Retro Gaming 90’s- Mario Paint: (1992)

When we think about SNES games that were both very different and unique as relates to the early 90’s Mario Paint from 1992 is a title that instantly comes to mind. For those who do know Mario Paint was basically a single-player art tool game that allowed players to engage in a variety of activities. The creation of custom stamps by utilizing pixels was something special because was something that people hardly saw in Super NES titles back in the early 90’s let alone a Mario game. Also, the endless fly swatting game with three looping levels and a final boss was one that seemed like it did not belong in a Mario game at all. But considering the fact that Mario Paint was not your typical platform title the fly swatting mini-game made players feel as if they were playing a non-Mario game and was interesting in that respect. One of the main features that Mario Paint has to offer as far as gameplay was concerned was the the music generator. For those who were very creative and were fond of composing music in some way Mario Paint has provided talented individuals to make their own songs using 16-bit sounds.

The music generator feature in Mario Paint is one that has remained popular since the early 90’s and people have often used it within the 10’s decade to remake famous songs from the past couple of decades on the internet. As popular as Mario Paint was back in the early 90’s the game never received a direct sequel for Super Nintendo, N64 it GameCube which was something that was always questionable. Some people find it bizarre that Nintendo never created another art-tool based Mario game since ’92. In fact, following the release of Mario Paint during the Summer of ’92 the game was critically acclaimed and received praise from various publications. Mario Paint was unlike anything that the world had every seen on the Super NES and it was something that was never seen on consoles like the Sega Genesis which made it so special.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge (1995)

When it comes down to 2D fighting games from the 90’s that are considered to be underrated one of the few titles that comes to mind is Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge which was released back in 1995. Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge was initially released in arcade centers for the CP System II before appearing on the Sega Saturn in 1996. For whatever reason Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge never appeared on the PS1 despite the console being more popular both Japan and America. For those who do not know Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge was the direct sequel to the original Darkstalkers game Capcom had developed in ’94. Ironically, Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors was ported for the PS1 in ’96 despite the quality of the game being slightly inferior compared to Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge. As far as popularity is concerned DarkStalkers: The Night Warriors was arguably a more well known title since it was the first entry within the entire series. In fact, Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge had the same characters, ending and plot from the ’94 game. However, Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge did have some new characters in addition to the likes of Morrigan Aensland, Lord Raptor, Hsien-Ko Felicia and others.

There were non-playable boss characters such as Huitzil & Pyron who were in the first DarkStalkers game that became selectable in Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge. Also, the improvements made to the gameplay for DarkStalkers Revenge was a positive. When it came downtown the super meters of the characters Capcom had decided to give them both EX & ES specials. While a EX special consumed the players entire special gauge an ES special took up about a fraction of the characters meter somewhat similar to the Street Fighter Alpha series from the mid to late 90’s. Its entire possible that Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge could have been way more popular than it was during ’95-’96 on the PS1. However, 2D fighting games were starting to lose their appeal in America & Japan during the mid 90’s in favor of 3D gaming. Despite, not being as popular as other 2D fighting games from the 90’s Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge was still a very good fighting game that does not get talked about as much should.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Suikoden II: (1998)

As far as older RPG titles from the late 90’s are concerned there are various titles that instantly comes to mind to many people who were gamers during that time period. Final Fantasy VII & Final Fantasy VIII which were released between ’97-’99 by Square Enix were classics that arguably overshadowed just every other RPG that appeared on the original PlayStation console back then. While the two Final Fantasy titles that we got to see in the late 90’s were best-sellers for the PS1 game system there were also some memorable gems that were overshadowed on that console as well. There were titles such as Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Star Ocean: The Second Story, Grandia and others that were all concerned to be memorable classics that were critically acclaimed. In addition, to those games Suikoden II was also considered to be top tier RPG from the late 90’s despite its sales. As far as quality was concerned Suikoden II had optimal quality in relation to 2D graphics which ironically may have affected the game’s overall sales following its initial Japanese release in December 1998. When it came down to PS1 games in relation to the mid to late 90’s more people were interested in 3D graphics while 2D gaming was seen as obsolete between ’97-’99.

However, Suikoden II was still a worth successor to its ’95 predecessor which was also developed and published by Konami and released during during that later part of that year. Not only does the plot for Suikoden II follow the events from the first game but also places emphasis on the continuous war between two nations known as Jowston and the Kingdom Of Highland despite the mutual peace agreement between both sides. The main antagonist Prince Luca who obsessed with destroying Jowston orchestrates a massacre on the city-state before him and his force return home with the main protagonist known as Riou and his ally Jowy escaping in the process. After being condemned by Highland for their treachery they both find themselves with two halves of the Rune Of The Beginning which bounds by Riou and Jowy together.

As players progress throughout the game as Riou they eventually are betrayed by Jowey who becomes a top official within the Kingdom Of Highland. While many players may have been upset with Jowy’s betray it made the story somewhat more interesting than the one from the original Suikoden game. In fact, many people agree that Suikoden II is quite possibly the best installment within the series despite the fact that it was released during a time where the popularity 2D RPG’s had briefly declined. If the Suikoden series had started sometime between ’90-’91 opposed to 1995 and it appeared on the Super NES it could have easily been way more popular than it was by the time released in America. Suikoden II was without a doubt one of the best JRPG games that Konami had produced during the 90’s. Sometimes its hard to believe that Suikoden II is over 20 years old; while are expecting a new installment within the series retro gamers would probably prefer seeing this RPG classic ported to current generation game console.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Breath Of Fire: (1993)

When it comes down to classic 16-bit RPG’s from the early 90’s there are so many titles from that time period that were considered to be memorable. There were RPG’s games such Secret Of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV and others that were popular on the Super NES console. While there were many big 16-bit RPG titles for the Super NES back in the day one of the few titles that people have fond memories about is the original Breath Of Fire game which was developed and published by Capcom. Breath Of Fire was a turn based RPG with an interesting plot which revolved around a civil war between two fictional clans known as the Light Dragons and the Dark Dragons. This single player RPG give players control of the main protagonist named Ryu who is among the last of an ancient race of beings that can transform into dragons. Ryu’s goal involves searching around the world for his sister after she is captured by the Dark Dragons. Also, Zog the Emperor of the Dark Dragons tries to take over the world by collecting the six goddess keys in order to release Tyr. In this game Tyr is also known Myria Goddess who is also the final boss in the original Breath Of Fire game.

Along with its 2D graphics the game had included detailed stats of each playable character with different attributes such as Strength, Stamina, Attack, Defense, Agility and others. Also, Breath Of Fire was played from a 2D isometric perspective which is was pretty unique back in the early 90’s especially since it made the game standout slightly more than titles such as Sega’s Phantasy Star or Square Enix’s Final Fantasy titles for the SNES. While having up to four characters on the field during battles players had the option of adding seven people to their party and switching them up whenever they desired. As popularity is concerned Breath Of Fire was critically acclaimed by RPG fans in both Japan and America and was even ported for the Game Boy Advance back in 2001. The original Breath Of Fire game had eventually spawned a series of sequels that would last over two decades with the latest entry in the series being Breath Of Fire 6 which was released exclusively in Japan in Microsoft Windows and Mobile devices back in 2016. The original Breath Of Fire game is one that is considered to be among the best RPG’s of 1993 along with the likes of Secret Of Mana, Illusion Of Gaia and Phantasy Star IV: The End Of The Millennium. Surprisingly, Breath Of Fire never received any re-releases outside of the SNES other than the Game Boy Advance. However, there is no question that the original Breath Of Fire game is legendary and arguably one of the first high profile RPG’s that Capcom has ever made.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Suikoden: (1995)

When we talk about old school RPG’s which appeared on the PS1 that are considered to be classics from the 90’s there are many titles that comes to mind including the original Suikoden title. For those who do not know Suikoden was initially released in Japan in December ’95 before appearing in America a year in late ’96. The original Suikoden title eventually appeared on Sega Saturn in ’98 but remained as a Japanese exclusive since that console was not as popular as the PS1. Suikoden was arguably one of the best JRPG’s Konami has ever made in relation to the 90’s and this was a time period where the world saw many high profile 2D titles within the RPG genre. Square Enix had Final Fantasy IV-VI Sega had the Phantasy Star and the Shining series while Capcom had Breath Of Fire. Suikoden has well detailed 2D graphics and a compelling storyline that would easily capture the interest of players. The plot for the game revolves around the main character who is the son of a top general from the Scarlett Moon Empire name Teo McDohl. Throughout, the game players see the unnamed protagonist learn the truth about the Scarlett Moon Empire in relation to corruption among the top officials while starting their career within Imperial Army.

One of the main themes that Suikoden emphasizes is rebellion since the hero joins forces with other characters such as Viktor who was apart of an organization that are also against the corrupt Scarlett Moon Empire. After being enlisted within the Liberation Army by its leader Odessa Silverberg players can recruit over 100 different characters/warriors to support the hero’s cause in relation to combating the Scarlett Moon Empire. The gameplay follows a traditional RPG format in relation to battles where players can have up to six characters in a party during battles. The Runes magic system was unique especially since certain circumstances and conditions would determine what type attacks & spells players could utilize. The battle system in Suikoden was robust especially considering the fact that players could either engage in one on one duels versus war battles were the commands for each are different.

Some might argue that Suikoden was game that was ahead of its time and arguably better some 2D Final Fantasy games from the early 90’s despite not being quite as popular as FF VI-IV. If Suikoden was released for the Super NES back in ’95 some could argue that the game would stood out more than it did for the PS1. However, the Super NES was starting to get old in ’95 and more gamers from Japan and America started to become more interested in the 32-bit PS1 console since it was more superior in quality. Either way, Suikoden is still considered to be a legendary JRPG which has been around for approximately 24 years now and has spawned a series of direct sequels up until 2006.

Final Fantasy VII & VIII Twin Pack confirmed for the Switch console!!!!

One of the few things that has been making headlines within the gaming world as of late involves the upcoming Switch ports of the JRPG classics Final Fantasy VII & VIII from the late 90’s. As far as big attractions are concerned both Final Fantasy VII & VIII were among two of the best selling video games for the PS1 when they were released between ’97-’99. Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII had sold close to 10 million following its release in January 1997 and was the third best selling game for the legendary PS1. The inclusion of memorable characters such Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, Sephiroth made Final Fantasy VII arguably the best entry within series with a cult following that that is still present to this day. Final Fantasy VIII was a game that was not quite as successful as its ’97 predecessor but still managed to reach at least 7 million sales while becoming the seventh best selling title for the PS1. Despite, being criticized for its complicated gameplay and quality issues with Disc 3 FFVIII was still a game that fans of the FF series are still quite fond of.

Final Fantasy VII & VIII will undoubtedly be huge attractions for the Nintendo Switch especially considering the fact that those two titles are among the biggest JRPG’s that have never appeared on a Nintendo based console. As it currently stands the multi-language Final Fantasy VII & VIII Twin Pack can currently be pre-ordered for $49.99 on Play-Asia.com. Also, it has not been confirmed on whether or not the Final Fantasy VII & VIII Twin Pack will receive a physical release released outside of Asia or in western countries like America. As far as upcoming releases are concerned with the Final Fantasy series is concerned we know for a fact that the Final Fantasy VII: Remake has been confirmed to appear in America as a PS4 exclusive while there seems to be no plans at all regarding Square Enix doing something similar with Final Fantasy VIII outside it being remastered. Hopefully, the Final Fantasy VII & VIII Twin Pack will be released in western countries like America sometime in the near future or perhaps in 2020.

Upcoming Switch Games- Moon: Remix RPG Adventure: (2019)

As far as classic RPG’s from the 90’s are concerned there are many titles that instantly comes Mind such as Chrono Trigger, Secret Of Mana, Earthbound, Final Fantasy VI-VIII and others that were very popular. Most of those RPG’s were titles that the whole world got to see back in the 90’s especially since they all appeared in other opposed to being Japanese exclusives. When it comes down to JRPG exclusive market one of the many titles that never appeared outside of Japan was a game developed by Love-de-Lic and published by ASCII Entertainment known as Moon: Remix RPG Adventure from 1997. Since its release approximately 22 years ago the game has been considered to be a classic by many fans and critics for various qualities such as its soundtrack in which 30 different composers had worked on prior to its PS1 release in October ’97. The graphics and visuals for Moon: Remix RPG Adventure was pretty cool especially since it utilized 16-bit sprites with 3D backgrounds similar to that of Square Enix’s Xenogears game from 1998. In fact, a couple developers who had previously worked with Square Enix in the 90’s prior to their respective departures from the company involved in the development of Moon: Remix RPG Advance.

Video Game developers such as Akira Ueda, Kenichi Nishi and Tarō Kudou had roles in the development of popular RPG’s created by Square Enix such as Super Mario RPG which was arguably one of the best games within its genre to have appeared on the Super NES during the mid 90’s. While Moon: Remix RPG Adventure was not nearly as big as other RPG’s that appeared on the PS1 such as Final Fantasy VII which was also released in ’97 it was a game that could have arguably shine a bit more outside of Japan if it came out between ’98-’99. Lucky, Moon: Remix RPG Adventure will be headed to western countries such as America sometime between now and January 2020. An official release date for Moon: Remix RPG Adventure has yet to be confirmed and hopefully it will be not be delayed until 2020. Based on what we know Moon: Remix RPG Adventure will have a different publisher known as Onion Games opposed to the original one ASCII Entertainment. It will be interesting to see how well this JRPG classic will be received in western countries approximately 22 years following its initial release in Japan.