Retro Gaming 00’s- Mega Man Zero: (2002)

As many people know the Mega Man series was very popular during the NES/SNES era of gaming from ’87-’96. There also a couple MegaMan games such as X4 & X5 that appeared on the PS1 between ’97-’00 that many people were quite fond of. It seemed like the MegaMan series began to go down downhill following the 90’s. Even though, the series did not receive as much mainstream attention hardcore fans still liked the Mega Man Zero game that appeared on Game Boy Advance back in 2002. Mega Man Zero had an interesting plot were the setting of the game took place a century following the Mega Man series and saw the reploid Zero as the main character opposed to X. In fact, the story for this game was very intriguing because the main villain of the game was a copy of Mega Man X who strived for world peace. Copy X can be seen more as a anti-villain because despite his good intentions he ultimately became a dictator. Copy X wanted to eliminate all Reploids who opposed his will while controlling Neo Arcadia in the process. In order to stop Copy X players control Zero and have to compete various levels before battling the Four Guardians before reaching him.

Despite, its level of difficulty Mega Man Zero was still popular enough to spawn three sequels between ’03-’05. Mega Man Zero was praised for various features such as being able to quit certain missions while progressing through the game along with its visuals. Others from previous installments of the Mega Man series returned in this game such as gaining and utilizing the powers of defeated bosses which would ultimately prove to be helpful against tougher opponents towards the end of the game. It was pretty cool seeing a Mega Man game where Zero was in the spotlight and felt somewhat refreshing to the series in general since he was very popular following his debut in Mega Man X back in ’93. Mega Man Zero was definitely one of the better games within the series that the gaming world got a chance to see during the 00’s; this game looked like something that could have been an attraction on the SNES or PS1 during the mid to late 90’s. While Mega Man Zero was not quite as popular as Mega Man X or the NES titles from the series from the late 80’s-early 90’s it was still a memorable classic for the Game Boy Advance that some people still have fond memories about.

Retro Gaming 00’s- King Of Fighters XII: (2009)

When we think about cool fighting games from the late 00’s that were memorable classics titles such as Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6 and Soul Calibur IV are all games that instantly come mind. While the three games just mentioned were all fantastic fighting titles there were games such as King Of Fighters XII from ’09 that does not get talked about as much as should. In fact, King Of Fighters XII is a game that was quite possibly underrated and definitely overshadowed during the late 00’s. Despite, not having a storyline similar to that of KOF ’98 or KOF 2002 this game saw the return of three vs three gameplay which has been a feature that has been apart of the series since 90’s. It should also be noted that King Of Fighters XII has removed a gameplay feature that was popular in KOF 2003 known as the “Tactical Shift System”. While SNK had decided to remove a gameplay mechanic they added something new known as the “Critical Counter System” which some would argue was a better feature than the “Tactical Shift System”. While players had limited time to link their attacks ending it all with a special move it was a feature that almost any character could use. The Tactical Shift System from KOF 2003 seemed like it was set up to benefit the leader of a team more than anything since they had exclusive accessories to certain moves during battles.

Also the inclusion of gameplay mechanics such as “Guard Attack” and “Clash Attack” both added to the overall quality to battles that took place in KOF XII. Along with having improved gameplay in comparison to the likes of KOF XI from 2005 King Of Fighters XII saw the return of popular characters such as Joe Higashi, Lori Yagami, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Robert Garcia, Ryo Sakazaki and more. Despite, the fact that SNK was still utilizing 2D sprites for the character models it was perfectly fine since they looked highly refined. In fact, some people would argue that King Of Fighters XII looked nicer and had more robust gameplay than Street Fighter IV from 2008. However, many would argue that King Of Fighters XI was a more solid entry than KOF XII in general. The presentation of King Of Fighters XII was good enough to capture the attention of those who were casual fans of the fighting genre of gaming. Also, SNK did make an effort to apply technical changes in KOF XII opposed to giving us the same exact thing from KOF XI with better aesthetics. While King Of Fighters XII May not have been the best fighting game from the late 00’s its definitely one that deserves more recognition than it receives.

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.

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.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story (1995)

When we think about classic JRPG’s from the 16-bit era of gaming from the early 90’s various titles instantly comes to mind for those who are retro gamers. During the early to mid 90’s memorable JRPG gems had emerged such Secret Of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound Super Mario RPG, Final Fantasy IV-VI and others were considered to be popular titles that are still talked about to this day. While a majority of the titles just mentioned eventually made it to America back in the 90’s there were titles such as Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story that remained Japanese exclusives which makes are retro gamers question why it was never released in the US. For those who do not know Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story was developed by Arc System Works and developed by Angel and was released as a SNES exclusive back in 1995. Sailor Moon: Another Story was a single-player JRPG that gave people the option of controlling any of the Sailor Scouts that they want to while leveling them up throughout the game.

This game featured the Inner Senshi characters such as Sailor Moon, Mini Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and the Outer Senshi Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and Pluto as they attempt to defeat the main villain who is a sorceress known as Apsu from the 30th Century. As far as the plot for Sailor Moon: Another Story was concerned its was rather intriguing especially since emphasis was placed on time travel. Also, Apsu managed to assemble a group of warriors named Sin, Ishtar, Nabu, Nargel and Marduk known as the Opposito Solders who are supposed to be villainous counterparts of the Inner Senshi. In this game Apsu plans of altering the events of the past in order to make her mission of retrieving the Silver Crystal that much easier in the 30 century. In addition, to receiving new antagonists within the Sailor Moon series some the main villains from the first three story arcs reappear such as Queen Beryl, Black Lady, Mistress 9, Rubeus, Esmeraude and others who American fans were probably more familiar with by ’97-’98. In fact, Sailor Moon: Another Story was released in late ’95 the same year that the fourth season of the series known as Super S first aired.

As far as the game itself is concerned Sailor Moon: Another Story has nice graphics, impressive level designs along with mini-puzzle games and artificial intelligence that would force players to develop creative strategies on how to defeat their opponents. Each character had their signature attacks from the manga/television series along with HP (health points) and rechargeable EP (energy points) before battling various monsters and bosses throughout the game. Sailor Moon: Another Story also had interesting dialogue between characters along with multiple endings depending on what level players complete it on. While its unclear on how successful Sailor Moon: Another Story was in Japan in relation to sales many people often wonder successful this game would have been in America between ’95-96. Considering how popular the Sailor Moon series was during the mid 90’s after appearing on Fox Kids and Toonami this JRPG could have ended becoming an attraction on the PS1 considering that fact that the Super NES was starting to become old by 1995. Some fans would argue that the story for this game was arguably better than the Sailor Moon: Super S television series and deserved a non-canon movie release. Either, way Bishoujo Sailor Moon: Another Story is considered to be an underrated JRPG from the mid 90’s and is possibly the best game from the series in general.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Windjammers: (1994)

As far as retro sports related games are concerned relation to the 90’s one of the few games from that time period that is com to be highly underrated Windjammers. For those who do not know Windjammers was initially created by a now defunct video game developer known as Data East and has had various publishers since its arcade release back in ’94. Windjammers had been ported for mainly SNK developed consoles such as Neo Geo AES and Neo Geo CD back in the 90’s. As many people know the Neo Geo AES was very expensive at the price $649.00 following its release in the early and did not sell as much which may be one of the reasons why many people never heard of Windjammers at all. Windjammers was a 2D game that resembled ultimate frisbee where players have to stop their opponents offensive throws from entering their goal zone. The game provides players layers with six playable characters to choose from all with their own unique set of stats with each having certain strengths and weaknesses.

Windjammers provides players with the option of competing against other players or against the CPU. The difficulty of the game increases after players defeat CPU controlled characters which made Windjammers more interesting. Windjammers was a Neo Geo classic that was considered to be both underrated and popular back in the day and has recently been ported to current generation consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. As it currently stands we are still waiting for the official release of DotEmu’s Windjammers 2 which is expected to occur sometime before 2020.

Retro Gaming 80’s- Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)

As far as Nintendo based arcade classics are concerned one of the few titles that retro gamers think about in relation to the 80’s is Donkey King Jr from 1982. Donkey King Jr was the highly anticipated sequel to its 1981 predecessor that was also popular in arcade centers which placed emphasis on Mario being the main villain of the game. In fact, Donkey Kong Jr was probably the only game where Mario played the role of a villain as he captured Donkey Kong for revenge in relation to what happened in the original Donkey Kong game. In the 1981 Donkey Kong game DK was the main villain because he captured Mario’s ex-girlfriend Pauline and made him go through various obstacles & stages in order to get her back. Some would argue that Mario was justified for his actions in this game especially since he ended up presented as hero in just about every other game that Nintendo has developed since 1982. In this game Donkey Kong’s son has to rescue him after he is captured by Mario and as he makes his way through each stage in this vertical platformer. The stages become more challenging as players progress throughout the game requiring them to be more strategic then they would in side-scrolling platform games.

Since its arcade release Donkey Kong Jr was ported for the NES and release in various different countries throughout the 80’s. Donkey Kong Jr. also appeared on other consoles such Atari 2600 and Atari 7800 and is a platform classic that is still somewhat popular to this day. As a platformer some might argue that Donkey Kong Jr was more difficult than most Mario and Donkey Kong games from the 80’s and early 90’s. While the plot for Donkey Kong Jr. was very basic the fact that Mario was casted as a villain opposed to that of a hero will always be considered one of the most aspects about this game in particular.