Was Paper Mario better than Super Mario RPG?

When it comes down to role playing Mario titles both Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG were fun games to play.  But in terms of quality and visuals nanny people are more likely to argue with that Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was a better game than Paper Mario.  In terms of plot I was never to see a Mario game with someone else as the main villain other than Bowser.

Some people would argue that Smithy was a pretty decent antagonist  in Super Mario RPG and that he should have appeared in more Mario games. Super Mario RPG is one of those games where Nintendo decided not to go along with the basic plot formula of Mario being the main protagonist and Bowser being the main antagonist which was something we don’t see to often in today’s Mario games.

Should Super Smash Bros have VR features?

The Super Smash Bros series has been around since the late 90’s and since then Nintendo has always found way to keep things interesting.  The addition of new characters over the years such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man in some of the more recent Super Smash Bros games has made people want to purchases Super Smash Bros for the Wii-U.  Ever since, the Nintendo Switch was released back in March 2017 many people have been asking themselves when Does Nintendo plan on releasing a new Super Smash Bros game.  On top of that some people have wondered on whether or not Super Smash Bros should include Virtual Reality features.


In theory the idea of having a Super Smash Bros game with VR features sounds amazing but in practice it may not play out as well as many think.  Super Smash Bros games can be very fun but confusing at the same.  There is so much going on during the battles in Super Smash Bros.  Also, the action for this game is unlike anything people have seen in many fighting titles.  The idea of flying off platforms after being knocked out by another player of the CPU is one that would probably frighten many people.  Also, if kids try to imitate the action in Super Smash Bros in real life they can harm themselves or someone else if they are not careful.  The Super Smash Bros series has always worked as a multiplayer 2D fighting game.  If Nintendo diverted from the formula that made the Super Smash Bros series popular to begin with it may eventually start to go downhill.

Classic Gaming- The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask: (2000)

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We all remember The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask one of the first Nintendo 64 games to be released at the start of the new millennium.  The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask is known to be the sequel to the popular Ocarina of Time game released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998.  There were many things about Majora’s Mask that was interesting from start to finish.  The opening cutscene was probably among the best of any of the Zelda games because it did a great job for setting the atmosphere before you start playing.    The creepy laughter in the beginning was a nice touch because it added to the dark tone the creators were trying to set for Majora’s Mask.  As dark as Majora’s Mask was the soundtrack of the game felt somewhat lighthearted which made everything seem less ominous and more enjoyable.   The transitions from cutscenes to actual gameplay is one of the many things that makes Majora’s Mask exciting.

Majora’s Mask features control icons on the screen that helps players navigate through each level with various different actions such as: shoot, attack, dive and jump.  The gameplay for Majora’s Mask along with the plot for this game really grabbed the attention of many people.   The plot for this game focuses on Link travelling three days into the past where he must stop the moon from falling and destroying Termina.  The catastrophic events in regards to the fall of the moon was set into place after Skull Kid had stolen Majora’s Mask.  The game itself is enjoyable because it provides a different vibe than what many people are used to from Zelda games.  Also, unlike its predcessor Ocarina of Time this game requires a 4MB expansion Pak since it exceeded the RAM of the Nintendo 64 by twice the amount.  Since the game engine for Majora’s Mask was similar to that of Ocarina of Time it was a bit surprising that this game required 8 RAM.

While playing Majora’s Mask players encounter many interesting stages including Green Bay & Snowhead Temple which some people would agree were among the most difficult levels in the game depending on who you ask.    Also, you engage in many tough boss battles in this game against the likes of Gyorg, Odolwa, and Twinmold.  After battling these bosses a couple of times defeating will be no problem as you continue to progress throughout the game.  This action adventure game was praised by various gaming publications including IGN, GameSpot, Famitsu and Game Informer following its release.  Majora’s Mask had also received a pretty sweet remake over four ago for the Nintendo 3DS.  Ever since its release this game was been looked at as one of the best action adventure games for the Nintendo 64 along with Ocarina of Time.  Even though, the Nintendo 3DS version of Majora’s Mask includes highly refined graphics some would argue that its not quite the same as playing the original for the Nintendo 64.

Role Playing Games- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: (1987)

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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was the second installment in the Zelda series which was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987.  The Adventure of Link was very different from The Legend of Zelda in terms of gameplay.  While the Legend of Zelda allowed players to combat enemies in overworld maps Adventure of Link present a 2D side scrolling battle system similar to that of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES.  The Adventure of Link allowed individuals to travel to different parts of Hyrule on the overworld map where players can engage in battles if they ran into shadowy figures while travelling.  If you have been a gamer throughout the 80’s and 90’s you would realize that the overworld map feature of this game is very similar to that of the Pokemon games featured on Game Boy.  Many people would be inclined to agree that The Adventure of Link was a tougher game to beat than the Legend of Zelda which was also very difficult.

But despite how difficult this game was it provide Link with more abilities in terms of melee & magic attacks to help you to complete the game in its entirety.  The Adventures of Link had also includes a magic meter and a new life bar on the top of the screen opposed to the multiple hearts you were give in the previous game.  Along with improved mechanics the Adventure of Link had featured a pretty cool soundtrack that really got people into the game especially during the parts where they had to travel into dungeons.  The Palace theme was epic and is considered to be one of the most memorable soundtracks in gaming history.  A remake of the Palace theme has been featured games such as Super Smash Bros Melee and it truly captures the larger than life feeling of the Adventure of Link while providing nostalgia for this 1987 NES classic.

The plot in this game is slightly different and features a new main antagonist named “Dark Link”.   In Adventures of Link several crystals must be collected and returned to six different palaces in Hyrule in order to retrieve the Tri-Force of courage to awaken Zelda who was placed under a deep sleep due to having a magic spell placed on her.  Since its release Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has sold at least 5 million units world wide and was also re-released for other consoles such as Game Boy Advance.  The Adventure of Link may have not been the best Zelda game in the series but it was a very innovative title that stood out from the rest of the series.

Retro Gaming- Fable: (2004)

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We all remember the original Fable title when it was first released for the Xbox game console in 2004.  The original Fable game was  developed by Big Blue Box Studios & Lionhead Studios along with being published by Microsoft Studios. Fable was such a great role playing game since it included the freedom of choice in this game allowed players to do almost anything they wanted.  The alignment system in Fable is one of the key features that stands out because the actions of the main character affects not only their appearance but also the story itself.  Fable also included realistic features such as the characters health being affected by their diet along with appearances having the power to either attract or repel other individuals in terms of interaction.

The main character of Fable is assisted by a famous hero known as Maze after his village was invaded and all of his family were seemingly killed in the process.  Eventually, it was discovered that the Hero’s sister survived the invasion and was living in a bandit camp after being accepted by the leader who was known as TwinBlade.  The irony about this was the fact that the Bandit King was also considered to be a hero prior to his current lifestyle. After infiltrating the bandit camp and defeating Twinblade  the player as the option of either destroying him versus sparing his life.  The same option is also give to the main protagonist when they cross paths with an old friend named Whisper after defeating her in an arena battle ran by Jack of Blade.  As the story continues the main character makes some shocking discoveries such as Jack of Blades being responsible for the attack on his village along with is mother being imprisoned.

To make matters worse the main character is betrayed by his trainer Maze only to discover that he was working for Jack of Blades.  However, the main character eventually got his revenge on Maze which was great especially since it happened after he was imprisoned for a year and kidnapped his sister.  After defeating Maze the main character eventually defeats Jack of Blades but his victory is bittersweet since he ended up losing his mother in the process. Following Jack of Blade’s defeat the player has the option of keeping the Sword of Aeons versus destroying it which was interesting since the game had multiple endings depending on the choices one made throughout the game.  The inclusion of multiple endings based on choices made was great because it would urge people to play throughout the entire game more than once to see each ending. Along with the inclusion of the multiple endings and the freedom of choice there were various side quests players that players could participate in that would allow them to get additional hours of gameplay.

About a year after this title was made its debut a re-release of the game entitled Fable: “Lost Chapters” had featured an extension of the story.  In Fable: Lost Chapters players were charged with the task of defeating Jack of Blades a second time.  The only difference with Fable: Lost Chapters is that the player must capture Jack’s soul in a mask and is then given the option to destroy it or not.   The cool thing about Fable: Lost Chapters is that the player can ultimately decide their fate along with gaining possession of another sword that is just as powerful as “The Sword of Aeons.” When Fable was first released in 2004 many people thought that it was quite possibly one of the best RPG titles they have every played on the Xbox.

Based on the great qualities that Fable had featured including concept, gameplay, and graphics this game was without a doubt a legendary RPG title in the making that people had to play if they owned an Xbox.  After its initial release GamePro came very close to giving Fable a five star rating while IGN scored this title in the nine point bracket out of ten.   While the original Fable game along with “Lost Chapters” was very popular in 2004 & 2005 the series would only improve when Fable II was released for the Xbox 360 in 2008.

Retro Gaming- Star Wars the Old Republic: (2011)

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There have been many cool games in the MMORPG genre for over the past fifteen years specially in the 00’s decade.  Various titles such as World of Warcraft, Phantasy Star, StarCraft II, and Lords of the Rings Online are the type of games that we normally think about in regards to popular MMORPG’s.  It was throughout the 00’s decade along with the early 10’s when online gaming started to become more popular especially for PC users because of the amount of social interaction that usually occurred. While there have been many great MMORPG’s that were popular in the 00’s we have also started off the 10’s decade some very exciting titles.  Star Wars the Old Republic was an MMORPG that was developed by BioWare  and published by Electronic Arts almost five years ago in late 2011.

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As many of us know the Old Republic is the second Star Wars game to be released in the MMORPG genre following its  prequel Star Wars Galaxies in late 2003.  The Old Republic is a very exciting yet challenging game that has a lot to offer in the areas of gameplay, graphics and storytelling. When the Old Republic was first released many people were blown away by the artwork & visual design the Hero engine had produced.  Considering the fact that Star Wars the Old Republic was the first MMORPG that Bioware had produced  many people were thoroughly impressed by various aspects included in this game. First, players had the option of choosing their alignment between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire.  Second, players had freedom of choice throughout the game leading to interesting developments such as branching storylines which would affect the overall direction the character would take.

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Making decisions early in the game had a significant impact on various aspects throughout  the story such as character type.  An example, would be the idea that there were various species types such as Mirilan, Miraluka, Rattataki and Chiss.  However, certain species types were only playable depending on what one’s alignment whether it be with the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire.  This game had also included a variety of classes for each faction which was affected by the player’s actions along with his alignment resulting from branching storylines.  Along with having various classes to choose from players are also assigned specific ships depending on their rank ranging from Bounty Hunters to Jedi Knights.

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Since its release Star Wars the Old Republic has released five different expansion packs including Rise of the Hutt Cartel, Galactic Starfighter, Galactic Strongholds, Shadow of Revan and Knights of the Fallen Empire between the years of 2013 and 2015.  As of right now many people are anticipating the release of the “Knights of Eternal Throne” pack sometime later in 2016 while playing through more recent releases such as  “Knights of the Fallen Empire.”    Along with great gameplay SWOR included some challenging boss battles with the likes of Subject Alpha, Battledroid R4-GL, The Primal Destroyer, and the Nightmare Pligrim.  However, the world  boss that was arguably the toughest was Gargath from planet Hoth.  Gargath was hard to defeat for many people because his melee & earthquake attacks took a lot of damage from players.  Also, Gargath has a very high level of endurance and which would require an entire army to destroy him.

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Almost everything about SWOR  was great from visual design to the storytelling aspects of this game. Sometimes its hard to believe that budget for Star Wars the Old Republic was over $200 million because the quality of the game made many people think it was at least twice more than it actually was.  After its initial release G4 gave this Star Wars game a perfect five star rating while IGN scored it nine out of ten.  There have been many adventurous Star Wars games in the past but Old Republic is quite possibly one of the best MMORPG titles to be released so far.

Classic Gaming- Skies of Arcadia: (2000)

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During the past three decades the world has seen the development of many great RPG titles from Final Fantasy to Phantasy Star series and more.  However, there have also been RPG games that people consider an instant classic but never received the sequel that it deserved. Skies of Arcadia which was considered to be one of the best games produced on Sega Dreamcast is an example of such a game.  Ever since, its inception many people have often wondered why Overworks has not created a sequel to this awesome RPG title.When Skies of Arcadia was released in 2000 it had received a positive reception from critics and gamers alike.  The graphics of this game was reminiscent of other 3D RPG titles such as Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy 7.  Even though, Skies of Arcadia was not as popular as the Chrono or the Fantasy series some would argue that the gameplay was just as exciting.

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One of the best features included in Skies of Arcadia is the overworld travel.  Throughout the game players travel on an airship were they can engage in battle with adversaries on other ships.  Along with defeating enemies in the air players can travel throughout different dungeons in the game and defeat various opponents.  This game also have an intriguing plot involving  the main characters Fina and Blue Rouge members Vyse, Alia and their quest to stop the Valuan Empire.  While players travel throughout the game using the overworld feature they also engage in several boss battles in involving the Valuan Empire.  Over the years people have debated on who the toughest boss is but opinions normally vary depending on the player.  Many people would probably argue that the optional boss battle against Vigoro was the toughest; others would argue that the Ixa’ness Demons and Rupee were incredibly difficult.

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However, the challenges this game presents make the title more exciting along with making players more eager to complete the entire story.  Another great feature about this game includes the soundtrack that includes over 60 songs. Their are many soundtracks that blend in nicely with the game’s atmosphere especially during the final boss battle with Ramier.  After its initial release Skies of Arcadia received favorable reviews from GameSpot, EGM, and IGN along with being scored in the nine-point bracket out of ten.  As many of us know Skies of Arcadia was eventually re-released for the GameCube in late 2002-early 2003 in the countries of Japan and America.  While Skies of Arcadia is a memorable RPG classic people have often questioned for over the past fifteen years on whether or not there will ever be a second installment to the series.

 

Classic Gaming- Halo 3: (2007)

We all thought the first two installments of the Halo series was great in both gameplay and graphics during their releases in the early 2000’s.  Even though, Halo was not originally planned to a series many people enjoyed the various sequels released following Halo: Combat Evolved. As many of us know the third installment of the Halo series was released for the Xbox 360 console in 2007.  Similar to the previous titles Halo 3 included a campaign mode which contained cooperative gameplay including the main characters Master Chief and Arbiter. Halo 3 also included the addition two new characters “N’tho Sram, and Usze Taham who both have their own respective backstories.  The backstories in the game added to character development for both Sram and Taham.  Also, similar to the first two games Halo 3 maintained its mutiplayer madness allowing up to sixteen people to play on a single game.

As great as the online gameplay was campaign mode was also far better than the prequel in Halo 2.  One of the deciding factors that made Halo 3’s campaign mode much better was the ending.  After completing the game many people feel satisfied after hours of gameplay instead of being left with a cliffhanger ending.  The graphics of this game were spectacular and the gameplay was better than ever.  Many people have a tough time deciding which Halo game out of the first three was the best.  In terms of graphics many people argue three was the best while others might favor Combat Evolved since it was the original.  However, the second Halo game was one of the best selling games of all time for the original Xbox.  Either way, all three all Halo games were fantastic since Bungie always had an idea of what people wanted to see.

After its initial release gaming magazines including GameSpot, Game Informer, and Game Trailers had scored Halo 3 in the nine point bracket leaning close to a perfect ten.  Other publications including Edge & Eurogamer had gave Halo 3 a perfect ten score.  As time progressed many people would agree that the series had dramatically improved since its inception during the early 00’s.  The masses would also agree that the Halo series is among the best of many first person shooter games for Xbox in general.

Classic Gaming-Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)

If you were a huge of video games than you remember when the original Halo game was first released for the original Xbox console in November 2001.  As many of us know Halo: Combat Evolved was a military science first person shooter game developed by Bungie. Prior to its worldwide release the developers had spend approximately two years working on the game after its announcement in the summer of 1999.  When this game first made its debut many people did not know what to expect but since everyone was excited for the release of the new Xbox console a majority of gamers around the world decided to check it out.  After its initial release Halo had became very popular among various gaming communities worldwide.  Halo: Combat Evolved had featured a variety of features that made this game exciting especially its multiplayer that allows up to four players on the Xbox console.  In addition, to multiplayer up to sixteen players can join and play together on a single game making it a great title for party events.

Another great feature this game includes is the creative storytelling the follows the main plot of this title.  Halo focuses on the colonization of the human race on due to the over population of Earth.  As the game progress players learn about the SPARTAN Project utilized for the production of super-soldiers.  Also, players encounter various enemy forces throughout the game in the form of aliens known as the Covenant and the Flood. Doing battle with alien forces can be exciting but sometimes annoying especially the flood creatures since they are hideous.  Throughout the game players are often assisted by the United Nations Space Command while progressing through the game as the main character “Master Chief”.  The realism this game has to offer in terms of gameplay made this title more addictive because the battles with CPU controlled rival forces were challenging.  Most of the levels in the original Halo were great but in terms of being the most challenging stage opinions my vary.  However, many people who have played the original Halo would argue that the “Library” level on the “legendary” difficulty is quite possibly the toughest in the whole game.

After its initial release Halo: Combat Evolved had received great reviews from gamers and critics alike.  Major gaming magazines including Gamespot, Game Informer and IGN had scored Halo: Combat Evolved in the nine point bracket yielding closer to a perfect ten. Edge magazine had actually given Halo a perfect ten for being a well polished 3D first person shooter title.  Even though, the very first Halo game was awesome many people would probably agree that the 2004 sequel entitled “Halo 2” was much better.

 

Retro Gaming- Sonic Adventure 2: (2001)

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This game is the second installment to the Sonic Adventure series which was originally released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2001.  Sonic Adventure 2 was critically acclaimed by many fans within the Sega community for its gameplay & design.  This title had also introduced a new concept where players were allowed to play as Sonic and his friends for the hero story or Shadow and his allies for the dark story.  In the hero story players are allowed to control Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in order to complete various missions that involve saving the world;  the dark story allows people to play as two new characters Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, and the recurring main antagonist Dr. Eggman who seek to conquer the world.  The missions in this game are generally more difficult than the original Sonic Adventure game.  The levels that many people would probably agree was the most difficult included the hunting levels with Knuckels & Rouge.

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Searching in large canyons such as Pumpkin Hill along with journeying into outer space just to search for emeralds adds way more excitement to this game.  The fast paced platform levels which included  Sonic & Shadow kept gamers on the edge of their seat as they progressed.  After learning about the origins of Shadow we learn about Dr. Eggman’s plan to control the Space Colony Ark.  Afterwards, the story dives deeper and we learn about Gerald Robotnik the main antagonist’s grandfather  who wanted to destroy the earth using his real ultimate life form in the form of a bio lizard.

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The biolizard eventually evolves into the “Finalhazard”  and threatens to destroy Earth by sending the Space Colony on a collision course towards the planet.  This ultimately leads to the final fight sequence where players are able to control both Super Sonic & Super Shadow in order to defeat the “Finalhazard.”  Sonic Adventure 2 not only had a great campaign mode but it also included a competitive multiplayer mode which added to the game’s replay value.  Sonic Adventure 2 had received favorable reviews from many different publications such as: GamePro, GameSpot, IGN and more.  Many people would agree that Sonic Adventure 2 is probably one of the best 3D games in the series; sometimes it makes many Sonic fans wonder whether or not there will ever be a Sonic Adventure 3 ?