The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

If you have been a hardcore Nintendo gamer since the 1990’s  then The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the first titles that come to mind in regards to being one of greatest games of its era.  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released for the Nintendo 64 (N64) in November 1998.  The release of Ocarina of Time itself was very significant because similar to Super Mario 64 it was the first game in the series to feature both 3D gameplay and graphics.  Since  most of the previous Zelda games were masterpieces  there was no doubt about this game being on the Christmas list of many children following its release in late 1998.  The features of this game were great because like Super Mario 64 open world maps were featured along with a decent plot to absorb players into Link’s next adventure.  This adventure had started out with Link has child having a nightmare regarding future events concerning Ganondorf.  Afterwards the game skips seven years into the future as Link was sealed away long enough until he can wield the Mastersword to defeat Ganon.

This game had retained some of the same features that was utilized in Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past released in 1991.  However,  the designers of Ocarina of Time decided to be more innovative and add more features to the game including puzzle games along with a new combat system known as Z-targeting.  This game had also offered players a multitude of options since there where many optional side quests that would allow many people to enjoy the game to its fullest.    However, when players finally make it to the Water Temple the vibe immediately changes from excitement to frustration leading to many gamers having nightmares about this stage to this day.  If someone manages to actually beat the Water Temple stage their problems would only get worse when they found themselves going head to head with the boss of the sixth dungeon Morpha.  Many people would say that Morpha was one of the most difficult bosses in the game next to the seventh dungeon boss Bongo Bongo or the final boss Ganon depending on the player.  The overall success of this game was unparalleled and would eventually receive countless accolades from many publications including Guinness World Records.  Also, publications such as: Electronic Gaming Monthly, GameSpot, IGN Entertainment and many others have rated this game to be a perfect ten.

Additional publications including GamePro had given The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time a five star rating following its release.  This Nintendo 64 classic is considered to be legendary in the annals of the gaming world not only due to its gameplay but also because of the replay value.  Many gamers would definitely agree that everything the designers put into this title such as: the difficulty, features, gameplay, innovation, storyline along with successfully transitioning a popular 2D series into 3D had contributed to the replay value of the game.  The replay value of Ocarina of Time was so high that Nintendo had also ported the game to different consoles such as: Gamecube, Wii, and the Wii-U.  The game had also received a remake for the Nintendo 3DS while answering the prayers of the fans for advanced graphics.  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was so enjoyable to a point where recently a person was beat the entire game completely blindfolded.  If that is not a testament to how great this game was then what is?   The designers of the game Shigeru Miyamoto, Koji Kondo and others had not only outdone themselves by creating  another masterpiece following its predecessors but they also provided us with a timeless classic that will never be forgotten.

The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (1991)

Everyone who were huge fans of Nintendo know about this game.  The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past was released in November 1991.  Since its release it has been considered to be one of the greatest games to be released not only for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) but of all time by many gamers. There are many reasons why this game was considered to be awesome.   One of the reasons why Link to the Past was enjoyable included the dramatic improvements that were added to the gameplay following its predecessor Zelda II: The Adventure of Link released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987.  Zelda: Link to the Past was more innovative because it took features from the original Legend of Zelda game for the (NES)  and effectively implemented them into this game to provide players with more effective gameplay while using the refined graphics of the (SNES). After the original Legend of Zelda game was released in 1986 for the (NES) Nintendo had felt its features were more effective than Zelda II.  This lead to Nintendo ultimately scrapping the side scrolling gameplay from Zelda II and utilizing the top down  features that were generally included  RPG games.  Another strong positive about Link to the Past included great  storytelling.

The idea of parallel dimensions involving the light and the dark world had not only contributed to the game’s creativity but it also added depth to the storyline making the adventure more exciting for gamers.  The quest to save Hyrule from Ganon who ruled the dark world using the Triforce along with defeating Agahnim gives players hours to enjoy this instant classic.  The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past has been highly praised by many gaming publications including GamePro, GameSpot, IGN, and Nintendo Power.  This game also had a sequel entitled the Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds which was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013; following its release the game also had received high appraisal from gamers and critics alike. There is no question that both Takashi Tezuka and Shigeru Miyamoto had produced a masterpiece that is considered to be one of the greatest Nintendo games of all-time.   While Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past remains to be one of the most popular titles in the game’s series many hardcore Nintendo fans are anticipating what the future holds for 2016.  We are highly optimistic about The Legend of Zelda: (2016) and believe this this upcoming game will be just great as its previous titles.

Final Fantasy VII: PS4 Remake

There is no secret that Final Fantasy VII is considered to be one of the most popular games in the series.  It great to know that Final Fantasy VII is going to be re-released for the PlayStation 4 counsel;  the remake of the game was announced by Square Enix back in June 2015 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.  While there is still no official date regarding the actual re-release there are highly levels of anticipation among Final Fantasy fans for its availability on the PlayStation 4.   When the first version of Final Fantasy VII was released for the original PlayStation console back in 1997 the game exceeded the expectations of many Final Fantasy fans during the late 90s.  After its initial release  Final Fantasy VII was highly praised by numerous gaming publications such as: GameInformer, GamePro, GameSpot, IGN and many more.

The game was considered to be a huge success for many reasons including development, gameplay, graphics, musical composition, and great storytelling.  During its release the seventh game in the Final Fantasy series was had become the first to feature 3D gameplay and graphics.  While Final Fantasy VII was awesome for the original PlayStation sometimes people wonder how successful the game would had been if it was released on an earlier counsel such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  Would Final Fantasy VII of received a similar reception if it was released for the SNES?  We all know that its predecessor Final Fantasy VI for the Super Nintendo was highly praised following its release in 1994.  The game overall is considered to be an instant classic that has Final Fantasy fans anxious for the release of the remake next year.

 

Retro Gaming

Retro gaming is something that many fans from older generations are quite fond of especially during the 80’s and 90’s.  One of the reasons why retro games were great was because the gaming industry in the process of evolving. We came from playing basic pixel games on the Atari during the 1970’s to advanced 2D graphics during the early to mid 90’s.  Some people would argue that the golden era of gaming occurred during the 1990’s because of competition between gaming companies such as Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation.  Also, it was during the 90’s when gaming companies had developed counsels that began producing both 3D gameplay & graphics. Some popular titles many people are familiar with include Soul Calibur, Tekken, and the Virtual Fighter series.  When 3D gameplay was first introduced it was considered ground-breaking because it was the beginning of something new.  However, throughout the 00’s advanced graphics and gameplay had become the main emphasis of virtually every game that was produced during the decade.

While many games in the 00’s were great they were considered to be popular for different reasons.  The games made mostly during the 00’s were popular because of great storytelling and the introduction of online multi-player gaming.  Some examples of such games included Call of Duty, Dead Space, Halo and Mass Effect.  It was also a time period where RPG’s became very popular and has remained as such in contemporary gaming.    During the 80s and the early to mid 90’s mainstream video games were popular for different reasons.  During the 80’s platform gaming was popular with the development of titles such as Castlevania, Mega Man, Super Mario Bros, and Zelda . Not only were these games challenging but they had good plots that would set the stage for future games in their respective series that would only improve with gameplay and quality throughout time.

During the late 80’s and early 90’s beat em up fight games was highly popular notably titles such as Double Dragon, Final Fight, and the Streets of Rage series.  These games were fun and straightforward in terms of plot.  Along with one on one fighting games beat em up games were commonly seen in arcade centers during 90’s.  Some popular arcade titles included Battletoads (1994), Double Dragon (1987) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989), and X-Men (1992). While the beat em up series was enjoyable the one on one fighting games were also very popular.  Some examples include the Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter,  and the Marvel series. These games started to become more popular as beat em up games began to decline.  Fighting games had also become more innovative when cross over team games such as the Marvel vs. Capcom series arrived during the mid to late 90’s.  If you were a 80’s or 90’s child then you remember being super excited visiting these arcade centers during the weekends when you were younger.  The point of this article is to look at the evolution of gaming for over the past three decades and to look at the elements of popular video games within their respective decades to gain some insight how the industry has changed over time.

There is definitely polarization among video game fans about what decade was the best in terms of gaming.   However, the best decade of gaming usually depends on who you ask and what their favorite genre is.  Other factors that come into play include country sales, learning curve, fun factor, gameplay, graphics, innovation, and storytelling.  Many would probably say that modern day gaming in the 10’s is the best due to it having superior graphics then previous decades.  Also, many popular games today mostly for adults have great storytelling along with outstanding gameplay.   Overall, while retro gaming holds a place in our hearts the advancement of technology has allowed key companies such Microsoft, Nintendo along with Sony to produce more superior games with the same fun factor and long lasting value similar to those of the past.