Retro Gaming 90’s- Mario Paint: (1992)

When we think about SNES games that were both very different and unique as relates to the early 90’s Mario Paint from 1992 is a title that instantly comes to mind. For those who do know Mario Paint was basically a single-player art tool game that allowed players to engage in a variety of activities. The creation of custom stamps by utilizing pixels was something special because was something that people hardly saw in Super NES titles back in the early 90’s let alone a Mario game. Also, the endless fly swatting game with three looping levels and a final boss was one that seemed like it did not belong in a Mario game at all. But considering the fact that Mario Paint was not your typical platform title the fly swatting mini-game made players feel as if they were playing a non-Mario game and was interesting in that respect. One of the main features that Mario Paint has to offer as far as gameplay was concerned was the the music generator. For those who were very creative and were fond of composing music in some way Mario Paint has provided talented individuals to make their own songs using 16-bit sounds.

The music generator feature in Mario Paint is one that has remained popular since the early 90’s and people have often used it within the 10’s decade to remake famous songs from the past couple of decades on the internet. As popular as Mario Paint was back in the early 90’s the game never received a direct sequel for Super Nintendo, N64 it GameCube which was something that was always questionable. Some people find it bizarre that Nintendo never created another art-tool based Mario game since ’92. In fact, following the release of Mario Paint during the Summer of ’92 the game was critically acclaimed and received praise from various publications. Mario Paint was unlike anything that the world had every seen on the Super NES and it was something that was never seen on consoles like the Sega Genesis which made it so special.

Retro Gaming 10’s- Lollipop Chainsaw: (2012)

When it comes down to older action based hack and slash games from the late 00’s-early 10’s titles such as Bayonetta, No More Heroes 2, Darksiders along with God Of War 3 comes to many people’s minds in relation to that particular genre. The titles just mentioned were all big attractions for older generation consoles between the late 00’s-early 10’s such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. Which the hack n slash genre of gaming was not as pop as first and third person shooters fans and critics alike were fond of certain games from that genre back in the day. One of the few action-based hack n slash games that came out back in the early 10’s that has been seeming forgotten since its release was Chainsaw Lollipop from June 2012. For those who many have missed it Chainsaw Lollipop was developed by Grasshopper Manufacture the same company that worked on the No More Heroes series since 2007. Also, Chainsaw Lollipop was published by worldwide Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment before while Kadokawa Games took that same role Japan. The storyline for Chainsaw Lollipop was interesting especially since it took elements science-fiction and mixed it with something that has been a recurring issue especially in American society in relation to grade school which is bullying. In this game players control the main protagonist who is a cheerleader from San Romero High School and a cheerleader/zombie hunter named Juliet Starling as she fights of hordes of undead creatures during a zombie apocalypse on her 18th birthday.

The plot is both bizarre and intriguing as players discover that one of the key antagonists of the game is a gothic outcast by the name of Swan. It turns out that Swan is the one behind the zombie apocalypse and its mainly due to how he has been mistreated and bullied by almost everyone at San Romero High School. Ironically, Juliet was not among any of the students who mistreated Swan and while he began to develop romantic feelings towards her she eventually found another love interest. While Juliet falls for a jock at San Romero High School School it drives Swan insane especially considering the fact that jocks were the biggest bullies of them all. These events lead Swan to use his expert knowledge of Necromancy perform a ritual to summon the “Zombie of Zombies” and the final boss in Chainsaw Lollipop known as Killabilly from the Rotten World. Throughout the game players had to destroy various enemies and bosses using Juliet Starling’s athletic abilities and along with her custom chainsaw.

Players encounter bosses with the likes of Zed, Mariska, Vikkie, Lewis Legend, Josey with Killabilly arguably being the toughest one of them all. The visuals for Lollipop Chainsaw looked very impressive mainly since the game utilized the Unreal Engine 3 for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360. The gameplay for Chainsaw Lollipop was pretty solid and there was a fair amount of creativity that went into its development. Players were allowed to earn gold & platinum medals by engaging in activities such rescuing classmates and destroying enemies. The medals collected could be used to unlock new moves and attires for Juliet Starling in addition to obtain artwork and music in relation to the game itself. The health bar meter players are given can be replenished by collecting lollipops throughout the game. Also, Nick who Juliet saves from becoming a zombie by cutting of his head and using a magic ritual on him to maintain his life had health bar as well.

The plot for Chainsaw Lollipop took a interesting twist when Juliet learned that the zombie overlords that she battled were all allowed to perish so Killabilly could make his return to earth. Along with the comic-book like art style and the gameplay mechanics included in Chainsaw Lollipop the storytelling aspect of the game was surprisingly interesting. While the Chainsaw Lollipop mainly received a mixed reception from critics it was still a pretty fun action based hack n slash title. While the presentation of Chainsaw Lollipop can easily draw the attention of casual gamers who are huge fans of the hack n slash genre some would argue that minor improvements to the gameplay could have made. However, since Lollipop Chainsaw came out during a time period where 3D action hack n slash games were popular and never officially developed into a series it’s considered to be a memorable gem for the PS3 & Xbox 360 from the early 10’s.

Retro Gaming 10’s- New Super Mario Bros U: (2012)

When it comes down to the Nintendo Wii-U there is no secret that the console itself was considered to be a flop in comparison to rival consoles such as the PlayStation, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. A lot of people blame the Wii-U’s lack of success on the prices for the console itself along with its accessories but that is debatable. Despite, not being as successful as preceding consoles such as the Wii, GameCube, SNES or the NES one of the few games that was a huge attraction on the Wii-U during the early 10’s was New Super Mario Bros U which was initially released in November 2012. The cool thing about New Super Mario Bros U is the fact that it’s very similar to older installments of the series where players have to reach the flag at the end of each stage while traveling through various worlds. However, New Super Mario Bros U included 3D graphics opposed to 2D and allowed up to five players simultaneously which was one of the defining features of the game itself. Players were also given the option of using the Wii Remote or the Game Pad in terms of how they wanted to play New Super Mario Bros U which was another intriguing feature. The inclusion of a new villain named Nabbit who is known to be a power up thief was something that was also interesting especially since Nintendo usually recycled the same foes that have been popular in the series during the 80’s and 90’s and it was nice to see something new. Aside from the damsel in distress formula that we normally get in Mario games the co-op 2D multiplayer mode was something that really stood out in New Super Mario Bros U shout have been done a lot sooner than it was.

As far as sales are concerned New Super Mario Bros U managed to reach over 5.7 million copies worldwide. In fact New Super Mario Bros U ended up becoming third best selling game for the Wii-U behind Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World. New Super Mario Bros U was so popular that it was eventually ported and released for the Nintendo Switch in January 2019. There were various aspects about New Super Mario Bros U that fans and critics had praised from its level design and multiplayer gameplay all the way down to the storyline and has become one of the more memorable installments of the Mario series in relation to the 10’s decade.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Streets Of Rage: (1991)

As far as beat em up classics from the 90’s are concerned one of the most popular titles that we got to see back in the day was the Streets Of Rage from 1991. The original Streets Of Rage game was developed and published by Sega and was one that competed with Nintendo’s Final Fight series back in the early 90’s. As far as quality and overall lasting appeal is concerned many people would argue that it was not quite as popular as its ’92 successor Streets Of Rage II. Unlike, sequel the original Streets Of Rage game had 8-bit like graphics that looked that looked inferior but nonetheless had a basic but interesting storyline. Players have the option of choosing three ex-police officers Adam, Blaze Fielding and Axel Stone in order to combat chaos in a unnamed city taken over by criminal syndicate lead by Mr. X. One of the most memorable aspects that Sega presented in Streets Of Rage was its soundtrack which was produced by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro. There were songs such as Fighting In The Street, Moon Beach, Violent Breathing that were included in certain stages and added life to the game itself and are still somewhat popular to this day.

Also, the fact that Street Of Rage had included multiple endings was something that added to the game’s overall replay value. The original Streets Of Rage game gave players the option of defeating Mr. X towards the end versus having both players fight against each other within its co-op mode. If the player who joins Mr. X defeats the one who does not they get the bad ending. The player who refused to join the crime syndicate had to defeat the disloyal protagonist along with Mr. X in the end thus making the good ending even more difficult to achieve. In fact, as players progress towards the end of the game each became increasingly more difficult which made Streets Of Rage a more exciting beat em up title altogether. As far as Mega Drive classics are concerned Streets Of Rage is a title that within the top ten of many people’s list in relation to 16-bit games from the early 90’s.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door: (2004)

As far as memorable titles for the Nintendo GameCube are concerned one of the many titles that instantly comes to mind is Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door which was released back in 2004. As an RPG title Thousand Year Door was much better than its N64 predecessor Paper Mario which came out back in 2000. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door had a very interesting plot along with the introduction of a new main villain known as Sir Grodus who was considered to be the leader of the Society Of X-Nauts. The Thousand Year Door also see players so battle with another new villain known as the Shadow Queen who eventually possesses Princess Peach while searching for the Crystal Stars throughout the game as as Mario. The main setting for this title takes place in a fictional city known as Rougeport where players are expected to interact with non-playable characters such as Professor Frankly and Goombella in order to progress throughout the game. As far as the storyline for The Thousand Year Door is concerned there was some interesting plot twists in the game such as the Shadow Queen’s treachery towards Sir Grodus which is something many people probably did not expect.

As far as popularity is concerned The Thousand Year Door was arguably the most memorable title within the entire Paper Mario series. Since its release Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door had reached over 2.2 million copies in sales. In fact: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door was the ninth best selling title on the Nintendo GameCube and was arguably the best RPG Mario title that we got to see during the 00’s decade. The Thousand Year Door sold more than its 2000 predecessor and its a game that many people would love to see ported for the Nintendo Switch especially since we do not have a major Mario RPG title on the hybrid console right now. While Super Paper Mario from 2007 had a similar level of success in relation to sales on the Wii console The Thousand Year Door is a title that seems to stand out more to those who are huge fans of the Mario RPG series in general.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Jet Force Gemini: (1999)

When we think about classic video games that appeared on the Nintendo 64 between the mid to late 90’s various titles come to mind such as Mario Kart 64, Super Mario 64, Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and many others. However, titles such as Jet Force Gemini which many retro gamers were fans back in the day does not get talked about as much. For those who do not know Jet Force Gemini was developed and published by Rare and initially released in America during October 11th of 1999. When it comes down to action-adventure their person shooter games Jet Force Gemini was ahead of its time especially since that genre did not achieve mainstream popularity until around the mid to late 00’s . Jet Force Gemini had a decent story that involved trying to defeat the main antagonist Mizar and his group of drones as they have enslaved a race of people known as Tribals. The visuals for Jet Force Gemini was probably among the best that we had seen in any N64 game during the 90’s.

As far as top-tier shooter games for the N64 is concerned some would put Jet Force Gemini on the same level as GoldenEye 007 from 1997. However, GoldenEye 007 sold at least eight million copies worldwide in the Nintendo 64 while Jet Force Gemini managed to reach over one million. Despite, not being within the top ten in relation to best selling games for the N64 it was a game that deserved some type sequel either on GameCube or Nintendo Wii during the 2000’s. Either way, Jet Force Gemini will always be remembered as a classic by retro gamers in relation to the Nintendo 64.

Retro Gaming 90’s- MegaMan 8: (1996)

As far as old-school games within the Mega Man series is concerned many people think about the series of titles that were released for the NES back in the 80’s and early 90’s. In fact many people like to point out the Mega Man X series that began in 1993. While the Mega Man X series was generally popular throughout a majority of the 90’s titles such as MM 7 & 8 have generally been overlooked despite being decent 2D run n gun titles. In fact, many people do not know that Mega Man was not only released on the PS1 during the mid 90’s but it also appeared on the Sega Saturn as well in 1997. Mega Man 8 was originally released for the PS1 in Japan in ’96 before appearing in America during ’97. The plot for Mega Man 8 was pretty basic and involved the player trying to thwart Dr. Willy’s plans which involved using a foreign energy source from a mysterious meteor crash for his own diabolical purpose.

As good as Mega Man 8 looked in terms of visuals the game was not nearly as popular as some of the prequels which came out in the 80’s- early 90’s. Also, the fact that 3D gaming was starting to become more popular on consoles such as the PS1, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64 and the Sega Dreamcast made a lot of people lose interest in 2D gaming in general during the mid to late 90’s. While Mega Man 8 generally received positive reviews since its release the game is rarely ever talked about and has been seen in a similar light as Mega Man 7 in terms of being generic. As far as visuals are concerned Mega Man 8 was one of the best within the series despite not being the most popular game in general.