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Showing posts with the label Video Game History

20 Years of Tropico (PC/Mac Game)

Hard to believe but Tropico just turned 20 years old today.  April 5, 2001 was the day this unique knockoff of Civilization/Sim City hit the PC/Mac gaming world. Its almost unfair to call the game a knockoff as the series is  much better than Sim City ever was.  My exposure to Tropico didn't start until Tropico 3 on Steam and I've purchased each game that has come out in the series up to the latest Tropico 6. Between 3, 4, 5 and 6, 6 is definitely my favorite. One thing the series has done well is incrementally improve with each release.  In essence each game is a construction and management SIM with political and strategy elements where the player manages a fictional Caribbean island named Tropico from the Cold War up to modern times. The game presentation is tongue-in-cheek humor in each game and not to be taken too seriously while at the same time some serious topics are addressed. The primary goal of the game is to stay in power and manage relationships with for

King of Fighters R-2 (NGPC) Today in Gaming History

King of Fighters R-2 Neo Geo Pocket Color SNK of America Definitely one of the top ten NEO Geo Pocket Color games was King of Fighters R-2 which was released 22 years ago today in the US. With console modding and retro/vintage gaming gaining in popularity the NGPC has increased in demand recently. You can still pick one up in varying degrees of used condition between $80 and $120. Modded versions with backlit displays tend to go for over $300.  The original price between 1999 and 2001 (short lifespan) was $69.95.  If you sadly don't have a NGPC console the game did become available on the Nintendo Switch last year as a digital download for $7.99 (perhaps a bit steep for an old game). It currently sits on a 71/100 Metascore but don't let the average reviews fool you.  For a 22 year old portable fighting game it has a pretty solid fighting system and has aged well.  Despite being a 2-button game from 1999, it was well designed with full combo attacks, evas

Bulletstorm Released 10 Years Ago Today

Hard to believe Bulletstorm was released 10 years ago by Electronic Arts (EA) on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows. While not the best shooter of the era,  it was a pretty good game.  An 83/100 average critical score on Metacritic isn't too bad. At the time FPS games were getting stale and Bulletstorm set itself apart with the skill shot mechanics and a few interesting wrinkles to set it apart from other games at the time. Technical issues and glitchy gameplay was what held it back from being a great game. I did enjoy the fast gameplay style though.  https://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/bulletstorm

Paper Mario (Nintendo 64) Turned 20 Today (NA)

Hard to believe 20 years have gone past since Paper Mario (N64) came out in North America but its 100% true. I recently replayed the game and it has mostly held up well over the years despite how easy the game is unlike a lot of 64 gamers which haven't aged very well. I was reminded of the anniversary in my Twitter feed earlier.  https://twitter.com/OnThisDayGaming?s=09 Paper Mario was an interesting move away from the traditional Mario formula as a single-player RPG. The Nintendo 64 library as everyone knows did not include many RPGs at all. Maybe this was the best Role Playing Game on the system.  The puzzles in the game were probably a little too easy and overall strategy for the game was minimal. Despite being an extremely easy game it was still interesting enough to be really good and also very accessible to gamers who have no experience in RPGs.  Link to old IGN Paper Mario Review (2001)

Sonic Advance (GBA) Released 19 Years Ago Today in US

2002 doesn't seem like that long ago but it was 19 years ago! I'm still not very comfortable with the idea of Nintendo having their hands on SEGA games but Sonic Advance for the GameBoy Advance was a pretty fun game.  The ability to select from 4 different characters, addition of new mini games and up to 4-player link made this a memorable addition to the Sonic franchise.  Old IGN Review If you are a retro handheld fanatic like me, this is a great game to revisit as it aged well over the years just like a large % of the GBA library which I feel is still underrated. 

Flashback: Kirby's Dream Course (SNES) January 1, 1995 & Kirby's Avalanche

26 years ago today on January 1, 1995, Kirby's Dream Course and Kirby's Avalanche were released on the SNES in the USA and Canada.  While not my favorite Kirby game by a long stretch, Kirby's Dream Course was an interesting take on miniature golf. As a 2D scrolling arcade style golf game, it still holds up pretty good even more than two and a half decades later.  Kirby's Avalanche is far less memorable to me and not really worth playing today. It was in essence a knockoff of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and Puyo Puyo. The result was just a generic colored blob puzzler with a Kirby paint job.  If you don't have a SNES laying around to play on,  Kirby's Dream Course was also released on the Wii, 3DS, Nintendo Switch and Wii U. Kirby's Avalanche ended up on the Nintendo Wii as well.  https://kirby.fandom.com/wiki/Kirby%27s_Dream_Course

1991 Flashback: Gain Ground (Genesis) Released

Gain Ground an epic action/strategy game was released for the SEGA Genesis on January 2,1991 and released in Japan the following day. This was another classic game that proved Sega does what Nintendon't during that time in gaming.  I didn't buy games in bulk back in those days so had to be selective but this was one of games I had in 1991. Most people don't dare mix strategy with an arcade style because it simply doesn't make  sense but this was an occasion it worked out pretty well.   They did cut the home version down to just 2 players but it was still almost as good as the ar are version.  If you are looking for some fast paced strategy gaming, definitely check it out. The graphics definitely weren't that great. Its not a pretty game but its a lot of fun. 

Dr. Mario (Gameboy) Turns 30 in the US

Dr. Mario (Gameboy) was released 30 years ago on December 31, 1990. That definitely makes me feel old. I remember buying this at the K-Mart in Blacksburg, Virginia when I was 13. Sadly a K-Mart that hasn't existed in a long time. Unlike a lot of puzzle games at the time, Dr. Mario had an easier learning curve and great background music.  Dr. Mario was a simple on the surface real-time action puzzler (puzzle) game. It was basically a falling block matching game in the spirit of Tetris which really was the game that started the portable puzzle game craze.  While it's generally a pretty safe family friendly game today, the game was quite controversial when it came out. The US was still heavily winding up the war on drugs propaganda and anything remotely connected to drugs was often attacked by special interest groups.  https://www.mariowiki.com/Dr._Mario_(game)

1994 Flashback: Tetris & Dr. Mario Released #SNES

26 years ago on December 30, 1994, the North American SNES version of #Tetris & Dr. Mario hit shelves. Seems like only yesterday.  Developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo on the SNES, the puzzle compilation saw success selling 6 million + copies and receiving mostly favorable reviews.  I have fond memories of this game particularly the Multiplayer options. Definitely one of the top 25 greatest SNES cartridges.