Retro Gaming 00’s- RockBand 2: (2008)

When we think about big music rhythm games from the late 00’s one of the few titles that comes to mind aside from Guitar Hero: World Tour is Rock Band 2. For those who do not know Rock Band 2 was released back in ’08 the same year that Guitar Hero: World Tour was released and was a game is considered to be one of the best within the entire series. Rock Band 2 was the sequel of its ’07 predecessor which came out for multiple game systems such as the PS3, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. While Rock Band 2 felt more like an updated version of the original Rock Band opposed to a sequel it was definitely more popular and arguably had a higher replay value than the first two Guitar Hero games depending on who you ask. Rock Band 2 had so many cool game modes with the inclusion “World Tour”, “Battle Of The Bands” and even a “Drum Trainer” mode. With over 80 different songs and over 1,000 different downloadable songs for Rock Band 2 players would never become easily bored with the game after a short period of time.

In addition, to the music and game modes included in Rock Band 2 the co-op gameplay that allowed up to four players in a group was also a key highlight from this installment. Players who were in a group all worked towards a common score and the “Overdrive” feature utilized in co-op gameplay made performing more convenient for less experienced individuals . Rock Band 2 was a game had a nice balance of realism along with fantasy in relation to the gameplay. There were features in Rock Band 2 such precision that were emphasized in relation to players singing vocals and striking different notes on guitars in various songs which made for a delightful gaming experience. Since its release Rock Band 2 had managed to reach nearly 2 million copies in sales within a short period time; Rock Band 2 has also been praised by various gaming entities as being one of the best music rhythm games of the 00’s decade. While Guitar Hero: World Tour which was also released in 2008 was a step up from its ’05 predecessor for the PlayStation 2 many would argue that Haromix/Pi Studios Rock Band 2 was simply a more superior music rhythm game in ’08-’09. Rock Band 2 was quite possibly one of the best titles that MTV games had published along with its 2010 successor Rock Band 3. While its debatable which installment in the Rock Band series was the best since its inception in 2007 some would probably put Rock Band 2 within the top three of their list.

Retro Gaming- Gears of War 2: (2008)

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When it comes down to third person shooter titles of the 00’s one of the most memorable titles to emerge from that decade was Gears of War 2.   Gears of War 2 was developed  by Epic games and released back in 2008 for the Xbox 360.  There were so many cool things about Gears of War 2 such as the online multiplayer modes along with the fact that the game utilized the Unreal Engine 3 similar to its prequel which was released November 2006.  The has an interesting story revolving around the COG army sending Delta Force members to stop the plot of the Locust Horde.  The Delta Force must not only destroy a huge Riftworm which is responsible for destroying cities but they also come across Lambent forces who are warring against the Locusts as well.

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While Gears of War 2 had awesome gameplay and graphics for the Xbox 360 the cliffhanger ending was one of the few things that made people anxious for the release of Gears of War 3 which was released back in September 2011.  Since its release Gears of War 2 has managed to sell over 6 million units worldwide on the Xbox 360 making the game a huge commercial success.  For those who owned the Xbox 360 Gears of War was a third person shooter game that was unforgettable.   For those who are into the military science fiction genre of gaming Gears of War 2 is a game that should one should play if they still own an Xbox 360.

Games in the 00’s- Midnight Club: Los Angeles: (2008)

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When it comes down to racing titles of the 00’s the Midnight Club series has some of the most popular games of that decade.  As many people know Midnight Club Los Angeles was the sequel to Midnight Club 3; DUB Edition and was released for multiple game consoles including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PlayStation Portable in 2008.  When it comes down to street racing games Midnight Club Los Angeles was pretty impressive in terms of visual design and actual gameplay.   In Midnight Club Los Angeles players can engage in various activities from challenging people on the highway to road races to becoming a delivery driver.   When it comes down to the in game mechanics for Midnight Club Los Angeles the gadgetry that players are provided with such as the GPS system looked impressive.  Not only was the GPS system helpful in terms of finding shortcuts throughout the game but the overhead map view that provided during races looked pretty cool as well.

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Even though, the gaming mechanics in Midnight Club Los Angeles were impressive the artificial intelligence in this game seemed very tough.  Midnight Club Los Angeles was one of those racing titles where players were expected to drive a near perfect race.  Similar to racing titles like Race Driver: Grid this game did not allow much room for error when it came down to competing against the CPU.   Once the CPU opponent has gained a significant lead over players in the race its almost impossible to catch up with them.  Also, while racing against CPU opponents dealing with law enforcement becomes very annoying after a while because its impedes the progress that players make during each competition.   The longer people play Midnight Club Los Angeles overcoming these challenges becomes less difficult over time.  Midnight Club Los Angeles was easily one of the most impressive titles that Rockstar Games had made during the 00’s.  Almost everything about it from the smooth frame rates to the in depth gameplay would easily make this game an instant classic in the genre of racing.

Retro Gaming- Blazblue Calamity Trigger: (2008)

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When it comes down to 2D fighting titles of the 00’s Blazblue: Trigger Calamity was probably one of the most underrated games of the decade.  Blazblue: Trigger Calamity was developed by Arc System Works and released for multiple game consoles including PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 in 2008.  The cool thing about Blazblue: Trigger Calamity  was they the graphics and gameplay looked highly similar to some of the Guilty Gear games that were released earlier in the 00’s.  When you look at the graphics and in game mechanics for Blazblue: Trigger Calamity one of the few games that instantly comes to mind includes Guilty Gear XX was also developed by Arc System Works and released in 2002.

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Blazblue: Trigger Calamity was not only impressive visually but it had some cool game modes including arcade, story, versus and online multiplayer.  The story mode was very special with the inclusion anime cutscenes which really added to the overall quality of the game. Each character in Blazblue: Trigger Calamity had their own story which made the game very interesting.   The character designs and the in game mechanics in BlazBlue Calamity Trigger were fantastic.  The 2D sprites used in this game looked highly detailed and the 3D stages seemed flawless.  The developers had also included a robust combat system that allowed players to pull off various types of actions including Super Combos, Barrier Bursts, Rapid Cancels and Distortion Drives.   Blazblue: Trigger Calamity was quite possibly one of  the coolest fighting games of 2008.

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However, Blazblue was overshadowed by the likes of Street Fighter IV & Soul Calibur IV which were two fighting games that were also very popular in 2008 following their respective releases.  When it came down to the fighting genre of gaming 2008 was a very competitive year.  However, it was great to know that the fighting genre was slowly staring to revive itself and with games like Blazblue: Calamity Trigger during that time period.  Even though, Blazblue was not as popular as Street Fighter IV or Soul Calibur IV its still a very solid muti-platform 2D fighting title.  Despite, having a small cast of characters the gameplay and game modes included in Blazblue: Calamity Trigger significantly contributes to the high replay value of this title.  

Retro Gaming 00’s- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix: (2008)

When it comes down to video games there is definitely nothing like the classics.  Super Street Fighter Turbo HD Remix was released for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 back in 2008.  The cool thing about Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix was the fact that it was a remake of a very popular series in the early part of the 90’s that many people waited over a decade to see.  The graphics for this game were fantastic and featured some of the best 2D graphics and sprites that one would probably see in any 2D game within the Street Fighter series. There were several features about Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix that many people absolutely loved when it was first released as a downloadable game for the PlayStation Network along with Xbox Live. One of the many things that stood out about this game included the soundtrack.  The music Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix was handled by artists were a part of the OverClocked ReMix group that specializes in creating remakes of soundtracks involving video game titles.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix had included many popular characters from series including Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile, Blanka, Balrog, Vega, Sagat, M. Bison and others.  This game had even included Akuma as a hidden character just like the original Super Street Fighter II Turbo game that was originally released in 1994.  Along with having amazing 2D graphics and a fantastic soundtrack Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix had some pretty cool online game modes including Player Matches, Local Multiplayer Matches and Ranked Matches which were always a lot of fun once people either completed arcade mode or was at home by themselves.  The release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix could not have come at a better time than 2008 because it was the same year that Capcom introduced Street Fighter IV.  Along with Street Fighter IV the remake of this game drew that attention of many people around the world who were long time fans of the series during the 1990’s.  Generally speaking its somewhat difficult to find the original version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo in any store affiliated with gaming. So for those who were huge fans of Super Street Fighter II Turbo they can always the download the game on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live to enjoy one of the best 2D fighting titles from the 16-bit era which features 1080p high resolution graphics.

Classic Gaming- Soul Calibur IV: (2008)

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Soul Caliber IV was the long awaited sequel to Soul Calibur III which was developed by Project Soul and released by Namco for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2008.  This game had showed a significant amount of improvement from its prequel Soul Calibur III in both gameplay and graphics.  A great feature that was included in Soul Calibur IV included the option of online gameplay which was not available for Soul Calibur III which was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005.  There were also new game modes added to Soul Calibur that made this title more interesting for many players including “Tower of Souls.”  The Tower of Souls mode allowed players to earn rewards through winning battles.  Soul Calibur IV had also provided players with an enhanced character creation mode that allowed people to customize their own characters. Along with utilizing different weapons and styles of various fighters created characters also have critical finish which was a new element that was added into game.

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Another great feature that added to the gameplay included ripped clothing and broken armor when the battles became very intense.  Usually, when one player executes a critical finish on their opponent they can sometimes lose all of their armor instantly which many thought was very cool.  While the improved gameplay & mechanics drew the attention of many gamers the some of the main focus was shifted to the new characters that were included in Soul Calibur IV. This game saw the introduction of a new boss character known as Algol who many people believe is a tough opponent while he is a push over to others.  Another character included in the series is a princess known as Hildegard Von Krone who holds a grudge against Nightmare for attacking her kingdom.  Shortly after her inclusion into the game she had quickly became one of most popular characters in the Soul Series and has been compared to other characters such as Ivy for her beauty and toughness.

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This game had also saw the addition of Star Wars characters including Darth Vader, Yoda and the Apprentice also known as “Starkiller.”  Having Star Wars characters in the game was cool but the only catch was that players had to pay a fee to download them from either the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live.  Shortly, after its release Soul Calibur IV was well received by critics and fans alike for its enhanced gameplay and addition of characters that made this title a memorable classic.  Soul Calibur IV was not only praised by various gaming publications but it had also won the award for “Best Fighting Game” at the Spike TV Video Game Awards.  This game was also named the “Best Xbox 360 Fighting Game” by IGN in 2008.  Many people argue that Soul Calibur IV along with Street Fighter IV were two of the best fighting games produced in 2008.  It is also popular believe that both Soul Calibur IV along with Street Fighter IV had contributed to reviving the fighting genre after its decline in popularity in the early to mid 2000’s.  Overall, Soul Calibur IV was one of the best fighting games to be released for the Xbox 360 and while many might argue that its not the best game in the series it still a very fun game to play.