Classic Gaming- Mega Man 4: (1991)


The first three Mega Man games were both tough and awesome.  Many people thought that the second Mega Man game was probably the best of the three depending on who you ask. Each game became even more challenging than the previous one leading people to question whether or not they can beat any of those games especially Mega Man II & III.  The good news about Mega Man 4 is that both the gameplay and visual presentation is fantastic for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  The bad news is that Mega Man 4 is just as hard as its predecessors considering the fact that most of the stages in this game are unforgiving.   One the plus side along with having great gameplay the soundtrack for Mega Man 4 was probably as good as the second title.

The soundtrack for each stage seem to fit the atmosphere for each level and played a significant role in making the overall gameplay enjoyable.   There is much debate to this day on which soundtrack is the best when it comes down to stage themes.   There were also many tough boss battles in this games with the likes of Quick Man, Elec Man, Skull Man with others.  Another thing that was cool about Mega Man 4 was the fact that they introduced a new villain named Dr. Cossack. At some point the constant run ins with Dr. Wily in each game were starting to become repetitive and along with the Mega Man series stepping its game in terms of quality adding a new villain character in some ways helped re-freshen the series.  Added features to Mega Man 4 made this game stand out including the ability for Mega Man charge before attacking his enemies and the ability to utilize his dog named “Rush” to assist you in completing the game.

Mega Man 4 was considered to be one of the most exciting games for the Nintendo Entertainment System along with being one of the most challenging.  Since its release in the early 90’s Mega Man 4 received praise from various gaming publications such as GamePro, IGN, and Nintendo Power for being an outstanding action platormer game.  The Mega Man series for the NES were among the best and shockingly  Nintendo continued making games for that console despite the release of the SNES game console during the later part of 1990.

Gaming Consoles- Game Boy: (1989)

Game Boy

We all remember when Nintendo had produced the original Game Boy console in 1989.  Nintendo is considered to be one of the most innovative gaming companies of all time because they always found a way to reinvent themselves with a new product or game that was highly in demand.  In the 1980’s the Nintendo Entertainment System was a very popular home based console that provided different types of gameplay that was not seen in many arcades especially when it came to platform & RPG games. The success the that the Nintendo Entertainment System received since its release is unfathomable considering the fact that it sold millions around the world and is considered to be one of the best game consoles of all time.  A couple of years following the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System a handheld game console was developed by Nintendo which was just as fun.  When Nintendo had released the original Game Boy handheld console many people loved the product because it allowed people to play their games anywhere they went.

Game Boy was also convenient because it utilized either AA or AAA batteries depending on what model you used.  The controls for Game Boy were similar to that of the NES because it included a directional pad along with and A & B button.  The controls for Game Boy also featured a select & start button along with additional features that made this hand console stand out.  Some of the additional features Game Boy had included was the universal serial bus (USB) link cable that would allow multiplayer gameplay on one game.  Game Boy was so popular that it sold at least one million units in America within a month due to its excellent features along with gameplay that highly resembles that of the NES. One of the original games for the Nintendo Game Boy included the famous puzzle game known as Tetris which was considered to be the best selling game for that console with over 30 million units worldwide.

As time progressed during the 1990’s games such as Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow became extremely popular and generated sales in the millions since their respective releases.  Along with having so many great titles such as the Pokemon series, Zelda Link’s Awakening, and Dr. Mario Nintendo had created an add on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System entitled Super Game Boy released in 1994.  The Super Game Boy was worth approximately $60 following its initial release and made anyone who was a hardcore Nintendo fan want to purchase the product if they already owned an SNES game system.  Many people would agree that Nintendo’s Game Boy was a huge improvement from their preceding handheld console known as Game & Watch which was released in 1980.  Also, the Game Boy handheld console was proof among many other things that Nintendo had always found a way to reinvent themselves along with keeping the masses interested in their products.  The development of Game Boy definitely created some competition with the likes of Sega Game Gear and Atari Lynx in the early 90’s which made the gaming experience exciting for everyone.  It has been over 25 years since Game Boy was released by Nintendo and even though it was a long time ago this handheld console is recognized as one of the most influential game systems of all time.

Classic Gaming- Mega Man: (1987)


Mega Man was a very popular platform game in the late 80’s during a time period games such as Super Mario Bros was becoming a mainstream attraction in the gaming world.  When the original Mega Man was released many people were blown away by the innovative gameplay that was included in this title. This single player platform game had featured multiple robots including Cut Man, Guts Man, Ice Man, Bomb Man, Fir Man and Elec Man who were all created by Dr. Light and needed to be stopped due to an accident that made these machines malfunction and become destructive.   The plot for this Mega Man was interesting and the concept for this game was innovative because it was unlike the traditional platform games.  In Super Mario Bros, you were able to battle the enemies by jumping on them along with using items that provided special abilities for a limited time depending upon your performance during a certain level.  Similar to Zelda II: Adventure of Link players are given some type health bar for each level.

Also, Mega Man also shows you the health bars of the stage bosses and gives you the opportunity to use their powers in different stages after defeating them.  The musical composition for Mega Man made the game more exciting and even though it was good many would argue that some of the soundtracks in some of the later MM titles were outstanding.  One of the things that were kinda cool about this game included how Fire Man’s stage looked similar to Bowser’s Castle.  Also, towards the end of the game players must fight a Mega Man copy which is somewhat similar to Zelda II: Adventure of Link where you must battle “Dark Link” towards the end.  When Capcom had developed the Mega Man series they did a pretty good job creating top down side scrolling shooter game that was both adventurous and family friendly.  While its debatable which Mega Man game the NES & SNES series is the best the original title was definitely an instant classic that many people enjoyed during the late 80’s.

Classic Gaming- Super Smash Bros: (1999)


Super Smash Bros was probably one of the best games to be released for the Nintendo 64 between the mid to late 90’s.  This game was probably a decade in the making because it was a crossover that included the most popular characters from various Nintendo titles from the early 80’s until the late 90’s.  Super Smash Bros had included many of our favorites including Mario, Kirby, Link , Fox McCloud, Ness and others in a multiplayer fighting game where up to four players were allowed to be apart of the action.  Super Smash Bros was unique because each character had special attacks that were utilized in their own respective game along with having the ability use weapons that would give them the upper hand during battle.  What made Super Smash Bros even more exciting was the fact that each stage was based one of the settings for specific games such as: Mushroom Kingdom (Super Mario), Hyrule Castle (Zelda), Dream Land (Kirby), Sector Z (Star Fox) and others.

Super Smash Bros also featured great in game mechanics including the damage percentage meter that increases as the characters fight one another.  Along with having a damage percentage meter characters are given multiple lives each time they are knocked of the platform they are fighting on.  Along with all the other features of Super Smash Bros the coolest thing about this game is the concept which involves a crossover between a fighting and platform genre game.  Super Smash Bros was also very unique because it was something that too many people would not have expected from Nintendo approximately seven years ago when Super Nintendo was still popular.  However, sometimes people might wonder how Super Smash Bros would have played out if it was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  In theory, there would probably be questions on whether or not the 16-bit console could handle such a game.  Along, with having exciting multiplayer gameplay Super Smash Bros had included a great soundtrack including some remakes of classic tune from older games for the SNES and the N64.  Following, it release Super Smash Bros was praised by fans and critics for being one of the best fighting games to be released for the Nintendo 64.  Super Smash Bros is arguably one of the best crossover titles to be released by Nintendo and was considered a great gift to many gamers around the world going into the new millennium

Role Playing Games- The Legend of Zelda: (1986)


There were many cool things about the 80’s including music, culture, movies and games such as The Legend of Zelda.  When this game was first released during the 80’s many people were interested about various aspects of the game including Link’s quest to retrieve pieces of the Tri-force as he travels throughout various dungeons in Hyrule.  The Legend of Zelda was a very significant game because it paved the ways for many RPG games during the 90’s and the 00’s with the inclusion of overworld map features. Also, many people know that the Legend of Zelda was the first game to ever include a battery powered save feature which would allow people to continue where they left off following a previous play session.  The features included in this game was groundbreaking especially for the Nintendo Entertainment System because during the 1980’s platform games such as Super Mario and MegaMan was very popular and the The Legend of Zelda provided something that was just as good but different.


The Legend of Zelda you with the experience of traveling throughout many different dungeons while utilizing many secret underground passages in order to collect different parts of the Tri-Force.  Around the beginning of the game the obstacles could prove to be a bit overwhelming since one must battle various creatures at once while controlling Link.  There are nine dungeons that Link must explore the complete his quest but it would be considered a task which is easier said than done.  The Legend of Zelda is a game where players can become better through trail and error since there are so many ways for one to lose in this game.  However, despite the obstacles the game presents Link has the opportunity to gain various weapons such as his sword, boomerang, and his sword.  While gaining the sword is optional in this game it would almost be considered a necessity considering the amount of opposition one faces in this game.


Even though, The Legend of Zelda presents numerous challenges players also have the opportunity to expand their health bar throughout the duration of the game if they are very careful. Once you got towards the end of level 9 and defeat Ganon it feels like a weight has been lifted because since it was probably one of the toughest dungeons in the whole game.  While the ending doesn’t seem like much after Link rescues Zelda the amount of time invested into completing the game was a reward of itself.  After the initial release of the original Legend of Zelda game many people could not have predicted that the game would spur a series of titles sequels for over the next two decades following its release in 1986.   At this point it has been at least 30 years since the Legend of Zelda series began. Considering  the impact that The Legend of Zelda series had on the gaming industry since its inception many would be inclined to agree that it would be one of the greatest RPG creations of all time.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel


The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is considered to be a hidden gem for the PlayStation 3 by many people who have played this game.  While The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel was also made available for the PlayStation Vita there were many complaints about its frame rate in comparison to the PlayStation 3.  Despite, the quality differences in both versions Trails of Cold Steel has the same amount of exhilarating RPG action with the inclusion of seven chapters that make up the story for this game.  One of the exciting features in Trails of Cold Steel involves the grid based battle system this game utilizes.  Even though, some of the monsters & bosses in this game were tough players at the opportunity to have up to four characters in their group during battles.

In most games during the 2000’s such as some the 3D Final Fantasy games players can have only up three characters battles with bosses or monsters.  Some people might compare this game to the likes of Suikoden where players were generally allowed to have more than three characters on the field during trivial battles.  Another feature that stands out about Trails of Cold Steel includes it in depth battle mode which gives the players multiple options on what to do with their characters.  The BGM for Trails of Cold Steel also adds a nice touch to the game especially when the action takes place during those exciting monster battles.  The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel was definitely a great title that was developed by Nihon Falcon considering the fact that it was the first in the series.

While some might argue that this game is not perfect many others would say that it was a top notch RPG title with great storytelling, fantastic visuals, and nice gameplay.   When this game was first released in Japan during late 2013 many people had to wait about two years for it to be released in America during the end of 2015.  The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II was also the same in which the actual game was released in America about two years after it inital release in Japan in 2014.  As of right now Trails of Cold Steel III will definitely be in the works and has many people wondering what to expect prior to ts release.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue


The Kingdom Hearts series is one of the best RPG’s of the 00’s and the early 10’s.  When the original Kingdom Hearts game made its debut many people were impressed by the concept along with many other features of the series including the characters of series.  Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter features remastered version of Dream Drop Distance along with Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover and Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep-A Fragmentary Passage.    Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop had an awesome soundtrack  on “The World Ends with You” OST including  “Calling”, “Long Dream”, and “Give Me All Your Love”.  While Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue would be consider an excellent prelude to Kingdom Hearts III many people have been waiting since the mid 00’s  for Square Enix to officially release the long awaited sequel following the KH II series.

Another cool thing about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter includes the fact that it will utilize the Unreal Engine 4 which will also be featured in Kingdom Hearts III. Sometimes its hard believe that the original Kingdom Hearts II was released in 2005 back when the PlayStation 2 was still popular.  During the mid 00’s many people had probably expected Kingdom Hearts III to be released for the PlayStation 3 shortly after it made its debut in late 2006.  The fact that it has been almost a decade since the release of the original Kingdom Hearts II game means Kingdom Hearts III is definitely going to be something special. As of right now many gamers are looking forward to the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue since it provides a more refined version of of Dream Drop Distance for the Nintendo 3DS.  Those who never got a chance to play Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance will have the opportunity to play it for PlayStation after its worldwide release coming up in December 2016.  As of right now we have know that Kingdom Hearts III will be released in 2017 but on the plus side fans of the series will have a nice Christmas present to look forward to during December courtesy of Square Enix.

Odin Sphere Leifthraisr- HD Remake


It was pretty cool that Odin Sphere Leifthraisr was re-released for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and the Vita back in January 2016.  What was great about Odin Sphere Leifthraisr during the late 00’s was that it was different from most of the games that were popular during that decade.  During the 00’s first person shooter games were very popular along with titles in the fighting genre while Odin Sphere Leiftraisr was an RPG game that diverted from the traditional three dimensional gameplay format.  Odin Sphere was a side-scrolling 2D game that featured fantastic combat, great soundtracks, smooth frame rates, along with awesome graphics & artwork.  Vanillaware did an excellent job with the storytelling aspect of the game which interconnects five separate stories of the main characters Gwendolph, Cornelius, Mercedes, Oswald and Velvet.

When Odin Sphere Leifthraisr was first released in 2007 many people more than likely enjoyed this game because it was something that seemed very different from a traditional RPG game.  Odin Sphere had included basic elements that are normally seen in other Role Playing games while being a 2D side scrolling which really brought back feelings of nostalgia in relation to classic games of the early 90’s for Super Nintendo.  When the remake of Odin Sphere Leifthraisr was released the graphics for the game looked better than ever since it featured 1080p.  As fun as Odin Sphere Leifthraisr was one has to wonder if Vanillaware have any plans on making a sequel to this RPG classic; it so it will probably be a while before we hear about any plans in regards to its development.

Retro Gaming- Final Fantasy XIII: (2009)


As many of us know Final Fantasy XIII was released by Square Enix in late-2009.  What was cool about this game was that Square Enix decided to divide this game into two parts.  Final Fantasy XIII is one of the many games in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series along with titles such as: Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightening Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy Type-0.  Final Fantasy XIII was a game that Square Enix has worked on since 2004 and it would be safe to say that many people were satisfied with the finished product of this game.  Similar to some of the previous games Final Fantasy XIII maintains the Active Time Battle System that was introduced in FFIV. Another similarity to some of the preceding Final Fantasy games includes the amount of characters one can have during battles.  Similar to titles such as Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XII players are only allowed to have a maximum of three characters during each battle.


Along with a refined battle system the game includes an new leveling system know as the “Crystarium.”  This leveling system made Final Fantasy XIII more exciting to players since it contained ten levels that were unlocked throughout key points of the game.  Some would argue that the  developers used a creative approach to implement this new feature.  Others might argue that the Crystarium is similar to the Sphere Grid introduced in Final Fantasy X but with fewer options. Either way it added some variety to this title along with many other in game elements.  During battles players are only allowed to control the lead character which can seem frustrating since it would have a profound effect on different strategies players would use to defeat their opponents.  Speaking of opponents there are various bosses that many people struggle with while playing Final Fantasy XIII.


Most of the difficulties that people have in Final Fantasy XIII are usually in Chapter eleven.  Without a doubt Barhandelus is the toughest boss in the entire game along with Hecatoncheir and Dahaka.  As one progresses throughout the game they learn more about the main characters Lighting, Snow Villiers, Sazh Katzroy, Oerba Yun Fang, and Oerba Dia Vanille and how to master their abilities to defeat fearsome foes.  After its initial release Final Fantasy XIII sold millions in Japan its first week.  Many critics and gamers approved of the outstanding graphics and fast paced gameplay. Gaming publications such as Eurogamer, Gamespot, and IGN scored part 1 of  FFXIII in the eight point bracket while Game Informer’s rating was in the nine point bracket.  Overall, Final Fantasy XIII is a very fun title that people will spend hours trying to complete due to its level of difficulty.




Retro Gaming- Final Fantasy XI: (2002)


As we all know Final Fantasy XI was originally released by Square for the PlayStation 2 game console in 2002. This game would also be released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 which allowed players to enjoy the online gameplay of  Final Fantasy XI.  The online features of Final Fantasy XI is better suited for Microsoft Windows or the  Xbox 360 because of its massive multiplayer gameplay which allowed players to put in as many hours as they wanted into the game.  Final Fantasy XI allows players to control five characters including Elvaan, Hume, Galka, Mithra, and Tarutaru to journey off into different adventures throughout the game.  Since its inception Final Fantasy XI had introduced as series of add-ons and expansion packs between the years 2003 and 2015.


Each expansion pack have their own unique stories including Rise of the Zulart (2003), Chains of Promathia (2004), Treasures of Aht Urhgan (2006), and Wings of the Goddess (2007) which most fans of the series in seem to enjoy.  While it varies among many people which pack was the best some people would probably agree that Chains of Promathia was one of the most favorable expansion sets.  The missions and adventures in each expansion pack all offer great gameplay and many hours of fun that people can really get attached to.    Final Fantasy XI was slightly different from its previous titles because player had the option of using a keyboard and a mouse if they were playing the game on a console.  This would allow players to advance through the story using the dialog sequence that appears on the lower left screen of the game.


Another great feature this game includes is character customization which allows people to alter anything from appearance to national allegiance for the characters they control.  As one progresses through Final Fantasy XI they have the opportunity engage in various battles with monsters in highly refined 3D landscapes. Final Fantasy XI also includes various boss battles that are both fun and challenging. While the main battles in the game vary based on difficulty many would argue that the High Notorious Bosses: Absolute Virtue and Pandemonium Warden were among the toughest.   Even though, many people enjoyed Final Fantasy XI on PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 it was revealed over a month ago that Square Enix had shut down servers for both game consoles.  However, people are still allowed to play Final Fantasy XI online for Microsoft Windows.  While many may argue that Final Fantasy XI paled in comparison to some of other titles in the series they would have to admit that it was a very fun game to play online.