JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures: All-Star Battle (2013)

When it comes down to unique fighting games that were released during the first half of the 10’s decade titles such as Dead Or Alive 5, Soul Calibur V, Mortal Kombat 9, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Killer Instinct are all games that instantly comes to mind. The games just mentioned receiving a decent amount of mainstream prior to their respective releases; but unique fighting games such as JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures: All Star Battle from 2013 does not get talked about as much as it should. As many people know the JoJo manga series has been around since 1987 and includes eight different story arcs from its time being apart of the Weekly Shonen Jump until ’04; along with its inclusion in the Ultra Jump seinen manga from ’05 onwards. JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure saw its first major video game back in ’98 when it released on the CPS-3 arcade system in Japan & America prior to being ported for the PS1 along with Dreamcast during Q4 of 1999. Unlike, the All-Star Battle game from 2013 the original JoJo game was developed by Capcom and received mainly mixed reviews from various gaming publications. The JoJo game from ’13 was developed by CyberConnect2 the same company that worked on tge Naruto Shippuden titles and published by Namco Bandi Games.

One of the reasons why the All-Star Battle game was such a big deal was because it was released shortly after a new anime series had emerged in 2012. The animated series was one of got long time fans hyped for a new game which many people were genuinely impressed by following its initial during August 2013. The comic book like visuals for JoJo’s All-Star Battle were beautiful and the story mode for the game highly praised by critics; the game covered eight different story arcs while giving players the opportunity to re-enact various scenes within the manga as the main protagonists. Players also had the opportunity to go through the game’s story as the antagonists in Another Battle mode which added a layer intrigue to JoJo’s All-Star Battle; in addition to the Secret Missions included within certain Scenarios of the Story Mode. Alongside, the story mode JoJo’s All-Star Battle includes a offline Versus Mode along with a online campaign mode where players could earn Customize Medals to alter the appearances unlockable characters. The battle aspect of JoJo’s All-Star Battle was pretty solid since the game included five different fighting styles and players had access to certain ones depending on which character they chose. The inclusion of a Guard Gauge alongside the Heart Heat Gauge added depth to the combat system in JoJo’s All-Star Battle along player’s having the ability to utilize Flash Cancels and Rush Attacks. The stages in JoJo’s All-Star Battle included locations that were present within the manga series from Part 1 Phantom Blood all the way down to Part 8 JoJolion. It should noted JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures: All-Star Battle was a PS3 exclusive which exceeded the expectations of many people sales; since the game managed to reach half a million in pre-orders prior to its release worldwide release outside of Japan in late April 2014. As a fighting game JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures is considered to be underrated by some and was a game that deserved more credit than it actually got back in 2014.

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.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (2013)

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 was one of the most high profile fighting games of the early 10’s along the likes of Super Street Fighter IV, Soul Calibur V, Persona 4: Arena and Mortal Kombat IX. In fact, many people in general would argue that the Naruto Shippuden series in general was very popular during the first half of the 10’s decade especially the English dub of the anime began airing in America since ’09 and has been running on Cartoon Network ever since. Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 was considered to be the fourth installment within its series and was developed by CyberConnect2 and published Namco Bandi Games. The story for Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 revolved around the conflict between all of the ninja villages and the Akatsuki with Madara Uchiha & Sasuke Uchiha serving as two of the main antagonists. The death match between Naruto & Sasuke was something that American fans of the series have been waiting to see since their first encounter prior to the start of Shippūden series. The fourth ninja world war saw the involvement of the Five Kages as they eventually confronted Madara Uchiha. Also, players learn about Sasuke’s decision to become apart of the fourth ninja after joining his brother Itachi Uchiha; who was reanimated after death following their battle earlier on within the series.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Storm 3 was ported for multiple game systems such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows following its units release and looked like a very fun fighting game. The optimal quality of the visuals along with the amazing the cinematic cutscenes added life to Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. The game featured at least 80 different characters where players can choose two different assistants each with their own health bar to aid them during battle. A strong positive in relation to the gameplay of Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 included the addition of Awakening Mode along with the modification of the item system which was helpful in combat. The hack n slash gameplay during mob battles was also a unique feature which contributed to the overall fun factor of Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. Even though, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 3 was great fighting game from the early 10’s the game did not have the type of success that titles such as Mortal Kombat IX or Super Street Fighter IV did on a mainstream level following their initial releases. However, it should noted that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 reached over one million copies in sales worldwide sales; despite not being quite as popular as the original game within the trilogy which came out in 2008.

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.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Rayman: Origins: (2011)

When some think about some of the most underrated platform titles from the early 10’s one of the few non-Mario that people instantly think about is Rayman: Origins from 2011. Rayman: Origins was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft and was 2D platforms which appeared on multiple consoles between late-2011 and 2012. Rayman: Origins appeared on game systems such the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Windows. The reason why Rayman: Origins was such a big deal following its release was mainly because it was the first major game within the series that the world got to see since Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc from 2003. One of the few things that both critics and fans liked about Rayman: Origins was the fact that 3D gameplay was ditched while seeing series return to its 2D platforming roots. Rayman: Origins not only had basic but compelling story the visuals for the game was very impressive. It should be noted that Rayman: Origins was developed using a slightly new game engine at the time known as UbiArt Framework which was created back in 2010. Despite, being the first major entry within its series since ’03 Rayman: Origins has reportedly fell under sales expectations despite being praised as a solid 2D platformer.

Even though, Rayman: Origins is considered to be among the best platform games within its series and quite possibly ’11 in general it many not be considered the best Rayman of all-time. In fact, some might argue that aside from the first two Rayman games from ’95-’99 the two games Rayman: Legends & Rayman: Fiesta Run from 2013 were two of the best titles that series had produced in within the past 25 years of its existence depending on who you ask. While Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc received fairly decent reviews following its release it did not seem quite as popular as the two PS1 games from the ’90s or the titles we got to see between the ’11-’13 time period.

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.