Retro Gaming 10’s- Call Of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II was without a doubt one of the most high profile first person shooter games of the early 10’s; it was the highly anticipated sequel of the first Black Ops game which was developed by Treyarch and published by prior to its released back in 2010. There were many defining features that were included in Call Of Duty: Black Ops II that intrigued many people back in 2012 including the setting of the game and how it lead players into the 2020’s decade. The plot started off in the late 80’s and took players into the year 2025 were they took control of two main protagonists named Alex Mason and Frank Woods. One of the more interesting aspects of Call Of Duty: Black Ops II involved the branching storyline features within the game which lead to at least seven different endings. The campaign mode for Black Ops II on average was somewhere between 6-7 hours long and the replay value for the game was high due to the multiple endings featured in the game. While certain endings Black Ops II saw the main protagonist Raul Menendez captured towards the end of the game players could also reach the canon ending in where the main villain meets his demise.

While the campaign mode for Black Ops II was strong the offline multiplayer gameplay which allowed up four players was also a strong positive; along with the ability for players maneuver aerial vehicles in addition to customizing their loadout before starting a mission. The visuals for Call Of Duty: Black Ops II looked absolutely stunning back in 2012 considering the fact that it utilized the Infinity Ward Engine the game technology that had been used other prequels within the CoD series such as Modern Warfare, World at War, Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops I between ’07-’10. The concept of a Second World War made for fascinating science fiction story along with the inclusion of futuristic technology pertaining to the mid 2020’s. Even though, campaign for Black Ops II was non-linear to the determinant some people many loved the storytelling aspect of the game since it contributed to the game’s overall realism. Since its back in November 2012 Call Of Duty: Black Ops II managed to reach at least 7.5 million in worldwide sales while grossing approximately $800 million in sales within 24 hours of its release. Black Ops II has been ported to various game systems including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii-U and Microsoft Windows since its release during the early 10’s. However, there are many people who would love to see a remastered version of Black Ops II for the PS4 or the Xbox One especially considering the fact that we are very close to year 2025.

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 90’s- Mega Man Legends: (1997)

Mega Man Legends was a game that stood out within the series back in the 90’s especially since it was the first 3D entry Capcom had ever made. For those who have been fans of the Mega Man series since ’87 they were surprised about Capcom’s idea of making a 3D installment; while others felt like the gameplay was too far removed from the look and feel of most the 2D entries from the late 80’s-early 90’s. It should also be noted that Mega Man Legends had a plot that was completely different from anything that was seen in MegaMan X or the MM main series. While Dr. Wily was generally the primary antagonist for the Mega Man main series Sigma was generally the key villain for the MMX games. Mega Man Legends was a game where the plot focused on searching for a power source known as Quantum Refractors through ancient ruins of the Earth. Mega Man Legends is definitely a spin-off game from the original series since the main character Mega Man Volnutt is basically spiritual successor of the original Mega Man; also Roll Caskett who was Volnutt’s girlfriend was a spin-off version of Roll from the main Mega Man series.

The gameplay for Mega Man Legends was very different from what fans were used to seeing within a MM game which was normally fast paced run n gun gameplay. In Mega Man Legends familiar elements of gameplay had returned such as being able to utilize the Blaster Gun to destroy various types of enemies. The inclusion of stats as it pertained to Volnutt’s Blaster Gun was interesting and gave players the option to increase certain attributes that would affect how much damage their attacks would cause. Players had the ability to increase stats that included Energy, Rapid, Range and Attack level after retrieving Buster Parts from exploring dungeons or visiting shops that sold them. In Mega Man Legends players could also gain access to special weapons as well but the only downside was that only one can be equipped at a time; it should be noted that players can only change special weapons is by talking to Roll Volnutt. The open world 3D gameplay was one that was different from what fans expected from Capcom in a Mega Man game but at the same time it was refreshing. Many people could not imagine how Capcom would be able to pull off a 3D Mega Man but Legends was actually pretty decent for a time period where basic 3D gaming was starting to become mainstream. Completing different missions in ancient ruins while battling pirates and interacting within non-playable characters gave Mega Man Legends its own identity; opposed to being a carbon copy of one of the previous installments within the 2D Mega Man series with added modifications. Despite, not being as popular as the likes of Mega Man II or Mega Man X there no doubt that Mega Man Legends was one of the best 3D installments within the entire series.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Cruis’n USA: (1994)

Cruis’n USA was a racing title developed and public Midway Games prior to its initial arcade release during the fourth quarter of 1994. One of the cool things about Cruis’n USA that it was among a few arcade racing games that ended being ported to the Nintendo 64. Although, the N64 port of Cruis’n USA had a different developer/publisher the game was still very similar to the arcade version and presented players with exciting 3D gameplay. Cruis’n USA was released during an era where arcade style racing titles were popular. Retro gamers who grew up during the 90’s saw titles such as Daytona USA, Virtua Racing, Scud Race and Sega Rally Championship released within that decade. While Cruis’n USA was a noticeable arcade racing game from the mid 90’s it most likely paled in comparison to other titles from that genre which were more critically acclaimed. Cruis’n USA utilized a similar formula that most arcade racing titles from the 90’s did; the inclusion of stages based on real life locations along with completing each within a certain time limit was basically the player’s main objective. Also, players had the ability to choose what type of transmission they wanted to utilize between manual and automatic depending on how skilled they were as drivers.

The visuals for Cruis’n USA was arguably the best feature of the game and it seemingly shined more in arcade centers than it did on the Nintendo 64. While the visuals for the N64 port of Cruis’n USA paled in comparison to the arcade version players could challenge themselves more if they owned the game for the Nintendo 64. By completing various race courses on the N64 port of Cruis’n USA players could unlock new cars or similar vehicles of color as they thrive become better drivers. Cruis’n USA was a pretty decent game with its main drawback consisting of its lack of innovation in comparison to other arcade racing games that were more popular during the 90’s. If Cruis’n USA been released for the PS1 or Sega Saturn its like that the arcade racer would have still have been overshadowed despite the arcade version of the game being a commercial success. If Cruis’n USA had more depth in terms of gameplay than Midway Games could have created something special that found a balance between arcade themed racing and realistic Gran Turismo like game mechanics.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Virtua Cop 2: (1995)

Virtua Cop 2 was a popular first person shooter arcade game that was released in ’95 following the success of its prequel which came out in 1994. As many people know the first person shooter genre of gaming was not too popular back in the 90’s but Virtua Cop 2 was one of the few names that most casual gamers remember along with the likes of Wolfenstein 3D and House Of The Dead. Virtua Cop 2 had a very intriguing plot yet simplistic gameplay where players could either kill criminals versus bringing to justice. The story of the game revolves around the main protagonists James Cool along with Michael Hardy being charged with the task of bringing an international terrorist by the name of Joe Fang to justice. Players discover that Joe Fang was apart of a criminal empire known as E.V.I.L. after learning that three other bosses of the group have been brought to justice. Both James Cool and Michael Hardy learn that Joe Fang had to be brought to justice after discovering that he survived a life-threatening helicopter crash. As the story progresses things become much darker as players learn about the death of the Virtua City vice-president under mysterious circumstances.

Eventually, popular stores that sold jewelry were eventually raided by cops after the bank accounts of the E.V.I.L. syndicate are cleared following nightfall. The element of suspense regarding the story for Virtua Cop 2 was enough to keep players emotionally invested within game which as a positive. Another strong point in Virtua Cop 2 was the improved gameplay over its ’94 predecessor; this allowed players to make one of two decisions at certain points of the game which determined the path they took with the story. It should be noticed that players had to do everything in their power not to kill innocent civilians while pursuing criminals. Virtua Cop 2 was a game that consisted three difficult levels where players had to engage in boss battles while trying to earn as many points they can throughout the game. Since its release Virtua Cop 2 has been critically acclaimed by car gaming publications while receiving port to game systems such as Microsoft Windows, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 between ’96-’02. As a first person shooter Sega’s Virtua Cop 2 is considered to be legendary within the gaming world and some people would definitely agree that it deserved to be remastered in high definition.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

When we think about top-tier racing games to have emerged from the 00’s decade one of the few games that could be listed within category is Need For Speed: Most Wanted from 2005. For those who do not know Need For Speed: Most Wanted was developed by EA Canada & EA Black Box and was published by Electronic Arts prior to appearing on multiple game consoles worldwide. While Need For Speed Most Wanted appeared on the Nintendo DS, GameCube, Microsoft Windows along with the PlayStation Portable the game is best remembered on systems such as the: PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 during its peak in popularity within the mid to late 00’s. Need For Speed: Most Wanted was the successor to the critically acclaimed NFS: Underground 2 game from ’04 which reached over 8 million copies in sales within a short period and was considered arguably the best installment within the entire series. However, Need For Speed: Most Wanted was a game that was praised for mechanical improvements in terms of gameplay over its predecessors as it pertained to racing. In Need For Speed: Most Wanted players had access to more in-depth data regarding hot pursuits from law enforcement than they did in previous installments such as: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.

Enhancements made to the police pursuit mechanic within Need For Speed: Most Wanted was impressive and allowed players to keep track of certain statistics regarding how many law enforcement units have been evaded. Also, players are able to determine the type of consequences that are associated with the heat level players accumulate when fleeing from cops based on the amount of offenses they have committed. While the pursuit mechanic was designed in a way that added more realism to Need For Speed: Most Wanted the in game modes such as Career, Challenge Series and Quick Race were all death that added to the fun factor of this racing classic. The Career Mode featured in Need For Speed: Most Wanted had a very good story full of twists and turns involving the player’s participation within an illegal street racing scene in Rockport as they attempt to become the number one Blacklist racer in the game. Throughout, the game players are assisted by a key character named Mia Townsend who is revealed to be an undercover cop later in the story as she helps out in defeating other street racers as the story progresses. The downside to starting the Career Mode off included having a limited choice on what they can choose to drive. However, players were able to acquire more vehicles as they defeated other Blacklist drivers within the competition and were able to customize, sell or upgrade their cars in the process. While NFS: Most Wanted did not sell nearly much as Need For Speed: Underground I & II from ’03-’04 its still considered one of the greatest street racing games ever made depending on who you ask.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Virtua Fighter 2: (1994)

When we think about some of the most popular 3D fighting games to come out of the early 90’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is Virtua Fighter 2 from 1994. Virtua Fighter 2 was developed and published by Sega and was the direct sequel to the very first game within the series which was initially released back in November ’93. The arcade version of Virtua Fighter 2 came out in Japan in late ’94 before appearing in America early in 1995. Virtua Fighter was then ported for the Sega Saturn between December ’95 and January ’96 before it became big on Microsoft Windows during ’97. Strangely, after becoming big in arcade centers and on Sega Saturn Virtua Fighter 2 was eventually ported for the Sega Genesis between ’96-’97 despite the console declining in popularity by that time period. Virtua Fighter 2 was a game that saw graphical improvement in comparison to its predecessor saw each character possessing a greater number of attacks than the prequel. Also, Virtua Fighter 2 saw the introduction of brand new gameplay mechanics which involved counter-attacks adding more realism to each fight within the game. This installment of Virtua Fighter saw to inclusion of two new characters in Shun Di and Lion Rafael who both had their own respective fighting styles.

Along with the two new characters that added to Virtua Fighter 2 we saw many returning characters from the original game such as: Akira Yuki, Jacky Bryant, Pai Chan, Lau Chan, Wolf Hawkfield and others that people got a chance to play as which was also pretty cool. Despite, not having any modes that would make it standout from any other 3D fighting game Virtua Fighter 2 was still ahead of its time. Virtua Fighter 2 was released right before the original Tekken game which came out for the PS1 in December ’94. The Virtua Fighter series was still fairly new by ’94 and 3D gaming had yet to evolve to the level where innovative game modes outside of arcade, versus and practice were utilized. Since its release for the Sega Saturn back in the mid 90’s Virtua Fighter 2 ended up becoming one of the best selling games for that console. It was reported that the Sega Saturn version Virtua Fighter 2 sold at least 1.7 million copies in Japan and was praised by critics and players alike for its overs improvement over its predecessor. As good as Virtua Fighter 2 was during the mid 90’s sadly the game did not get as much recognition as the likes of Tekken 2 & 3 because it appeared on the Sega Saturn a game system that flop in sales in comparison to other game systems from that era of gaming.