Welcome to This Week in Gaming, where we take a look back at some of the most newsworthy events in gaming history from last year to even decades ago that happened this very week. Take a gander at some of the highlights and see which spark nostalgia and which may still be news to you.
Time Four Adventure
April 7, 2005
After the wave of success The Wind Waker road, a new game came to the Nintendo GameCube. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures was released the previous year for Japanese and North American gamers, but on this date it was made available in Australia. This installment to the legendary Zelda franchise used the same style as the previous title, but sort of mixes together many elements from other games. Shadow Link and Vaati are the main antagonists, earning larger roles than their previous turns as villains. Players can go through the game by themselves or team up with others by using a GBA as the controller. While the Australia release of Four Swords Adventures may not mean much to some, it did provide a hefty boost in sales. It sold more than 250,000 copies which pushed it onto the Player’s Choice list for GameCube and has been voted as one of Nintendo’s best video games of all time.
April 8, 2002
Halo has been a modern day gold mine. The series has consistently been breaking records upon every release. All games, books, toys and anything related (Mountain Dew) has been popular since the first game, Halo: Combat Evolved, was launched in 2001. On this date, Halo sold its millionth copy; making it the fastest-selling game in the sixth generation of consoles. Although it did not sell as many as Halo 4, that event would never have occurred without the success of the first. The game received a number of awards and outstanding ratings. For a time, many Xbox systems were bundled with the game. Because of this pairing, the game was a major reason for the console’s success. Not only did it pave the way for a million dollar franchise, but also cemented Microsoft as a force in the video game market.
Strategy by Design
April 10, 1999
Warzone 2100 rolled out onto PlayStation, Windows and a few others at a time when strategy games were all the rage. It was developed by Pumpkin Studios (later changing its name to Pivotal Games)—known for war games based on modern and recent events. Warzone 2100 takes place in the future, after a nuclear missile malfunctioned and detonated across the world and wiped out much of civilization. Players join a group of survivors on the search for lost technology with the thread of a hostile organization controlled by Nexus ever-present. The game emphasized the use of radar to coordinate attacks against enemy forces. You must keep moving through battle because each level is timed. Searching for scarce resources, planning out attacks and leveling your troops keep the fight engaging and difficult.
Weaving the Strands of Time
April 10, 2009
Getting games off the ground can be a challenge for big name companies, but even more so for independent developers. Jonathon Blow created Braid, bringing abstract art, complex puzzles and deep philosophy to mainstream games. The game is a platformer starring Tim. He solves puzzles, jumps on enemies and has the ability to rewind time move objects around. Because of all the work done earlier for its Xbox Live Arcade launch, Jonathon was able to weed out any bugs. Despite taking years to work on it and some controversy over pricing—Braid came out for Microsoft Windows to a multitude of success. It was honored with many awards such as Best Soundtrack and Best Platformer, among others. The game gained many high profile fans including other developers.
April 12, 1947
Tom Clancy turns 66 years old on this day. He is widely recognized as an author known for his military novels. The Hunt for Red October was his first publication, being released in 1984. Since then, he’s had more than fifteen works published. With all his success, Tom got involved with video games in 1987 when The Hunt for Red October was developed for multiple platforms. In the mid 90’s, he co-founded Red Storm Entertainment, the company behind all future games based on his work. A first-person shooter, Rainbow Six, a third-person shooter, Ghost Recon and a stealth game, Splinter Cell are all extremely successful franchises. He continues to be an influential member of the video game world. More games are still in production and will be released in the near future.