As some people might already know July 2019 will mark the 20 year anniversary of the Legend of Mana game developed by Square Enix and released for the PS1. Despite, receiving good reviews by fans and critics the Legend of Mana does not get talked about as much as others games in the series such as Secret of Mana or Seiken Densetsu 3 which were both popular during the early 90’s. As far as visuals and graphics are concerned Legend of Mana was possiblY the best 2D RPG title to have appeared on the PS1 during the 90’s. Seeing, that the Mana series has not been talked about for quite sometime now there are many people who wonder whether or not Square Enix will remake or re-release Legend of Mana for a current generation console next year.
A remake for the Legend of Mana would be perfect for the Nintendo Switch or even the PlayStation 4 if Square Enix does decide to re-release the game in the future. The Mana series has been around for almost three decades and it would be nice to see Square Enix do something special for some of the older games in the series for their respective anniversaries.
When we think about countless classic JRPG’s that have been seen as the best video games ever within the past three decades most of those games were developed by Square Enix. Over the past three decades Square Enix have given us games such as Final Fantasy VII, Kingdom Hearts II, Super Mario Bros RPG, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana and many others. Final Fantasy VII was one of the best selling RPG titles of the 90’s reaching over 11 million units worldwide in sales overall. When it comes down to developing high quality top of the notch RPG video games Square Enix rarely ever disappoints and seemed to have no equal in competition.
As far as RPG’s in general are concerned many would argue that Capcom has proved to be decent competition for Square Enix with the developer of games such as Resident Evil 2-4 a most recently Monster Hunter World which as released back in the later part of January 2018. Along Capcom Bethesda has given us Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim back in 2011 which is seen as one of the best RPG’s of the 10’s decade. Video game developer Atlas has given us games like Persona 5 in 2016 along with every other game within the series that came before it since the late 90’s. However, Square Enix have been developing RPG’s since the NES days of the 80’s and since they have specialized in developing games within that genre for about three decades now it would be safe to say that the company is quite possibly the very best at what they do.
As many people know the beat em up genre was very popular back in the late 80’s and early 90’s within the gaming world. Both the Double Dragon and the Battletoads series comes to mind when people think about in relation to classics beat em up titles in relation to the NES. While Double Dragon II: The Revenge along with Battletoads are considered to be critically acclaimed beat em up games for the Nintendo Entertainment System they were both considered to be her difficult by those who played both titles back in the day. In terms of which title was more popular following their respective releases for the NES is one that is debatable among gamers.
While the NES Battletoads game arguably had better visuals in relation to stage design some would that Double Dragon II had certain features that made it standout even more. Certain things such as boss characters having their own theme music along with players having the chance to battle each other at the end of the game in co-op mode made Double Dragon Isi a memorable NES Classic. In terms of which beat em up was more popular on the NES most would probably give Double Dragon II the edge over Battletoads.
As many people know the MegaMan series is considered to be legendary for the NES game console. Since the series first started in the mid 80’s the Mega Man trilogy has been praised by fans and critics alike on the 8 bit console prior to the beginning of the MMX series in 1993. However, as far as difficult platform games in general are concerned many retro gamers would probably go on a limb and say Mega Man III without a doubt was one of the hardest games in the entire series. While old school NES games in general are known for their notorious levels of difficulty Mega Man III in particular just seemed to hard and too long in general.
Despite, its high level of difficulty Mega Man III managed to reach over 1.1 million units worldwide since its release on the NES back in 1990. Despite, being one of the toughest games of the Mega Man series its most likely not the hardest NES ever. Games such as TMNT, Karate Kid and Battletoads would most likely rank in the top ten of being one of the most NES titles of all time.
When it comes down to retro gaming in relation to the Sega Genesis the RPG was one that was no quite as popular on this 16-bit as it was to its competition known as the Super NES. During the early 90’s both Nintendo and Sega were very competitive with one another and its a known fact that RPG titles such as Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger and Earthbound were big during that time period. However, the Sega Genesis also had its share of 16 bit RPG classics such as Phantasy Star II along with Shining Force II. In terms of graphics both games looked very impressive. There were fans of the first Phantasy Star game which came out 1987 that were surprised by the fact that Phantasy Star II had diverted from the first person perspective in relation to monster battles while Sega decided to replace it with third person. Also, the third person perspective in relation to monster battles made Phantasy Star standout even more from other RPG’s like Final Fantasy I-III which were released for the NES between 1987-1990.
As far as Shining Force II was concerned it was also very unique tactical turn based RPG considering the fact that battles took place when players moved their characters around on square grids. The animation for the battles in Shining Force were also among the best that anyone would see in a RPG game back in the early 90’s. Both Phantasy Star II along with Shining Force II were among the best RPG titles to have ever appeared on the Sega Genesis. In terms of which game was more popular is questionable since they both seemed like they were on the same level. But some would probably give the edge to Phantasy Star II over Shining Force II since the Phantasy series was more popular in general.
As many people know Mother 2 otherwise known as Earthbound was one of the most popular JRPG titles of the early 90’s. Earthbound was a role playing game with unique features that separated it from others such as the use of oblique projection along with first person battles. The exclusion of an overworld map in favor of a more unorthodox perspective in relation to travel in the game was also feature that made Earthbound standout from many RPG on the SNES in general. There was so much creativity that went into the development of Earthbound it seemed like there was absolutely no way that it could of worked on any other console during that time period.
Mother 2/ Earthbound would not have been nearly as successful during the late 80’s- early 90’s for the NES as it was for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Despite, how popular the first ever Mother game was on the NES following its release in Japan back in ’89 seeing Mother 2 on the 8 bit console opposed to the SNES would have looked and felt very different. The graphical features of Mother 2 was also a large payoff what made the game appealing to the masses back 1994. Without the features that Mother 2 had on the SNES the game would not have been as much of an attraction on the NES.
When it comes down to big SNES RPG titles to never appear on the Game Boy Advance Chrono Trigger is definitely on top of many people’s list. Despite, the fact that Square Enix released RPG titles such such as Sword of Mana along Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls for what ever we never got to see a re-release or a sequel to Chrono Trigger back in the early 00’s. While its true that the Chrono series slowly started to decline following the release of Chrono Trigger back in 1995 there are still people who wanted to see a re-release of the game sometime between 2001-2005. If Square Enix has went with the decision to re-release Chrono Trigger for the GBA the game could of still been a huge attraction on the 32-bit handheld console.
While some might argue that the Pokémon series could of overshadowed Chrono Trigger in the early 00’s the game still would have been appealing to hardcore fans of the series while giving those who were unfamiliar with the game a chance to see what they missed on the SNES during the early 90’s. Chrono Trigger was one of the best 2D RPG titles that Square Enix has ever produced and was a game that definitely deserved to be on the Game Boy Advance during the early 2000’s.