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Street Fighter


Street Fighter has long been considered the holy grail of fighting games for its unique mix of style and strategy, and its challenging battle system. However, even though it seems Street Fighter has been around forever, this series actually had meager beginnings. Our story begins with an arcade cabinet in 1987...

The original Street Fighter was a minimalist game, unleashed on arcades nearly two decades ago. The game featured two playable characters: Ryu and Ken. Ryu was the persistent first character, but if someone wanted to play as Ken, he would automatically be selected as the second character. 



The game didn't have much of a story, and there wasn't that much to the battle system (there were only three attacks for each character).


However, the game became a cult hit and set the stage for what would be the biggest game in Street Fighter history.


Street Fighter II was released in 1991, and went on to become the best-selling title in Capcom's history. Though the Street Fighter series was relatively unknown outside the arcade sphere, Street Fighter II was released both in arcades and on home consoles, and it was the latter that really gave Street Fighter II its staying power. It launched on both Capcom's CP System as well as on the SNES, and though all these versions were nearly identical, the game proved to be a breakout hit on the SNES.


In addition to boosting the move rosters of the game's original core characters, the game also included several new characters who would go on to become staples of the franchise, including M. Bison, Vega, Guile and Chun-Li. Street Fighter II's success became the stuff of legend fairly quickly, and Capcom looked to capitalize on its success with several re-releases including Street Fighter II: Championship Edition, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II, and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. These subsequent releases included more characters, extra moves, and improved technical elements.



Mortal Kombat


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The video games industry was going through a slump as the 1980s turned to the 1990s, but the entire industry revived abruptly when Midway introduced "Mortal Kombat" in 1992. 


The game achieved notoriety inside and outside the gamer community when it became known that secret codes had been programmed into the game: when activated, the codes changed "Mortal Kombat" from a run-of-the-mill kick-and-punch match between mutants into a bloody battle to the death at whose conclusion the victor would rip the still-beating heart from his vanquished opponent's chest, or tear his hapless opponent's spine out and hold it triumphantly aloft, or blast his prostrate opponent to ashes.
The game unleashed a debate over the effect of violent video games on children, which continued throughout the 1990s. But the immense popularity of "Mortal Kombat" guaranteed that other games would compete to outdo it in both violence and realism. The game established Midway as a major force in the video game field and provided the company with the financial resources to develop new games and eventually expand beyond the arcade market.

Metal Slug


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Metal Slug was the first in a series of games to be created around an armoured fighting vehicle. The game is view by many to be at the peak of 2D video game design. Metal Slug features hand drawn animated characters, fluid, fast paced game play and a sense of humour which parody some of the worlds most feared dictators. The game is still viewed by many as a classic video game experience. 

The History of Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001 

First released on May 24th 1996. Metal Slug was developed and published by Nazca Corporation/ SNK for the Neo-Geo home console and arcade markets. It was a single or two player co-op game of the shoot 'em up genre. 

The story is set in the future, and based on the genesis of modern day terrorism, where two warring factions battle for supremacy. These factions are aptly name; The Rebellion And The Regular Army. The Rebellion is made up of various militant groups whose main object is greed and power. The Army as you'd expect are a well drilled military organisation controlled by the worlds various nations. 

The game play features solid, fast fast shoot 'em up action, where the player must battle his/her way through multiple enemies before reaching the end of the level. Where a boss character must be confronted and defeated in order to move on to the next level. There are six levels in total. 

As well as the basic melee attacks there are various weapons that can be found to aid the cause. Dotted throughout the levels are captured POWs, and upon release bonus power ups are awarded. But as the title of the game suggests, the most important weapon is the Metal Slug itself. 

The vehicle comes equipped with a rapid firing cannon, that is multi-directional, and a more explosive heavy cannon. However, the slug is not indestructible, and can only take three direct hits before exploding. Health can be restored by finding canisters which are dotted around the world. 


Megaman


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Mega Man also known as Rock Man is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. The character has appeared in over 50 games in the last 20 years, and that statistic doesn't include any spin off ventures. Because of the variety of the gaming audience Mega Man has sold more copies then the much loved and successful Street Fighter franchise. 

The game fits into the action/platform genre. There are 6 stages and in each stage our hero is faced with many obstacles along the way. Waiting at the end of each stage is the level boss known as robot masters. When defeated the boss relinquishes their weapon and the power of that weapon is passed on to Mega Man. After completion of the 6th stage, the 7th and final stage, and the four boss characters are revealed. 

The History of Mega Man: Robot Master 

The original characters was created by Keiji Inafune, and the game design by Tokuro Fujiwara. It was released by the Capcom Corporation for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. It was the first in a line of games that were later entitled the “Mega Man Classic” series. The classic series contained 8 games, aptly titled Mega Man 1-8

Since the N.E.S original, there have been many incarnations designed and released for a plethora of different systems. These include; Mega Man: The Wily Wars for the Sega Genesis. Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the PlayStation2, GameCube and the Xbox. Mega Man Powered up for the PSP, which is a fully 3D version of the game, and has extra stages and also 8 robot masters instead of 6. There is now also a version available for mobile phones developed by Capcom Mobile. 

Over the years Mega Man's design has changed immensely from the original N.E.S version to the latest PSP release. The character designer Keiji Inafune claimed this to be because of the hardware restraints that the Nintendo Entertainment System placed upon him, and this is how he originally planned the character to look. 

The Mega Man series has always used new and exciting story lines and features to keep the player involved, and up until 1997 had always been designed using a 2D environment. But with the birth of new and more powerful systems, the franchise went through a makeover to take full advantage of the new graphical capabilities. The robot master was about to go 3D

The latest game in the series to date is Mega Man Star Force which was released for the Nintendo DS in 2006. But I have no doubt that this franchise will continue to go from strength to strength for many years to come.


Super Hang On


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Hang On upon it's release in the arcades broke new ground with it's large sit down replica motorcycle style cabinet, featuring a speedometer, brakes and throttle. Hang On was the first in a successful line of games from the same design team that brought the awesome Out Run series to the gaming public.

Hang On revolutionised the arcade racing genre, and was the benchmark title that all other racing games aspired to.

The History of Hang On

First released for the arcades in 1985, the game was developed and published by Sega Enterprises. Designed by Yu Suzuki, Hang On is a single player game of the racing genre.

The game is played from a third person perspective, and the objective is to complete a race by reaching various checkpoints before the time limit expired. The game would finish if the timer runs out before crossing the checkpoint line.


There were five different stages in total to complete, and they were as follows: 

Alps
Grand Canyon
City Night
Seaside
Circuit

The five stages featured rich vibrant graphics, and situated throughout the stages were various advertising billboards, that give the illusion of speed when passing.


Pac-man


free_pacman_arcade_game.jpgOn May 22, 1980, the Pac-Man video game was released in Japan and by October of the same year it was released in the United States. The yellow, pie-shaped Pac-Man character, who travels around a maze trying to eat dots and avoid four mean ghosts, quickly became an icon of the 1980s. To this day, Pac-Man remains one of the most popular video games in history.

Inventing Pac-Man:


If you ever thought that the Pac-Man character looked like some kind of food, then you and Japanese game designer Toru Iwatani think alike. Iwatani was eating pizza when he came up with the idea for the Pac-Man character.


While a pizza with a slice out of it turned into the main character of Pac-Man, cookies became the power pellets. (The pellets lost their cookie-look when the game came to the U.S.)


Apparently Namco, the company that made Pac-Man, was hoping to create a video game that would entice girls to play as well as boys. And everyone knows that girls like food, right? Hmmm. Anyway, a food-based video game with cute little ghosts and a bit of humor did appeal to both genders, which quickly made Pac-Man an unquestionable success. 


Naming Pac-Man:


The name "Pac-Man" continues the eating theme of the game. Apparently in Japanese, "puck-puck" (sometimes said "paku-paku) is a word used for munching. So, in Japan, Namco named the video game Puck-Man. After all, it was a video game about a pizza eating super-powered cookies.


However, when it was time for the video game to be sold in the U.S., many were worried about the name "Puck-Man." Mostly because the name sounded a bit too similar to a particularly foul four-letter word in English. Thus, Puck-Man underwent a name change and became Pac-Man when the game came to the U.S.



Ms Pac-man


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Because Namco has owned the rights to this game a year after its initial release, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking they had anything to do with its production other than making the original game engine. Nope... not only was this sequel developed in the US, it was originally created as a hack of the original Pac-man game, named Crazy Otto. The thing is, unlike other Pac-man hacks, this one did not suck, so the programmers racked up the courage to show it to Midway. Midway liked it, bought it, made some changes, and the result was Ms. Pac-man.

Despite what was said in the Wayne's World movie, there were more upgrades other than the bow added to the top of Pac's head. They also added an eye AND a mole. =) Plus there are 4 new maze layouts, each with their own color scheme. There are also different fruits, all of which are now able to move around the maze. Finally, there's some new music and some new intermissions. Also, the monsters start going solely by their US nicknames at this point, and after some surgery, "Clyde" is now known as "Sue."


Baby Pac-Man is introduced in one of the intermissions, who would eventually star in his own game.


Midway did not get Namco's permission to release this game. In the end, they decided to give up the rights of this game to Namco to avoid a potential lawsuit. Of course, Midway continued to make unauthorized Pac-man sequels after this, and while none were particularly successful, it did strain the companies' relationship enough for Namco to switch to Atari as its US partner by 1987. 



Sonic The Hedgehog


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The video game industry was really just starting to settle into households when Sonic raced onto the scene. Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis). With this landmark release, Sonic had begun to make his mark in video game history.

What's Sonic the Hedgehog About?


The main story of the blue hedgehog is set on Earth, although contradicting information says the whole franchise is set on Planet Mobius. Nevertheless, the animals of Sonic's home are captured by Doctor 'Eggman' Robotnik, a super genius and one of the only humans in the series. He uses the little critters to build robots, sometimes called 'Badniks' to take over the world, but of course Sonic is always there to stop him.


The majority of Sonic games are within the platforming genre, with a heavy emphasize on speed. Simple controls, creative level designs and gorgeous animations made the original Mega Drive games instant classics - Sonic 2 is sometimes regarded as the best available.