Retro Gaming 90’s- WWF Warzone: (1998)

Back in the late 90’s WWF WarZone was considered to be one of the top wrestling games for the PS1 following its initial release during the summer of 1998. WWF Warzone was published by Acclaim Sports and developed by Iguana West for the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation; it outshined the likes of WCW Nitro which was also released in ‘98 for the PS1 and was considered to be very innovative in terms of gameplay for its time. Even though, WWF Warzone was released in ‘98 the roster for the game was a bit outdate since it heavily reflected that of ‘97; which ended up being one of the few minor issues that people had with the game itself. In general there were more positives than negatives with WWF Warzone because the game had introduced a variety of features that had never been seen in a wrestling title prior to ‘98. WWF Warzone was one of the first wrestling titles to include in-game features such as create-a-wrestler; something that people did not see inWCW games until ‘99 onwards. Also, the single-player Challenge mode which included cinematic cutscenes and wrestlers cutting revenge promos before grudge matches added life to the game itself. Players had the opportunity to win the European, Intercontinental along with the World title throughout Challenge Mode with the game increasing in difficulty over time.

There also a variety of different matches that players had the opportunity to choose from outside of Challenge Mode including Single, Versus, Cage, Hardcore, Tornado and Battle Royal. WWF Warzone presented players with at least sixteen different characters to choose from along including likes of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Undertaker, HHH, The Rock, Mankind and more; while each characters had their own character profiles and attributes that would uniquely distinguish them from one another. WWF Warzone was quite possibly the first wrestling game where characters had 3D entrances alongside their theme music which was a pretty cool feature to see on either the N64 or the PS1 back then. WWF Warzone has received praise from wrestling fans and critics alike following its initial ‘98 release; especially since the game came out during time where the company itself was arguably at its peak during the 90’s decade. There is no doubt the 1998 was a great time to be a fan of pro-wrestling and games like WWF Warzone were among the many reasons why. While the WWF Attitude game from 1999 was considered to be a more superior version of Its prequel in terms of game modes and roster depth Warzone is still regarded by many retro gamers as iconic.

Did the Final Fantasy series reach its peak in popularity between the late 90’s-mid 00’s?

The Final Fantasy series is considered to be legendary within the world of gaming and it been around since 1987. Despite, the Final Fantasy series being around since the late 00’s it seems like some of the best games within the entire series did not come until the mid 90’s-mid 00’s time period with the release of titles such as Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII , Final Fantasy IX, Final and Fantasy X-X2. While recent games such as Final Fantasy XIV from ‘16 along with Final Fantasy VII: Remake in 2020 being highly successful entries within the series it seems like games such as FFXIII parts 1 & 2 along with XIV did not standout as much between the late 00’s-early 10’s. Its not secret that turn-based RPG’s are not nearly as popular as they once were during the 16-bit era of the 90’s. Also, it seems like action role-playing games are more popular than traditional turn based RPG’s which is the type of gameplay that heavily contributed to the overall appeal of the Final Fantasy series back in the 90’s and early 00’s. The best selling Final Fantasy game ever made was obviously FFVII from ‘97 which sold close to 10 million copies following its release on the PS1.

As far as the PS2 era of gaming is concerned the best selling Final Fantasy game from the 00’s was FFX which reach at least 8.5 million units in sales following its initial release back in 2001. We also had Final Fantasy XII from ‘06 which reached at least 6 million sales ;which was followed by Final Fantasy X-2 from ‘03 which hit roughly over 5 million in sales. The storylines and the characters of the older Final Fantasy games seemed more appealing during a time where turn based RPG’s were increasing in popularity especially since 3D gaming in general was evolving between the mid 90’s-mid 00’s. To say that the Final Fantasy series has reached its peak in popularity is debatable. Many people feel that Square Enix still as more to offer fans of the series aside from high definition remakes of older games within the series. While Square Enix may never produce another Final Fantasy game that will have the level of popularity/success as the likes of FFVII/FFX they can always add more elements to future games within the series that keeps fans interested. Since Square Enix is arguably one of the greatest RPG video game developers of all-time it would not much of a surprise if they eventually develop new games that are popular as some of the older installments within the series during the 90’s and early 00’s.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Mega Man Legends: (1997)

Mega Man Legends was a game that stood out within the series back in the 90’s especially since it was the first 3D entry Capcom had ever made. For those who have been fans of the Mega Man series since ’87 they were surprised about Capcom’s idea of making a 3D installment; while others felt like the gameplay was too far removed from the look and feel of most the 2D entries from the late 80’s-early 90’s. It should also be noted that Mega Man Legends had a plot that was completely different from anything that was seen in MegaMan X or the MM main series. While Dr. Wily was generally the primary antagonist for the Mega Man main series Sigma was generally the key villain for the MMX games. Mega Man Legends was a game where the plot focused on searching for a power source known as Quantum Refractors through ancient ruins of the Earth. Mega Man Legends is definitely a spin-off game from the original series since the main character Mega Man Volnutt is basically spiritual successor of the original Mega Man; also Roll Caskett who was Volnutt’s girlfriend was a spin-off version of Roll from the main Mega Man series.

The gameplay for Mega Man Legends was very different from what fans were used to seeing within a MM game which was normally fast paced run n gun gameplay. In Mega Man Legends familiar elements of gameplay had returned such as being able to utilize the Blaster Gun to destroy various types of enemies. The inclusion of stats as it pertained to Volnutt’s Blaster Gun was interesting and gave players the option to increase certain attributes that would affect how much damage their attacks would cause. Players had the ability to increase stats that included Energy, Rapid, Range and Attack level after retrieving Buster Parts from exploring dungeons or visiting shops that sold them. In Mega Man Legends players could also gain access to special weapons as well but the only downside was that only one can be equipped at a time; it should be noted that players can only change special weapons is by talking to Roll Volnutt. The open world 3D gameplay was one that was different from what fans expected from Capcom in a Mega Man game but at the same time it was refreshing. Many people could not imagine how Capcom would be able to pull off a 3D Mega Man but Legends was actually pretty decent for a time period where basic 3D gaming was starting to become mainstream. Completing different missions in ancient ruins while battling pirates and interacting within non-playable characters gave Mega Man Legends its own identity; opposed to being a carbon copy of one of the previous installments within the 2D Mega Man series with added modifications. Despite, not being as popular as the likes of Mega Man II or Mega Man X there no doubt that Mega Man Legends was one of the best 3D installments within the entire series.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Marvel Super Heroes: (1995)

When we think about some of the most popular arcade games to come from the 90’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is the 2D fighting game developed and published by Capcom known as Marvel Super Heroes. For those who are unaware Marvel Super Heroes was released back in ’95 and was basically the arcade sequel to Capcom’s X-Men Children Of The Atom game from ’94. The gameplay & visuals presentation of Marvel Super Heroes were among the game’s strong points while including popular larger than life superhero & supervillain characters for players to choose from. Marvel Super Heroes included characters such as: Wolverine, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Psylocke, Spider-Man and others. It should also be noted that Thanos was the final boss and main antagonist for Marvel Super Heroes considering the fact that he wanted to utilize the Infinity Stones in order to take over the universe. The idea of using different stones such as: Time, Power, Space, Soul and Reality to battle opponents throughout the game was very intriguing. As far as gameplay was concerned many people would argue that the Sega Saturn port was more superior than the PS1 version of the game; the Sega Saturn port of Marvel Super Heroes came much closer to the arcade version of the game despite the console itself not being nearly as popular as the PS1.

The gameplay for Marvel Super Heroes is considered to be legendary by most gamers because it seeming pushed 2D fighting gameplay to its limit prior to the releases of X-Men vs Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom in arcade centers between ’96-’99. As a 2D head to head fighting game Marvel Super Heroes was very basic yet very impressive due to its art design and addictive gameplay which was a unique improvement from its spiritual successor X-Men: Children Of The Atom from ’94. Despite, the fact that Marvel Super Heroes was released about 25 years ago the game itself has aged very well and looks as fresh as it did back in 1995. Marvel Super Heroes was arguably one greatest CPS-2 video games of all-time and is a game that does not get talked about nearly as much as it should. As far as 2D fighting games are concerned it seemed like almost everything Capcom produced during the 90’s was special and had lasting appeal them; Marvel Super Heroes just so happen to be one of those timeless classics that the world got to see from the arcade era of gaming.

Was Revelations: Persona overlooked on the PS1 in ‘96-‘97?

As many might know by now the very first game from the Persona series began back in ’96 for the PS1. Since its release the very first Persona game was eventually ported to the PSP back in 2009. While the original Persona game received mainly good reviews in regards to its plot and setting its an RPG title from the 90’s that does not get talked about as much as it should. When it comes down to high profile RPG games from the mid to late 90’s games such as Square Enix’s FFVII & FFVIII comes to mind considering how successful both games were on the PS1. While FFVII went on to sell over 10 million copies on the 32-bit console FFVII reached close to 9 million in sales. Despite, Persona 1 being a solid RPG from the mid 90’s the game failed to reach at least one million in worldwide sales mostly due to stiff competition from other high profile games that appeared on the PS1. Also, the original Persona game pales in popularity to some of the later games within the series such as P4: Golden from 2012 and most recently Persona 5 from 2016.

In fact, many people would argue that some of Atlus best work in relation to the Persona series came from the 00’s & 10’s decade considering the fact that the series in general was more popular during that time period. While Revelations: Persona had a dark and intriguing plot the storyline was not quite as memorable as Persona 4 or 5. While the original Persona game was eventually ported as a Japanese exclusive for Microsoft Windows in ’99 the game was never released for any other game console other than PS1 & PSP since ’96. Since the PlayStation Vita is known for being one of the most unsuccessful game systems in recent memory it did not make too much sense for Atlus to not release Revelations: Persona for any console since ’09. If P4: Golden was released on the PS3 or even saved for the PS4 in 2013 it could have possibly sold more than it did. While Revelations: Persona is considered to be a sleeper hit in the eyes of many its mainly because the series in general became very popular during the late 00’s along with the 10’s decade. Despite, Revelations: Persona being a solid 3D JRPG for the PS1 it would be an understatement to say that the game was overlooked on the 32-bit console back in the 90’s in countries like America.

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.

Could Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night have worked on Dreamcast in ‘98?

When we think about some of the most popular action role-playing platforms titles of the 90’s Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night is one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind. Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night was initially released for the Sony PlayStation back in March 1997 and was eventually ported for the Sega Saturn in June 1998 but remained exclusively in Japan. As many people know the Sega Saturn was considered to be somewhat of a flop since it managed to sell less than 10 million units worldwide following its release back in 1995. The Sega Saturn was not quite as popular as Dreamcast was during its release in 1998; it makes you wonder why Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night was never ported for the Sega Dreamcast in 1998. Dreamcast was definitely more popular in America than the Sega Saturn was despite not being near as popular as the PS1 was during the mid to late 90’s. In theory, Castlevania: Symphony The Night could have stood out on the Sega Dreamcast in ’98 onwards especially since there were hardly any high profile JRPG’s on that console.

There may have been a few RPG titles such as Skies Of Arcadia, Shenmue, Time Stalkers, Grandia II and Phantasy Star Online that could have competed with Symphony Of The Night to some extent in terms of popularity. But the Castlevania series had since the 80’s and was a recognizable name even to casual gamers by the mid to late 90’s. Also, Castlevania: Symphony Of Night was probably the best game that Konami had produced during the 90’s and was even better than Super Castlevania IV for the SNES. As good as Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night was following its release in ’97 2D gaming was slowly starting to lose its popularity. By the late 90’s people were mainly into 3D action adventure, role playing and arcade fighter type of games. While Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night could have been a huge attraction on Sega Dreamcast more people most likely would have preferred the PS1 version of the game more.

Could Suikoden have worked on the SNES in ’95?

When we think about classic yet underrated 2D JRPG’s from the 90’s one of the few games that come to mind is the original Suikoden installment from 1995. As many people know the first two Suikoden games were released for the PS1 between ’95-’99. While the first Suikoden game may have been a solid JRPG for the PS1 it was definitely overshadowed by various other role-playing games such as Final Fantasy VII & Final Fantasy VIII; While Final Fantasy VII was the second best selling game for the PS1 not too many people remember or have even heard of the Suikoden series. Suikoden was an RPG that had an intriguing plot which involved uncovering corruption within the Scarlet Moon Empire among top officials while the main protagonist is starting his career within the group’s imperial army. The story, graphics and gameplay for Suikoden were definitely fitting for the SNES but Konami decided not to make it a reality due to the success of the PS1 throughout the second half of the 90’s.

While Suikoden may have been overshadowed on the PS1 the SNES also had its share of popular RPG’s during the early to mid 90’s as well. We got to see iconic 16-bit RPG’s like Chrono Trigger, Secret Of Mana, Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars, Final Fantasy VI and many others that could have competed or outshined Suikoden on the SNES. Also, by the time we got ’95 the Super NES was starting to lose its appeal since the console had bed around since 1990; people were becoming increasingly more interested in 3D gaming than the PS1 during the mid 90’s. If anything Suikoden feels like a game that was released a few years to late. If the original Suikoden game was released anytime between the ’90-’93 time period for the SNES the game definitely could have been a success for the 16-bit console.

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.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Suikoden: (1995)

When we talk about old school RPG’s which appeared on the PS1 that are considered to be classics from the 90’s there are many titles that comes to mind including the original Suikoden title. For those who do not know Suikoden was initially released in Japan in December ’95 before appearing in America a year in late ’96. The original Suikoden title eventually appeared on Sega Saturn in ’98 but remained as a Japanese exclusive since that console was not as popular as the PS1. Suikoden was arguably one of the best JRPG’s Konami has ever made in relation to the 90’s and this was a time period where the world saw many high profile 2D titles within the RPG genre. Square Enix had Final Fantasy IV-VI Sega had the Phantasy Star and the Shining series while Capcom had Breath Of Fire. Suikoden has well detailed 2D graphics and a compelling storyline that would easily capture the interest of players. The plot for the game revolves around the main character who is the son of a top general from the Scarlett Moon Empire name Teo McDohl. Throughout, the game players see the unnamed protagonist learn the truth about the Scarlett Moon Empire in relation to corruption among the top officials while starting their career within Imperial Army.

One of the main themes that Suikoden emphasizes is rebellion since the hero joins forces with other characters such as Viktor who was apart of an organization that are also against the corrupt Scarlett Moon Empire. After being enlisted within the Liberation Army by its leader Odessa Silverberg players can recruit over 100 different characters/warriors to support the hero’s cause in relation to combating the Scarlett Moon Empire. The gameplay follows a traditional RPG format in relation to battles where players can have up to six characters in a party during battles. The Runes magic system was unique especially since certain circumstances and conditions would determine what type attacks & spells players could utilize. The battle system in Suikoden was robust especially considering the fact that players could either engage in one on one duels versus war battles were the commands for each are different.

Some might argue that Suikoden was game that was ahead of its time and arguably better some 2D Final Fantasy games from the early 90’s despite not being quite as popular as FF VI-IV. If Suikoden was released for the Super NES back in ’95 some could argue that the game would stood out more than it did for the PS1. However, the Super NES was starting to get old in ’95 and more gamers from Japan and America started to become more interested in the 32-bit PS1 console since it was more superior in quality. Either way, Suikoden is still considered to be a legendary JRPG which has been around for approximately 24 years now and has spawned a series of direct sequels up until 2006.