Retro Gaming 00’s- Crash Nitro Kart: (2003)

One of the few racing games from the early 00’s that was definitely overshadowed within it genre was Crash Nitro Kart. For those do not know Crash Nitro Kart was published by Universal Interactive and developed by Vicarious Visions and appeared on multiple game systems including the PS2, Xbox and GameCube back in the early 00’s. Crash Nitro Kart was considered to be a sequel to the Crash Team Racing game from ‘99 while being the ninth Crash Bandicoot game within the entire series. Crash Nitro Kart contained over 20 playable characters including Crash, Coco and Crunch Bandicoot and introduces a few new characters such as Fake Crash along with N-Trance as well. Crash Nitro Kart also saw the return of Doctor Neo Cortex who was the main villain in the very first Crash Bandicoot game from ‘96. We also saw the return of Nitrous Oxide the main villain from Team Crash Racing in Crash Nitro Kart as a leader of his own group known as “Team Oxide”. The game has a rather interesting plot that saw the main villain Emperor Velo XXVII abduct Crash & Neo-Cortex’s group while forcing them to compete in a racing tournament.

The possibility of Earth’s destruction plays a role in both Crash and Doctor Neo-Cortex’s group agreeing to participated the race with the winning team receiving freedom from the Galactic Emperor Velo XXVII. The story for Crash Nitro Kart has alternate endings depending on which team won which added to the game’s overall replay value. As cool as Crash Team Racing was back in ’99 many would argue the Crash Nitro Kart was a more superior game despite not being on the same level in terms of popularity. Crash Nitro Kart was challenging and the gameplay was highly enjoyable since it felt like Naughty Dog’s version of a 3D Mario Kart game. But unlike many Mario Kart games we have seen in the past Crash Nitro Kart has an actual storyline which in some ways makes it better than some Nintendo’s past racing titles within the Mario series.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Left 4 Dead 2: (2009)

When we think about memorable first person shooters from the late 00’s one of the few games that instantly comes to mind is Left 4 Dead 2. For those who do not know Left 4 Dead 2 was developed and published by Value Corporation and was released for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows back in 2009. The Left 4 Dead series began back in ’08 and the sequel that we got the following year in ’09 was arguably a better title than its predecessor. The plot for the game itself revolves around players trying to defend themselves against hordes and following zombies following the aftermath concerned a deadly pandemic. Left 4 Dead 2 including both single & multiplayer gameplay as players controlled survivors who could utilize melee attacks along with various weapons to stay alive. The replay value involving Left 4 Dead 2 was very high especially since the game included at least five different campaigns. Out of the five Campaigns included in Left 4 Dead 2 many would argue that Dark Carnival & Hard Rain were among the best that the game had to offer. The mini-games included in Dark Carnival along with the environmental obstacles included in Hard Rain seemingly stood out the most out of the five campaigns that were included in Left 4 Dead 2.

Ever since, its release Left 4 Dead 2 has been praised by critics and various gaming entities as being one of the best video games that Valve Corporation as ever made. Despite, the technical issues that players may of had with Left 4 Dead 2 regarding multiplayer online gameplay it was still a well polished first-person shooter game that rivaled the likes of Wolfenstein and Fallout 3 in terms of popularity. Left 4 Dead 2 was seemed every bit as good as its predecessor and managed to reach at least four million Cop in sales before the end of 2009. While Left 4 Dead 2 was enjoyable on the Xbox 360 it seemed more addictive to PC gamers during a time period were online gaming was starting to increase in popularity. In fact, the first person shooter and survival horror genres of gaming were beginning to become more mainstream as it related to 3D gaming between the late 00’s and the 10’s decade. Left 4 Dead 2 was huge attraction back in ’09 and its a game that would probably hold up well in year 2020 if it were remastered in high definition for a current generation console.

Retro Gaming 00’s- MegaMan X6: (2001)

As far as action games from the 00’s are concerned there are many people who might remember Capcom’s MegaMan X6 game from 2001. MegaMan X6 was released during a time period where the series was starting to decline but it still managed to gain the interest of those who were long time fans of the X series since 1993. MegaMan X6 has a very interesting plot that followed the events from MegaMan X5 which saw the introduction of a new villain known as Zero Nightmare. After the Eurasia space colony incident from X5 players can control either X or Zero in order to stop Zero Nightmare and depending on their actions they can unlock multiple endings. While the storyline was pretty dramatic some might argue that it was not as exciting as some of the earlier games where Sigma was the main villain. The graphics and gameplay for Megaman X6 were just as great as every other game within the series and it could have possibly have been more popular than it was during the mid to late 90’s. By the early 00’s the 2D action platform genre of gaming had declined greatly and 3D gaming started to become more mainstream.

Even though, MegaMan X6 came out for the PS1 it may have been a bigger attraction as a PS2 exclusive during the early 00’s since the 32-bit console was around seven years old by 2001. The storyline and multiple endings along with the soundtrack of MegaMan X6 were solid but not the best that we got to see within the X series. While some critics praised the nightmare system and the length of the game itself others would go on record and argue that MegaMan X6 had its share of shortcomings. However, the replay value of MegaMan X6 was still pretty high and the game is still considered to be an action-platform classic for the PS1 that many people probably never got a chance to play.

Retro Gaming 90’s-Battletoads/Double Dragon: (1993)

When we think about underrated beat em up classics from the early 90’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is the crossover game involving Battletoads & Double Dragon from 1993. The Battletoads/Double Dragon best em up game was released for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo along with game with all versions including multiplayer gameplay with the exception of the handheld version. Both the Battletoads & Double Dragon series started back in the 80’s and by the early 90’s they had arguably declined in popularity. A crossover game between Double Dragon & Battletoads captured the interest of many people and for the most part it received many favorable reviews by critics and gaming publications following its release in ’93. The plot for Battletoads/Double Dragon saw the main antagonists from both series Dark Queen and the Shadow Warriors attempting to rule the galaxy. The storyline sees the Battletoads working with both Billy & Jimmy two of the main protagonists from the Double Dragon series in order to stop the threat to Earth created by a spaceship known as the Colossus. This game features five playable characters along with having an interesting feature regarding its gameplay.

During multiplayer gameplay players were able to advance forward to different levels along with their partner despite perishing within a certain stage. While the beat em up gameplay was pretty standard the concept of a Battletoads/Double Dragon crossover game blew everyone’s mind back in the early 90’s While it might be debatable which version of Battletoads/Double Dragon was the best many people were surprised that a NES port was released. The NES was about ten years old by ’93 and the Super NES had been in retail since 1990. Also, the Sega Genesis port of Battletoads/Double Dragon had impressive visuals that rivaled the SNES version of the game following its release. Even though, Battletoads/Double Dragon is not talked about much nowadays retro gamers who grew up in the 90’s would probably consider this game an underrated beat em up classic.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse: (1990)

When it comes down to platform classics for the Sega Genesis one of the few games that instantly comes to mind is Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse from 1990. Castle was arguably one of the first major platformers to have appeared on the Sega Genesis/Master System before Sonic the Hedgehog blew up in popularity from ’91 onwards. Castle Of Illusion was a platformer with a basic plot that involved Mickey Mouse attempting to rescue Minnie Mouse from a wicked witch by the name of Mizrabel. In order defeat the wicked witch Mickey is required to collect the Seven Gems Of The Rainbow from various levels throughout the game which are considered illusions. In order to complete his quest along with rescuing Minnie Mouse players must deal with various foes throughout the game including the Masters Of Illusion and other strange creatures in the game. The cool thing about Castle Of Illusion is the fact that it felt somewhat similar to a Sonic game for the series even began.

The concept of collecting seven gems similar to how Sonic the Hedgehog collects seven Chaos Emeralds was pretty cool. Also the idea of saving Minnie Mouse In Castle Of Illusion was somewhat similar to how Sonic the Hedgehog had to save Amy Rose in Sonic CD a game that did not come out until ’93 for the Sega CD. While the 16-bit graphics for Castle Of Illusion was a strong positive for this 90’s platformer some criticized the game for being to much like Super Mario in terms of gameplay. In order to defeat enemies players were general required to bounce off of them while being able to toss items such as marbles and apples at them. While Castle Of Illusion was not as complex in terms of gameplay as other platformers from the 90’s it still managed to be a huge attraction for the Sega Genesis. Mickey Mouse as been a pop icon since the 1930’s and was a familiar face that almost everyone knew about; seeing him on the 16-bit Genesis console back then was pretty epic. Castle Of Illusion was so popular to a point where it received a remake which eventually appeared on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade along with Microsoft Windows back in 2013. While Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse May not have been the number one platformer for the Sega Genesis; but it was a game that was mainly critically acclaimed back in the 16-bit era that people still talk about to this day.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Jurassic Park: (1993)

As people know the original Jurassic Park movie was directed by Stephen Spielberg is considered to be legendary following its release back in 1993. The first Jurassic Park movie had a budget of at least $63 million and was considered to be a massive box office success following its release. The movie became so popular to point where Jurassic Park had received its own video game for the Sega Genesis in ’93 as well. The Jurassic Park game that we got for the Sega Genesis was developed by BlueSky Software and published by Sega and was a side-scrolling action-adventure title that only allowed single-player gameplay. The Jurassic Park game for the Sega Genesis allowed players to control Dr. Alan Grant the main protagonist for the movie along with a Velociraptor as they try to complete various levels within the game itself. Players were mainly given three lives to complete the entire game while players had to defend themselves against various adversaries & threats in the form of dinosaurs throughout the game. As Dr. Alan Grant weapons such as stun guns, has guns, tranquilizer guns and more were used to help players achieve their main objective in moving on to the next level.

While Dr. Grant’s main goal for each level is to stay alive when facing the dinosaurs the Velociraptor must deal with opposition from security guards. While controlling as the Velociraptor for certain levels players have to evade or destroy the security guards who have multiple weapons at their disposal. Players can use the Velociraptor to destroy its enemies by attempting to eat the security guards and doing what ever it takes to complete each stage. Even though, some people thought that the Genesis version from ’93 was cool others were fans of the SNES version of the game because of its graphics and its top-down perspective in terms of gameplay. While more people may have been fans of Ocean Software’s Jurassic Park game for the Super NES the the Genesis version from ’93 may have been one of the better action-adventure titles to have appeared on Sega’s 16-bit console during the early 90’s.

Retro Gaming 00’s- Need For Speed: Underground (2003)

When it comes down to high profile racing games from the early 00’s it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about that topic without discussing Need For Speed: Underground from 2003. Need For Speed: Underground was developed by EA Black Box and published by EA Games and was released for multiple systems including PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox and was considered to be one of the best racing video games of ’03. Need For Speed: Underground has a variety of offline game modes including Drifting, Circuit, Knockout, Sprint along with Drag Racing which added to its overall replay value. The car customization mechanic was also something that was praised by many fans and critics as well. While Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 from ’02 was praised by critics NFS: Underground had more game modes opposed to players simply trying to evade the police which made for a worthy successor. However, despite how popular Need For Speed: Underground became many would argue that its sequel NFS: Underground 2 was the best entry in the series as it pertains to the 00’s. Need For Speed: Underground was one of the few high profile racing games that stood out within the 00’s decade along with the likes of Race Driver: Grid, Project Gotham and Forza Motorsport all can with Midnight Club II & III.

The visuals for Need For Speed: Underground looked good for its time and the gameplay seemed balanced especially since a player’s performance depended on how they customized their cars prior to races. Even though, Need For Speed: Underground came out in ’03 some might argue that the game deserved to be remastered between the late 00’s-early 10’s time period for either the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360; seeing how popular the series had become especially during the mid 00’s onwards. Need For Speed: Underground was not quite as popular as NFS: Most Wanted from ’05 but then again it was the first installment within the series to include a storyline within its Career Mode which was groundbreaking at the time. There were stages in the game that looked very impressive considering the fact that they mirrored real-life cities such as: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in terms of looks. Need For Speed: Underground was a memorable racing classic from the 00’s; despite not being the most popular game within the series it was still highly successful reaching at least 7 million in sales by ’04.

Was Neo Geo a better console than Super Nintendo?

Both the original Neo Geo console from 1990 along with the Super NES were considered to be high profile video game console in relation to the early 90’s. While the Super NES has more success on a commercial level reaching over 49 million in sales the Neo Geo was not quite successful outside of Japan due to how expensive it ended up becoming. Following its initial release the Neo Geo AES was priced at $649.99 in America which was more than twice the price of the Super Nintendo console. The Super NES initially released in America at the price of $199 and ended up having more high profile video games than that of the Neo Geo AES or Neo Geo CD. There were games such as Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Zelda: Link To The Past and many others that were classics for the 16-bit console; along with being more affordable than anything SNK related back in the early to mid 90’s which heavily contributed to Nintendo success during that time period. For the most part fighting games stood out more than anything on Neo Geo such as the KOF series along with Art Of Fighting I & II in terms of gameplay.

In fact, Neo Geo had better 2D gameplay than the Super NES and Sega Genesis and was quite possibly one of the best game consoles of the 90’s despite its low sales. The Neo Geo was one of the first game consoles ever to provide arcade like gameplay which heavily contributed to the console’s appeal. However, unlike Super Nintendo we hardly got to see any high profile third party games on that console. In terms of quality many people can Matthew argument that Neo Geo was a far more superior console than the SNES. However, Nintendo is a more successful gaming entity than SNK in general and has most likely made more money off the SNES than one of its competitor did from Neo Geo from the 90’s onwards.

Retro Gaming 90’s- X-Men: (1993)

The X-Men animated series without was one of the hottest television shows of the early 90’s and was popular among children to a point where it eventually gained a cult following. In fact, the X-Men animated series was so popular to a point where there were several video games made such as the one for the Sega Genesis from ’93 that were considered to be memorable classics by many gamers who grew up within the 16-bit era of gaming. The X-Men game from ’93 was a platformer developed by Western Technologies, Inc and published by Sega. The original X-Men game for the Sega Genesis was the prequel for X-Men 2: Clone Wars from ’95 and was a title that had a more basic plot in comparison. The plot for the ’93 X-Men game for in relation to the Genesis console saw Magneto as the main antagonist. The Danger Room in which the X-Men train in became infected by a virus while creating realistic threats to the main protagonists in the process. Once the virus is disposed of players face-off against Magneto himself towards the end of the game. The X-Men game for Sega Genesis allows players to control Wolverine, Cyclops, Gambit and Nightcrawler.

In addition, to controlling four playable characters other X-Men such as: Rouge, Storm, Jean Grey, Iceman and Archangel served as support characters to help players complete various levels the the game. Despite, having nice 16-bit visuals and solid gameplay the X-Men title for the Sega Genesis was criticized by various gaming entities and fans for being too difficult especially when it came down to boss battles. Either way, the X-Men game from ’93 ended up becoming one of the best selling titles for the Sega Genesis following its release reaching more than one million in sales. While the X-Men game for the Sega Genesis was popular back in the early 90’s not everyone would agree that the game was on the same level as Mutant Apocalypse for the Super NES back in ’94. The X-Men game for the Sega Genesis is still considered to be an underrated platform classic regardless and may have been one of the few games within that genre to standout on the 16-bit console aside from the Sonic trilogy from ’91-94. As a platformer X-Men deserves far more credit than it has received over the years considering how successful it was on the Genesis console during its war against the Super NES in the early 90’s.

Retro Gaming 90’s- X-Men 2: Clone Wars (1995)

As far as old school platform games for the Sega Genesis are concerned there were quite a few titles that stood out back in the 16-bit era including the Sonic the Hedgehog series Dynamite Headdy along with Disney’s Aladdin. However, a platformer from Sega’s 16-bit console that does not get talked about as much is game known as X-Men 2: Clone Wars from ’95. Similar to that of X-Men Mutant Apocalypse from ’94 for the SNES the game allows players to choose multiple characters as they progressed throughout various stages including Wolverine, Psylocke, Beast, Cyclops, Gambit and Nightcrawler. One of the coolest things about the character selection is the fact that players can also unlock and play as Magneto who is generally a villain within the series. In X-Men: Clone Wars 2 Magneto is an ally to the group of mutants as they try to stop alien race known as Phalanx from destroying the Earth. In X-Men 2: Clone Wars the Phalanx are responsible for spreading a virus as they were eventually traced to Apocalypse’s facility. Not only to do players have to during one of the boss battles Apocalypse but they also encounter Deathbird as well; before dealing with the Phalanx clones of themselves.

In terms of visuals & gameplay X-Men 2: Clone Wars was quite possibly one of the best games within the series prior to anything that appeared on the PS1. Also, unlike X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse it should be noted that Clone Wars included two-player gameplay. While having co-op gameplay seemed like a step forward from X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse from ’94 it was generally criticized since the Clone Wars 2 looked like it was designed to be a single-player only game. Which characters had their own attributes and special abilities which would give them certain advantages over their enemies in terms of attacking and maneuvering throughout different levels. Clone Wars was a game that came out during the time period between ’92-’97 where the X-Men animated series was very popular making it an huge attraction mainly among children. Even though, Clone was not quite as successful as the X-Men game from ’93 that appeared on Sega Genesis those used to be fans of the series found it to be a pretty decent platform title overall. While it might the most high profile X-Men game from the 90’s Clone Wars had an intriguing plot and was much easier to beat than its ’93 prequel for the Sega Genesis.