Retro Gaming 00’s- Kirby & the Amazing Mirror: (2004)

When we think about memorable games that appeared on Game Boy Advance back in the 00’s Kirby & the Amazing Mirror is one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind. Kirby & the Amazing Mirror was released back in ’04 and was both a platformer and metroidvania game. The game has a rather interesting plot that involved the Mirror World which was located in sky within a place known as Dream Land. Players learn that they must rescue Meta Knight following his loss to Dark Meta who sliced Kirby up into four different beings. Dark Meta had also sliced up the Mirror that Meta Knight was locked to eight different pieces. After the mirrors are scattered players had to search for them while controlling Kirby. Along with battling sub-bosses, venturing through different world and solving puzzles players can gather items to enhance their in-game performance. In addition, to robust gameplay players have three mini-games they can enjoy known as “Kirby’s Wave Ride, Speed Eaters and Creative Hack which all contributes to the overall replay value Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. The visuals for Kirby & the Amazing Mirror is stunning has a great look to it.

One of the reasons why Kirby & the Amazing Mirror was a pretty cool game because the plot found a healthy balance between between being both dark and kid-friendly. As good as this adventurous platformer was it was seemingly overshadowed on the Game Boy Advance especially with games like Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire and Super Mario Advance 4 being huge attractions on the handheld game system. A game like Kirby & the Amazing Mirror really could have stood out on the SNES back in the early to mid 90’s and is one that can be considered an underrated gem for Game Boy Advance.

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 90’s- MegaMan & Bass: (1998)

When it comes down to underrated games within the MegaMan series one of the few titles that comes to mind is MegaMan & Bass from the late 90’s. For those who do not know MegaMan & Bass was initially released for the Super Nintendo a Entertainment System back in April 1998 as Japanese exclusive. MegaMan & Bass did not come to America until August 2002 when it was ported for the Game Boy Advance. The interesting thing about MegaMan & Bass water fact that the game could have been very popular in America if it were released for the SNES anytime between the ’94-’96. Also, MegaMan & Bass saw the introduction of a new villain by the name of King while allowing players to play as either character in order to compete the game. In some ways Capcom’s MegaMan & Bass was a bit similar to Sega’s Sonic & Knuckles in the sense where players had the opportunity to select the main character along with his rival in order to fight against a much bigger threat. As far as replay value along with overall quality is concerned many would probably argue that MegaMan & Bass was a better game than MegaMan 7 from 1995.

In MegaMan & Bass players had the freedom to choose the which Robot Masters they wanted to fight in the beginning between which unlocked other bosses as they progressed throughout the game. Completing certain stages ultimately lead to players gaining access to the security room where players must destroy eight crystals collected by Robot Masters in order to unlock fortress stages. One of the downsides of MegaMan & Bass was that players could not switch back and forth between either character. Once a player had selected MegaMan or Bass they were locked as either character for the rest of the game. Despite, the improved gameplay that MegaMan & Bass has in comparison to MegaMan 7 the MMX series seemed way more popular during the mid to late 90’s. In fact, MegaMan X4 was released worldwide back in ’97 for the PS1 which became a way more popular game system than the Super NES. While its a shame that MegaMan & Bass did not receive a SNES release in America back in the late 90’s many people believe that the visuals we got to see on the Game Boy Advance in the early 00’s was more superior. As a action/platform game MegaMan & Bass was well received by fans and critics alike and felt more memorable than the MegaMan Zero series from ’02-’05 depending on who you ask. As far as underrated 2D platform classics from the 90’s are concerned MegaMan & Bass was definitely a game that should have been ported for PS1 during the late part of that decade. While the MegaMan X series was a blast from ’93-’00 MegaMan & Bass deserved an American release for the SNES despite how old the console had become by 1998.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)

When it comes down to high profile first-person shooter video games of the 00’s decade its almost impossible to have a conversation or discussion about that subject without mentioning anything related to the Call Of Duty series in someway. One of the few first person shooter games that people have fond memories about as it relates to the late 00’s was Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 which came out back in November 2009. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was published by Activision and developed by Infinity Ward and was considered the direct sequel to the critically acclaimed COD4: Modern Warfare game which was released in 2007. In fact the setting for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare occurred five years after the events of COD4: Modern Warfare while the plot for the game revolved around an ultranationalist takeover in Russia. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sees Imran Zakhaev as the main villain since he was chairman of the ultranationalist group organized in Russia. Imran Zakhaev and his ultranationalist group was also perceived as a global threat since they had managed to carry out a series of terrorist attacks in Western countries ordered by his son Victor Zakhaev.

The global threat created by Victor Zakhaev is one that eventually leads to the involvement of a special operations unit known as Task Force 141 lead by Captain Soap MacTavish and Lieutenant General Shepherd. The main objective for Task Force 141 involved searching for Victor Zakhaev and putting an end to the terrorist activities involving his fascist group once. However, as players progress throughout the game there are some interesting twists and turns that occur which makes the storyline for the campaign mode more intriguing. The death of the undercover CIA agent John Allen was a bit of a shock to many people. While John Allen traveled alongside Victor Zakhaev to Moscow, Russia for a mass shooting at an airport he was assassinated. Following Allen’s death his body was left behind which ultimately sparked a war between the United States and Russia. At this point Russia sees America as terrorists which ultimately leads to a surprise foreign invasion within the eastern part of the United States.

This eventually leads to Task Force 141 going to Rio de Janeiro in search for Zakhaev’s firearms dealer and capturing him to learn more about him. Its revealed that John Price who is also an enemy of Zakhaev was being held hostage in a Russian gulag; he was willing to help stop the war between America and Russia by assisting Task Force 141 in repelling the Russian invasion in the United States. While Price aided the Russians against America Task 141 began to close in on Zakhaev’s exact location and out of nowhere Shepherd betrayed them by killing Simon “Ghost” Riley & Roach on their missions. The actual scene of Shepherd’s betrayal was graphic and the soundtrack was perfect which made it appear both disturbing & heartbreaking.

Eventually, Shepherd escapes to his mountain base in Afghanistan where he hunted down and ultimately killed by Soap for revenge regarding his betrayal of Task Force 141 and the murders of Ghost and Roach. Since its release on the PS3 and Xbox 360 back in late 2009 Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been recognized as one of the best first-person shooters of the 2000’s decade. Following its initial release Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has reportedly sold at least 4.7 million copies worldwide within a day. In fact, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 managed to reach at least 20 million copies in sales within a year which was very impressive. In fact, some people would argue that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare was a good as its prequel especially since it managed to become the eighth best selling Xbox 360 title of all-time. Sometimes its hard to believe that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released a decade ago along with her fact that the series itself is still as hot as it was back in 2009. Despite, how old Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the game will also be seen as a timeless classic when it comes down to gaming in general.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots (2008)

When people think about high profile action-adventure stealth titles from the 00’s decade that were highly successful one of the few games that instantly comes to mind is Konami’s Metal Gear Solid 4. As a PlayStation 3 exclusive this particular installment within the Metal Gear Solid series was one that really stood out following its release in June 2008. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots was considered to be the direct sequel to the critically Metal Gear Solid 2: Son’s Of Liberty game from ’01. The setting for this game took place five years following the events of MGS II as players controlled Old Snake in the year 2014. Its during this time period where the world relies on wars concerning private military companies and soldiers are equipped with high tech gadgets such as nanomachines which enhances their performances during missions within the battlefield controlled by the Sons Of Patriots system. As far as the plot is concerned the storytelling aspect of Metal Gear Solid IV was outstanding. The shocking revelations that players learn about characters such as the initial fate of Raiden & Rose following their separation after the Big Shell Incident along with Naomi’s tragic demise due to illness contributed to the overall dark and realistic tone that Metal Gear Solid IV had presented. There were many people who checked out Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty who were surprised to see that Big Boss had survived and was comatosed until the end of the game and eventually perished from the FOXDIE virus.

It should also be noted that Old Snake had aged considerably due to a illness that was similar to Werner syndrome known as the FOXDIE virus. The fact that the main character had an illness that was a danger to the worldwide population was one that added to the seriousness of Metal Gear Solid IV which already had a dark tone. In this game Old Snake’s main objective was to destroy Liquid Ocelot who had his sights on world domination. In Metal Gear Solid IV Liquid Ocelot was arguably more dangerous than Revolver Ocelot was in any of the previous MGS games since ’98 since he had managed to create the Beauty and the Beast Unit by praying on mentally unstable women to develop elite agents such as Crying Wolf, Laughing Octopus and Raging Raven. The visuals for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots was beautiful and there were various aspects about the gameplay that people absolutely loved.

The inclusion of a Psyche Meter was a pretty innovative in-game mechanic and added to the realism of the gameplay as players controlled Old Snake throughout the game. Not only did the Psyche Meter affect the regeneration of Old Snake’s life bar it also decreased in battle as well. The amount of stressors that Old Snake received during action affected his combat abilities if his stress meter was too high it was visible for players to see. As far success is concerned Metal Gear Solid IV managed to reach over six million copies in sales following its release. In fact, Konami had reportedly earned at least $1.5 billion in revenue from Metal Gear Solid IV shortly after its release before the end of 2008. While many fans of the MGS series have their preferences on which installment within the entire series is the best; there no doubt that Metal Gear Solid VI can be considered one of the top action-adventure stealth games of the 00’s decade.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Mirror’s Edge: (2008)

When it comes down to innovative action-adventure platform titles from the 00’s decade one of the few titles instantly comes to mind is Mirror’s Edge from 2008. Mirror’s Edge was developed by Swedish game maker EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts and was a title where the setting of the game took place within a unnamed utopian-like city controlled by a totalitarian government. This game had a female protagonist in her early 20’s named Faith Connors who is against the totalitarian government and their regulations. Connor’s perception of the city’s government was mainly shaped by what happened to her parents who were killed off for being protesters against the established regime eighteen years prior to the setting of the game. As players progress throughout the game they eventually learn that Faith’s sister Kate has been framed for the murder of the Pope. Despite, her innocence Kate is seen as the assailant for the crime while Faith tries to find answers regarding circumstances surrounding the Pope’s death. Faith eventually learns from a former Runner named “Jacknife” that the Pope’s assassination may have been planned by the head of his security force who is a former wrestler named Travis Burfield.

In addition, to learning the assassination of the Pope players learn about the conspiracy between his security force and the police in regards to cracking down on Runners such as Faith through a parkour program known as “Project Icarus”. It turns out that Project Icarus was designed to train people in parkour to eliminate the Runners. While learning more about the true extent regarding the corruption of the city’s totalitarian government Faith eventually tries to set her sister Kate free with the help of some friends after she is convicted of the Pope’s murder. Not only did Mirrors Edge have an interesting plot full of twists and turns the game itself was a visual masterpiece especially since it utilized the Unreal Engine 3. Mirror’s Edge give players control of Faith Connors from a first person perspective as they have the ability to traverse throughout the city using parkour moves on various buildings & rooftops. The cool thing about Mirrors Edge was the fact that the a game achieved such a high profile during a time period where first person shooters had become increasingly popular.

Its no secret that the 00’s was the decade of the shooter genre of gaming and seeing a action-adventure platform title from a first person perspective was something that kinda new at the time. If Mirror’s Edge was played from a third person perspective it may not have been as popular as it was following its release in November 2008. Also, as impressive as parkour may be there was really no high profile video games like Mirror’s Edge that combined such a activity with a storyline that had a dark & serious tone. Mirror’s Edge was praised by various fans & critics following its release over a decade ago and is still considered to be one of the best action-adventure platform titles from 2008.