Retro Gaming 90’s- Mario Paint: (1992)

When we think about SNES games that were both very different and unique as relates to the early 90’s Mario Paint from 1992 is a title that instantly comes to mind. For those who do know Mario Paint was basically a single-player art tool game that allowed players to engage in a variety of activities. The creation of custom stamps by utilizing pixels was something special because was something that people hardly saw in Super NES titles back in the early 90’s let alone a Mario game. Also, the endless fly swatting game with three looping levels and a final boss was one that seemed like it did not belong in a Mario game at all. But considering the fact that Mario Paint was not your typical platform title the fly swatting mini-game made players feel as if they were playing a non-Mario game and was interesting in that respect. One of the main features that Mario Paint has to offer as far as gameplay was concerned was the the music generator. For those who were very creative and were fond of composing music in some way Mario Paint has provided talented individuals to make their own songs using 16-bit sounds.

The music generator feature in Mario Paint is one that has remained popular since the early 90’s and people have often used it within the 10’s decade to remake famous songs from the past couple of decades on the internet. As popular as Mario Paint was back in the early 90’s the game never received a direct sequel for Super Nintendo, N64 it GameCube which was something that was always questionable. Some people find it bizarre that Nintendo never created another art-tool based Mario game since ’92. In fact, following the release of Mario Paint during the Summer of ’92 the game was critically acclaimed and received praise from various publications. Mario Paint was unlike anything that the world had every seen on the Super NES and it was something that was never seen on consoles like the Sega Genesis which made it so special.

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- Assassin’s Creed II: (2009)

When we think about some of the best action-adventure games to have been released during the 00’s decade one of the few titles that many people instantly think about is Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II from 2009. Assassin’s Creed II was the highly anticipated sequel of its predecessor from 2007 which appeared on multiple game game systems such as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows between November 2009 and March 2010. One of the most interesting things about Assassin’s Creed II was how the storyline for the game had included various historical figures such Niccolò Machiavelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Bartolomeo d’ Alviano, Pope Alexander VI and others while the setting took place during the late 15th-early 16th century time period. The main protagonist Ezio Auditore has a rather dark but interesting backstory when players learn that his family had been brutally executed during the conflict involving the Assassins and the Knights Templar during the Renaissance era in Italy. The events surrounding Ezio Auditore is framed in the 21st century by a descendant within his bloodline named Desmond Miles which contributes to overall quality of the storytelling aspect of Assassin’s Creed II.

In this game players start out as Desmond who is eventually taught assassin skills by an undercover assassin named Lucy Stillman through a technique known as the “Bleeding Effect”. Shortly, afterwards Desmond learns more about his ancestor’s past when he discovers Ezio’s goal to retrieve information regarding the pieces of Eden. During Ezio’s journey players eventually cross path with the main antagonist Rodrigo Borgia who possessed one of the pieces of Eden while eventually becoming Pope Alexander VI. While Ezio eventually takes a piece of Eden from Borgia its eventually discovered that his father and brother were both condemned to death by hanging for treason by a despotic magistrate within Italy. Fueled by vengeance Ezio wanted to use his combat/stealth abilities to destroy every individual who was involved in his father’s death despite their occupation. His quest to destroy his father’s murderers is meet with aid as he trains with ancient order Assassin members who assist him along his quest. Throughout, the game players engage in various missions accompanied with non-linear gameplay and world maps that feature historical locations within Italy such as Florence, Venice, Forlì and others.

The addition of new in game mechanics such as swimming and “Eagle Vision” were features that many people found appealing comparison to the original Assassin’s Creed title from ’07. The ability to hire skilled non-playable characters from thieves all the way down to mercenaries to battle adversarial forces was also a plus; because it gave players more independence to develop creative strategies in order to complete certain parts of the game. There was also more realism added to the game with the introduction of a day/night cycle and a more robust yet effective combat system especially when it came down to countering the attacks of enemies. Along with impressive storytelling full of twists and turns, ancient landmarks, historical characters from the Renaissance era of Italy the visuals for Assassin’s Creed II was amazing back in ’09 thanks to the AnvilNext game engine.

Since its release back in November 2009 Assassin’s Creed II had received three downloadable expansion packs which kept players interested in the game before the release of Assassin’s Creed III in 2012. As far overall success in relation to sales it was reported that Assassin’s Creed II has reportedly sold over 1.6 million within its first week which was a pretty big deal at the time. In fact, Assassin’s Creed II is arguably the best installment within the series despite the fact that it was released a decade ago. The story for Assassin’s Creed II felt somewhat similar to Dishonored from 2012 in the sense where the story emphasizes corruption among authority figures and is accompanied with a dark and tragic backstory leading the main protagonists to align themselves with resistant rebels forces who end up becoming avengers. As a action-adventure stealth from the 00’s Assassin’s Creed II was quite the best video game from that 00’s decade and its a title that some might still enjoy on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to this day.

Retro Gaming 90’s- Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge (1995)

When it comes down to 2D fighting games from the 90’s that are considered to be underrated one of the few titles that comes to mind is Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge which was released back in 1995. Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge was initially released in arcade centers for the CP System II before appearing on the Sega Saturn in 1996. For whatever reason Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge never appeared on the PS1 despite the console being more popular both Japan and America. For those who do not know Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge was the direct sequel to the original Darkstalkers game Capcom had developed in ’94. Ironically, Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors was ported for the PS1 in ’96 despite the quality of the game being slightly inferior compared to Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge. As far as popularity is concerned DarkStalkers: The Night Warriors was arguably a more well known title since it was the first entry within the entire series. In fact, Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge had the same characters, ending and plot from the ’94 game. However, Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge did have some new characters in addition to the likes of Morrigan Aensland, Lord Raptor, Hsien-Ko Felicia and others.

There were non-playable boss characters such as Huitzil & Pyron who were in the first DarkStalkers game that became selectable in Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge. Also, the improvements made to the gameplay for DarkStalkers Revenge was a positive. When it came downtown the super meters of the characters Capcom had decided to give them both EX & ES specials. While a EX special consumed the players entire special gauge an ES special took up about a fraction of the characters meter somewhat similar to the Street Fighter Alpha series from the mid to late 90’s. Its entire possible that Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge could have been way more popular than it was during ’95-’96 on the PS1. However, 2D fighting games were starting to lose their appeal in America & Japan during the mid 90’s in favor of 3D gaming. Despite, not being as popular as other 2D fighting games from the 90’s Night Warriors: DarkStalkers Revenge was still a very good fighting game that does not get talked about as much should.

Final Fantasy VII & VIII Twin Pack confirmed for the Switch console!!!!

One of the few things that has been making headlines within the gaming world as of late involves the upcoming Switch ports of the JRPG classics Final Fantasy VII & VIII from the late 90’s. As far as big attractions are concerned both Final Fantasy VII & VIII were among two of the best selling video games for the PS1 when they were released between ’97-’99. Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII had sold close to 10 million following its release in January 1997 and was the third best selling game for the legendary PS1. The inclusion of memorable characters such Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, Sephiroth made Final Fantasy VII arguably the best entry within series with a cult following that that is still present to this day. Final Fantasy VIII was a game that was not quite as successful as its ’97 predecessor but still managed to reach at least 7 million sales while becoming the seventh best selling title for the PS1. Despite, being criticized for its complicated gameplay and quality issues with Disc 3 FFVIII was still a game that fans of the FF series are still quite fond of.

Final Fantasy VII & VIII will undoubtedly be huge attractions for the Nintendo Switch especially considering the fact that those two titles are among the biggest JRPG’s that have never appeared on a Nintendo based console. As it currently stands the multi-language Final Fantasy VII & VIII Twin Pack can currently be pre-ordered for $49.99 on Play-Asia.com. Also, it has not been confirmed on whether or not the Final Fantasy VII & VIII Twin Pack will receive a physical release released outside of Asia or in western countries like America. As far as upcoming releases are concerned with the Final Fantasy series is concerned we know for a fact that the Final Fantasy VII: Remake has been confirmed to appear in America as a PS4 exclusive while there seems to be no plans at all regarding Square Enix doing something similar with Final Fantasy VIII outside it being remastered. Hopefully, the Final Fantasy VII & VIII Twin Pack will be released in western countries like America sometime in the near future or perhaps in 2020.

Could the Sega Genesis have been successful if were released in the 00’s?

As far as retro consoles are concerned there is no secret that the Sega Genesis is considered to be legendary in the world of gaming. The Sega Genesis was initially released back in ’88 and since its release the 16-bit console has managed to reach at least 35 million units in worldwide sales. Despite, not selling as much as the Super NES console released back in 1990 it was still praised for its collection of games including the Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy, Street Of Rage trilogy, Phantasy Star series and many other titles that are seen as classics from the early 90’s. While the 90’s was considered to be the golden era for video games involving 2D sprites and level design 3D gaming involving RPG’s, shooters and action-adventure titles were very popular during the 00’s. With consoles such PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Wii and the PlayStation 3 it would be easy to console that the Sega Genesis would have definitely been overshadowed in the 00’s.

There were consoles such as the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 that could run 16-bit video games better than the likes of The Sega Genesis or the Super Nintendo. In fact the PS2 and the PS3 could run arcade games with ease making consoles such as the Sega Genesis and the Super NES obsolete. While the Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS were both highly successful during the 00’s many would argue that titles within the Pokémon, Super Mario and Legend Of Zelda series were still very big during that decade contributing to the huge sales of both handheld consoles. If Sega decided to release a Dreamcast 2 during early to mid 00’s than its possible that could of rivaled the Nintendo GameCube in popularity since the console sold less than 22 million units worldwide. By the 00’s decade technology had evolved far beyond what it was in the late 80’s-early 90’s so its was unlikely that the Sega Genesis would had as much success during that time period than it did following its initial release.