Gaming Consoles- Game Boy: (1989)

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We all remember when Nintendo had produced the original Game Boy console in 1989.  Nintendo is considered to be one of the most innovative gaming companies of all time because they always found a way to reinvent themselves with a new product or game that was highly in demand.  In the 1980’s the Nintendo Entertainment System was a very popular home based console that provided different types of gameplay that was not seen in many arcades especially when it came to platform & RPG games. The success the that the Nintendo Entertainment System received since its release is unfathomable considering the fact that it sold millions around the world and is considered to be one of the best game consoles of all time.  A couple of years following the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System a handheld game console was developed by Nintendo which was just as fun.  When Nintendo had released the original Game Boy handheld console many people loved the product because it allowed people to play their games anywhere they went.

Game Boy was also convenient because it utilized either AA or AAA batteries depending on what model you used.  The controls for Game Boy were similar to that of the NES because it included a directional pad along with and A & B button.  The controls for Game Boy also featured a select & start button along with additional features that made this hand console stand out.  Some of the additional features Game Boy had included was the universal serial bus (USB) link cable that would allow multiplayer gameplay on one game.  Game Boy was so popular that it sold at least one million units in America within a month due to its excellent features along with gameplay that highly resembles that of the NES. One of the original games for the Nintendo Game Boy included the famous puzzle game known as Tetris which was considered to be the best selling game for that console with over 30 million units worldwide.

As time progressed during the 1990’s games such as Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow became extremely popular and generated sales in the millions since their respective releases.  Along with having so many great titles such as the Pokemon series, Zelda Link’s Awakening, and Dr. Mario Nintendo had created an add on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System entitled Super Game Boy released in 1994.  The Super Game Boy was worth approximately $60 following its initial release and made anyone who was a hardcore Nintendo fan want to purchase the product if they already owned an SNES game system.  Many people would agree that Nintendo’s Game Boy was a huge improvement from their preceding handheld console known as Game & Watch which was released in 1980.  Also, the Game Boy handheld console was proof among many other things that Nintendo had always found a way to reinvent themselves along with keeping the masses interested in their products.  The development of Game Boy definitely created some competition with the likes of Sega Game Gear and Atari Lynx in the early 90’s which made the gaming experience exciting for everyone.  It has been over 25 years since Game Boy was released by Nintendo and even though it was a long time ago this handheld console is recognized as one of the most influential game systems of all time.

Classic Gaming- Mega Man II: (1988)

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There were many great games for the Nintendo Entertainment System during the 1980’s that many people had the opportunity to enjoy. One of the best platform games to be released for the Nintendo Entertainment System included Mega Man II which was released in 1988 as the sequel to the original title.  When it came down to musical composition many people would agree that the second Mega Man game was probably among the best depending on who you ask.  Mega Man II was a huge improvement from the original game because in terms of BGM and gameplay.  The difficulty level for Mega Man II had exceeded that of its predecessor because some of the stages in this game were usually tough even on a normal setting.  In Mega Man II you have eight stages to complete with each containing a boss battle at the end.

However, despite how tough those levels are they pale in comparison to the obstacles presented in Wily’s Skull Fortress which includes a few levels before the final boss fight. Before reaching Wily’s Skull Fortress players are going to need all the help that they can get which is why acquiring some of the powers that each defeated boss is very useful.  If players did not have the ability to acquire weapons from other boss characters prior to reaching Wily’s Skull Fortress then the game would probably be almost impossible to beat.  Despite, being released for the Nintendo Entertainment System almost a year later the level design for Mega Man II seemed to be miles ahead of the original.  The Soundtrack for Mega Man II was a large part of why this game was exciting.  The intro for Mega Man II was probably one of the best in the series along with the start menu them which featured an epic soundtrack which is simply unforgettable.

Along with the start menu theme Mega Man II had featured some other great soundtracks including Quick Man & Air Man’s stage BGM along with the two themes used in Willy’s Fortress.  When it came to completing the game players had to be very careful about what order they choosing stages and fighting the bosses of each level.  Unlike, the original Mega Man game the second installment was very successful in terms of sales and managed to hit over one million units worldwide.  Since its release the original Mega Man II for the NES has been remade for the Sega Mega Drive under the title Mega Man Wily Wars along with  I & III in 1994.  Also, Mega Man II was ported for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube along with many other titles in the series in Mega Man Anniversary Collection in 2004. Since its initial release Mega Man II has probably been one of the most influential platform games of all time.  Many people would argue that Mega Man II is probably one of the best in the series not only because it was innovative but the difficulty of this game helped people get better at it mostly through trial & error.  Mega Man II was easily one of the best platform titles that Capcom has ever created for the NES and easily one of the toughest games to complete in general.

Classic Gaming- Mega Man: (1987)

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Mega Man was a very popular platform game in the late 80’s during a time period games such as Super Mario Bros was becoming a mainstream attraction in the gaming world.  When the original Mega Man was released many people were blown away by the innovative gameplay that was included in this title. This single player platform game had featured multiple robots including Cut Man, Guts Man, Ice Man, Bomb Man, Fir Man and Elec Man who were all created by Dr. Light and needed to be stopped due to an accident that made these machines malfunction and become destructive.   The plot for this Mega Man was interesting and the concept for this game was innovative because it was unlike the traditional platform games.  In Super Mario Bros, you were able to battle the enemies by jumping on them along with using items that provided special abilities for a limited time depending upon your performance during a certain level.  Similar to Zelda II: Adventure of Link players are given some type health bar for each level.

Also, Mega Man also shows you the health bars of the stage bosses and gives you the opportunity to use their powers in different stages after defeating them.  The musical composition for Mega Man made the game more exciting and even though it was good many would argue that some of the soundtracks in some of the later MM titles were outstanding.  One of the things that were kinda cool about this game included how Fire Man’s stage looked similar to Bowser’s Castle.  Also, towards the end of the game players must fight a Mega Man copy which is somewhat similar to Zelda II: Adventure of Link where you must battle “Dark Link” towards the end.  When Capcom had developed the Mega Man series they did a pretty good job creating top down side scrolling shooter game that was both adventurous and family friendly.  While its debatable which Mega Man game the NES & SNES series is the best the original title was definitely an instant classic that many people enjoyed during the late 80’s.

Classic Gaming- Super Smash Bros: (1999)

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Super Smash Bros was probably one of the best games to be released for the Nintendo 64 between the mid to late 90’s.  This game was probably a decade in the making because it was a crossover that included the most popular characters from various Nintendo titles from the early 80’s until the late 90’s.  Super Smash Bros had included many of our favorites including Mario, Kirby, Link , Fox McCloud, Ness and others in a multiplayer fighting game where up to four players were allowed to be apart of the action.  Super Smash Bros was unique because each character had special attacks that were utilized in their own respective game along with having the ability use weapons that would give them the upper hand during battle.  What made Super Smash Bros even more exciting was the fact that each stage was based one of the settings for specific games such as: Mushroom Kingdom (Super Mario), Hyrule Castle (Zelda), Dream Land (Kirby), Sector Z (Star Fox) and others.

Super Smash Bros also featured great in game mechanics including the damage percentage meter that increases as the characters fight one another.  Along with having a damage percentage meter characters are given multiple lives each time they are knocked of the platform they are fighting on.  Along with all the other features of Super Smash Bros the coolest thing about this game is the concept which involves a crossover between a fighting and platform genre game.  Super Smash Bros was also very unique because it was something that too many people would not have expected from Nintendo approximately seven years ago when Super Nintendo was still popular.  However, sometimes people might wonder how Super Smash Bros would have played out if it was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  In theory, there would probably be questions on whether or not the 16-bit console could handle such a game.  Along, with having exciting multiplayer gameplay Super Smash Bros had included a great soundtrack including some remakes of classic tune from older games for the SNES and the N64.  Following, it release Super Smash Bros was praised by fans and critics for being one of the best fighting games to be released for the Nintendo 64.  Super Smash Bros is arguably one of the best crossover titles to be released by Nintendo and was considered a great gift to many gamers around the world going into the new millennium

Role Playing Games- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: (1987)

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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was the second installment in the Zelda series which was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987.  The Adventure of Link was very different from The Legend of Zelda in terms of gameplay.  While the Legend of Zelda allowed players to combat enemies in overworld maps Adventure of Link present a 2D side scrolling battle system similar to that of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES.  The Adventure of Link allowed individuals to travel to different parts of Hyrule on the overworld map where players can engage in battles if they ran into shadowy figures while travelling.  If you have been a gamer throughout the 80’s and 90’s you would realize that the overworld map feature of this game is very similar to that of the Pokemon games featured on Game Boy.  Many people would be inclined to agree that The Adventure of Link was a tougher game to beat than the Legend of Zelda which was also very difficult.

But despite how difficult this game was it provide Link with more abilities in terms of melee & magic attacks to help you to complete the game in its entirety.  The Adventures of Link had also includes a magic meter and a new life bar on the top of the screen opposed to the multiple hearts you were give in the previous game.  Along with improved mechanics the Adventure of Link had featured a pretty cool soundtrack that really got people into the game especially during the parts where they had to travel into dungeons.  The Palace theme was epic and is considered to be one of the most memorable soundtracks in gaming history.  A remake of the Palace theme has been featured games such as Super Smash Bros Melee and it truly captures the larger than life feeling of the Adventure of Link while providing nostalgia for this 1987 NES classic.

The plot in this game is slightly different and features a new main antagonist named “Dark Link”.   In Adventures of Link several crystals must be collected and returned to six different palaces in Hyrule in order to retrieve the Tri-Force of courage to awaken Zelda who was placed under a deep sleep due to having a magic spell placed on her.  Since its release Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has sold at least 5 million units world wide and was also re-released for other consoles such as Game Boy Advance.  The Adventure of Link may have not been the best Zelda game in the series but it was a very innovative title that stood out from the rest of the series.

Role Playing Games- The Legend of Zelda: (1986)

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There were many cool things about the 80’s including music, culture, movies and games such as The Legend of Zelda.  When this game was first released during the 80’s many people were interested about various aspects of the game including Link’s quest to retrieve pieces of the Tri-force as he travels throughout various dungeons in Hyrule.  The Legend of Zelda was a very significant game because it paved the ways for many RPG games during the 90’s and the 00’s with the inclusion of overworld map features. Also, many people know that the Legend of Zelda was the first game to ever include a battery powered save feature which would allow people to continue where they left off following a previous play session.  The features included in this game was groundbreaking especially for the Nintendo Entertainment System because during the 1980’s platform games such as Super Mario and MegaMan was very popular and the The Legend of Zelda provided something that was just as good but different.

The Legend of Zelda you with the experience of traveling throughout many different dungeons while utilizing many secret underground passages in order to collect different parts of the Tri-Force.  Around the beginning of the game the obstacles could prove to be a bit overwhelming since one must battle various creatures at once while controlling Link.  There are nine dungeons that Link must explore the complete his quest but it would be considered a task which is easier said than done.  The Legend of Zelda is a game where players can become better through trail and error since there are so many ways for one to lose in this game.  However, despite the obstacles the game presents Link has the opportunity to gain various weapons such as his sword, boomerang, and his sword.  While gaining the sword is optional in this game it would almost be considered a necessity considering the amount of opposition one faces in this game.

Even though, The Legend of Zelda presents numerous challenges players also have the opportunity to expand their health bar throughout the duration of the game if they are very careful. Once you got towards the end of level 9 and defeat Ganon it feels like a weight has been lifted because since it was probably one of the toughest dungeons in the whole game.  While the ending doesn’t seem like much after Link rescues Zelda the amount of time invested into completing the game was a reward of itself.  After the initial release of the original Legend of Zelda game many people could not have predicted that the game would spur a series of titles sequels for over the next two decades following its release in 1986.   At this point it has been at least 30 years since the Legend of Zelda series began. Considering  the impact that The Legend of Zelda series had on the gaming industry since its inception many would be inclined to agree that it would be one of the greatest RPG creations of all time.

Role Playing Games- Kingdom Hearts II: (2005)

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When the original Kingdom Hearts game made its debut in 2002 many people were blown away by the concept having various different Disney characters one game.  Before Kingdom Hearts II was released the world got to witness Kingdom Hearts : Chain of Memories which was for Game Boy Advance.  Some people might argue that making the sequel to the original Kingdom Hearts for the Game Boy Advance was very risky on the part of Square Enix since the quality would pale in comparison to the PlayStation 2.  But since Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories was a  pretty fun  RPG title for Game Boy Advance it had proved to be effective in making the events of Kingdom Hearts II follow afterwards.  One of the many features about Kingdom Hearts II which is unforgettable includes its orchestral soundtrack which adds so much life and emotion to this game.

The soundtrack for Kingdom Hearts II had included various different songs that were amazing including “Dearly Beloved”, “Missing You”, “Passion” along with “Sanctuary”.  Some of the character themes in this game were pretty special as well including Sora & Kairi’s because it blended in well with some of the cutscenes along with their personalities.  The soundtrack composed mainly by :Yoko Shimomura  was easily one of the best features of Kingdom Hearts II next to gameplay.  Throughout, the game players are allowed to control Sora and travel to different worlds along side with Donald Duck and Goofy to battle Heartless and members of Organization XIII.  Kingdom Hearts II gives players various options in terms of customization of their three person party in terms of developing their stats, attacks, along with equipping them with items.

Along with the gameplay and cinematic cutscenes the boss battles were both interesting and tough depending how good you are at the game.  Kingdom Hearts II had included some exciting boss battles with the likes of Sephiroth, Larxene, Xigbar, and Zemnas who was the final boss in the game.  Many people having varying opinions on who the toughest boss in Kingdom Hearts II was but aside from the final boss Xigbar proved to be quite challenging.  Trying to get through Xigbars special attacks along with having to adjust to the changing camera angles throughout the battle does not seem as easy as it looks.  Despite, having a three on one advantage in most battles players would be better off developing a strategy before taking on certain opponents even if the odds are in their favor.  The inclusion of characters from the Final Fantasy series  was also a great addition to the Kingdom Hearts II despite not being able to play any of them during the story.

After its initial release in late-2005 Kingdom Hearts II had became one of the best selling role playing games in 2006.  The amount of copies Kingdom Hearts II sold was unreal especially in Japan where it sold over one million copies within its first week.  When the original Kingdom Hearts title was released in 2002 it had managed to sell over 20 million copies worldwide.  Kingdom Hearts II had managed to sell at least 3.5 million units worldwide before the 2.5 Final Mix version was released in 2007.  After the original Kingdom Hearts II title was released it came very close to receiving a  perfect five star rating from GamePro by receiving a score of 4.5  which was still outstanding.  While Kingdom Hearts II received praise from GamePro it was also scored in the nine point bracet out of ten by IGN and earning the title of “Readers Choice” in the process.  When Kingdom Hearts I & II were first released many people around the world many people were highly impressed by the concept, characters, soundtracks, and visual features of both games.  At this point it has been almost a decade since Kingdom Hearts II was released worldwide.   When Square Enix releases Kingdom Hearts III not only will it be worth the wait but it will probably be one of the most anticipated RPG titles in recent memory.