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.
You could play games by yourself, it’s fun and you won’t get annoyed when somebody screws up. But that’s the opposite reason to playing Guild Wars, because in this game, you want to band together with others. The story takes players to the Kingdom of Ascalon, going from simply defeating creatures to joining an elite force to fight back an invasion. Co-op story mode goes through 25 missions with a team of four to eight characters– either user controlled or player-managed computers. You’re even allowed to choose a profession, which is basically what guilds were back in the day–just groups of certain trade skills. The game has been well received and given high scores. Guild Wars even obtained a few awards including MMORPG Game of the Year and Best PC RPG.
We’re all aware how much of an impact Grand Theft Auto made on the industry, but its crowning achievement thus far is Grand Theft Auto IV. The mechanics have been upgraded to allow more control when firing weapons. Use of cell phones to relay messages and being able to watch TV are fun little inclusions. This makes even small details worth playing. The game features a driven plot with two possible endings and episodic expansions for the story to continue. Over 300 million dollars in sales were generated within the first day of Grand Theft Auto IV‘s release. It’s been recognized with many Game of the Year nominations as well as voice acting nods. Of course, with any title from this franchise comes controversy. From ESRB changes to real-world incidences of violence, Grand Theft Auto has been at the center of it all. This doesn’t take away the fact that it’s a great game nor stopped it from outselling its competitors.
Japan is no stranger to the Pokémon Stadium games. In fact, with the release of Pokémon Stadium in every other territory, we were getting a real treat. Pokémon Stadium was actually the sequel to a game already available in Japan. The first of the series for them was made available in August a year earlier, but did not have nearly as many options. It was the first 3D Pokémon game released and featured a gym battle run, player vs. player battling and mini games. If you know Pokémon well enough, it’s just a toned down version of the handheld games. There’s no need to catch them all since they’re already available to use. What made Pokémon Stadium a must have was the hardware it came with. Fans could use their actual teams from Red, Blue and Yellow and watch all the action in much greater detail.
Konami attained great success during the arcade era with Frogger, Scramble, and Super Cobra. Once the company began producing home console games, they really started booming. Castlevania is one of their earliest titles and has remained as a staple franchise for Konami. By traversing a giant castle and defeating monsters along the way, players can fulfill Simon Belmont’s, a vampire hunter in the year 1691, main quest of killing Dracula. Simon’s weapon of choice? The whip. Both he and it have become icons in the video game world. Castlevania has been made available on many systems since coming out in the late 80′s and spawned sequels, prequels and alternate timelines. It is ranked as one of the best Nintendo games of all time.
Before the time of the internet, it was difficult getting a hold of the latest video game information. It’s not like the nightly news had full coverage of every release. GameSpot was one of the very first websites to offer detailed news releases and reviews of games. After establishing itself in the United States, GameSpot went international. There have been locations set up in the UK, Australia and Japan in order to cover the growing industry. The site has served as a basis for future competitors by featuring Best and Worst Games of the Year, theirs being Diablo and Catfight respectively, for 1996. While GameSpot has dropped in rankings it still remains a viable source for video games.