some people would argue that the Neo Geo AES was ahead of its time in terms of gaming and could have possibly have sold more if it was priced somewhere within the $300-$400 bracket.  Consoles such as the Neo Geo AES reminds many people of the golden era of 2D gaming along with how fierce the console wars were during the 90’s.  If the Neo Geo AES was released at a lower price it could have definitely affected the sales of other consoles like Super Nintendo or the Sega Genesis in big way.

Retro Gaming- Phantasy Star III Generations of Doom: (1990)


During the early 90’s there were so many interesting RPG titles that were released for various game consoles including the Sega Genesis.  While many people were familiar with the Phantasy Star series for the Mega Drive they would also that the first two games were among the best in the entire series. When Phantasy Star III: Generation of Doom was released back in 1990 it looked and felt very different from the first two games mainly because a different team of developers had worked on this title.   The plot for Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom may have felt a bit generic to some people mainly because it involved rescuing someone who is usually kidnapped by a person or an entity that is considered to be the main antagonist of the game.  In Generations of Doom the main character’s bride is kidnapped leading him to go on a journey to find her.  One of the main features that defined Phantasy III was the freedom of choice players had in terms of decision making.  Once players rescue the bride they are given an option of marrying her or another woman which ultimately determines the events later on in the game.

Some people would argue that the ripple effect of the choices made by players going into different generations was probably one of the most innovative features to be included in an RPG game.  While having the freedom of choice & alternate storylines were considered to be great features in Phantasy Star III some people may put the first two games over the third installment.  Even though,  critics may argue that Phantasy Star III was not as popular as the first two games and appeared to be dull the creators for the game had come up with some interesting concepts for this title.  Many would argue that Phantasy Star III stood out the most within its trilogy prior to the release of Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium in 1993.  When it came down to RPG titles of the 80’s and early 90’s there was so much creativity that went into many different games released on both Sega and Nintendo game consoles. While  Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom may not be considered to be among the greatest RPG titles of all time it was a game that was defined more by the concept of entering alternate timelines based on decision-making rather than just gameplay itself.

Retro Games- Thunder Force III: (1990)


During the late 80’s and early 90’s there were so many cool games that people remembered and loved during the 16 bit era.   While there were various genres that were popular during the 16 bit era including beat em up, fighting, platform and RPG many people also remember how much fun they had with side scrolling rail shooting titles back then.   One of the coolest rail shooting titles that emerged from the 16 bit era was Thunder Force III which was developed by Technosoft and released for the Sega Genesis in 1990.  As many of us know the game also had an arcade release under the title “Thunder Force AC” along with being ported for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System the following year as “Thunder Spirits” in 1991.  Since the Thunder Force series first began in the early 80’s many people were impressed by how much it evolved over time in terms of gameplay and visual design especially during the early 90’s.  As many know Thunder Force III emphasizes the ongoing saga involving the battle between the Galaxy Federation and the ORN Empire.

As players control “Styx”  with the purpose of destroying the ORN Emperor they must travel to various planets including Hydra, Gorgon, Seiren , Haides  and Ellis before infiltrating the ORN headquarters.  While many people like the Sega Genesis version of Thunder Force III some people would probably prefer the arcade or the Super Nintendo version of this game.   In terms of graphics and soundtrack many people would argue that the Sega Genesis version of Thunder Force III was more superior than the Super Nintendo version of this game.  The soundtrack for Thunder Force III was probably among  the best that anyone would hear in a side scrolling rail shooter game and would be considered a 16 bit masterpiece for those who are familiar with this title.   Even though, the level designs for each stage in Thunder Force III was impressive some might argue that a few of the stages were tougher than they looked.  Those who were very skilled a rail shooter games probably had no problem with this game and found it to be more fun then challenging. Thunder Force III was definitely one of the best rail shooter games to have emerged from the early 90’s and is a title which is considered a classic in the eyes of many people who grew up during the 16 bit era.

PS1 Games- Ehrgeiz: (1998)


When we think about cool 3D fighting games from the 1990’s Ehrgeiz is one of the few games that instantly come to mind especially for those who were fans of Final Fantasy VII.  Ehrgeiz was originally received an arcade release in Japan during 1998 before being ported to the PlayStation console back in 1999.  This was a pretty cool game because of the inclusion of Final Fantasy VII characters in the PlayStation version of Ehrgeiz.  Along with Ehrgeiz having its own characters players had the opportunity to choose people from Final Fantasy VII including Cloud Strife, Sephiroth, Tifa Lockhart and others.  Ehrgeiz was probably one of the first games where you play as Final Fantasy characters in a fighting title.  The gameplay for Ehrgeiz was also very exciting because unlike most popular 3D fighting titles of the 90’s such as Tekken and Virtua Fighter players had the ability to move around in a 36o motion.  Many 3D games that were popular during the 90’s only allowed players to sidestep while moving back and fourth in terms of gameplay.  The way Dream Factory had developed Ehrgeiz was fantastic because it made this title stand out more in comparison to many other 3D games that utilized the same style of gameplay.  Along with having innovative 3D gameplay the Quest mode was one of the features that stood out the most.

The Quest mode in this game made the game feel like an Action RPG title even though it was a fighting game.  When it comes down to contemporary gaming in relation to fighting titles many people would probably agree that we often see a lack of creativity in terms of game modes. Generally, fighting titles of the 2010’s feel limited because they include basic game modes such as arcade, versus, training, survival and online.  Back in the 90’s and early 00’s video game developers were more creative in terms of trying to make a particular game series stand out from its competitors when a title was released within the genre.  Ehrgeiz is one of the few 3D fighting titles that stood out during the 90’s for reasons that one would not expect. The concept for Ehrgeiz along with the fighting mechanics had contributed to the overall appeal of this title because it was something that was different from what we got from some of the mainstream 3D games within that genre.  Ehrgeiz may not  have been one of the most popular 3D fighting titles of the 1990’s but it was definitely one of the more interesting games to have been released during the later part of the decade.

Racing Games- Super Monaco Grand Prix: (1989)


If you were a huge fan of the Sega Genesis back in the early 90’s then many exciting games come to mind in relation to 16 bit era.  Most of the racing titles for the Sega Genesis were amazing since many people had the opportunity to play these games in arcade centers and on home consoles.  One of the coolest racing titles besides Outrun that was popular during the early 90’s was Super Monaco Grand Prix .  When Super Monaco GP was first released worldwide the game first appeared for the Sega X Board system in various arcade centers before it was ported to the Sega Genesis. This first person racing game had everything one could ask for including cool game modes such as: Super Monanco GP (arcade mode), World Championship , and Free Practice.  One of the most interesting game modes in Super Monaco Grand Prix was World Championship because of the concept and the amount freedom that players had in terms of decision making.   In World Championship mode the game starts players off with a team known as Minarae as they compete against rival groups.  While players start of with team Minarae they are usually provided with basic cars during the races. As they progress throughout World Championship mode they have the ability to unlock better and much faster vehicles.

The World Championship mode in Super Monaco GP gives players the freedom to choose their rival before starting each race.  While choosing a rival the game provides players with detailed statistics about them including their nationality, car engine, car type along with car speed.  Also, there is a great deal of diversity in Super Monaco GP when it comes down rivals.  The rivals that players encounter in this game come from around the world representing different countries such as: France, Italy, Great Britain, Finland, Brazil, West Germany, Spain and Japan.    While starting off with team Minarae players can compete against opponents who are associated with rival teams such as Zeroforce, Dardanelles, Rigel, Linden, Comet, Losel, Tyrant Bestowal, Millions, May, Bullets, Madonna, etc.   When players are racing against rivals in World Championship mode they not only have the opportunity to defeat them a few times but they can also join their team if given the invitation.  In Super Monaco GP one of the things that stood out the most in World Championship mode was the player’s performance level which generally determined whether or not a rival team offered them a seat versus being let go by their current team.

As player progress throughout World Championship mode to defeat various rivals, acquire new cars along getting acquainted with new teams they also have the opportunity to win the F1 World Title which was the top prize in the game.  Along with having an excellent championship mode the 2D gameplay for the arcade version and the Sega Genesis were both fantastic.  Even though, many people might feel that the arcade version was superior in terms of gameplay & graphics the Sega Genesis version had fantastic game modes that provided players with many hours of excitement.  The amount of realism that was included in Super Monaco GP added to the replay value of this game.  When cars bumped each other from behind smoke came out along with the fact that players had the ability to pit in the middle of races if their vehicle was badly damaged.  Along with having great 2D gameplay Super Monaco GP had also featured around sixteen different tracks with one of them resembling the  “Cote d’ Azur” stage in Gran Tursimo 4 which was eventually released for the PS2 during 2004.  There were many classic racing games that come to mind when people think about the 16 bit era of gaming.  Some people would argue that Super Monaco GP was definitely among the best racing games for the Sega Genesis in the early 90’s along with being a title that screams instant classic when they think about it.