Retro Gaming 90’s- Duke Nukem 3D: (1996)

When it comes down to popular first person shooter games from the 90’s one of the few titles that people think aside from Doom ’93 and GoldenEye 007 is Duke Nukem 3D from 1996. As many people already know the Duke Nukem series began back in ’91 on MS-DOS and was followed by a sequel entitled Duke Nukem II released in ’93. The first two Duke Nukem games ended up becoming solid first person shooter titles in a era of gaming were the genre itself was not too popular. Following the release of Duke Nukem II we got Duke Nukem 3D created by video game developer 3D Realms. Duke Nukem 3D had multiple publishers since it was released on various game consoles such as MacSoft, GT Interactive Software, Piko Interactive and others depending on system it was ported to. The initial publisher for Duke Nukem 3D was MacSoft when it first appeared on the MS-DOS during ’96 and was a game that was critically acclaimed by many fans of the series. In Duke Nukem 3D players were responsible for destroying various types of enemies such as aliens & mutants while having access to a variety of weapons.

The type of weapons that players could acquire included pipe bombs, landmines, shotguns, pistols and even shrink rays while plowing through enemies in consecutive non-linear levels; each with ending with boss battles at the end of each episode. Similar to the Doom game from ’93 Duke Nukem 3D consisted of episodes that contained a set of levels such as: LA Meltdown, Lunar Apocalypse and Shrapnel City; for those who had access to the Atomic version of Duke Nukem 3D they could also The Birth episode as well. Aside from the gameplay one of the aspects of Duke Nukem 3D that people found intriguing was how the setting of the game was constantly changing. Players had travel to many places such as: space stations, military bases, cities and deserts to complete their missions while appreciating how some of the in-game level designs reflected real-life locations within the world. In addition, to having a variety of weapons to choose from players also had numerous accessories they could utilize that would help them complete each level with ease. Accessories featured in Duke Nukem 3D included jet packs, steroids, portable medkits, night vision goggles and even scuba gear in order to breathe underwater. In terms of quality Duke Nukem 3D was arguably a better game than Doom ’93 but not necessarily more popular.

Similar to the Doom game from ’93 Duke Nukem 3D had a basic plot that involved saving the earth. However, opposed to fighting off demons from the underworld players had to deal hordes homicidal aliens which made for a great science-fictional first person shooter game. Since its initial release on MS-DOS during the mid 90’s Duke Nukem 3D has appeared on various game console including the PS1, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Xbox 360 along with Android Mobile devices which is a testament to how popular the was. While its debatable on which version of Duke Nukem 3D was the best everyone can definitely agree that it was one of the few first shooters games from the 90’s that helped put the genre itself on the map going into the 00’s decade.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Suikoden II: (1998)

As far as older RPG titles from the late 90’s are concerned there are various titles that instantly comes to mind to many people who were gamers during that time period. Final Fantasy VII & Final Fantasy VIII which were released between ’97-’99 by Square Enix were classics that arguably overshadowed just every other RPG that appeared on the original PlayStation console back then. While the two Final Fantasy titles that we got to see in the late 90’s were best-sellers for the PS1 game system there were also some memorable gems that were overshadowed on that console as well. There were titles such as Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Star Ocean: The Second Story, Grandia and others that were all concerned to be memorable classics that were critically acclaimed. In addition, to those games Suikoden II was also considered to be top tier RPG from the late 90’s despite its sales. As far as quality was concerned Suikoden II had optimal quality in relation to 2D graphics which ironically may have affected the game’s overall sales following its initial Japanese release in December 1998. When it came down to PS1 games in relation to the mid to late 90’s more people were interested in 3D graphics while 2D gaming was seen as obsolete between ’97-’99.

However, Suikoden II was still a worth successor to its ’95 predecessor which was also developed and published by Konami and released during during that later part of that year. Not only does the plot for Suikoden II follow the events from the first game but also places emphasis on the continuous war between two nations known as Jowston and the Kingdom Of Highland despite the mutual peace agreement between both sides. The main antagonist Prince Luca who obsessed with destroying Jowston orchestrates a massacre on the city-state before him and his force return home with the main protagonist known as Riou and his ally Jowy escaping in the process. After being condemned by Highland for their treachery they both find themselves with two halves of the Rune Of The Beginning which bounds by Riou and Jowy together.

As players progress throughout the game as Riou they eventually are betrayed by Jowey who becomes a top official within the Kingdom Of Highland. While many players may have been upset with Jowy’s betray it made the story somewhat more interesting than the one from the original Suikoden game. In fact, many people agree that Suikoden II is quite possibly the best installment within the series despite the fact that it was released during a time where the popularity 2D RPG’s had briefly declined. If the Suikoden series had started sometime between ’90-’91 opposed to 1995 and it appeared on the Super NES it could have easily been way more popular than it was by the time released in America. Suikoden II was without a doubt one of the best JRPG games that Konami had produced during the 90’s. Sometimes its hard to believe that Suikoden II is over 20 years old; while are expecting a new installment within the series retro gamers would probably prefer seeing this RPG classic ported to current generation game console.

Would Sony have been better off making HD versions of PS1 Classic games instead?

As many people know the PS1 Classic was released back on December 12th with at least 20 exciting classics such as Tekken 3, Twisted Metal, Metal Gear Solid and others. While it was cool to get a re-release of the 32-bit game system with at least 20 pre-loaded games it received mixed to negative reviews since it came out which does not come off as too much of a surprise. In this day and age many place emphasis on visuals in relation to gaming which especially been true during this generation with consoles such as the PlsyStation 4 and the Xbox One. While high quality 3D visuals that utilizes powerful game engines such as Unreal are attractive today the basic beta-like 3D gameplay for the PS1 Classic looks highly outdated because it is.

In fact, a set of disks that included HD versions of each game that was included on the PS1 Classic may have been a better alternative than re-releasing a retro based console with 20 pre-loaded games from the mid to late 90’s that were inferior in quality compared to what we have now. Overall, the PS1 Classic may not have lived up to everyone’s expectations but its nice that Sony gave us something in relation to 90’s nostalgia.

Would Chrono Cross have been a huge attraction on the PS1 Classic?

When we think about huge games that could have been big on PS1 Classic titles such as Chrono Trigger and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are games that instantly comes to mind. Its very puzzling why such games were never included on the PS1 Classic especially considering how popular they were during the mid 90’s. In fact, games such as Chrono Cross which is considered to be a highly underrated RPG from 1999 would have been a better choice for the PS1 Classic that some of the titles that we got such as Cool Boarders 2. For those who do not know Chrono Cross is was the direct sequel of the Chrono Cross game which was initially released for the SNES back in ’95.

Despite, receiving positive from critics following its release the Chrono series had declined in popularity by the ’98-’99 time period. Chrono Cross did not sell too well at all and many people in countries like America never got a chance to play it. While Chrono Cross may not have been a huge attraction on PS1 Classic such as the likes of Tekken 3 and Final Fantasy VII it would have definitely of been nice to see an underrated RPG gem like Chrono Cross on the retro based 32-bit console.

Should Chrono Trigger have been included on the PS1 Classic?

As many people know the price of the PS1 Classic has dropped on Amazon from $99 to $75. While some people have no problem with the price drop whatsoever other believe that the value of the PS1 Classic has decline very weekly especially since its been out for about a week now. While the PS1 Classic does include favorites such as Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3, Ridge Racer Type 4, Metal Gear Solid and Twisted Metal there were definitely other titles that retro gamers were looking forward to seeing on the mini 32-bit game system. While the SNES Classic did not include Chrono Trigger it would have bedeviled the perfect opportunity for Sony to have the game on the PS1 Classic.

Chrono Trigger was considered to be one of the best 16-bit RPG’s of the 90’s and would have definitely of been more of an attraction on the PS1 Classic than games like Cool Boarders 2 or Battle Arena Toshinden. The reason why Chrono Trigger was never included on the PS1 Classic or even the SNES will apparently remain a mystery but the game definitely should have been re-release for one of those retro based systems.

Ridge Racer (1993) vs Gran Turismo (1997) which racing title was more popular?

When it comes down to legendary racing titles from the 90’s two very big titles that instantly comes to mind are Ridge Racer along with Gran Turismo. While both games were very popular on the PS1 it seemed like Ridge Racer was a bigger game following its arcade release which made many people want to purchase it for the 32-bit game system. Despite, how great the quality for Ridge Racer was back in the early 90’s there is no question that Gran Turismo was a better game overall. Not only did Gran Turismo have a greater role in revolutionizing the racing genre of gaming but also managed to be the best selling title on the PS1.

Since its release Gran Turismo managed to sell over 10 million copies worldwide becoming the best selling game on the PS1 during 90’s. The inclusion of 140 different cars along with an arcade and simulation mode made the original Gran Turismo game very interesting even more so than Ridge Racer. Also, Gran Turismo games in general seem to attract more mainstream attention than Ridge Racer and with out the original title from ’97 the landscape of the racing genre could have been completely different from what it was during the 00’s and what we have to today.

Will the PS1 Classic sell over one million units before 2019?

As many people know the PS1 Classic is set to appear in retail in December 2018 and many people are very excited about it. Games such as Final Fantasy VII, Spyro the Dragon and many others are set to appear on the PS1 Classic and the has bee questions concerning how well the retro based game console will do in sales going into next year. As many people know the original PS1 game system managed to sell over 101 million units worldwide which is a testament to how popular it was back in the 90’s. While the PS1 Classic might not sell even a quarter of what the original PS1 console did following its release in ’94 its expected that it will sell at least 2 million units worldwide especially since we are close to the holiday season.

The sales for many games and consoles are expected to skyrocket as we get closer to 2019. Also, it was recently revealed that Nintendo has no plans on releasing a B64 Classic in the near future so as s retro based mini console the PS1 Classic is likely to have any competition. It will be interesting to see how successful the PS1 Classic becomes following its release in December.

Could Rival Schools: United by Fate have been more successful on Dreamcast?

When it comes down to underrated fighting games for the PS1 back in the 90’s there is no question that Rival Schools: United By Fate is one that is on top of the list of many retro gamers who grew up during that decade. As innovative as Rival Schools: United By Fate was for the PS1 the game was overshadowed by various 3D titles that were released between ’96-’99 such as Tekken 3, Mortal Kombat 4, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha and others. Some would argue that Rival Schools: United By Fate could have stood out more on the Sega Dreamcast especially since Soul Calibur was only major 3D fighting title on that console during the late 90’s.

But as we all know the PS1 was a more popular game console than Sega Dreamcast was during the late 90’s and Capcom was clearly more interested in making more titles for Sony’s 32-bit console back in the day. In theory, Rival Schools: United By Fate could have definitely stood out more on the Sega Dreamcast but it’s hard to say whether or not it could have stood out or even sold more than it did on the PS1.

Should Dance Dance Revolution have been ported to Dreamcast back in 1998-1999?

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the first ever Dance Dance Revolution game was released 20 years ago in arcade centers worldwide. Ever since the release of the first ever Dance Dance Revolution game back in ’98 it was only ported for the PS1 during the late 90’s. Its no secret that Konami made the decision to bring Dance Dance Dance Revolution to the PS1 due to how popular the console was worldwide during the time. However, in terms of quality the Sega Dreamcast was without a doubt a more superior game console than the PS1 was back in the late 90’s. In fact, it’s questionable why Konami never brought the original DDR title to Dreamcast between the ’98-’99 time period.

There is no doubt that Dance Dance Revolution would have stood out more on the Sega Dreamcast than the PS1. Back then the PS1 had games such as Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, Gran Turismo, Tekken 3 and others that definitely overshadowed Dance Danxe Revolution back in the late 90’s. Aside from Sonic Adventure, Shenmue, Crazy Taxi a game like DDR could have easily stood out more on the 128-bit console between ’98-’99.

Should the Legend of Mana receive an HD Remake in 2019?

As some people might already know July 2019 will mark the 20 year anniversary of the Legend of Mana game developed by Square Enix and released for the PS1. Despite, receiving good reviews by fans and critics the Legend of Mana does not get talked about as much as others games in the series such as Secret of Mana or Seiken Densetsu 3 which were both popular during the early 90’s. As far as visuals and graphics are concerned Legend of Mana was possiblY the best 2D RPG title to have appeared on the PS1 during the 90’s. Seeing, that the Mana series has not been talked about for quite sometime now there are many people who wonder whether or not Square Enix will remake or re-release Legend of Mana for a current generation console next year.

A remake for the Legend of Mana would be perfect for the Nintendo Switch or even the PlayStation 4 if Square Enix does decide to re-release the game in the future. The Mana series has been around for almost three decades and it would be nice to see Square Enix do something special for some of the older games in the series for their respective anniversaries.