Retro Gaming- Shining The Holy Ark: (1996)

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When it comes down to RPG titles of the 90’s the Shining Force series was really popular during that time period.  As cool as Shining The Holy Ark was back in the mid 90’s for the Sega Saturn some might argue that the game itself did not get the type of recognition that it deserved.   One of the cool things about Shining The Holy Ark was the fact that it looked like a high quality Sony PlayStation game.  The gameplay and graphics for Shining The Holy Ark looked great for its time and had also included a generic but interesting plot that was included twists as players progressed throughout the game.  The main characters of the game included mercenaries such as Arthur, Forte and Melody who are charged with the task of retrieving a rouge ninja named Rodi.  Unlike some of the preceding Shining Force titles for the Sega Genesis right before “The Holy Ark” this game reverts back to the dungeon crawler RPG format that was utilized in Shining in the Darkness which was released in 1991.

Along with being an exciting dungeon crawler RPG there are various features about Shining The Holy Ark that are interesting including the first person gameplay along with the overworld map feature which looked very impressive.   Shining The Holy Ark was one of those games that could be considered a hidden gem for the Sega Saturn.   When it comes down to RPG titles Camelot Software Planning has produced some pretty cool games such as Golden Sun series which was featured mainly on Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS.  Without a doubt the Shining Force series is considered to be legendary on the older Sega consoles of the  90’s while “The Holy Ark” is arguably considered to be one of best games for the Sega Saturn.  As good as Shining The Holy Ark was during its time some people would argue that it deserved some type of re-release or HD Remake.  Even though, many gamers of today’s generation probably have no idea on what the Shining series is about old school players who were into gaming back in the 90’s would probably enjoy a possible re-release of this 3D classic by Camelot Software Planning.

Classic Gaming- Killer Instinct 2: (1996)

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After the original Killer Instinct game was released in arcade centers worldwide during 1995 many people were waiting to see what the sequel that title would be like.  Killer Instinct 2 was developed by a British video game company known as Rare and released in 1996.  While the second Killer Instinct game had featured a few characters that were present in the first title such as Jago, Sabrewulf, Spiral and Fulgore it also included some new characters such as Gargos, Kim Wu, Mata, and Tusk.   The addition of new characters to the game was great but unfortunately some older characters were not included in Killer Instinct 2 such as Cinder, Riptor, Eyedol and Chief Thunder.  One of the aspects about Killer Instinct 2 that stands out includes the improvement this game makes in comparison to the original in terms of mechanics.  The combo system in Killer Instinct 2 was more advanced than its predecessor and included an automatic combo subsystem which was something that was rarely seen in any 2D fighting game at the time.

Killer Instinct 2 was a blast for many people who played the arcade version of the game. Some people were probably surprised to see that Killer Instinct 2 was ported for the Nintendo 64 shortly after its release.  The Nintendo 64 did not have too many 2D fighting titles that were popular because they were mostly featured on the Sony PlayStation. Even though many people have different opinions having the second Killer Instinct game on the N64 console some thought that it was pretty good. Even though, Killer Instinct 2 is not mentioned as much in relation to 2D fighting titles from the 90’s many people who have played the arcade version of the game would argue that it was a solid fighting title.  While many people who were fans of the Killer Instinct series enjoyed the second game back in the mid 90’s  it would not be until approximately seventeen years year until a sequel was finally made and released for the Xbox One in 2013.

Classic Gaming- Street Fighter Alpha 2: (1996)

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Street Fighter Alpha 2 is another gaming classic that was very popular in various arcades nationwide during the mid-90s.  When Capcom had released Street Fighter Alpha 2 in 1996 many people were very happy with some of the improvements that was made in this game following its 1995 prequel. Alpha 2 had not only featured enhanced gameplay but it also brings back a few older characters from the Street Fighter series while introducing new characters such as: Dan Hibiki , Gen, and Sakura Kasugano from Rival Schools.  When the game was first released many people were excited to have both Akuma and Dan as free playable characters without any type of cheat code to unlock them.  The introduction of Sakura had many people thrilled because some gamers were huge fans of the Rival Schools series while others referred to her as a female version of Ryu.  Another character that was added to the game included one of the boss characters from Final Fight Rolento.

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This game was cool because the developers added special features to the gameplay that made each battle more exciting.  An example would be the “custom combo” sequence which allows players convert regular moves into chain combos depending on how full their super gauge is.  Also, Street Fighter Alpha 2 gives each character their own respective stage unlike Alpha 1 where certain venues were shared.  This game had also included a larger roster than many of the previous games.  Similar to its prequel Street Fighter Alpha 2 had included hidden characters but only this time they were alternate versions of Akuma and Ryu.  Both hidden characters can be selected if players know about the cheat code to do so.

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Street Fighter Alpha 2 had received positive reviews from various gaming publications since its release along with earning the title of being one of the best arcade titles in 1996.   After its arcade release Street Fighter Alpha 2 was ported to numerous game consoles including PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and even the Super Nintendo which was probably the least superior version in comparison to the original.  Overall, Street Fighter Alpha 2 is a very fun game and many people who are fans of the series would probably argue that it was one of the best that Capcom has ever created.