Upcoming Releases: Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is a very popular RPG title that is on the radar of many gamers for 2016.  Many people are very optimistic about the future release of this game because it has been in development for many years dating back to 2006.  Final Fantasy XV will be released for PlayStation 4 along with Xbox One and will be developed mainly by Square Enix.   The plot takes place in a world similar to Earth and is centered around the main protagonist Noctis.  In this game Noctius  seeks to ruin the plans of Niflhelm after they gained control of the world’s crystal.  This takes place after both Lucas and Niflheim had agreed to a peace treaty which ended the cold war that occurred over the world’s last crystal.  After the treaty was made things took a turn for the worse involving Lucas.  Due to the unfortunate events involving Lucas the main protagonist  Noctius must utilize his magical powers to retrieve the world’s crystal from Niflheim.

Throughout the game Noctis is aided by many allies including Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis.  Final Fantasy XV has been noted to have more realistic characters and a darker atmosphere compared to some of its previous titles.  Also the battle system in this game adopts some of the elements used in the Kingdom Hearts series and Final Fantasy Type 0.   Many gaming publications including Gamespot & IGN have noted that Final Fantasy XV is a title many people are looking forward to.  The game will be directed by Hajime Tabata  and produced by Shinji Hashimoto.  Also, Yoko Shimomura will be working on the musical composition for the game.  It  is well known by many gamers that she has worked on the composition for many popular titles in the past  especially the Kingdom Hearts series.   The storyline along with innovative gameplay seems very exciting.   The anticipation also has many gamers  believing that its release will be worth the wait.

Chrono Cross (1999)

Chrono Cross is another unforgettable RPG classic that was developed by Square Co. and released for the PlayStation console in Japan during the fall  of 1999.   This game would not be released in North America until the summer of 2000 allowing Chrono fans to anticipate the long awaited sequel of Super Nintendo’s  Chrono Cross that was released in 1995.  It was during mid 90’s where gaming started to transition mainly into 3D gameplay and similar to the Final Fantasy series many people where excited about the sequel of its predecessor.  While Chrono Trigger may be the title many people remember another game was released for the Super Nintendo in 1996 entitled “Radical Dreamers.”  Unlike Chrono Trigger this game was available exclusively in Japan and was accessible through Satellaview to be an add-on feature for Super Nintendo.  The game Radical Dreamers is significant because it plays a large part in setting the stage the story for Chrono Cross.  The story for Chrono Cross focuses on the main character Serge a seventeen year old boy who ends up in an alternate world ten years before his drowning death to discover the circumstances that led to the incident.

This journey leads Serge on a quest to save the world and similar to Chrono Trigger the concept of time travel plays substantial role in Chrono Cross as players are allowed to travel into parallel dimensions.  During his journey Serge is joined by the likes of other characters including Kid, Guile and Norris who assist him on fulfilling his quest.  Serge also has to battle enemies including Lynx and Harlie who constantly plots against him throughout the game.  One of  the reasons why this game is very interesting is because of the plot and the amount of depth the story has.  Along with being connected with the past two games Chrono Trigger and Radical Dreamers there are some interesting twists and turns to Chrono Cross.  An example would include Lynx turning out to be Serge’s father Wazuki who was transformed into a different being by FATE.  Another great feature about Chrono Cross includes its enjoyable soundtrack with songs such as: Scar’s of Time, The Girl who Stole the Stars, Radical Dreamers and many more.  While many gamers found this RPG classic to be exciting there were some who believed the game to also be very easy.  This does not mean the game did not include any difficult boss battles.

If you ask some people who have played Chrono Cross they will probably tell you that Migul & Garai are the hardest bosses in the game while others will tell you that the game is a cakewalk.  Despite on how you view the difficulty for Chrono Cross many can agree on this game being one of the best RPG titles produced during its time and probably in the history of gaming.  Many publications including Game Revolution and Imagine Games Network highly praised Chrono Cross for its features, gameplay, and graphics which was great during the time. Publications such as GameSpot scored Chrono Cross a perfect ten  while PlayStation magazine gave the game a five star rating.  Based on the reception this title received the designers of the game Hiromichi Tanaka, Masato Kato, Yasuyuki Honne, and Yasunori Matsuda should have immediately known that Chrono fans have anticipated a sequel to this chapter of the series.  It has been approximately fifteen years since Chrono Cross was released and since then the game has been re-released for the PlayStation Network in both Japan and North America.  If the creators decide to add another  chapter to the Chrono series many fans would not only ponder what direction the main storyline will take but features it can possible add to make the game more enjoyable.  Overall, Chrono Cross is an outstanding RPG game and being one the best games in its genre makes this classic worthy of  holding a special place  in the hearts of many gamers who enjoyed the series.

 

 

 

Chrono Trigger (1995)

This unforgettable classic entitled Chrono Trigger was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in early 1995.  Chrono Trigger was a RPG game developed by  Square Enix formally known as Square Co and is considered to be an instant classic among many people and critics alike.  There are many reasons why this game was very popular during the mid 90s.  One of the reasons why Chrono Trigger was popular included the amount of time the designers had invested into the game.  If anyone has ever played Chrono Trigger they would realize how much detail the designers had placed into every aspect of the game.  The graphics for Chrono Trigger are highly refined and looks amazing for a Super Nintendo game.  The game also features an excellent storyline that players can easily become interested in.  One of the strong points concerning the plot for  Chrono Trigger includes the amount of creativity the developers had placed into the game.  The concept of time travel plays a huge role in this game as the main character Chrono has to complete a majority of his missions in different eras within the game.

The game starts with Chrono at the Milennial Fair at 1000 A.D. while celebrating the Kingdom of Guardia.  Chrono then meets a girl named Marle who is later revealed to be a princess.  Crono makes this startling discovery about Marle after an incident where his friend Lucca had created a teleportation device that malfunctioned earlier when the princess used it.  After following the princess Crono is then accused by the chancellor of Guardia for kidnapping the princess and sentenced to death for his alleged crimes.  Immediately after the sentencing  Lucca and Marle help Crono escape from jail and begin to evade pursuers through time travel.  Throughout the game Chrono and his friends travel many time periods including the Prehistoric era, Middle Ages, Post-Apocalyptic era, and the End of Time.  Chrono and his friends adventure throughout time by utilizing a time machine known as “Epoch” where they battle many different types enemies from different time periods.  Some of the most difficult bosses that players would encounter in this game includes Gata, Zeal, and Lavos.  However, once players learn how to master the game defeating these enemies can become easier over time just like many RPG games.

The gameplay for Chrono Trigger is similar  to Final Fantasy  because it includes the Active Time Battle System. The characters are allowed to use physical and magical attacks during battles while using hit points to track the damage both players and enemies have received.  The Chrono Trigger also features fantastic visual design along with a phenomenal soundtrack and multiple endings depending on how game is completed.  Chrono Trigger as received many awards from different gaming publications. Chrono Trigger was named the “Best Super Nintendo Game” along with being the “Best Role Playing game” by Electronic Gaming Monthly in 1995.  The game was also named the “Best Role Playing Game” along with receiving a five-star rating from GamePro. Chrono Trigger not only received high praise from gamers and critics alike it had also received a sequel entitled Chrono Cross which was released for the PlayStation console in 1999.  This game has also been re-released for multiple consoles including the Nintendo DS along with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita which is available through the PlayStation Network.  This game is considered to be memorable classic that really captured the essence of what an RPG game should be like.  The designers of Chrono Trigger including  Akira Toriyama, Yasunori Mitsuda and many more had created a masterpiece that  many people from the 16-bit era will always remember. Also,  Chrono Trigger is considered one of the best Super Nintendo games of all-time due to its incredible gameplay, storyline, and soundtrack which was astounding for a Super Nintendo game.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994)

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was released for the Sega Genesis in early 1994.   Prior to the game’s release many people were ecstatic about the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and the creative high quality and enjoyable Sonic CD for the Sega CD.  The development of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was slightly different than Sonic because not only did the game improve mechanically but the designers were more creative in terms of level design. Stages such as Hydrocity Zone, Marble Garden and Carnival Night Zone were more complex than the levels of Sonic 1 & 2.  However, the complexity of the game only adds to the excitement and adventure as both our heroes journey throughout Angel Island Zone to look for Dr. Robotnik.  Before they begin Sonic & Tails are ambushed by Knuckles the Echidna the newest character of the game who then takes all seven chaos emeralds from them.  It turns out that Knuckles was duped by Dr. Robotnik into believing that Sonic & Tails was his enemies when in reality that is not true at all.  It turns out that Sonic has a lot on his plate during this game when we discover that Dr. Robotnik had also been plotting to steal the Master Emerald that Knuckles had been guarding behind his back.

Eventually, towards the end of the game Knuckles discovers that Dr. Robotnik had tricked him and decides to help Sonic stop him from carrying out his plan for using the Master Emerald to power the Death Egg.  While many people had played the game they had not only noticed that the level designs had improved but the soundtrack for this title was far better than its past two predecessors. The reason why the musical composition in this game was phenomenal  was mostly because  Michael Jackson was originally involved during the games development.  However,  due to the controversy that surrounded Michael Jackson during the early 90s he had eventually left midway through the process.We would not learn about Jackson’s involvement  in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 until many years later.  Along with the outstanding musical composition game also gives players the option to save their progress while pick up at the latest stage where they left off.  This game had also featured a competition mode where players were allowed race against one another with the option of choosing between Sonic, Tails or Knuckles.  The game overall was a huge success and had been well received by both gamers and critics alike.  Many gaming publications such as Imagine Games Network, Gamepro, and Gamespot praised the mechanical improvements of the game since there was so much time and effort into making this title a success.  Sonic the Hedgehog 3 had received positive reviews from many gaming publications along with receiving a five star rating from Gamepro.  Many of the game’s features including the level design, musical composition, and storyline had not only captured the interest of many Sonic fans but provided a replay value that many people rarely get tried of.

Sonic The Hedgehog CD (1993)

Sonic the Hedgehog CD was considered to be the sequel to the first two Sonic games that were released for the Sega Mega CD console in 1993.  This game was more adventurous than its predecessor Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for many different reasons.  One of the differences includes the complexity of the game’s plot involving the idea of time travel.  In this game Sonic’s mission is to save a pink hedgehog by the name of Amy Rose after being kidnapped by Metal Sonic a machine built by his arch-nemesis Dr. Robotnik.  The incorporation of multiverse theory plays a significant role in game because Sonic is given the freedom to travel through different time zones including past, present, good future and bad future.

The addition of time travel not only created extended gameplay but also presented more of a challenge for people to complete the game while enjoying the enhanced features and graphics the game had to offer.  Anyone who has played Sonic CD  cannot forget about the epic song for the intro entitled “Sonic Boom” not to be confused with the TV show released in late 2014.  The song for the opening gets players ready for a action packed adventure while showing an video clip giving gamers an idea on what Sonic’s mission is.  In this case it is to save Little Planet from Dr. Robotnik and Metal Sonic while traveling to different timelines to do so.  Sonic the Hedgehog CD was unique for many reasons including its pseudo 3D effect which added touch of realism to the gameplay.  The game also had a great soundtrack and unbelievably colorful graphics which made the experience for players more exciting.

It might sound hard to believe but Sega was able to make a great game following Sonic the Hedgehog 2 not only by making significant improvements to both the gameplay & graphics but through the development through a slightly more in-depth storyline.  The game had received a good reception from critics and gamers alike.   Sonic the Hedgehog CD is considered to be one of the best games ever released for the Sega CD and has also received a perfect five star rating from GamePro following its release. Sonic CD had also been received the “Game of the Year” award for Sega CD 1993 along with receiving high praise from additional gaming publications such as: Electronic Gaming Monthly, GameSpot and Imagine Games Network.   While Sonic the Hedgehog CD is not mentioned as much as 1 & 2 many people would agree that it was an exceptionally great platform game. It has been mentioned by other publications as being one of the best platform games of its era and have the game designers including Naoto Ohshima, Yasushi Yamaguchi, Kazuyuki Hoshino along with Sega and the Sonic Team to thank for this instant classic.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992)

When Sega had released the original Sonic the Hedgehog game in 1991 many gamers were absolutely stunned by its innovate fast paced gameplay.  The adventure & excitement left many people wondering if Sega can produce a  promising sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog that would be just as enjoyable.  This question was answered the following year when Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released for the Sega Genesis in 1992.  The plot for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is synonymous with the first game where Sonic mission is to stop Dr. Robotnik from collecting all seven chaos emeralds.   But unlike the first Sonic game Dr. Robotnik had built a space station known as the Death Egg as a part of his plan for world domination.  Also, during this encounter with Dr. Robotnik Sonic is accompanied by a yellow fox named Tails “Miles” Prower who ends being his sidekick and long time best friend.  This game had marked the beginning of one of the most popular dynamic duos in gaming history.  As a team Sonic and Tails were so popular during the early 90’s they eventually were featured on two Television shows known as “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Sonic SatAM” produced by Dic Entertainment during 1993.  While both shows were very popular among children Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was also a great success which added to the blue hedgehog’s popularity.  Sonic 2  had featured the same fast paced gameplay from its predecessor Sonic the Hedgehog with slight changes such as the creation of a two player mode.  Players can race against each other as Sonic & Tails or help each other beat the game which make boss battles and stage completion much easier.

This game also features a great soundtrack along with challenging levels as one progresses through the game.  While the first stage Emerald Hill Zone is simplistic and straightforward the second stage Chemical Plant Zone seemed more challenging than the third stage Aquatic Ruin Zone.  Some gamers would probably agree that Sonic games during the 90s had surprisingly difficult second stages that many people had nightmares about.  However, many of the difficult levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was nothing compared to the Final Boss battle on Death Egg Zone where Dr. Robotnik must be defeated without the use of any rings.   Once someone has completed the entire game they are left with a long lasting feeling of satisfaction along with anticipation of a sequel for this title.  Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had received high praise from both critics and gamers alike.  Many gaming publications including Electronic Gaming Monthly, Eurogamer, Imagine Games Network,  Gamepro, and Gamespot had given Sonic the Hedgehog 2 highly positive reviews.    The title had also received numerous awards from gaming publications for being “Game of the Year.”  During the 16-bit era this game along with others in the series had allowed Sega to compete against Nintendo during the counsel wars in the 90s while providing fans with feelings of anticipation and excitement.  While Sonic the Hedgehog 1 was considered to be a great game both Sega and the Sonic Team had exceeded the expectations of many people around the world with the development of Sonic 2.

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

If you were a huge fan of Sega during the 1990’s then you would remember how this game marked the beginning of new era.  When Sonic the Hedgehog was first released for the Sega Genesis many people were blown away by many features of the game including its musical composition and stage designs.   Not only was each level enjoyable but the BGM for each stage was excellent which lead many players to enjoy the game more.  The plot of the Sonic the Hedgehog was very basic and included the spiky blue hero’s adventure to stop the villainous Dr. Robotnik from collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds and conquering South Island.  Once the players begin the first stage Green Hill Zone they begin to realize how basic the controls are and how enjoyable the game is.  But as one progresses through the game it begins to get tougher just like many other platform games.  However, the level of difficulty of the game only adds to the excitement which make players more anxious to complete it.  While the first stage known as Green Hill Zone was considered to be simplistic for many players the second stage known as Marble Zone was somewhat of a challenge.  The real difficulty begins when one reach the stages of Labyrinth Zone and Scrap Brain Zone.  The two zones just mentioned challenges the players to not only use their instincts but also to play the game enough times to understand how to effectively maneuver through the level with limited amount of lives.

This Sonic game was also the first to introduced the special stages that would allow players to gather one Chaos Emerald per stage.  If one player had gathered all seven emeralds they had ability to transform into Super Sonic which made the game much easier despite what level someone was on.  This game was unique because it was very creative and drew the attention of many gamers to the point where it began to compete with Nintendo’s Super Mario during the 16-bit era.  The competition between Nintendo & Sega is well documented and it made platform gaming exciting for many people because it forced both developers to produce the best titles possible during the 90s.  The games has received numerous accolades from different publications including Electronic Monthly Gaming and the Golden Joystick for being “Game of the Year.”  Sonic the Hedgehog is a timeless classic that many people still cherish as being one of the best games of all time.