Retro Gaming 10’s- Rock Band 3: (2010)

Sometimes its hard to believe that is been about decade since Rock Band 3 was released. Rock Band 3 was arguably the best installment within the entire series since its ’07 inception depending on who you ask. While various people have their opinions on which Rock Band Games has been the best for over the past ten years many critics were highly positive on this particular installment developed by Harmonix and published by MTV Games & Mad Katz. There were several noticeable improvements in Rock Band 3 in comparison to that of its ’08 predecessor including an in-depth career mode along with the inclusion with just as much music on the disc. In addition, to having a more in-depth career mode Rock Band 3 included a multiplayer mode that could feature up to seven players opposed to its prequel which only allowed up to four. Players had several instruments to choose from such as: lead guitar, drums and keyboard along with a variety of different levels to select ranging from easy to expert. Similar to previous installments Ayers were expectedly earn as many points as they possibly could during song while they had their own individual star rating based on their performances following each track.

There were over 80 songs on the disk for Rock Band 3 which included music from various genres including rock, metal, pop with popular tracks from the 60’s-00’s. Players also had the freedom to toggle between having Pro Mode on and off depending on how experienced they were as band which would allow them to improve at their own pace; the Overdrive feature also came in handy within Rock Band 3 as players could double the amount of points their band earned as a whole. Rock Band 3 was music video game that outshined titles such as Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock which also came out in 2010 and even Guitar Hero V from ’09 to some extent. Despite, being released for consoles such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii Rock Band 3 underperformed in sales. Throughout, the 10’s music genre of gaming has taken a back seat to the likes of RPG’s, first-person shooters and action-adventure type video games which may have impacted the sales of titles such as Rock Band 3. Either way, Rock Band 3 is still a game that deserved the praise that it received back in 2010; since it may have been one of the best titles within its genre as it pertains to the 10’s decade.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Call Of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II was without a doubt one of the most high profile first person shooter games of the early 10’s; it was the highly anticipated sequel of the first Black Ops game which was developed by Treyarch and published by prior to its released back in 2010. There were many defining features that were included in Call Of Duty: Black Ops II that intrigued many people back in 2012 including the setting of the game and how it lead players into the 2020’s decade. The plot started off in the late 80’s and took players into the year 2025 were they took control of two main protagonists named Alex Mason and Frank Woods. One of the more interesting aspects of Call Of Duty: Black Ops II involved the branching storyline features within the game which lead to at least seven different endings. The campaign mode for Black Ops II on average was somewhere between 6-7 hours long and the replay value for the game was high due to the multiple endings featured in the game. While certain endings Black Ops II saw the main protagonist Raul Menendez captured towards the end of the game players could also reach the canon ending in where the main villain meets his demise.

While the campaign mode for Black Ops II was strong the offline multiplayer gameplay which allowed up four players was also a strong positive; along with the ability for players maneuver aerial vehicles in addition to customizing their loadout before starting a mission. The visuals for Call Of Duty: Black Ops II looked absolutely stunning back in 2012 considering the fact that it utilized the Infinity Ward Engine the game technology that had been used other prequels within the CoD series such as Modern Warfare, World at War, Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops I between ’07-’10. The concept of a Second World War made for fascinating science fiction story along with the inclusion of futuristic technology pertaining to the mid 2020’s. Even though, campaign for Black Ops II was non-linear to the determinant some people many loved the storytelling aspect of the game since it contributed to the game’s overall realism. Since its back in November 2012 Call Of Duty: Black Ops II managed to reach at least 7.5 million in worldwide sales while grossing approximately $800 million in sales within 24 hours of its release. Black Ops II has been ported to various game systems including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii-U and Microsoft Windows since its release during the early 10’s. However, there are many people who would love to see a remastered version of Black Ops II for the PS4 or the Xbox One especially considering the fact that we are very close to year 2025.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Far Cry 3: (2012)

The Far Cry series has been around since ’04 and out of all of the installments that has been released since then many would argue that Far Cry 3 was best. Far Cry 3 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft and was released in late 2012 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. The pre-production of Far Cry 3 began shortly following the release of Far Cry 2 which came out in ’08; the official production of the game really did not start until 2010 due to the changes in regards to creative staff. Far Cry 3 was a first person shooter game that was critically acclaimed due to its storytelling aspects along with its narrative despite being the story being subjected to minor criticism. Despite, having a basic plot where the main protagonist Jason Brody has to rescue his friends who were kidnapped by pirates on an island there was offense taken to some situations that occurred within the story for Far Cry 3 that were politically incorrect. While the controversial elements of homophobia and misogyny were present within the story of Far Cry 3 it did not diminish the overall quality of the game itself.

The were aspects of Far Cry 3 that many people were impressed by including the visuals along with the world design despite the map itself being confusing at times. Even though, the side missions in Far Cry 3 seemed repetitive and presented challenges in relation to traveling the combat system mainly the stealth mode was one of the game’s strong points; the amount of realism included in Far Cry in relation to killing enemies was a feature that was subjected to praise. Far Cry 3 allowed multiplayer gameplay and presented players with two different endings which added to the game’s overall replay value. Since its release Far Cry 3 ended up becoming a huge commercial success and managed to reach close to 10 million copies in sales. Far Cry 3 had sold more than double of than its ’08 prequel Far Cry 2 which sold close to three million copies months following its release. Not only was Far Cry 3 considered to be a “Game Of The Year” candidate by multiple gaming publications but it also received an expansion pack entitled “Blood Dragon” during the Spring of 2013 which was also highly successful as well. Far Cry 3 may not be at the very top of everyone’s list in regards to their favorite first person shooter game of all-time but it was arguably one of the best to have come out of the 10’s decade depending on who you ask.

Upcoming Games- Iron Man VR: (2020)

One of the few upcoming games that people are talking about is the Iron Man VR title which is expected to appear on PlayStation VR in May 2020. Iron Man VR is developed by Camouflaj and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and is expected to be released on May 15th. However, it possible that the release of Iron Man VR can be delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. There has been no announcement about Iron Man VR release being delayed as it should not since people have been waiting to play the game since March 2019. The gameplay for Iron Man VR looks magnificent as players can utilize controls while flying through the air to destroy various types of enemies. The gameplay experience is unlike anything one has ever seen because players are expected to use their mind & body simultaneously opposed to just mashing buttons on a controller. As Iron Man players can utilize players can utilize iconic attacks such as repulsor blast or unibeam; also players can travel as fast or as slow as they want to when flying in different directions once they have mastered the controls.

The visuals for Iron Man VR looks fantastic courtesy of the Unity engine which as been used for games such as Mario Kart: World Tour, Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire and Firewatch. Based on what we know Iron Man VR will be available for the price of $49.99 in America for those who decide to purchase the digital deluxe edition. Also, Iron Man VR can be pre-ordered for $40 on Amazon before its official release. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Coronavirus pandemic will have a major impact on the sales of the highly anticipated Iron Man VR which has been hyped for over s year now.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Cruis’n USA: (1994)

Cruis’n USA was a racing title developed and public Midway Games prior to its initial arcade release during the fourth quarter of 1994. One of the cool things about Cruis’n USA that it was among a few arcade racing games that ended being ported to the Nintendo 64. Although, the N64 port of Cruis’n USA had a different developer/publisher the game was still very similar to the arcade version and presented players with exciting 3D gameplay. Cruis’n USA was released during an era where arcade style racing titles were popular. Retro gamers who grew up during the 90’s saw titles such as Daytona USA, Virtua Racing, Scud Race and Sega Rally Championship released within that decade. While Cruis’n USA was a noticeable arcade racing game from the mid 90’s it most likely paled in comparison to other titles from that genre which were more critically acclaimed. Cruis’n USA utilized a similar formula that most arcade racing titles from the 90’s did; the inclusion of stages based on real life locations along with completing each within a certain time limit was basically the player’s main objective. Also, players had the ability to choose what type of transmission they wanted to utilize between manual and automatic depending on how skilled they were as drivers.

The visuals for Cruis’n USA was arguably the best feature of the game and it seemingly shined more in arcade centers than it did on the Nintendo 64. While the visuals for the N64 port of Cruis’n USA paled in comparison to the arcade version players could challenge themselves more if they owned the game for the Nintendo 64. By completing various race courses on the N64 port of Cruis’n USA players could unlock new cars or similar vehicles of color as they thrive become better drivers. Cruis’n USA was a pretty decent game with its main drawback consisting of its lack of innovation in comparison to other arcade racing games that were more popular during the 90’s. If Cruis’n USA been released for the PS1 or Sega Saturn its like that the arcade racer would have still have been overshadowed despite the arcade version of the game being a commercial success. If Cruis’n USA had more depth in terms of gameplay than Midway Games could have created something special that found a balance between arcade themed racing and realistic Gran Turismo like game mechanics.

Retro Gaming 10’s- WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011: (2010)

When it comes down to some of the most popular pro wrestling games of all-time Smackdown vs Raw 2011 may not be in everyone’s top ten list; but there is no question that SvR 2011 was without a doubt one of the best pro wrestling video games of the 10’s decade. In fact, Smackdown vs Raw 2010 was the final entry within the SvR series before the WWE 2K series began in 2011. Smackdown vs Raw 2011 was published by THQ the same company that took the same role with a majority of WWE games since ’00 and was released back in 2010. As far as SvR ’11 was concerned critics were fond of the certain features such as graphical improvements over its predecessor along with the inclusion of the brand new “Universe Mode”. The Universe Mode in SvR ’11 allowed players to choose as any character they wanted in pre-set matches while being able to select title holders, create feuds while being able to watch unpredictable cutscenes take place in various matches. Also, in Universe Mode players also got to witness the formation of various alliances & stables by various wrestlers while watching others dissolve which was very intriguing.

Another, big offline game mode featured in SvR ’11 was Road To Wrestlemania which also appeared in the game’s predecessor SvR ’10 back in 2009. The Road To Wrestlemania mode in SvR ’11 was noticeably different than the one included its previous entries since new features were added. The Road To Wrestlemania mode in SvR ’11 saw players roam around backstage areas with wrestlers such as John Cena, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio in order to interact with certain characters progress through the main story along with completing various side quests. Additional offline game modes included were Create-A-SuperStar, Create-A-Finisher and the brand new Match Creator mode making things a little more interesting for those who enjoyed SvR ’10. It was also pretty cool to see the return of Story Designer mode as well along with some new cutscenes opposed to recycling the same animations from SvR ’10. Smackdown vs Raw 2011 also had countless offline match types that players could have with either a friend or the CPU such as single, tag-team, triple threat, fatal 4 way, handicap, six man, royal rumble along with the championship scramble.

Also, players can choose from a variety of stipulations for their matches including Inferno, Iron Man, Steel Cage, Hell In A Cell, Last Man Standing, Ladder, Backstage Brawl and TLC. The amount of offline gameplay that people could get from SvR ’11 was unbelievable especially considering the fact that online multiplayer gameplay was also included in this game as well. While SvR ’11 might not be a game that appeals to casual fans of pro-wrestling its definitely one that long time followers would appreciate. There many people who wished that the SvR series continued longer than it did especially considering how popular it was during the mid to late 00’s.

Should Konami have released more DDR games for Dreamcast?

When we think about big video game franchises that started off in arcade centers around the late 90’s Dance Dance Revolution is one that many retro gamers from that era would most likely remember. The DDR series first began in ’98 and has her around for over two decades with various games from the series appearing in both arcade systems and on numerous consoles since then. There have been countless entries with in DDR series that we have seen in game systems such as PS1, PS2, GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360 and there was even one installment that appeared on Dreamcast in 00’s entitled Dance Dance Revolution 2nd Mix. Unfortunately, DDR 2nd Mix was the only was the only installment within the series to be featured on Dreamcast despite receiving mainly favorable reviews following its release. As far as arcade style gameplay is concerned Dreamcast was far more superior than the 32 bit PS1. Despite, Dreamcast being a 128 bit console Konami may have went with the decision to release their DDR games mainly PS1/PS2 consoles due to their levels of popularity during early 00’s. While the original DDR was released in arcade centers in ’98 it was eventually ported to PS1 as Japanese exclusive the following year in April 1999.

Seeing that the Sega Dreamcast was available in retail during ’99 its possible that Konami could have ported DDR ’98 to the 128-bit game system within that year. Even though, the PS1 was far more popular than Dreamcast the original DDR game could have shined more in both America & Japan on Sega’s Final game system especially before the PS2 came out in late ’00. In fact, there were quite a few DDR games that were released exclusively in Japanese arcade centers during ’99 that were never ported to any game system. There were titles such as DDR: Best Of Cool Dancers along with different versions of DDR: 2nd Mix that could have been attractions on Dreamcast between late ’99- late-’00. Despite, its level of popularity the PS1 had its faults including lengthy loading times and the lack of optimal quality 3D gameplay which Dreamcast had in 1999 and 2000. By releasing more DDR titles for the PS1/PS2 its quite possible that the series was overshadowed by first party video games from the late 90’s-early 00’s. Its unfortunate that Konami only got to release one DDR game before the sales Dreamcast systems was discontinued in 2001.