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 10’s- Tekken Tag Tournament 2: (2011)

When we think about some of the best fighting games from the early part of the 10’s decade one of the many titles that comes to mind is Tekken Tag Tournament which came out in September 2011. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was developed and published by Bandi Namco Games and was without a doubt one of the most high profile fighting games of ’11. In fact, Tekken Tag Tournament is often viewed as a better game than Capcom’s Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds which was released in February 2011. Not only did Tekken Tag Tournament 2 sell more than 1.5 million by 2013 but it won numerous awards for being the “Best Fighting Game” of 2012 from numerous gaming publications. One of the reasons why Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was so big was because it was the highly anticipated sequel to the original game which came out over twelve years prior in 1999. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was was considered to be the next big title within its series following the release of Tekken 6 from 2007. In addition, to being released for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 there was surprising a Wii-U version of the game that was released back in November 2012.

Seeing a Tekken game on a Nintendo console back in 2012 was very surprising since the first and quite possibly the only time that has ever happened. In Tekken Tag Tournament 2 we got to see high quality visuals along with improved gameplay in comparison to that of its ’99 predecessor. The inclusion of longer tag combos and double team moves were solid features in addition to the game mode included in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. There were various game modes that players had the option of choosing such as arcade, versus, survival and time attack. Also, players had the option of participating in normal tag battles versus two on one handicap matches. The introduction of a new game mode Fight Lab was pretty interesting along with return of Tekken Ball mode in the Wii-U version of the game. Tekken Tag Tournament 6 had a stacked roster of characters from all the previous Tekken games even classic characters from 2 & 3 such as Forest Law, Michelle Chang, Tiger Jackson and many others.

Also, popular favorites such as Jin Kazama, Heihachi Kazama, Kazuya Kazama, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, King and Yoshimitsu returned in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 as expected. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was definitely seemed more superior than Street Fighter X Tekken which came out 2012 especially since it felt like there was more to do as it related to offline gameplay. As far as top fighting games of 2011-2012 are concerned many people would say that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was as popular as Dead Ir Alive 5 following its release in ’12. Even though, Tekken 7 was supposed to be the final game within its series many people would love to see a potential Tekken Tag Tournament 3 from Bandi Namco Games. There is no doubt that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was one of the best installments within the entire series and was one of the best fighting games of the 10’s decade.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Persona 4: (2008)

When many people think about high profile RPG’s from the 00’s decade one of the many titles that instantly comes to mind outside of the Final Fantasy series is Persona 4. For those who do not know Persona 4 was a social simulation RPG that was initially released in Japan in July 2008 before coming to America in December of that year. Persona 4 was released in other countries during the early part of ’09 and appeared on the PlayStation 2 before it was ported to the PS Vita in 2012. The game itself is considered to be one of the most popular installments within the entire set along with the likes of Persona 5 which was released a few years ago during 2016. Persona 4 had a very intriguing plot with the overall tone of the game itself being very dark considering the series of tragic events that players discover towards the beginning of the game. The main character who is named by the player discovers several gruesome murders by diabolical beings know as Shadows that exist within the TV World. Players learn that the Shadow creatures that live within theTV World are a manifestation of negative and repressed emotions of people and are responsible for the horrific events that occur within the game.

Players are able to travel freely between the real world with the help of an ally named Teddie as they eventually rescue other characters such as Rise, Yosuke, Yu, Chie, Yukiko, Kanji who later become playable throughout the game. As players progress through Persona 4 they will come across various unexpected twists and shocking turns that will keep them engaged in the storyline. Eventually, its discovered that the main character’s home room teacher was killed by a student from another school out of boredom which was a big mystery as several murder cases were being investigated. However, Mitsuo Kubo who was the culprit for the player’s home room teacher murder had no part in the demise of other individuals within the game. It turns out that the demise of a television announcer along with another high school student who discovered the body was caused by a police detective named Tohru Adachi. The revelations regarding the murders comes after Taro Namatame is falsely accused of the crimes even though he claimed responsibility for his involvement in trapping Rise, Kanji, Naoto and Yukiko earlier in the game.

Following the boss battle with Adachi things took a really bizarre turn as he becomes possessed by the Japanese God Of Fog known as Ameno-sagiri. We then learn that the fog is lethal to humans since it greatly contributes to their ignorance and ultimately transforms them into shadows. Once players get through the final boss battle Ameno-sagiri retracts the fog from Adachi who then turns himself in for his crimes. One of the cool things about Persona 4 was how the story felt like art imitating life as far as vices of watching too much television is concerned. Also, what was more interesting about the story for Persona 4 was the fact that the setting took place in 2011. Since its release back in ’08 Persona 4 has been critically acclaimed and is seen as one of the best RPG titles of all time. Despite, the Persona see being around since ’96 during the PS1 era gaming it seems like the series has more popular between the late 00’s-mid 10’s with P4 & P5. There is no doubt that Persona 4 deserves a HD re-release for either the PlayStation 4 or PS5 game console because its was definitely one of the best games that Atlus has ever made in general.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Assassin’s Creed II: (2009)

When we think about some of the best action-adventure games to have been released during the 00’s decade one of the few titles that many people instantly think about is Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II from 2009. Assassin’s Creed II was the highly anticipated sequel of its predecessor from 2007 which appeared on multiple game game systems such as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows between November 2009 and March 2010. One of the most interesting things about Assassin’s Creed II was how the storyline for the game had included various historical figures such Niccolò Machiavelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Bartolomeo d’ Alviano, Pope Alexander VI and others while the setting took place during the late 15th-early 16th century time period. The main protagonist Ezio Auditore has a rather dark but interesting backstory when players learn that his family had been brutally executed during the conflict involving the Assassins and the Knights Templar during the Renaissance era in Italy. The events surrounding Ezio Auditore is framed in the 21st century by a descendant within his bloodline named Desmond Miles which contributes to overall quality of the storytelling aspect of Assassin’s Creed II.

In this game players start out as Desmond who is eventually taught assassin skills by an undercover assassin named Lucy Stillman through a technique known as the “Bleeding Effect”. Shortly, afterwards Desmond learns more about his ancestor’s past when he discovers Ezio’s goal to retrieve information regarding the pieces of Eden. During Ezio’s journey players eventually cross path with the main antagonist Rodrigo Borgia who possessed one of the pieces of Eden while eventually becoming Pope Alexander VI. While Ezio eventually takes a piece of Eden from Borgia its eventually discovered that his father and brother were both condemned to death by hanging for treason by a despotic magistrate within Italy. Fueled by vengeance Ezio wanted to use his combat/stealth abilities to destroy every individual who was involved in his father’s death despite their occupation. His quest to destroy his father’s murderers is meet with aid as he trains with ancient order Assassin members who assist him along his quest. Throughout, the game players engage in various missions accompanied with non-linear gameplay and world maps that feature historical locations within Italy such as Florence, Venice, Forlì and others.

The addition of new in game mechanics such as swimming and “Eagle Vision” were features that many people found appealing comparison to the original Assassin’s Creed title from ’07. The ability to hire skilled non-playable characters from thieves all the way down to mercenaries to battle adversarial forces was also a plus; because it gave players more independence to develop creative strategies in order to complete certain parts of the game. There was also more realism added to the game with the introduction of a day/night cycle and a more robust yet effective combat system especially when it came down to countering the attacks of enemies. Along with impressive storytelling full of twists and turns, ancient landmarks, historical characters from the Renaissance era of Italy the visuals for Assassin’s Creed II was amazing back in ’09 thanks to the AnvilNext game engine.

Since its release back in November 2009 Assassin’s Creed II had received three downloadable expansion packs which kept players interested in the game before the release of Assassin’s Creed III in 2012. As far overall success in relation to sales it was reported that Assassin’s Creed II has reportedly sold over 1.6 million within its first week which was a pretty big deal at the time. In fact, Assassin’s Creed II is arguably the best installment within the series despite the fact that it was released a decade ago. The story for Assassin’s Creed II felt somewhat similar to Dishonored from 2012 in the sense where the story emphasizes corruption among authority figures and is accompanied with a dark and tragic backstory leading the main protagonists to align themselves with resistant rebels forces who end up becoming avengers. As a action-adventure stealth from the 00’s Assassin’s Creed II was quite the best video game from that 00’s decade and its a title that some might still enjoy on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to this day.

Will strong emphasis on online multiplayer modes reduce the replay value of video games?

As many people know online multiplayer gaming has been a big deal for at least a decade now and it seems to be improving in relation to popularity each year. We have games like Red Dead Redemption 2 along with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 which are huge names for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One and the feedback of both games from fans are generally positive. However, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a game where the main attraction attraction relies on the online multiplayer Battle Royale mode which was made popular by Fortnite back in 2017. The lack of campaign mode in Black Ops 4 is something that is appealing to many people who have been huge fans of the series within the 10’s decade.

While all the other Call of Duty: Black Ops titles had campaign modes some argue that Black Ops 4 not having a campaign mode could end up diminishing its replay value especially if there is a direct sequel. Once online servers for older generation games that relies mainly on online gameplay shuts down they tend to have little to no value which has been true for games such as Final Fantasy XI, FFXIV: A Realm Reborn and others. While emphasis on local multiplayer gameplay in current generation video games sounds like a much better idea in theory video game companies emphasize online gaming since it draws more revenue. While GTA: 5 has an amazing online multiplayer game mode the story mode itself is a huge attraction. which adds to its overall replay; while being a game that many people still play today despite being released in 2013.

Soul Calibur V (2012) vs Injustice (2013) which game was a bigger attraction?

When we think about fighting titles from the early 10’s decade names such as Soul Calibur V along with Injustice: Gods Among US are two titles that instantly comes to mind. Since its initial release for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 back in 2012 Soul Calibur V managed to reach at less 2.3 million copies worldwide in relation to sales. While the story mode for Soul Calibur V along with some of the new characters such as Pyrrah & Patroklos received mixed reception from fans and critics alike the game was still interesting and included modes such as “Quick Battle Mode” along with online multiplayer which contributed to the overall replay value of this title in general. However, as popular as Soul Calibur V was in 2012 it was not on the same level as Injustice: Gods Among US which was released the following year.

Injustice: Gods Among was a fighting video game that featured a star-studded roster of characters from the DC Universe such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Joker and many more. Also, despite being a fighting game with 2.5D gameplay it had a higher replay value than that of Soul Calibur V due to the cinematic quality of the story mode which is divided into several chapters along with the inclusion additional game modes such as Battle, Versus, Training. It should also be noted that online multiplayer game modes such as King of the Hill were popular for Injustice: Gods Among Us and were elements of the game that contributed to its overall appeal.

Since its initial release Injustice: Gods Among Us had won multiple “Game of the Year” awards in 2013 and managed to spawn a highly successful and critically acclaimed sequel called Injustice 2 which was released last year. In terms of which fighting title was a bigger attraction in the early 10’s there is no question that Injustice: Gods Among was a more popular game overall.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) vs Grand Theft Auto V (2013) which game was more popular?

When we think about some of the biggest video games to have her release within the 10’s decade titles such as Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim along with Grand Theft Auto V instantly comes to the minds of many people. Since they respective releases both games have sold millions worldwide and despite how old they are they are still enjoyable to this day. As far as sales are concerned its a know fact that Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has managed to reach at least 13 million units worldwide since its initial release for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Microsoft Windows back in November 2011. As an Action-RPG Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gave players the chance to adventure through large open world environments while developing their characters and providing them with seemingly endless customization options which added to the overall replay value of the game itself.

As popular as Elder Scrolls V is Grand Theft Auto V is without a doubt one of the best selling video games of all-time. It was announced early this year that the game has sold at least 90 million copies worldwide since its initial release in September 2013. Its not much of a surprise that GTA V ended becoming as popular as it currently is especially considering the fact that RockStar added an online mode which gave players so much to do aside from playing through the game’s main story and completing side quests along the way. While Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls V might arguably be the best Action-RPG of the 10’s decade Grand Theft Auto V is definitely more popular and successful as a video game in general.