As many people know the MegaMan series is considered to be legendary within the gaming world. The most popular installments within the MegaMan series came between the mid 80’s-mid to late 90’s time period with the release of the first three NES games along with the MMX series which started on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993. By the time we got to the 00’s decade the 2D side-scrolling run n gun genre of gaming had declined in popularity. However, hardcore fans of the MegaMan series still enjoyed the MegaMan Zero series which began on the Game Boy Advance back in 2002. While the storylines for the MegaMan Zero games from ‘02-‘07 were impressive and had nostalgic 32-bit gameplay there are many who feel that the series was not quite on the same level as the first three or four MegaMan X games from the 90’s. It makes some people wonder how popular the MegaMan Zero series would have been on consoles such as the SNES especially since the first three games within the series shined significantly on the 16-bit console back in the day.
One of the few racing games from the early 00’s that was definitely overshadowed within it genre was Crash Nitro Kart. For those do not know Crash Nitro Kart was published by Universal Interactive and developed by Vicarious Visions and appeared on multiple game systems including the PS2, Xbox and GameCube back in the early 00’s. Crash Nitro Kart was considered to be a sequel to the Crash Team Racing game from ‘99 while being the ninth Crash Bandicoot game within the entire series. Crash Nitro Kart contained over 20 playable characters including Crash, Coco and Crunch Bandicoot and introduces a few new characters such as Fake Crash along with N-Trance as well. Crash Nitro Kart also saw the return of Doctor Neo Cortex who was the main villain in the very first Crash Bandicoot game from ‘96. We also saw the return of Nitrous Oxide the main villain from Team Crash Racing in Crash Nitro Kart as a leader of his own group known as “Team Oxide”. The game has a rather interesting plot that saw the main villain Emperor Velo XXVII abduct Crash & Neo-Cortex’s group while forcing them to compete in a racing tournament.
The possibility of Earth’s destruction plays a role in both Crash and Doctor Neo-Cortex’s group agreeing to participated the race with the winning team receiving freedom from the Galactic Emperor Velo XXVII. The story for Crash Nitro Kart has alternate endings depending on which team won which added to the game’s overall replay value. As cool as Crash Team Racing was back in ’99 many would argue the Crash Nitro Kart was a more superior game despite not being on the same level in terms of popularity. Crash Nitro Kart was challenging and the gameplay was highly enjoyable since it felt like Naughty Dog’s version of a 3D Mario Kart game. But unlike many Mario Kart games we have seen in the past Crash Nitro Kart has an actual storyline which in some ways makes it better than some Nintendo’s past racing titles within the Mario series.
As far as upcoming releases are concerned one of the many games that the world is looking forward to seeing is that of Forza Motorsport 8. As many people know Forza Motorsport 7 was released back in 2017 and it was quite possibly one of the best racing games that the world had seen within the 10’s decade. As far as Forza Motorsport 8 is concerned it’s been revealed that the Unreal Engine 4 will be utilized for this upcoming racing title which was information reported by XboxMag.net back in June 2020. Based on what we know the Unreal Engine 4 will provide players with better off-road racing. It has also been rumored that the race capacity could be expanded upon with at least 53 vehicles at a time. Seeing how Forza Motorsport 7 appeared on Microsoft Windows back in 2017 its quite possibly that the same thing will happen in late 2020.
The holiday season of 2020 is when the Xbox Series X is expected to be released worldwide in competition with Sony’s PS5. Seeing Forza Motorsport 8 released around the holiday season would definitely draw people’s interest especially considering the fact that there are rumors of Gran Turismo 7 appearing on the PlayStation 5 in late 2020 as well. In addition, to having a new game engine Forza Motorsport 8 is expected to include new in game features including a new modeling/suspension system along with the inclusion of a tire pressure model. Also, the addition of a new atmosphere pressure system will definitely had more realism to Forza Motorsport 8 as Microsoft & Turn 10 Studios look to focus more on simulation in this game than its ’17 predecessor. Hopefully, we will get an official release date for Forza Motorsport 8 as we get closer to Fall 2020 while learning more details about the game itself.
Gran Turismo 7 is one of the many games that the world is looking forward to seeing on the PlayStation 5 in the near future. There has been speculation of the highly anticipated racing game appearing on the PS5 sometime in late 2020 following the upcoming release of Sony’s next generation console around the holiday season in winter. There has also been some speculation that Gran Turismo 7 may not appear on the PS5 until 2021-2022 possibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Either way, GT7 is a racing title that people have been waiting to see since the release of Gran Turismo Sport back in October 2017. Based on what we know about Gran Turismo 7 it has been discovered that the game will feature a Career Mode and have more cars to choose from than GT Sport. It has also been confirmed that the performance points mechanic included included GT6 will be returning in Gran Turismo 7.
It has also been mentioned that Gran Turismo 7 will have 8K resolution and will give players the opportunity to enjoy it through the PSVR 2. Familiar racing tracks from GT Sport are expected return to Gran Turismo 7 along with a new version of Trial Mountain. There has been talk of features from older games within the GT series making a return such as GT: Auto where players could wash their car change oil along with being able to make other mechanical and cosmetic changes. There has also been mention about seeing players having the option to access the Used Car dealer similar to some previous installments within in the seeing as well. Hopefully, we will learn more details about Gran Turismo 7 from Sony within the next couple of months or so. Also, if Gran Turismo 7 is going to be anything like GT4, GT5 or GT6 it might possibly surpass GT Sport in over sales especially since its a PS5 exclusive.
One of the many memorable first-person shooter survival horror games that came out back in the early part of the 10’s decade that people generally like to talk about nowadays is Metro 2033 from 2010. For those who do not know Metro 2033 was developed by 4A Games and initially published by THQ before its release on the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows back in 2010. Since its initial release in ’10 the game was remastered and released for consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as the Redux edition which started appearing on various game systems since 2014. The Metro 2033 game was based off of the fictional post-apocalyptic novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky which originally published in Russia back in 2005. Similar to the novel the setting of the game took place in the desolate city of Moscow following a global nuclear holocaust that occurred in an alternate timeline during 2013. Metro 2033 contained a well balanced blend of stealth & survival gameplay as players controlled the main protagonist known as Artyom. In the game players have to fend off threats from the various enemies from mutated rats to large mutants and other sinister creatures in order to survive.
As players progress throughout Metro 2033 they discover some mind-blowing revelations in relation to Artyom and the Dark Ones. While Artyom constantly had supernatural visions pertains to the creatures he has been battling he eventually discovers the true intentions of the Dark One. While its was in initially believed that the Dark Ones wanted to destroy humanity it turns out they wanted to reach out them instead. These details were discovered by the time players reached the secret missile command center and depending on what decisions are made multiple endings could be unlocked. More details about Artyom’s childhood and his connection with the Dark Ones were emphasized in detail on Metro: Last Light which was the 2013 sequel to Metro 2033. The game itself was critically acclaimed by various gaming publications despite not being on the level of games such as Fallout 3 from ’09 as far as survival horror titles were concerned. Many people would argue that Metro 2033 was without a doubt one of the most high profile first person shooter survival horror titles of 2010 along with being one of the best video game adaptations of any novel in the history of gaming history.
When we think about memorable first person shooters from the late 00’s one of the few games that instantly comes to mind is Left 4 Dead 2. For those who do not know Left 4 Dead 2 was developed and published by Value Corporation and was released for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows back in 2009. The Left 4 Dead series began back in ’08 and the sequel that we got the following year in ’09 was arguably a better title than its predecessor. The plot for the game itself revolves around players trying to defend themselves against hordes and following zombies following the aftermath concerned a deadly pandemic. Left 4 Dead 2 including both single & multiplayer gameplay as players controlled survivors who could utilize melee attacks along with various weapons to stay alive. The replay value involving Left 4 Dead 2 was very high especially since the game included at least five different campaigns. Out of the five Campaigns included in Left 4 Dead 2 many would argue that Dark Carnival & Hard Rain were among the best that the game had to offer. The mini-games included in Dark Carnival along with the environmental obstacles included in Hard Rain seemingly stood out the most out of the five campaigns that were included in Left 4 Dead 2.
Ever since, its release Left 4 Dead 2 has been praised by critics and various gaming entities as being one of the best video games that Valve Corporation as ever made. Despite, the technical issues that players may of had with Left 4 Dead 2 regarding multiplayer online gameplay it was still a well polished first-person shooter game that rivaled the likes of Wolfenstein and Fallout 3 in terms of popularity. Left 4 Dead 2 was seemed every bit as good as its predecessor and managed to reach at least four million Cop in sales before the end of 2009. While Left 4 Dead 2 was enjoyable on the Xbox 360 it seemed more addictive to PC gamers during a time period were online gaming was starting to increase in popularity. In fact, the first person shooter and survival horror genres of gaming were beginning to become more mainstream as it related to 3D gaming between the late 00’s and the 10’s decade. Left 4 Dead 2 was huge attraction back in ’09 and its a game that would probably hold up well in year 2020 if it were remastered in high definition for a current generation console.
When it comes down to to action role-playing games from the early 10’s one of the few memorable titles that people instantly think about is Dungeon Siege III from 2011. For those who do not know the Dungeon Siege series began back in ’02 with the see being overshadowed by majority of action role-playing game within that genre. Dungeon Siege III was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 along with Microsoft Windows and included both single & multiplayer gameplay. The setting for Dungeon Siege III was set over a century following the events from the very first game in the series within a medieval-like kingdom. The plot for Dungeon Siege III is both intriguing but dark at the same time as the story focuses on the 10th Legion attempting to reconstruct their military force. The unintended death of King Hendrick following the onslaught of Azunite Church against the 10th Legion due to Jeyne Kassynder’s influence left the force in shambles as most of the people associated with it ended up losing their lives. While the Jeyne Kassynder is revealed to be the King’s illegitimate daughter players also discover that he and his legitimate offspring Roslyn were against her prior to the tragic even that eventually occurred within the game.
In Dungeon Siege III players have the option to control four different characters each with their own different story connected to the main plot. Dungeon Siege III had its share of positives and negatives as far as overall gameplay is concerned. There were players who were satisfied with the fighting system along with the storytelling aspect of the game which would be enough to get others interested in purchasing Dungeon Siege III. Despite, the intriguing storyline, impressive visuals along with the impressive gameplay people criticized the game for its complex loot system along with its abysmal camera angles in relation to the multiplayer co-op mode. For an action role-playing Dungeon Siege III May not have been the most popular game of the early 10’s. However, there are many gamers around the world who are itching to see a Dungeon Siege IV since its been about nine years since Dungeon Siege III was released. While Dungeon Siege III may not be one the most high profile action role-playing game of the 10’s decade its still a pretty solid game especially to those who have been long time fans of the series since the early 00’s. If we ever get a Dungeon Siege IV hopefully the developers would make a game where the storyline and gameplay is just as good as DS III but with greater modifications that would improve the overall quality of the final product itself.
As far as action games from the 00’s are concerned there are many people who might remember Capcom’s MegaMan X6 game from 2001. MegaMan X6 was released during a time period where the series was starting to decline but it still managed to gain the interest of those who were long time fans of the X series since 1993. MegaMan X6 has a very interesting plot that followed the events from MegaMan X5 which saw the introduction of a new villain known as Zero Nightmare. After the Eurasia space colony incident from X5 players can control either X or Zero in order to stop Zero Nightmare and depending on their actions they can unlock multiple endings. While the storyline was pretty dramatic some might argue that it was not as exciting as some of the earlier games where Sigma was the main villain. The graphics and gameplay for Megaman X6 were just as great as every other game within the series and it could have possibly have been more popular than it was during the mid to late 90’s. By the early 00’s the 2D action platform genre of gaming had declined greatly and 3D gaming started to become more mainstream.
Even though, MegaMan X6 came out for the PS1 it may have been a bigger attraction as a PS2 exclusive during the early 00’s since the 32-bit console was around seven years old by 2001. The storyline and multiple endings along with the soundtrack of MegaMan X6 were solid but not the best that we got to see within the X series. While some critics praised the nightmare system and the length of the game itself others would go on record and argue that MegaMan X6 had its share of shortcomings. However, the replay value of MegaMan X6 was still pretty high and the game is still considered to be an action-platform classic for the PS1 that many people probably never got a chance to play.
When we think about underrated beat em up classics from the early 90’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is the crossover game involving Battletoads & Double Dragon from 1993. The Battletoads/Double Dragon best em up game was released for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo along with game with all versions including multiplayer gameplay with the exception of the handheld version. Both the Battletoads & Double Dragon series started back in the 80’s and by the early 90’s they had arguably declined in popularity. A crossover game between Double Dragon & Battletoads captured the interest of many people and for the most part it received many favorable reviews by critics and gaming publications following its release in ’93. The plot for Battletoads/Double Dragon saw the main antagonists from both series Dark Queen and the Shadow Warriors attempting to rule the galaxy. The storyline sees the Battletoads working with both Billy & Jimmy two of the main protagonists from the Double Dragon series in order to stop the threat to Earth created by a spaceship known as the Colossus. This game features five playable characters along with having an interesting feature regarding its gameplay.
During multiplayer gameplay players were able to advance forward to different levels along with their partner despite perishing within a certain stage. While the beat em up gameplay was pretty standard the concept of a Battletoads/Double Dragon crossover game blew everyone’s mind back in the early 90’s While it might be debatable which version of Battletoads/Double Dragon was the best many people were surprised that a NES port was released. The NES was about ten years old by ’93 and the Super NES had been in retail since 1990. Also, the Sega Genesis port of Battletoads/Double Dragon had impressive visuals that rivaled the SNES version of the game following its release. Even though, Battletoads/Double Dragon is not talked about much nowadays retro gamers who grew up in the 90’s would probably consider this game an underrated beat em up classic.
As far as upcoming games are concerned in relation to this year one of the few indie titles to be on the lookout for right now is The Pathless. For those who do not know The Pathless is an adventure game with a very basic cliche plot that involves banishing darkness from the world. The Pathless is game developed by video game developer known as Giant Squid and published by Annapurna Interactive that is set to appear on multiple game consoles including PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows , iOS along with PlayStation 5. The game sees players controlling a hunter who is an expert at archery as they hunt down corrupted spirits. The Pathless is packed with secrets and puzzle games that players will eventually run into as they explore the ancient runes. As players progress throughout the game they eventually develop a bond with an eagle who eventually becomes their companion as they seek to complete their quest.
One of few things that stands out the most about The Pathless are the optimal visuals along with the gameplay. The Pathless looks like a game that would be a bigger attraction on Apple Arcade than it would the PlayStation 4 or the PS5 especially since 3D indie games like it attract more attention on that game system. In fact, if the Pathless was a Apple Arcade exclusive it would probably add to its overall value since it would difficult for gamers to get their hands-on. The Pathless will also be appearing on Apple Arcade as well we still have no official release date as it relates to 2020. Hopefully, The Pathless will be released sometime before or around the holiday season this year. Worst case scenario is that the release date for The Pathless gets pushed back to 2021. The release date for The Pathless will most likely be revealed in next few months or so since we are more than halfway through 2020.