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 10’s- Metro 2033: (2010)

One of the many memorable first-person shooter survival horror games that came out back in the early part of the 10’s decade that people generally like to talk about nowadays is Metro 2033 from 2010. For those who do not know Metro 2033 was developed by 4A Games and initially published by THQ before its release on the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows back in 2010. Since its initial release in ’10 the game was remastered and released for consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as the Redux edition which started appearing on various game systems since 2014. The Metro 2033 game was based off of the fictional post-apocalyptic novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky which originally published in Russia back in 2005. Similar to the novel the setting of the game took place in the desolate city of Moscow following a global nuclear holocaust that occurred in an alternate timeline during 2013. Metro 2033 contained a well balanced blend of stealth & survival gameplay as players controlled the main protagonist known as Artyom. In the game players have to fend off threats from the various enemies from mutated rats to large mutants and other sinister creatures in order to survive.

As players progress throughout Metro 2033 they discover some mind-blowing revelations in relation to Artyom and the Dark Ones. While Artyom constantly had supernatural visions pertains to the creatures he has been battling he eventually discovers the true intentions of the Dark One. While its was in initially believed that the Dark Ones wanted to destroy humanity it turns out they wanted to reach out them instead. These details were discovered by the time players reached the secret missile command center and depending on what decisions are made multiple endings could be unlocked. More details about Artyom’s childhood and his connection with the Dark Ones were emphasized in detail on Metro: Last Light which was the 2013 sequel to Metro 2033. The game itself was critically acclaimed by various gaming publications despite not being on the level of games such as Fallout 3 from ’09 as far as survival horror titles were concerned. Many people would argue that Metro 2033 was without a doubt one of the most high profile first person shooter survival horror titles of 2010 along with being one of the best video game adaptations of any novel in the history of gaming history.

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 10’s- Dungeon Siege III: (2011)

When it comes down to to action role-playing games from the early 10’s one of the few memorable titles that people instantly think about is Dungeon Siege III from 2011. For those who do not know the Dungeon Siege series began back in ’02 with the see being overshadowed by majority of action role-playing game within that genre. Dungeon Siege III was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 along with Microsoft Windows and included both single & multiplayer gameplay. The setting for Dungeon Siege III was set over a century following the events from the very first game in the series within a medieval-like kingdom. The plot for Dungeon Siege III is both intriguing but dark at the same time as the story focuses on the 10th Legion attempting to reconstruct their military force. The unintended death of King Hendrick following the onslaught of Azunite Church against the 10th Legion due to Jeyne Kassynder’s influence left the force in shambles as most of the people associated with it ended up losing their lives. While the Jeyne Kassynder is revealed to be the King’s illegitimate daughter players also discover that he and his legitimate offspring Roslyn were against her prior to the tragic even that eventually occurred within the game.

In Dungeon Siege III players have the option to control four different characters each with their own different story connected to the main plot. Dungeon Siege III had its share of positives and negatives as far as overall gameplay is concerned. There were players who were satisfied with the fighting system along with the storytelling aspect of the game which would be enough to get others interested in purchasing Dungeon Siege III. Despite, the intriguing storyline, impressive visuals along with the impressive gameplay people criticized the game for its complex loot system along with its abysmal camera angles in relation to the multiplayer co-op mode. For an action role-playing Dungeon Siege III May not have been the most popular game of the early 10’s. However, there are many gamers around the world who are itching to see a Dungeon Siege IV since its been about nine years since Dungeon Siege III was released. While Dungeon Siege III may not be one the most high profile action role-playing game of the 10’s decade its still a pretty solid game especially to those who have been long time fans of the series since the early 00’s. If we ever get a Dungeon Siege IV hopefully the developers would make a game where the storyline and gameplay is just as good as DS III but with greater modifications that would improve the overall quality of the final product itself.

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.

Persona 4: Golden Coming Soon to PC!!!

As many people already know the critically acclaimed JRPG Persona 4: Golden which came out back in 2012 has been confirmed for a PC release in the near future. For those who do not know Persona 4: Golden was initially released as a PlayStation Vita exclusive; it was considered to be the most popular game within its series prior to the release of Persona 5 for the PS3 back in 2016. Not only was Persona 4: Golden arguably one of the best JRPG’s of the 10’s but it was possibly the best game to have ever appeared on the PlayStation Vita in general. The fact that Persona 4: Golden was never ported for PC about seven to eight years ago is hard to believe considering how popular it became following its release in Summer 2012. The storyline for Persona 4: Golden was quite possibly the best the series had to offer since its inception back in ’96. The elements of mystery & suspense involving the dark plot of Persona 4: Golden along with inclusion updated social links and plot twists from the original ’08 game made for a very compelling gaming experience.

In fact, some people would probably argue that Persona 4: Golden deserved to be on the PlayStation 4 more so than PC anytime between ’14-’19. However, since more people are starting to become PC users worldwide there is a good chance that Persona 4: Golden would be a bigger attraction on PC than it would on PS4. Based on what we know the PC version Persona 4: Golden will eventually be accessible online through Steam. As it currently stands an official release date has not been revealed; but we do know that its been confirmed to appear sometime in June 2020. Also, the price for the PC version of Persona 4: Golden has yet to be revealed but we are likely to find that out very soon. Persona 4: Golden is considered to be one of the best JRPG’s that Atlus has ever produced and seeing a PC version of the game will make many fans of the series in countries like Japan, America and the UK very happy following its upcoming release.