Should Star Ocean have been released in America during 1996?

One of the few JRPG’s for the Super NES that may have her overlooked back in the mid ’90s was Star Ocean from ’96. For those who do not know Star Ocean was developed by video game company tri-Ace and published by Square Enix and was released exclusively in Japan during the summer of 1996. Unlike, some of the previous JRPG’s that Square Enix has published between the early to mid 90’s Star Ocean had features that made it stand out more on the SNES. Unlike games such as Secret Of Mana & Chrono Trigger it should be noted that Star Ocean was one of the few JRPG’s in the SNES that included voice samples. By the mid 90’s video games were able to push the limits of the 16-bit SNES and being able to do things that was previously thought to be impossible when the console was first released in 1990. The visual aspect of Star Ocean was also very impressive along with the plot which emphasized time travel. Star Ocean was a game that could have been very successful in the early 90’s especially since 2D JRPG’s were more popular during that time period.

In fact, some people might of have been surprised that Star Ocean was released exclusively in Japan for the SNES especially considering the fact that the 16-bit console was starting to decline in popularity by the mid 90’s. Many have probably questioned why Star Ocean was not ported for the PS1 during the mid 90’s seeing popular Sony’s 32-bit console was during the time. Either way, despite how adventurous the plot for Star Ocean along with how polished it looked on the SNES it still may not have been a huge attraction in America back in 1996. American gamers were more fixated on 3D gaming along with titles such as Mortal Kombat & Killer Instinct that emphasized blood, gore and violence. While it made sense to keep Star Ocean as a Japanese exclusive during the mid 90’s the game still should have been released in America much sooner than it was. Star Ocean was not officially released in America until October 2008 before it appeared worldwide on PlayStation 4 & Nintendo in December 2019. If the original Star Ocean game appeared on the Game Boy Advance back in the early 00’s it could have been somewhat of an attraction on the 32-but handheld console seeing how successful it ended up becoming during that decade.

Should MegaMan 7 have been ported for the PS1 during the mid 90’s?

As many people know MegaMan 7 was a solid yet bland entry within the game’s series that appeared on the Super NES back in ’95; during this time period the MegaMan X series was becoming more popular since its inception back in ’93 on the SNES. MegaMan 7 was a game that had great visuals, good storytelling and definitely an improvement over MegaMan 6 from which came out in ’93. The only problem was the SNES was starting to get old by the mid 90’s and more gamers around the world were turning their attention to the PS1. While 3D gaming was mainly popular on the PS1 there were still people who loved the fact the 32 bit console could also run 2D games much better than the SNES. The 32-bit PS1 did not have the limitations the 16-bit SNES console had and was far superior in 2D animation overall. MegaMan 7 could have possibly have shined more on the PS1 between ’95-’96 especially since there were not too many high profile 2D run and gun games on the 32-bit console during that period. Also, Capcom did not release MegaMan X4 for the PS1 until ’97 so having MM7 on Sony’s console would been better since MMX I-III were SNES exclusives before then.

MegaMan 7 has been received some criticism for over the past twenty years for not being on par with some of Capcom’s more popular installments within the series. However, the 2D run and gun genre of gaming was starting to decline in popularity around the mid 90’s. Also, the storyline within MegaMan X series that saw the debut of characters such as Zero along with Sigma as the main villain was far more intriguing than constantly having Dr. Wily as the main antagonist in the main series. Even if MegaMan 7 appeared on the PS1 between ’95-’96 it still would not have been more popular than the Mega Man X trilogy that we got to see on the SNES between ’93-’95. But its likely that MegaMan 7 would have stood out more as a PS1 exclusive than it did on the SNES since MMX3 was also released exclusively for the 16-bit console in ’95.

Is Tetris the best puzzle game of all-time?

As many people know the series Tetris has been around since the 80’s following the inception of its very first game back in 1984. The legendary tile matching puzzle game was developed by Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov and is a game that has been released for multiple game systems around the world such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy and the SNES under the name Tetris & Dr Mario in ’91. Since its inception Tetris became a game that became easily accessible through iOS mobile devices throughout the 00’s and 10’s decade as more remastered versions of the game was released. While the 2D tile matching puzzle genre is not as popular today as it was back in the 80’s & ’90’s some of the most recently installments within the Tetris series would not even exist with the original game from ’84. Between late ’18-early ’19 we got to see the release Tetris Effect for the PlayStation VR and Tetris 99 for the Nintendo Switch. Both Tetris that were recently released gain mainstream attention and were praised for being innovative by fans and critics alike. While Tetris VR offered players a more atmospheric yet sensational experience pertaining to gameplay Tetris 99 introduced a multiplayer Battle Royale mode which was addictive.

It should also be noted that at least one Tetris game has appeared on just about every major game console that ultimately became successful in terms of sales for over the past 30 years. There have been a few Tetris games that has involved iconic cartoon or video game characters such as Mickie Mouse and Super Mario mainly during the 90’s. Also, puzzle games such as Puyo Puyo, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Kirby’s Avalanche and Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo were all titles inspired by Tetris following their respective releases between ’91-’96. However, the Tetris series had always remained a top attraction within the puzzle genre of gaming as it continued to appear on younger generation game systems while still appealing to gamers from 80’s & ’90’s. It was reported back in 2018 that Tetris was one of the best selling games ever with at least 170 million copies sold since its ’84 release. Without the original Tetris game where would the puzzle genre of gaming be today in terms of popularity? Tetris pretty much put the puzzle genre of gaming on the map and is quite possibly more of an attraction today then it was during the 80’s and 90’s.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Aero The Acrobat: (1993)

There were various 16-bit platform games from the early 90’s that were considered to be memorable classics for the Super NES. For those who are retro gamers titles such as Super Mario World, Mega Man X, Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood, Donkey Kong: Country and many other 16-bit platformers instantly comes to mind. One of the few classic 16-bit platform games that may have bee overshadowed back in the 90’s was a game known as Aero The Acrobat. There is no doubt that Aero The Acrobat was a pretty unique platform game developed by the now defunct Iguana Entertainment and published by Sunsoft. Aero The Acrobat was released for both the SNES and the Sega Genesis. As far as the plot for Aero The Acrobat was concerned it was a bit more intriguing and somewhat darker than other popular platforms such as the Sonic The Hedgehog Trilogy or Super Mario World. The story saw Aero The Acrobat who was a top level circus star trying to thwart the plans of the main antagonist Edgar along with his Psycho Circus gang. In the process Aero The Acrobat has to resuce his girlfriend known as Aeriel along with the other circus performers captured by Edgar.

As far as Edgar’s backstory is concerned he becomes a malevolent industrialist following his banishment from Funpark and The World Of Amusement Circus. The gameplay in Aero The Acrobat involved maneuvering throughout various levels by jumping through hoops using roller coasters, etc. When it came down to fighting off enemies Aero had about two basic offensive attacks which blended well with his character. Also, the setup for Aero The Acrobat was different from what you would normally see in other platformers since the game only had four worlds that consisted of five levels. Aero The Acrobat was eventually re-released for the Game Boy Advance in ’02 while receiving a direct sequel for both the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis the following year during 1994. As a platform game Aero The Acrobat was one that stood out from other platform titles since the main character seemed more like a darker protagonist opposed to being a traditional hero with strong”moral” and “values”. While it may not have been the most high profile platform titles to have come out of the 16-bit era it was a game that is still considered to be memorable to those who have owned it.

Retro Gaming 80’s- Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)

As far as Nintendo based arcade classics are concerned one of the few titles that retro gamers think about in relation to the 80’s is Donkey King Jr from 1982. Donkey King Jr was the highly anticipated sequel to its 1981 predecessor that was also popular in arcade centers which placed emphasis on Mario being the main villain of the game. In fact, Donkey Kong Jr was probably the only game where Mario played the role of a villain as he captured Donkey Kong for revenge in relation to what happened in the original Donkey Kong game. In the 1981 Donkey Kong game DK was the main villain because he captured Mario’s ex-girlfriend Pauline and made him go through various obstacles & stages in order to get her back. Some would argue that Mario was justified for his actions in this game especially since he ended up presented as hero in just about every other game that Nintendo has developed since 1982. In this game Donkey Kong’s son has to rescue him after he is captured by Mario and as he makes his way through each stage in this vertical platformer. The stages become more challenging as players progress throughout the game requiring them to be more strategic then they would in side-scrolling platform games.

Since its arcade release Donkey Kong Jr was ported for the NES and release in various different countries throughout the 80’s. Donkey Kong Jr. also appeared on other consoles such Atari 2600 and Atari 7800 and is a platform classic that is still somewhat popular to this day. As a platformer some might argue that Donkey Kong Jr was more difficult than most Mario and Donkey Kong games from the 80’s and early 90’s. While the plot for Donkey Kong Jr. was very basic the fact that Mario was casted as a villain opposed to that of a hero will always be considered one of the most aspects about this game in particular.

Could Metal Slug 1 have been successful on the PS1 in America during ‘96?

When it comes down to popular video game genres of the early 90’s there is no question that run and gun video games were big during that time. We had games such as Contra III: The Alien Wars along with the first three Mega Man X titles which were big attractions in countries like America following their respective releases. As far as underrated 2D run as gun shooting games are concerned the original Metal Slug game that first appeared in Japanese arcade centers in April 1996 is considered to be a classic. While Metal Slug: Super Vehicle 001 eventually came to America for the Neo Geo the PS1 port of the game had remained a Japanese exclusive following its release in the Summer of ’97.

By 1997, 2D gaming in general was starting to get old to many gamers. On consoles such as the PS1, Nintendo 64 and the Sega Dreamcast many people were starting to become more obsessed with 3D games such as Metal Gear Solid, Tekken, Soul Calibur, Tomb Raider and many others between the mid to late 90’s. If the Metal Slug series began a few years before it did sometime between 1990-1991 it could have definitely competed with the likes of the Contra and the Mega Man series during the early 90’s. But since the original Neo Geo home console was priced around $650 following its release back in back in 1990 its unlikely that too many people in America would have had a chance to play it at all. But making the PS1 port of the original Metal Slug game a Japanese exclusive was probably the best thing to do in the mid 90’s overall.

Could King of Fighters ‘94 have worked on the PS1?

There have been so many popular 2D fighting games that people got to see on the PS1 shortly after its release back in ’94. We got to see games such as DarkStalkers: The Night Warriors (1994), Marvel Super Heroes (1995), Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996), Guilty Gear: A Missing Link (1999) and many others which are all seen a classic fighting title for the PS1. However, as far as 2D fighting games are concerned one of the few titles that surprising never appeared on the PS1 back in the 90’s was the original King Of Fighters game which started in 1994. In fact, King Of Fighters ’94 was never released outside of Japan during the ’90s and only appeared in arcade along with the two Neo Geo consoles during that decade. Its quite possible that SNK decided to keep KOF ’94 a Japanese exclusive due to the rising popularity of the Street Fighter & Mortal Kombat series in countries like America.

Both the Art of Fighting & Fatal Fury series were not quite as popular as Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat and by the Fall of 1994 Namco had released its very first Tekken game. The landscape of gaming in relation to the fighting genre was changing towards the mid 90’s and more people had become attracted to 3D gameplay & graphics during the time. SNK would of had a pretty difficult time competing against companies such as Capcom & Namco in terms of fighting games in America between the ’95-’97 time period. While there is almost no question that a PS1 port of King Of Fighters ’94 could have worked back in ’95 it many not have been as popular as it was on the Neo Geo. King Of Fighters ’94 being a Neo Geo exclusive is what added to its appeal and its value would have plummeted if it appeared on the PS1 outside of Japan during the mid 90’s.

Three NES Games Coming Soon to Nintendo Switch Online on April 10th!!!

As the Switch continues to grow in popularity we are fortunate enough to also get to play classic NES titles provided on the console’s Online eShop. We have just learned that on April 10th Nintendo will be adding three more NES titles to the Nintendo Switch eShop including Super Mario Bros Lost Levels (1986), Punch Out (1987) and Star Solider (1986). While the Super Mario Bros series for the NES is very popular and well known throughout the gaming world not everyone is too familiar with Punch Out or Star Solder which were both somewhat addictive 8-bit titles from the 80’s.

While Star Solider is a retro space shoot em up game Punch Out is an arcade styled boxing game that had a high replay value. Punch Out was probably one of the most memorable sports/fighting games of the NES era and is one that would definitely be an attraction to Switch owners who are really into sports such as boxing. It almost certain that Nintendo will add more NES titles to the Switch eShop as we progress throughout the rest of the year and include more classics frond the 8-bit era of gaming.

Will there ever be a direct sequel for Celeste?

When it comes down to 2D platform indie games of 2018 one of the most popular games of that year was Celeste. Since its release Celeste has been praised by numerous critics for its storyline along with its gameplay and graphics that resembles modern 8 bit gaming. Since its release back in January of last year Celeste has managed to sell at least 50,000 units worldwide which is pretty good for an indie game. Despite, how much Celeste shined as a 2D platformer on consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch this past year there is no question that it was overshadowed by games such as Monster Hunter: World, God of War, Super Mario Odessey, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and many more.

Just because Celeste was overshadowed for the most the most part in 2018 does not mean that the game does not deserve a sequel. In fact, Celeste has only been out for only one year and while it does indeed draw a sequel it will probably be a couple of years before the developer Matt Makes Games actually makes one. It will be interesting to see whether or not Matt Makes Games decides to make a sequel for Celeste in future but as it currently stands it seems like the developer has no plans on making it a reality.

Celeste reportedly reached over 50K in sales during 2018!!!

There is no doubt that this year has been wonderful in relation to indie gaming in general. This is especially true with games such as Celeste which is an 8 bit like platformer which managed to win two honors at the 2018 Game Awards such as “Games for Impact” and “Beat Independent Game”. Since its release back on January 25th the Celeste instantly received universal praise from gamers and has appeared on multiple consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The fact that Celeste has managed to reach at less 50K in sales is something that does not come as much of a surprise to many people.

At this rate Celeste can possibly reach over 100,000 units in sales if it maintains its popularity throughout 2019. As a single-player indie platformer this game is worth checking out on multiple game systems if you have not yet played it.