Retro Gaming 00’s- Left 4 Dead 2: (2009)

When we think about memorable first person shooters from the late 00’s one of the few games that instantly comes to mind is Left 4 Dead 2. For those who do not know Left 4 Dead 2 was developed and published by Value Corporation and was released for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows back in 2009. The Left 4 Dead series began back in ’08 and the sequel that we got the following year in ’09 was arguably a better title than its predecessor. The plot for the game itself revolves around players trying to defend themselves against hordes and following zombies following the aftermath concerned a deadly pandemic. Left 4 Dead 2 including both single & multiplayer gameplay as players controlled survivors who could utilize melee attacks along with various weapons to stay alive. The replay value involving Left 4 Dead 2 was very high especially since the game included at least five different campaigns. Out of the five Campaigns included in Left 4 Dead 2 many would argue that Dark Carnival & Hard Rain were among the best that the game had to offer. The mini-games included in Dark Carnival along with the environmental obstacles included in Hard Rain seemingly stood out the most out of the five campaigns that were included in Left 4 Dead 2.

Ever since, its release Left 4 Dead 2 has been praised by critics and various gaming entities as being one of the best video games that Valve Corporation as ever made. Despite, the technical issues that players may of had with Left 4 Dead 2 regarding multiplayer online gameplay it was still a well polished first-person shooter game that rivaled the likes of Wolfenstein and Fallout 3 in terms of popularity. Left 4 Dead 2 was seemed every bit as good as its predecessor and managed to reach at least four million Cop in sales before the end of 2009. While Left 4 Dead 2 was enjoyable on the Xbox 360 it seemed more addictive to PC gamers during a time period were online gaming was starting to increase in popularity. In fact, the first person shooter and survival horror genres of gaming were beginning to become more mainstream as it related to 3D gaming between the late 00’s and the 10’s decade. Left 4 Dead 2 was huge attraction back in ’09 and its a game that would probably hold up well in year 2020 if it were remastered in high definition for a current generation console.

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- 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.