Classic Gaming- SSX 3: (2003)

We all remember how popular the SSX series was during the early 2000’s.  The first game EA had released in 2000 for the PlayStation 2 both was innovative and exciting.  The sequel to the original game called SSX Tricky was also considered to be a huge success and received positive reviews from numerous critics.  After SSX Tricky was released many fans of the series were anxious about the possibility of a sequel and what types of improvements would be made.  In 2003, the third installment of snowboarding series entitled SSX 3 was developed by EA Canada and published by EA Sports Big.  Similar to its predecessor SSX 3 was released for multiple game consoles including PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, and Gameboy Advance.

The various features in SSX 3 added depth to the game itself because it allowed players compete different race types under specific circumstances.  An example would include the backcountry races where a player’s rival would challenge them to a race.  After players win the backcountry races they were able to compete in peak races where they were responsible for beat a rival’s time record for completing course.  SSX 3 had also included both freestyle and racing events where people are allowed to improve their skills in order to master the game.  During the races players earned medals ranging from gold to bronze depending on how they performed similar to SSX Tricky.  A new feature SSX 3 had added was the online multiplayer mode which seemed like a very cool concept in theory but after the release of the game the makers of the series decided not to move forward with it.

Along with being one of the highest selling games in the series SSX 3 had included a decent soundtrack from popular bands such as N.E.R.D., Royksopp, and many more.  After its initial release SSX 3 received praise from many different gaming publications for its improvement in comparison to SSX Tricky.  The PlayStation 2 and Xbox version of the game received similar ratings from multiple gaming magazines such as: GamePro, GameZone, and PlayStation Magazine scoring SSX 3 in the nine point bracket on a scale from one to ten.  The Gameboy Advance version dealt with constraints of the 32-bit handheld console which would deprive players out of the full experience they would receive if they played the PlayStation 2 and Xbox version of SSX 3.  When people ask which port of SSX 3 is the best usually the answer varies depending on person but most critics usually point to the PlayStation 2 version.  Many people believe that PS2 version of SSX 3 had slightly more superior gameplay and graphics while others would say the same thing about the Xbox port.  However,  the PlayStation 2 version had received a five-star rating from publications such as: GamePro GameZone, and PlayStation Magazine.   As great as SSX 3 is many fans are polarized about whether or not this game is better than its prequel. Some people would argue SSX 3 is just as good as its prequel while many others believe its better.

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Classic Gaming- SSX Tricky: (2001)

As many people know SSX Tricky was the immediate sequel for the original SSX which was developed by EA Canada and released in 2001.  SSX Tricky was a well made sequel from the original game because not only it included great gameplay but it also expanded on a few things in the original game.  This title introduces additional features including a few new stages along with new gaming modes such as “world circuit”.    Many people would argue that world circuit mode is probably the best in the entire game because it allows players to win various prizes such as medals ranging from Gold to Bronze along with unlocking new characters.  Even though the first game SSX was made exclusively for the PlayStation 2 this title was made available on multiple consoles including Gameboy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox.

SSX Tricky had received many good reviews for each console except for the Game Boy Advance.  The Game Boy Advance version of this title had looked synonymous to an old PC game in terms of graphics.  Also, the constrictions of the 32 bit- handheld console had deprived players of enjoying  SSX Tricky the same way they would for the PlayStation 2.  SSX Tricky gives players the option to choose various characters such as: Mac, Kaori, Psymon, Cody, and Eddie. Each character has their own set of stats along with their accustomed styles such as Freestyle and BX.  Along each player having their own gimmick the character select screen features early 2000’s futuristic techno music to get players hyped up to race in different countries around the world.

When SSX Tricky was originally released in 2001, it was  a very fun game to play.  However, SSX Tricky was developed during a time when gaming developers were starting to master 3D gaming.  Looking at this game from today’s standards  the graphics pale in comparison to what we see now in terms of design but this title seemed ahead of its time when it was first released.   After receiving several positive reviews from numerous gaming publications critics had ultimately determined that the PlayStation 2 was the best version of SSX Tricky.  As memorable as this game was to many fans of the SSX series some people had found its sequel entitled SSX 3 to be just as good if not better when it was released in late-2003.

Classic Gaming- SSX: (2000)

There were many innovative sporting games that have been released since the development of the original Sony PlayStation which featured 3D graphics which grabbed the attention of many people.  When PlayStation 2 was released in year 2000 Sony everyone got to witness the dramatic improvement of gameplay and graphics along with many other features.  Following the debut of the PlayStation 2 there were many excellent titles released for this particular console.  One of the most innovative racing games to be released for the PlayStation 2 included the original SSX which was developed by EA Canada and originally published by Electronic Arts in 2000.  While many look at SSX as another snowboarding game others love the series because of what the game itself had to offer.  SSX provides players with eight characters to choose from along with four different racing modes.

SSX also provides players with the option of choosing the level of CPU difficult in some races which is essential in helping players become better racers in the game.  Another exciting feature about this game includes the race courses themselves which are located in different parts of the world such as:  Japan, Europe, and East Coast USA.  While many would argue that Merqury City Meltdown in East Coast USA is the hardest stage others find Elysium Alps located in Europe to be not only difficult but fun due to the high vertical drop it has.  Throughout, the game players have the opportunity to perform various tricks during each stage especially in showoff mode.

Along with being released for other gaming systems many of us know that SSX had received a well deserved remake in 2012.  Many critics thought the 2012 version of SSX provided great gameplay and spectacular graphics which added more life to the game itself.  The original SSX game had also received praise from critics and various publications for its concept and innovation.  Along, with earning the support of critics and fans alike SSX had received a five star rating from GamePro and USA Today for being one of the best snowboarding games ever made.  After its release in 2000 the series would only continue to improve the following year when SSX Tricky was developed in 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retro Gaming-The Revenge of Shinobi: (1989)

There are many games that were memorable during the console wars between Nintendo and Sega.  One of the many games that comes to mind Sega fans enjoy includes The Revenge of the Shinobi which was originally released in 1989.  This classic title which was published by Sega was a sequel to the first game entitled Shinobi.  This title had included enhanced gameplay and graphics from its predecessor along with a plot takes place three three years from the previous game. In this game players must take control of Joe Musashia in order to fight against the criminal organization known as Neo-Zeed.  While some people may criticize the lack of originality of this plot others are content with the connection it has with this game’s prequel.  This platform slash game allows players to journey through eight different levels in order to complete the game.   While each stage presented its own set of challenges the game had included great BGM which made each level more exciting.

The musical composition for Revenge Shinobi was created by Yuzo Koshiro the same person who worked on famous titles such as the Streets of Rage series.  Out of all the soundtracks for Revenge of Shinobi  some would argue that Chinatown was the best among some others.   While completing the game provided individuals with a great sense of satisfaction some would argue that the stages near the end along with the boss battles were very difficult.  However, many old school games during the 8 bit and 16 bit were very difficult and provided players with more excitement.   Overall, The Revenge of Shinobi was a significant improvement from the original game and served as a great predecessor for Shinobi III which was released in 1993.

Retro Gaming-Street Fighter Alpha 3: (1998)

Street Fighter Alpha 3 is another gaming classic that was developed by Capcom in 1998.  This game had included some brand new features that separated it from its 1996 predecessor Street Fighter Alpha 2.  Street Fighter Alpha 3 had included a much larger roster and probably the biggest in the game’s  series.  One thing that is great about Street Fighter Alpha 3 is the fact than many characters throughout the game series from Street Fighter II and Alpha 2 were included.  This game had also saw the inclusion of new characters such as Karin, R. Mika,  Juni, Juli, and Cody from Final Fight.  Street Fighter Alpha 3 had also featured different soundtracks for each character which were uniquely different from the preceding games.  While the soundtrack for Street Fighter Alpha 3 varies among critics many will definitely agree that this game was more challenging than previous titles.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 had present a significantly more difficult arcade mode than its predecessors.  Also, Street Fighter Alpha 3 had included the most offline gameplay that was seen probably in any game in the series.  This game had included Dramatic battle, Survival Mode, and World Tour mode which allows players to spend hours enjoying this title.  Anyone who has played through World Tour mode knows how fun and challenging it truly is.  World Tour mode allows players to choose any character they want in order to travel around the world and fight various opponents with added stipulations.  While some opponents where easy to defeat others were difficult to a point were some players thought they were impossible to beat.  Trying to defeat a CPU controlled Ryu and M. Bison who have an unlimited super gauge was a very tough challenge.  Also, trying to defeat Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma who can be unlocked after defeating them was almost as difficult.  But once some completes World Tour mode they will feel as if they have significantly improved in mastering the game.

The gameplay for this title was probably one of the best in any Street Fighter game because it allows players to choose 3 different types of fighting modes including X-ism, A-ism, and V-ism. Street Fighter Alpha 3 had maintained most of the gameplay that was present Alpha 2 while making a few enhancements that made the game more exciting.  After its release in 1998, the game had become ported to multiple consoles such as PlayStation, Dreamcast, Gameboy Advance, etc.  While both the PlayStation and Dreamcast version of Street Fighter Alpha 3 was praised by fans gaming publications gave the slight edge to PS1.  GamePro had given the PS1 version of Street Fighter Alpha 3 a five star rating while IGN had scored between the 9.0 and 10.0 bracket.  Street Fighter Alpha 3 was probably one of the best fighting games Capcom had produced in the series and while some people may not like it as much as Alpha 2 many still regard it to be a great fighting classic.