Retro Gaming 10’s- Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)

When we think about high profile video games from the early part of the 10’s decade that many people were impressed by Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a game that was developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix and was initially released back in August 2011 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. Deus Ex: Human Revolution had appeared on Mac OS X the following year in April 2012 before it was ported to the Wii-U in October 2013. This was a single-player multi-genre game that included role-playing, stealth and first person shooter gameplay while being set in the not to distant future of 2027. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a science-fiction game that was intriguing because it focused on the growth of mega corporations at the expense of society. In addition, the idea trans-humanism was also emphasized as players controlled the main protagonist and ex-SWAT officer Adam Jensen in a futuristic cyberpunk world. The plot saw Adam who worked for a high advanced biotechnology company known as Sarif Industries become critically injured towards the beginning of the game. Players learn that Sarif Industries was attacked by a terrorist organization and the CEO of the company David Sarif ends up using an advanced augmentation procedure in order to save Jensen’s life.

Throughout the game players learn how the augmentation of humans not only lead to the rise of power of mega-corporations in the world but how society became divided as a result. While there were those who believed that augmentation is progressive to humanity in general others felt that the process was immoral. Individuals who subjected themselves to augmentation were viewed as the upper class of society while the rebels and those who lived in poverty had been viewed as the lower class. For those who were augmented due to the advancement of biotechnology and cybernetics they were required to take an immuno-expensive drug known as Neuropozyne; the drug was designed to prevent the human body from rejecting technology and was very expensive along with being scarce. There many who believed that the conflicts created by the augmentation controversy were conspiracies created by secret societies in a attempt purposely cause division in society. As players progress throughout Deus Ex: Human Revolution they see that the game takes many unexpected twists and turns as they got closer to completion.

Startling yet distributing revelations come light throughout the story as players delve deeper into discovering the dark truth about human augmentation as Adam Jensen. Its revealed that the creator of the biochips Hugh Darrow wanted humans to ditch augmentation technology after realizing that it drives people into madness. The gameplay for Deus Ex: Revolution was quite impressive especially since it vacillated from players shooting through multiple enemies to using stealth like approaches to combat foes similar to anything you would see in a Metal Gear Solid game . The upgrade system in regards to the Adam’s abilities required various Praxis Kits for his augmentations which all included different types of modifications. Changes to Adam’s augmentation can significantly affect his defense, strength and energy level consumption throughout the game. The interactions with non-playable characters also felt realistic as it pertained to the main story or side quests since the choices players made in relation to the dialogue yielded consequences that would affect what action they would take next. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was praised by both fans and critics and spawned a successful sequel entitled Deus Ex: Mankind Divided for consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows in 2016. Shockingly, Deus Ex: Human Revolution was never remastered in high definition for the PS4 since its release but its still arguably the best installment within its series behind the original game from 2000 depending on who you ask.

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 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- Prince Of Persia: (2008)

When we think about big action adventure games from the late 00’s there are various titles that instantly come to mind such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Assassin’s Creed II, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots and others that are all considered to be classics. While the games just mentioned were all high profile titles during the late 00’s time period there were also others from the action-adventure that were almost as memorable. An example would be the Prince Of Persia game developed and published by Ubisoft which came out back in 2008. Prince of Persia was released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows in December 2008 and was a game that was mainly well received by both critics and fans alike. The story for the Prince Of Persia was very intriguing especially considering how the setting for the game revolves around divine concepts such as ancient gods along with the belief of Zoroastrianism. In this game players controls a nameless Wanderer called “Prince” after learning about the imprisonment of a dark god named Ahriman by Ormazd who is a god of light in the center of the city-state known as Persia.

It turns out that Ahriman was responsible for spreading corruption along conquering various countries around the world prior to a cosmic battle with Ormazd who was revealed to be his brother. Towards the beginning of the Prince Of Persia players soon discover that Elika and Mourning King are key characters within the game after they arrive in a forbidden mystical land sustained by the Tree of Life. Elika travels alongside Prince during his journey to heal the fertile grounds throughout the game he eventually learns some dark secrets regarding her past. It was revealed that Elika’s mother and the Mourning King’s wife had died shortly before she did herself. Unable to deal with the agony of losing his wife and daughter Mourning King had struck a deal with Ahriman. Mourning King had promised to free Ahriman from imprisonment in exchange for Elika’s resurrection which is exactly what had happened. After cleansing fertile lands sustained by the Tree Of Life both Prince and Elika proceed to purify a temple where they are opposed by the corrupted King and Ahriman. After both Mourning King and Ahriman are defeated Elika successfully manages to heal the Tree Of Life then sacrifices herself in order to seal the dark god away permanently. However, while Elika was alive Prince had grown attached to her leading him to undo the progress they made together by cutting the trees in the desert along with the Tree Of Life to bring her back to life. In the process the main antagonist and god of darkness Ahriman returns to life as well leaving players with a cliffhanger ending.

Even though, the plot for The Prince Of Persia seemed basic and lacked depth it was still very interesting and had pretty cool gameplay. Players had to complete their quest as Prince using aerobics, combat and puzzle solving solving skills as they traversed throughout various Persian areas within the game. Also, Elika’s magical abilities are very useful to Prince in this game because they can be used to keep him from dying and there is no limit on how many times she can do it. The open-world environment in Prince Of Persia looked magnificent thanks to the Anvil game engine which has been used a majority of Assassin’s Creed games since 2007. Since its release Prince Of Persia had managed to sell roughly around 2.2 million copies worldwide within two months. Ever since its release Prince Of Persia has been among the few action-adventure titles from ’08 that some gamers are still quite fond to this day. Despite, its level of success the game has not been remade or remastered for the PS4 or Xbox One since late-2008 and its something many people probably would not mind seton the near future.

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.