Retro Gaming 00’s- Dr Mario 64: (2001)

When it comes down to slightly underrated games for the N64 one of the few titles that some people might think of is Dr Mario 64 from 2001. As many people know the very first Dr Mario came out back in 1990 for the 8-bit NES and was considered to be a critically acclaimed puzzle game at the time. The original Dr Mario game was ported for multiple game systems throughout the 90’s decade including Game Boy and Super Nintendo. The plot for the original Dr Mario game was basic and involved players utilizing colored capsules to kill viruses which was a pretty interesting concept. The plot for Dr Mario 64 from ‘01 was a bit different and also involved one of Mario’s arch-rivals known as Wario. While Wario attempted to steal multivitamins from Mario he eventually fails and ends up forming an alliance with him to deal with mutual enemies. The main antagonists for Dr Mario 64 included Rudy The Clown and Mad Scienstein who end up being the ones who actually steal the multivitamins; leading to players having to battle multiple foes from the Wario Land 3 game which was pretty interesting.

While Dr Mario 64 was a pretty coolest puzzle game it did not sell an enormous amount of copies following its release mainly due to the year that it was released. Dr Mario 64 came out the same year that the Nintendo GameCube was released which was 2001; by this time people had already lost interest in the N64 and were focusing on the PlayStation 2 which was released back November 2000. Puzzle games like Dr Mario 64 were not too common on the N64 between the ‘96-‘01 time period especially since there was more emphasis on 3D gaming with a few exceptions such as Capcom’s Magical Tetris Challenge from ‘98. Dr Mario 64 has to alternate endings depending on how players completed the game which gave it a higher replay value than the NES Prequel from 90’s which was seen a positive to some critics. If Dr Mario 64 came out a few years earlier than it did somewhere between ‘96-‘98 it college have been a slightly bigger attraction than it was in ‘01.

Super Smash Bros Melee not appearing at EVO 2019 event?

As many people know the EVO 2019 event is set to take place this upcoming summer between August 2nd-August 4th. While there so many people who are excited about this upcoming gaming event there are some people who are a bit bummed by the fact that a multiplayer fighting classic known as Super Smash Bros Melee which was released back in ’01 for GameCube will not be appearing at EVO 2019. However, it should be noted that Super Smash Bros Ultimate which came out for the Nintendo Switch back in December 2018 will be at EVO 2019 along with a couple of other titles that has been confirmed for the three day event this upcoming summer.

There are games such as Dragonball FighterZ, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11, Samurai Showdown, Soul Calibur VI, and Blaze Blue Cross Tag Battle that are very popular within the fighting genre that has been confirmed to appear at this year’s EVO event. Despite, being a favorite at EVO events for a few years now its time to move on as far as Super Smash Bros Melee is concerned.

Could Sonic Adventure 2 have been a success on the PS2?

There is no question that Sonic Adventure 2 was probably one of the biggest action-adventure platform titles to never have appeared on the PlayStation 2 back in the early 00’s. Despite, being a huge attraction for the Nintendo Gamecube and the Xbox consoles between ’01-’03 it would have been interesting to see how well Sonic Adventure would have done on the PS2 would have done during that time period. While its possible that Sonic Adventure 2 could have been overshadowed by games such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Turismo 3 during the early 00’s there is no doubt that Sonic Adventure 2 could have stood on the PlayStation 2 to some extent.

After all, Sega eventually ported Sonic Adventure 2 to the PlayStation 3 during the mid 00’s. Besides the shooter genre of gaming was starting to become more popular towards the mid 00’s and as we saw 3D Sonic games started to become less popular on PlayStation consoles throughout the 00’s decade in general. Not having Sonic Adventure 2 on the PS2 did not make the game less popular than it was since it still managed to be a success along with becoming arguably the best 3D title in the series.

Would Fighting Vipers 2 be considered underrated?

When it comes down to underrated fighting titles from the early 00’s one of the many games that comes to mind is Fighting Vipers 2 which was released for the Sega Dreamcast back in 2001. Its not too surprising that many people have never heard of this game especially considering the fact that it was released the same year Sega discontinued the Dreamcast console. If Fighting Vipers 2 was released a year or two early then it was it could possibly have been more popular than it was. But then again with games like Soul Calibur along with Tekken 3 for the PS1 Fighting Vipers 2 could have still ended up being overshadowed anyways.

Despite, have solid gameplay and visuals Fighting Vipers 2 did not have memorable characters like Soul Caliber or Tekken 3 did and was seen as a rather generic fighting game for the Sega Dreamcast. However, it may be one of the best 3D fighting games that Sega has ever made next to the Virtua Fighter series. It would of been cool to see a Fighting Vipers 3 for either the PS2 or even Xbox back in the early to mid 00’s but the series was never really that popular to begin with.

Retro Gaming- X-Men Mutant Academy 2: (2001)

X-Men Mutant Academy was a 3D fight game that was developed by Paradox Development and released for the PS1 back in 2001.  It was actually surprising to see X-Men Mutant Academy 2 on the PS1 considering the fact that the PS2 was released in the Spring of 2000.  When it comes down to underrated fighting titles for the PS1 X-Men Mutant Academy 2 would probably be on the top 25 list of many retro gamers from the 90’s.  


X-Men Mutant Academy 2 features some of the most popular characters in the series including Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Storm, Rouge, Psylocke,  Spider-Man, Magneto and others.  This game also featured some interesting game modes such as Arcade, Academy, Survival and Versus mode which all contributed to the replay value of the game itself.  Since its release for the PS1 the X-Men Mutant Academy 2 had reportedly came close to selling over one million units worldwide which could might have happened if the game was released for the PS2 instead during the early 00’s.  

Retro Gaming- Unreal Tournament: (1999)

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When it comes down to first person shooter games the Unreal Tournament may possibly be one of the most recognizable titles in the history of that genre.  Before we had the Halo series for Xbox there was the Unreal Tournament which was developed by Epic Games & Digital Extremes.  In the late 90’s the original Unreal Tournament was released for Microsoft Windows in 1999 along  being available for consoles such as the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast during the early 00’s.  The graphics for the Unreal Tournament at the time was great and seemed like it was ahead of its time considering the fact that it had utilized the original Unreal Engine developed in 1998.  The Unreal Tournament was a game that many people may have  preferred for Microsoft Windows over the console versions since it provided exclusive features such as level editing feature.  Along with being a pretty cool 3D first person shooter title the Unreal Tournament had an interesting plot that took place around the 24th century.

The formation of a new world government during the war between the humans and Skaarjj had seemed fascinating but at the same time frightening.    Despite, how scary the plot may have seemed the Unreal Tournament had provided people with a series of gameplay options including Death Match, Last Man Standing, Assault, and Dominion.  The original Unreal Tournament had included a variety of game modes that would keep players busy for many hours, months or even years until Unreal II: The Awakening was released between 2003-2004.   When it comes down to first person shooter games the Unreal series was one among many that was popular with teens and young adults during the 00’s.  Even though, the very first Unreal Tournament game was pretty good the series had only improved as time progressed.  In terms of which Unreal game is the best in the entire series is debatable but some would probably consider the second installment to be in that category.

Games in the 00’s – Luigi’s Mansion: (2001)

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The early 00’s was such a cool time period to be gamer with the release of various consoles such as PlayStation 2, Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube.   When it came down to the Nintendo GameCube one of the most unexpected titles that we got involved the release of Luigi’s Mansion in 2001.  One of the reasons why this game was so significant was because it was the first major 3D game that Luigi has ever had in the entire Mario series.  While Nintendo had the option of using the traditional platform genre in regards to gameplay they decided to make this an action adventure title instead.  The plot for Luigi’s Mansion is basic and involved Luigi winning a contest that he never entered in order to win a haunted mansion that turned out to be invested with ghosts.  Shortly, after learning that the mansion is haunted Mario is eventually kidnapped by ghosts and trapped inside a painting leaving Luigi to rescue him from danger.  Another interesting twist to this story included the fact that the mansion was created by none other than King Boo.

Luigi’s Mansion was unique not only because it placed the spotlight on someone other than Mario but also because it deviated from the traditional platform genre that Nintendo has used in countless Mario games making this title more interesting.  Luigi’s Mansion had great character models and graphics that felt like it was ahead of its time during the early 00’s especially for a console like the Nintendo GameCube.  Since its release Luigi’s Mansion had managed to sell at least 2 million units worldwide which was very impressive considering the fact that Luigi is known mainly as a sidekick character to Mario. Even though, Luigi’s Mansion was not as popular as games like Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy for the Nintendo Wii many people would agree that the game itself was exciting.  Luigi’s Mansion also exceeded the expectations of many people who thought this game would be a flop and proved that Nintendo can be as creative as they want to be in terms of development .

PS2 Games- Virtua Fighter 4: (2001)

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When we talk about some of the best years ever in terms of gaming one cannot help but look back at the early 00’s when consoles such as the PlayStation 2 was released worldwide.  There were so many exciting fighting titles that were released during the early 00’s including Virtua Fighter 4 which was developed by Sega AM4 and released in arcade centers in 2001.  While Namco’s Tekken 4 might have been slightly more popular than Virtua Fighter 4 it was still considered to be a pretty solid fighting title for both the Sega NAOMI 2  system and the PlayStation 2.  Just about everything about this game seemed impressive from the intro to the graphics all the down to the actual gameplay.  Virtua Fighter 4 had featured several top characters from the previous games including Akira Yuki, Pai Chan, Lei Fong, Jeffry McWIid, Sarah Bryant, Jacky Bryant and others.  While many people enjoyed the original PS2 version of Virtua Fighter 4 some would probably prefer the Evolution edition that was released in 2003.

The Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution edition had included an excellent training mode which was very effective in helping players become better at the game.  Also, the Quest Mode in Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution  was probably one of the main features of the game that many people were impressed by.  The inclusion of a  ranking system along with the addition of a currency and an in game item shop were among many things that contributed to Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution being a significant improvement over its predecessor Virtua Fighter 3.  Even though, some people might argue that Virtua Fighter 4 was not quite as popular as Tekken 4 when it was first released they would also tell that it does not take away fact that it was still a great 3D fighting title for the PlayStation 2.  In fact, Virtua Fightter 4 for the PS2 was one of the best 3D fighting games of the early 00’s and would be considered a title that many people would include a classic.

Classic Gaming- Golden Sun: (2001)

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There were so many great games for the Game Boy Advance handheld console during the early 2000’s.  Back in the day many of us gamers have probably taken titles like Golden Sun for granted because they were released on handheld console opposed to regular home based system. Looking back at it now some people would probably argue that a game such as Golden Sun would have been better off as a home console because the visual quality for this game was great.  When Golden Sun was developed by Camelot Software Planning and released in early 2001 many people thought that it was probably one of the best 2D role playing titles that they have ever played for a handheld console.  In fact, some people might argue that Golden Sun was good enough to be a game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System because of its visual quality especially during battle scenes.  While the visual quality for Golden Sun was pretty good the game had also featured a decent plot involving the main characters Isaac, Ivan, Garret, Jenna and Mia.

The cool thing about Isaac was the quiet but effective hero role he was given because it was something that was very popular with other characters in older RPG games such as the Legend of Zelda and Chrono Trigger.  Not only did many people feel that Golden was an adventure RPG classic that was very exciting to play but they also thought it was probably one of the best role playing titles to have been released in year 2001.  As good as Golden Sun was has not been too many games that have been developed in the series since the release of the original title. The series has only had two sequels since it began which included “Golden Sun Lost Age” which was also released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003 and “Golden Sun Dark Dawn” for the Nintendo DS in 2010.  While options may vary on which game out of the trilogy was the best some people would probably agree that there should be a new Golden Sun title  be developed for the New Nintendo 3DS XL or should the original game receive a 3D remake altogether.

Retro Gaming-Capcom vs. SNK 2: (2001)

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There were so many cool arcade games during the 1990’s and the early 2000’s in the fighting genre that many people enjoyed.  One of the arcade fighting games that stood out in the early 2000’s was Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium which was developed by Capcom and published by Sega when it was released in 2001.  Capcom vs. SNK 2 had provided a very exciting gaming experience for people who were fans of popular fighting games in the 1990’s such as Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, and the King of Fighters.  When Capcom vs. SNK 2 was first released in arcade centers worldwide many people were impressed by the roster that was featured in this game because it felt like several fighting titles being placed into one.  The Capcom side of the roster had featured popular characters including Ryu, Chun-Li, Ken Masters, Dan Hibiki, Akuma, Cammy, M. Bison and more.  The SNK roster had featured the likes of Joe Higashi, Kim Kaphwan, Mai Shiranu, Ryo Sakazaki, Terry Bogard, Kyo Kusanagi, Gesse Howard and even Nakoruru from Samurai Showdown.

One of the features of this game that stands out the most includes the groove select in which players can choose between C, A, P,S,N and K.  The groove select gives characters a set of abilities depending on which one they choose.  Some of the abilities featured in groove select includes Dash, Air Guard, Counter Attack, Rolling, Tactical Recovery, Safe Fall, Small Jump, Dodge Counter Movement and Run.  Whatever groove one selects only gives players a few of abilities out of all the ones that are presented which allows people to select the option that works best for them.   Considering the fact that Capcom vs. SNK 2 was released in the early 00’s there was a lot of offline gameplay options featured in this game. The arcade mode was the best since players had the option in competing in Ratio, 3 on 3 or single matches.  There were also so many cool things about the arcade mode in Capcom vs. SNK 2 including the special intros between rival characters along with the boss battles.

Some the battles in arcade mode were unpredictable because players will sometimes run into surprise battles with the likes of M. Bison, Akuma or even Shin Akuma.  Not only are the surprise battles towards the end of the game fun but they are also challenging despite having the odds in you favor at times.  Along with having surprise boss battles Capcom vs. SNK have multiple endings and cutscenes which is one of the many things that prevents the arcade mode for this game from becoming stale.  Not only was the arcade mode very competitive in Capcom vs. SNK but there were also additional game modes such as Survival, Versus and Training which added to the overall replay value of this title general.  The coolest thing about this game is that people can play the arcade version of Capcom vs. SNK for home consoles including the Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox and even Gamecube.  Some people would probably view the early 2000’s as a glorious time period of gaming in relation to the fighting genre because they could receive ports of popular arcade games for various home consoles with the same exact quality but with more gameplay options than the original.  Also, players did not have to worry about purchasing downloadable content since games such as Capcom vs. SNK 2 basically gave them almost all of the characters for free.  Capcom vs. SNK 2 is definitely a fighting game that would be tough to come across today in any store that sells used games which makes this title more even more valuable in the eyes of many people who are fans of the fighting genre of gaming.