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No GravatarGames That Should Be Revived : The KOF Maximum Impact Series

[KOF Maximum Impact is SNK’s first attempt to recreate the KOF Experience in 3D Graphics.]

SNK is a company that many people love the world over and is widely known for its arcade and home console releases. SNK, after creating a successful line of 2D King Of Fighters games, eventually decided to take their flagship fighting game and elevate it to the 3D Level. Thus creating their 3D Sub-series KOF : Maximum Impact. The title Maximum Impact was used to differentiate this game from your standard KOF game. While this is not SNK’s first attempt at creating a 3D fighting game, it is, in fact, one of their better endeavors.

 

[ The KOF Maximum Impact series follows the story of the brothers Alba and Soiree Meira respectively.  Image Source: KOF MI Reg “A”]

KOF Maximum Impact features an alternative storyline of the events of Southtown. Following the events of Real Bout Fatal Fury, in which within that continuity Geese Howard, the man who was known to be the top dog of Southtown at the time had fell to his death. Geese had a confrontation with his nemesis Terry Bogard. Without Geese being in the picture, as Southtown’s undisputed ruler, many gangs vie and fight for control of Southtown. Eventually, Southtown comes under the control of one crime boss known as Fate and order were restored for a time. That is, until a rival crime boss named Duke wanted Fate out of the picture, with both sides trying to assassinate each other to put an end to the turf war. This assassination eventually leads to Duke taking over all of Southtown, this, in turn, prompted Fate’s adoptive sons Alba and Soiree Meira to join The KOF Tournament in hopes to defeat Duke and avenge the death of Fate.

KOF Maximum Impact aside from having faces from the mainstream KOF Timeline has a list of unique characters all on their own.

 The primary reason as to why The KOF Maximum Impact series should be revived is predominantly so the actual series can get finished. As of the time of writing this article, KOF Maximum Impact never got the final game within its series. Nor any did any of its non-sequel spin-offs most notably being KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A2. For a series that was actually good rather than bad? This is a bad thing for a company to have on its record. The secondary reason is mostly that the KOF Maximum Impact series was a breath of fresh air in a series that tried too hard to stick to an otherwise textbook formula.  An example being in three of the mainline King Of Fighters arcs. SNK focused on nothing more than the Orochi Storyline (ranging from KOF: 95 – 97 arcs. KOF: 2003 – KOF XIII arcs and KOF Neo Blood and Howling Blood arcs respectively). KOF Maximum Impact for the time brought a new and innovative concept and story line to an otherwise stale plot angle. This with its completely original story line was a major draw in for the fan base that KOF Maximum Impact has. Also, unlike its mainline counterpart, KOF Maximum Impact had a dark and gritty feel which was reminiscent of the previous generation King Of Fighters titles. I.E KOF 95 and KOF 96 which was also another major draw into the series. Minus the mixed reviews, it got from the series hardcore 2D fan base, regardless of the fact according to SNK themselves. KOF Maximum Impact sold well over in Japan. However, KOF Maximum Impact 2 / KOF 2006 had mixed reception as it did amazing in the states as one of the highest selling King Of Fighters games. However, over in Japan it only did average at best.

 

How can this title be improved?: 

[ KOF Maximum Impact Regulation “A2” was one of the KOF Maximum Impact titles that had gotten canceled as a result of KOF XII’s poor sales ]

KOF Maximum Impact can be improved by having a more diverse cast of mainline KOF characters within its games, rather than just the more popular KOF Characters. For example, a line up of  “Robert Garcia,” “Ryo Sakazaki,” and “Takuma”  rather than just “Ryo Sakazaki” and “Takuma,” or for another team have Iori Yagami, “Vice,” and “Mature” rather than just Iori Yagami by himself as the only representative of his KOF team.  It’s this crucial lack of diversity which was KOF Maximum Impact’s greatest oversight. Now “KOF Maximum Impact” also had several O.T.G otherwise known as On The Ground combos, which allow you to continue a combo on a downed opponent. This system did not go over well over with the more tournament level KOF Players.  This can be fixed if they took more of the combo elements of their mainline 2D Counterpart and ported them over to 3D specifically thus stabilizing an already combo heavy game. Storyline wise? Personally, KOF Maximum Impact already fixed this within KOF Maximum Impact 2 by giving each of the characters their own uniquely fleshed out story lines. If they were to revive this series, perhaps they can take a nod from Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 and add an in-game encyclopedia for the games more confusing storyline and lore aspects as some questions even left the most knowledgeable of KOF Fans struggling to put the pieces together. Structure wise? The game should go from a more “1” vs “1” aspect to a “3” vs “3” aspect like the other games within the King Of Fighters series have, This would attract a bigger following rather than the humble amount of fans it has now. As for the last suggestion as to how “King Of Fighters Maximum Impact” can improve upon itself? Just simply tie up any loose ends that the series has.  This is because KOF Maximum Impact as a whole did not deserve to be canceled halfway through.

KOF Maximum Impact as a whole is one of the more better established KOF Spinoffs as there have been weaker titles within “The King Of Fighters Continuity”. I.E: “KOF Kyo”, “KOF Ex / Howling Blood” in which in the latter game you did not even get to fight the main antagonist. etc. So looking at it from reviewers standpoint KOF Maximum Impact, at least had enough of a following to warrant a final game within its series. But as it stands currently? SNK had stated within an interview that they have no plans for “The KOF Maximum Impact” series at this time. Considering that the last numerical installment within the series was during the year 2006 and it’s 2017. It would be nothing short of a shame of this spin-off entry within the King Of Fighters continuity was fated to be put to the sidelines in favor for story-lines that aren’t as good as this current chapter within “The King Of Fighters” franchise.

 

 

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Nintendo has made so many great games over the decades, that have grown into established series. We all know Mario and Zelda, and to a lesser extent games like Golden Sun, F Zero and Star Fox, but there are games that Nintendo has made that have not been touched in an extremely long time. I have looked back at some of these games, and there are 7 that stand out as games that should be revived for Switch.

I only had two criteria for this list. It had to be a game that was only in the NES or SNES era before falling off, and it had to be either a Nintendo IP or an IP of a company that works exclusively with Nintendo. With that said, let’s begin

Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling was one of the first NES games and is widely regarded as a true classic. It was very basic but still fun and the game’s developers did work on future wrestling games but not in this series. It would be amazing if Nintendo could find a team to revive the IP as a cartoonish wrestling game similar to Ultimate Muscle on the GameCube. To me, the best choice would be Next Level Games, who were developing a game with wrestling elements using Mario characters which ended up cancelled. A game that is a pure wrestling game with its own characters and some cartoonish over the topness would be great for Nintendo and the Switch.

 

Startropics

 

Startropics was a rare thing on the NES. It was a Nintendo developed game made for the western market and not Japan at all. The games are similar to Zelda but with more variety at the time and a modern modern feel.  A reboot of this IP would be great as an action adventure game with a sci-fi focus, maybe with marketed more to the west than other games. It would also be something different and that is a good thing.

 

Gyromite

Gyromite was another early Nintendo game, and one that utilized R.O.B. the robot. Obviously I do not expect a new game to use R.O.B. again, but rather I think Gyromite could be a great eShop download game with a  local co-op focus. Nintendo has other games like Snipperclips that are based on local co-op, and with the JoyCons, Gyromite would be a great fit.

 

Ice Hockey 

 

Ice Hockey was another early NES game but it has held up incredibly well. It is an over the top hockey game on the NES that didn’t bother tryin to do realism in any way possible at the time. Nintendo does not have a lot of sports games and this is one they could use. It could be done as Nintendo Ice Hockey and made as either a small download game with a cartoony style and online play, or it could be a full retail experience and modelled after the classic Midway arcade sports games. It would be something different, both for Nintendo and for the video game market in general.

Urban Champion

 

 

I can hear the booing now but hear me out. Urban Champion was terrible in every sense of the word, but a revival could be interesting if done as an In Name Only revival. It could be a neat fighting game if a company such as SNK was hired to work on it and make it a smaller project. Nintendo has been getting into fighting games more as seen with Arms, so why not Urban Champion? This would be a hard sell, but worse games have been remade as great games so it could work.

 

The Mysterious Murasame Castle

 

The Mysterious Murasame Castle was a Japan only Famicom game that played very similar to Zelda 1. It was far more action oriented and this is what interests me for a possible revival. The Mysterious Murasame Castle starred a samurai named Takamaru who fought demons invading Japan and that would make an excellent action game from the likes of Koei Tecmo or Platinum Games. There was a sort of remake on the Wii but it was more having Takamaru appear in Samurai Warriors and get a mode for himself that recreated the game in Samurai Warriors, and thus not a true remake. The Mysterious Murasame Castle could be the definitve action game for Nintendo that they are looking for.

 

Arcana

 

This one was made by HAL but as they work solely with Nintendo, I am counting it. Arcana was a unique game that combined the dungeon crawler RPG genre with more traditional JRPG elements and new ideas such as a card system. It was unlike anything before it or since and I feel it was truly underrated gem. Admittedly it had its issues, such as poor pacing and some ideas not meshing well, but with the resources available today, and years of experience and hindsight, Arcana could be done again  and be a true masterpiece. heck, Nintendo could have Camelot work with HAL on this to iron out the issues and ensure it would be one of the best RPGs ever made.

 

Well there you are. Seven Retro Nintendo Games that should be revived. What do you all think of the choices and what would you choose?

 

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The above was the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.

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The Neo Geo had so many great games that sadly have fallen away from public awareness. Some of these have seen a resurgence lately thanks to Arcade Archives, including the subject of this piece, Spinmaster. Spinmaster was a side-scrolling action game that merged platforming and shoot ’em up elements to create a unique experience. You started out with a  Yo-Yo but could gain other weapons like fireballs, ice shards, bombs and ninja stars. It had beautiful cartoon-like visuals that have aged well and look great on a big screen TV today.

Spinmaster was surprisingly innovative for its time. There had been platformers with shooting before, like Mega Man, but not that many combined the Mario approach of jumping on the enemy, with run and gun elements. Those that did, usually had you jumping after running out of ammo, but Spinmaster gave you a choice of how to go about things. It even had a neat story, limited as it was, and multiple endings. There is so much here that would work in gaming today. Especially since the visual style would not need to be changed that much.

I cannot understand why this game has fallen out of sight as it is amazing. I feel this would be a great game to revive for modern systems. It would not be a major AAA game but rather a smaller digital game. Get a team like Yacht Club Games, WayForward or Inti Creates to work on it and it will be amazing as those developers know how to handle these style of games. With online play for co-op, the experience would be incredible.

I think that Spinmaster is a game that deserves more attention. it recently came to Arcade Archives, so you can try it out now on a system like the Nintendo Switch. Give it just a few minutes and you will see why it is amazing.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Jun, 2017 At 06:57 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Games That Should Be Revived, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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SNK made many great games for the Neo Geo, and in many genres such as beat em ups. One of their best beat em ups was the Sengoku series, a series about brawlers taking on specters of the warriors of japans past along with ghosts and demons. In the first game, you could get various weapons and summon others to swap places with, for extra abilities. The series only got better and better, and to be honest, this is one that SNK should really consider bringing back.

Brawlers are making a comeback now, both in 2D and 3D styles and with the various innovations Sengoku and its sequels introduced, this could be a truly innovative open world brawler.  You would travel between worlds/dimensions and fight enemies as you go, but you could also do things like in the original games, like shatter enemies weapons to force them to fight you hand to hand, and swap places with others you meet on the way. The enemy variety and different locales would all contribute well to this, and this could be one of the most unique brawlers ever made.

SNK is slowly getting back into game making after their pachinko era, and games like King of Fighters XIV show they have what it takes to still make great games. SNK could very well make a great open ended brawler for modern systems and PC, or if they want, make a throwback retro style 2D beat em up. They could even work with a company like WayForward to do for Sengoku what was done for Double Dragon with Double Dragon Neon.

The simple matter is, that the Sengoku series offered a great twist on the beat em up genre and this is greatly missed today. A proper return would be welcome and a sign that SNK has more than just fighting games up their sleeves.

 

 

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RPG games are amazing and Nintendo and Camelot made one of the best series ever with Golden Sun. This is a series I have fond memories of playing, as I first played it after a relative rented it for me when I was sick. It was so different from other RPG games to me and it had such an amazing charm that others didn’t.

The series has a massive amount of fan support behind it, even more now than ever, and I feel it is the right time to revive the series. Nintendo needs a good RPG series for their library, as while Xenoblade is amazing, Golden Sun will be better for more traditional JRPG fans. That style of gaming still has a lot of support and Nintendo and Atlus did come out with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE on Wii U which was in the classic style of gameplay. Golden Sun would be perfect for Nintendo to revive on the Switch, and it should remain like a the classic games but take influence from Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.

Besides the fan support behind the game, there is also another reason the game would be great to revive. There is a very detailed battle system that would transition very well to modern gaming and HD resolution.  The use of summons, and stacking your attacks for more offense was a great system and the psyenergy used outside of battle to interact with the world game a strong puzzle feel to the game as well. Golden Sun has an epic scale to it, and the summons alone were enough to put this on a high level. There was also a plot that actually has a lot going for it and there were  likeable and engaging characters.

, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, ended on a cliffhanger and there is a strong demand to see where the series would go after that.  Considering that each game became more epic in scale than the last one, a Golden Sun game in HD on the Switch would be absolutely amazing.  Camelot has been somewhat low-key as of late and their last game, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash,  was a greatly  stripped down experience from their usual sports game standards. It felt like a rush job made to familiarize with HD gaming. Perhaps  it was a test to see how well to do a full HD game.  If that is the case, then hopefully a modern Golden Sun game is not an impossibility.

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Castlevania is one of the most beloved series of all time, but has been allowed to lie in neglect for far too long. However, recent events have caused me to wonder if there is a chance to revive the series still. Nintendo worked with Konami to bring back Bomberman for the launch of the Nintendo Switch, which ended up as a major success for the two. This made me wonder if nowthat Bomberman has seen successful opening week numbers, Konami might try to work with Nintendo to revive Castlevania as well. However, there is still the issue that without IGA at Konami, a metroidvania take on the games wouldn’t be the same as before. After all, IGA is now working on Bloodstained, and I doubt he is on good terms with Konami still.

There are some possible good ways to revive the series, such as by licensing it out to Platinum Games.Hideki Kamiya and other developers there are major fans of the series, and a Castlevania game made by them would be an amazing action game, that would finally avert the nature of the 3D games to be lesser games in terms of quality. It could be the next successor to Bayonetta even, much like Bayonetta was the successor to Devil May Cry, which was influenced by Castlevania.

However, there option for who to make the game and it might be an even better choice. From Software’s Souls series is often considered the spiritual successor to the Castlevania games. In fact, it is considered the successor to both the classic and metroidvania games, and for them to get to work on the series itself would be a chance for a fresh new take on the series that would attract a new audience. From could give it a unique feel and identity,  one that merges the  feel of the souls series with the lore and feel of Castlevania. Plus they would be able to create a truly punishing game, similar to the NES games.

I feel this is a way to create a new Castlevania experience that doesn’t just retread past territory, and both of this paths offer a bold direction for the series. Either a strong action series, or a atmospheric and challenging game. This could be what Castlevania needs and I hope Nintendo and Konami agree to do something like this. It is our best hope for the series’ future.

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of ROG or its staff.

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The Nintendo GameCube era was a time of experimentation for Nintendo. It was during this time that we got games like F-Zero GX via a collaboration with Sega, Metroid Prime and Eternal Darkness. All of these are classic games still loved by players, but there is one game that Nintendo published for the GameCube that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Geist was developed by n-Space, who were under contract with Nintendo at the time. The game went through a period of development hell and was delayed numerous times, as well as undergoing numerous revisions. What started out as a horror themed sci-fi FPS eventually became a first person horror adventure that was a bit of a disjointed mess. The game had some great ideas, such as possessing characters in order to interact with the world, but it was badly handled and was a deeply unsatisfactory experience. The thing is, some of the great ideas the game had, have been used by other games since in some form or another, including Prey to an extent, and these were handled extremely well.

Geist’s problems can be attributed to the horrible development cycle it had, and if given a new developer with a proven track record for success, the game could be rebooted and given a fresh start. There is new tech available today for game design, people are thinking outside the box, and the game’s ideas can be made into a truly epic sci-fi horror game.

But what developer/studio could revive the IP in a successful way, and that Nintendo could trust? The answer is for Nintendo to look inward, as they have the perfect studio to work on it. Retro Studios works best on games that have a western focus/appeal more to the west, and if they are not working on Metroid or Donley Kong, this would be a perfect new project for them to handle. They have the pedigree for amazing sci-fi games and are masters of intricate game design. Moreover, they have the Nintendo design philosophy down pat and can be trusted to deliver a true polished game. People were skeptical about Metroid Prime at first but it is regarded as one of the best games ever made. Their Donkey Kong games are some of the best platformers ever made and have great attention to detail to the extent that they won people over, when they were upset at the idea of Retro working on that series.

Retro could make Geist their big epic project for the Switch and create a new experience for fans. It could be what the original was supposed to be, but on a bigger scale. Moreover, Nintendo is now more open to these kind of games and given the reception many of these games have, it would be amazing for Nintendo to have one of their own, designed in-house, with a top tier developer behind it. Geist had some amazing ideas that weren’t used properly and Retro Studios is the ideal studio to take this IP and turn it into a success.

 

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The late 80’s and early 90’s were a great time for gaming. There was so much innovation an experimentation, as well as many attempts to cash in on big name properties. These were often a mixed bag, with most licensed games for the NES not being particularly good. One company that did produce great licensed games was Sunsoft, who produced the amazing Batman NES games and Gremlins 2. They almost produced a Superman game as well, but the license was revoked, and while Sunsoft tried to salvage the project as Sunman, it was ultimately cancelled.

Another would be licensed game from them would have been The Terminator on NES. It was well into production when the licensed was pulled for reasons that are still not clear but are heavily speculated on. Unlike Sunman, this game was able to be saved. It was rebranded, given a new story and named Journey to Silius. The game, while not super well known today, became a cult classic for its amazing music, its tough as nails gameplay, and its fun atmosphere.  There is also the fact that there was a lot of leftover elements of Terminator in the game, both in the code and the music, as well as some of the enemies.

Journey To Silius has not gotten a lot of attention in recent times, except from retro fans. That is something I feel needs to change, as the game could be awesome as a modern game. I don’t mean a big 3D  game but a small scale 2D revival along the lines of Blaster Master Zero from Inti Creates ( another Sunsoft game, and in fact, Journey to Silius takes place in the same universe as Blaster Master). There is so much that can be done with the game. Expanded levels, high quality visuals, taking the best parts of the original game that made it fun and bringing it over and so on. In the original game, the first level had attacks coming from the background into the foreground, and this could be one element redone to make the game still challenging. There could be a proper ending and post game content unlike the original game, where it just restarted without much difference.

This is a property that should not be left in the past. With the right tweaks, it could be an even better platformer with the ngatives removed and the story expanded on and moved past its origins.

Plus the music would be amazing, considering how good the original music was.

Blaster Master Zero was proof this can be done, and I hope it one day happens.

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Okay, this time on Games That Should Be Revived, I  am tackling a game from Nintendo/HAL Laboratory that most don’t remember and flew mostly under the radar. I do not think it even got a virtual console release.Arcana, known in Japan as Card Master: Rimsalia no Fuuin, was a card based RPG dungeon crawler released in 1992. It took a lot of influence from the Wizardry games and games like Shining In The Darkness, Dungeon Master and more,. It also had has a detailed story with a unique twist on the gameplay. The game had a look where all the characters and enemies were represented by cards. Cards were also used in combat at times, but they were not the only part of the game.

The game had numerous issues such as pacing and poor use of the combat that it had, as well as an unforgiving difficulty. This is a shame because it had a lot of potential. In addition to the aforementioned influences,  many people I have spoken to about this game have stated that it actually reminded them of Arena, the first game in The Elder Scrolls series. Obviously they are two different styles of RPGs and Arena came out years later on more powerful tech, but people have found some comparisons. They commented that it reminded them of Arena in terms of immersion and atmosphere, if not in actual gameplay. They felt the dame feeling of being drawn in to a great experience, but feel more could have been done with Arcana.

I feel Arcana has a lot of potential to actually be a big series for Nintendo/HAL Laboratory. I do not mean as big as Mario or Zelda, but it could be a very serviceable mid tier series for the publisher. Dungeon Crawler RPGs have seen a big resurgence in recent years, and the game having a unique story and enough of its own identity, with a setup that is entirely its own, Arcana could stand out well among games today. There have been some similar games since, but I would like to see what Nintendo/HAL Laboratory can do with the IP in the modern day,

Obviously there would need to be changes done to it, but the series could be revived as an RPG with a strong dungeon crawler focus but with more emphasis on the overworld as well. Or it could well follow the pattern of Diablo and the Rougelikes but with its own spin on the genre to keep its identity intact. The point I am making is that Arcana was written off far too soon. Nintendo and HAL Laboratory should really consider bringing this game back because it could stand out well for Nintendo today. A title like this would do especially well on the Switch, since the immersion can be had on the go or at home and feel seamless.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Apr, 2016 At 07:15 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Games You Slept On, News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarJoy Mech Fight, a Japan only Famicom game, was another early attempt at a fighting game from Nintendo. The game took a lot of influence from other fighting game but also Capcom’s Mega Man series. It had 2 scientists who made robots, one scientist went evil and reprogramed the robots except one. The difference in JMF was that after defeating the other robots, they became playable characters, much like story mode unlocks in modern fighting games. The graphics and music were impressive for the time, even as they fought hard against the limitations of the Famicom system ( This was during the transition phase between the 8 bit and 16 bit generations), and while they are not impressive by today’s standards, they were still a technical marvel. The game actually had the largest roster for a fighting game, with 36 characters, until the King of Fighters 98 came out and had 38.

Now there is the question of how to revive it, and to that I say that this is a chance to kill two birds with one stone. There is another game Nintendo was working on for Wii U that seems to have stalled, with no further direction. I refer of course to Project Giant Robot

That game would be perfect to repurpose as a reboot of Joy Mech Fight. It could be the game finally done right, with unique characters that feel like their own character, with the full character shown and not the way they were in the Famicom version with the disembodied limbs. In HD with 3D graphics, this would be an amazing game and if treated right, could be a unique fighting game for Nintendo to have on the NX. The two game concepts seem perfect for each other and would blend well.

Custom characters could be done fantastically in this and the opportunity is there for a variety of modes, such as story ( like in the original), Arcade, Local Multiplayer, Online Multiplayer and Custom Local and Online Multiplayer among others. Nintendo has stated recently that they are unsure of what to do with Project Giant Robot, and retooling it into a reboot of Joy Mech Fight just seems like a perfect way to make this into gold. As for who can make it, perhaps Platinum Games, with their track record of action games and robots in their games. Or maybe Next Level Games, with their unique offbeat games. In the end, whomever makes this, this is too good an opportunity to pass up.