Retro Gaming-Phantasy Star II: (1989)

Phantasy Star II was an RPG game that was originally released in Japan by Sega in 1989.  This title was a direct sequel of the original Phantasy Star game but included slight changes such as new characters.  In Phantasy Star II the main antagonist known as “Dark Force” still plays a major role in the plot of the series but this time he is confronted by a new group of heroes.  The game centers around the main protagonist Rolf who is accompanied by seven allies including Nei, Rudolf Steiner, and Amy Sage.  In retrospect, this game was very good RPG game especially by 80’s standards but some people would argue that the game should have received higher ratings than it.  While a few publications had given the original Phantasy Star game higher scores there are many Sega fans who would argue that the second installment was just as good.

Similar to the first game Phantasy Star II had awesome sprites and great battle scenes.  One of the enhancements this game has made would actually include the battle scenes because the player can actually see the character they control rather than fighting at a first person view where he is not visible.    Also, the soundtrack of Phantasy Star II was also well composed with BGM such as: “Rise or Fall” which had a nice 80’s vibe to it.  The composer for this game Tokuhiko Uwabo had also did a fantastic job with soundtracks of this game just he did for the prequel.  The BGM for this game had captured the atmosphere of the background and action of everything that occurred which kept players on the edge of their seats.  Even though, Phantasy Star II was originally released for the Sega Mega Drive as many people know this game had been ported to various consoles from different generations including Sega Saturn, Game Boy Advance, Dreamcast, PS2, etc.

This game had also received a remake back in 2005 entitled “Phantasy Star Generation 2” that was released in Japan with more optimal graphics and gameplay.  If one is huge fan of Phantasy Star II it would be considered advisable that they search for it online because its great.  Overall, Phantasy Star II is considered to be one of the best RPG games made during the 16 bit era and will continue to live in the hearts of many people who enjoyed following its initial release.

Classic Gaming- Phantasy Star: (1987)

Phantasy Star is another classic game developed by Sega which was released during the later part of 1987.  This title was considered to be a groundbreaking RPG game that included both gameplay and features that would many people would consider superior in comparison to the Nintendo Entertainment System.  Many people would argue that the gameplay for Phantasy Star was ahead of its time for a game produced in the late 80’s.  While competing with rival RPG games such as Final Fantasy this title had included crisp graphics along with 3D like sequences when passing through tunnels.  Another cool feature included the first person view utilized when a player enters battle which deviates from the traditional format of combat used in many other RPG games.

Phantasy Star focuses the main protagonist Alis Landale quest to stop King Lassie along with her friends Myau, Odin and Noah within a setting called Algol.  In this game King Lassie had become corrupted by the Dark Force that led him to discover a new religion.  Finding a new religion has led to King Lassie to create political oppression within his jurisdiction while allowing monsters to roam freely throughout his kingdom.  Throughout the King’s corrupted reign he is assisted by villainess named Medusa who helps Lassie achieve his agenda.  Even though, some people might have felt that the plot for the game was generic and lacked complexity many would probably agree that the storytelling was very good and grabbed the attention of players.  The soundtrack for this game composed by Tokuhiko Uwabo was also very exciting and kept players glued to the game along with the colorful spites and fast paced action during battle scenes.

Phantasy Star  had easily become one of Sega’s best games following it release and received highly positive reviews from critics and fans alike.  Publications such as  RP Gamer had given Phantasy Star a five star rating while AllGame scored it a perfect ten.  Phantasy Star was so popular that it made the “Greatest Games of All Time” list for publications such as 1up, Game Informer, and Electronic Gaming Monthly which awarded the title for “Best Graphics” in 1988.  Overall, Phantasy Star was one of the best RPG games released for the Sega console and while this game had  eventually received a remake in 2003 many people are very nostalgic about the feeling of excitement they had when they played for the first time in the late 80’s.

Classic Gaming- Strider: (1989)

Strider is a platform game that was originally released for the arcade system by Capcom  in 1989.  This title had a unique plot that included a futuristic setting which kept people interested through the game.  The main protagonist of this game is Strider Hiryu who must maneuver through various stages in order to complete his mission relating to the assassination of the “Grandmaster” who rules the world that he and his comrades live in during the late 2040’s.  The graphics and gameplay for Strider were great and made people spend many coins to complete it during the early 90’s.  While Strider the arcade game was exciting this title was also released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989.  The following year as many people know it was ported to the Sega Master System with much better graphics compared to the NES version.

In terms of which version of Strider is the best depends on what features of the game one enjoys the most.  If fans enjoyed the game primarily for its graphics then the Sega version would probably be considered the most superior version next to the arcade.  However, the NES version was rare since it was only released in North America therefore increasing the value of the game.  Either way, when Strider was first released for the arcade system it gained a lot of popularity as a platform game and quickly became one of Capcom’s best titles.  Ever since its release Strider has been referred to by critics as one of the best games ever released for the Sega console.  Many people debate one which version if Strider is the best and everyone is entitled to their own opinion; but the arcade version of this game is probably the most critically acclaimed.  The arcade version of Strider provided us with groundbreaking graphics and gameplay.  The soundtrack for Strider provided by Junko Tamiya was another element that made this game more memorable and contributed to its replay value.

Strider had received positive reviews from numerous publications including AllGame, Famitsu, and Gamepro.  Strider had also won awards for “Best Graphics” and “Game of the Year” from Electronic Gaming Monthly.   Overall, while some people mutually agree that Strider is not too mainstream in this day and age it does not reduce the game’s quality and how great this title was following its release.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (1991)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project is another popular game within the series which was originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Konami in late 1991.  This game just like many of the other Ninja Turtles titles involved all four brothers Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo mission to stop Shredder.  In this game Shredder kidnaps April O’Neal again while the turtles are on vacation in Florida;  just like many TMNT games the gang has to travel to Manhattan to save April.  Some people who had played The Manhattan Project would probably argue that it was more fun the original TMNT game for the NES which is highly debatable.  However, many can agree that the Manhattan Project was definitely easier because it included a co-op mode in which two players can complete the game together.  Also, similar to other NES co-op games such as Double Dragon players have the option of selecting the mode which can enable or disable them from attacking one another.

This game also featured many popular enemies that are included in the animated series such as Krang, Slash, and Leatherhead.  This game consists of eight different stages which players must complete with a limited amount of lives.  Another feature that stands out about this title includes the soundtrack but which is filled with both anticipation and adventure. While the soundtracks for each stage are great some would argue that Stage 7 had the best music and quite possibly the most exciting stage in the whole game.  Many people would probably agree that the final stage was possibly the longest and the most difficult stage whether one played by themselves or with a friend.  But despite how challenging this game was it allowed TMNT fans to spend enough time learning how to complete the game in the most effective way.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project received positive reviews from gamers and critics alike for making various improvements from its predecessor.  This title had received “Game of the Year” awards from both Electronic Monthly Gaming and Nintendo Power in 1992 while becoming one of the best beat em up games made for the NES console.  Even though, this game was very fun to play for the NES game console it would have been interesting to see what this game would have been like for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System or if had received a remake altogether.

Retro Gaming- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (1991)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time was an arcade game that was originally released by Konami  & Ubisoft in 1991.  This title was eventually released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the countries of Europe, Japan, and America in 1992.  Unlike, the controversial Nintendo Entertainment System game released in 1989 this title was a multiplayer game in which players can control the four turtles Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, or Raphael.  Turtles in Time provides gamers with a more exciting adventure   by letting them play throughout many exciting levels both in past and present timelines ultimately to battle the main antagonist.  The arcade version of this title allows the simultaneous gameplay of four players while the SNES version is only limited to two.

There are a few noticeable differences between the arcade and SNES version of Turtles in Time including stage addition.  The SNES version of Turtles in Time has an exclusive stage for the Technodrome while making two of the arcade stages bonus levels.  In terms of which stages were the most fun for the SNES version many people would agree that Sewer Surfin and Neon Night Riders were great.  The final boss just like many other beat em up games was the most difficult but this usually depends on the player(s) and how familiar they are with the title.  The gameplay for Turtles in Time among many other features had contributed to this title’s replay value as many people spent countless of coins trying to complete this game.  If anybody had owned the SNES version of Turtles in Time the idea of selling the game would have probably have been the last thing to cross their mind.  Turtles in Time recognized by many critics and gamers as being quite possibly the best beat em up arcade title produced by Konami.  Others would argue that Turtles is probably one of the best beat em up games of all time.

 

 

Retro Gaming- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: (1989)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a single player platform game that was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989.  After this game was developed by Konami many people were excited about what to expect following its release.  If you were a kid during the 1980’s then you realize how popular Ninja Turtles was back then.  However, following the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES many people were unprepared for how challenging this game would truly be.  Many critics and fans alike argue on how this title was probably the most hardest game in the history of Nintendo if not gaming in general.  There were some stages that many considered almost impossible to compete with the most notable one being the underwater stage.  The underwater stage requires players to deactivate multiple bombs in slightly over two minutes.  While the soundtrack for the underwater level is quite catchy many people also considered it to be very frustrating mostly because there are way to many ways to die.

This game included many interesting missions in which players can control Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo.  Many people had normally selected Donatello since his attacks were more effective in battles.  However, this game was setup so that players can control each of the turtles after one had been captured.  There were some stages that allowed players to also rescue another turtle after completing them while trying to rescue April O’Neal and Splinter.  The ultimate goal was for players to find the Technodrome in order to defeat Shredder.  While this title was often criticized for being very hard it was one of the best selling games for the NES;  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had reportedly sold over 4 million copies and won the “Game of the Year” award in Nintendo Power’s magazine. This game was the first of many in the Ninja Turtles series that the fans had witnessed and as time passed the games became less challenging and more adventurous making everything more exciting.

Retro Gaming- Super Double Dragon: (1992)

Super Double Dragon was released by Technos Japan for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992.  This game was released following the NES version of Double Dragon III in 1991.  Many people think that Super Double Dragon was a very decent title for the SNES even though it may not be as popular as some of the prequels.  Super Double Dragon had included new features to make the gameplay more adventurous in comparison to the previous games.  While fighting players can control either Billy or Jimmy Lee to battle throughout different levels against the Shadow Warrior gang.  Players can grab their opponents can perform combos in order to deal a significant amount of damage.  The graphics of Super Double Dragon was not only fantastic but some may argue that it was miles ahead of some of the previous arcade games in the series.

Super Double Dragon had presented players with a more challenging set of opponents than some of the other games since they were very skilled at blocking among other fighting tactics.  This game also had some unique soundtracks including the theme songs for Stages 1 & 3.  The fourth stage of this game is very exciting since players are forced to battle with numerous enemies on top of  truck before transitioning into the next part of the stage.  Some people would look at Super Double Dragon as a generic beat em up game while others would argue that in terms of gameplay would be considered one of the best in the series.  In terms of musical composition Kazunaka Yamane did a great job creating soundtracks that blended well with each level; both Atsuyushi Nishizawa and Muneki Ebinuma did an excellent job designing this underrated classic.  This leaves some people who are fans of the Double Dragon series to wonder whether or not this game will ever receive a remake.