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.
Two for the Road
July 28, 2008
Taito Corporation, known for the iconic arcade hit, Space Invaders, struck up a deal back in 2005. Square Enix proposed a take over of the company that would benefit both sides. Since Taito is the arcade big shot, Square Enix wanted to use their resources to introduce their titles to arcades across Japan. Things were going pretty well until three years later when Square Enix liquidated two of Taito’s subsidiaries: Taito Tech Co. and Taito Art Corporation. You probably thought it would be some huge, controversial topic, but it’s really not. Of course it’s a big deal to them, but the company isn’t in any danger of going under. Even though it left individual employees with a sour taste in their mouths, The Art Corp. and Tech Co. fulfilled their purposes for the company so I guess it’s not worth keeping them around. You probably never even heard of them anyway.
A Dolphin’s Tale (A Dolphin’s Tale)
July 29, 1992
Did you hear that? Of course, anybody can hear the squeaks and clicks of a dolphin. Dolphins are one of the smartest animals on the planet and you know what’s not smart? Never playing Ecco the Dolphin. In this adventurous tale, you play as Ecco who travels throughout the sea searching for his friends. After a terrible storm, Ecco becomes separated from his pod. You battle seahorses, speak with blue whales and sing to clams in the game to finally reunite with the rest of the pod. Ecco was one of Sega’s best-sellers and held popularity among gamers. It would later be released on a number of platforms allowing fans to experience all that dolphin fun years after its release. Its driven plot and serene graphics kept marine biologists, scuba divers and young people entertained until its sequels were produced.
Monsters are Ready to Play
August 1, 1998
Pokémon Stadium did not begin the way you may have thought. Titled Pocket Monsters’ Stadium in Japan, the first game had a few ups, but mostly all downs. Instead of its awesome debut on the N64, which came in 1999, it was originally made for the not so awesome Nintendo 64DD. Since that system did not sell at all, its development was shifted to cartridge format. The game itself had its fair share of shortcoming as well. It featured only 42 Pokémon to choose from and was considered too difficult when facing AI opponents. It was never released outside of Japan, but after this game came a sequel. In Japan it was called Pocket Monsters’ Stadium 2, but titled Pokémon Stadium in other locations. The first game would make for a great collector’s item, not so much as something to play.
August 2, 2011
Indie games can sometimes be forgettable; there are so many out there but never earn the recognition they deserve. It’s sort of like they’re stuck…in limbo. Luckily, Limbo is not one of those games. You play as a young boy as he wanders through an eerie, monochromatic world on the search for his sister. The draws of Limbo are complex yet simple. It doesn’t offer much except for a quality plot-driven story and beautiful minimalist environments. When playing Limbo you will experience fear, heartbreak and compassion for the little boy’s struggle to survive in the hazards of an empty world. The game won Best Puzzle Game and Best Game, among others, at many different ceremonies. Limbo became available on Steam on this date, offering its award-winning entertainment to wider audiences. It’s not as popular as blockbuster titles, but it hasn’t been forgotten.
Desire for Doom
August 3, 2004
Doom has been a groundbreaking series ever since 1993. On this date came a resurrection of the franchise with Doom 3. The game abandoned any previous storyline from the original games and achieved greater success. As a gateway to Hell opened, many demons began invading Mars. Your mission as a space marine is to prevent the monsters from attacking Earth. Doom 3 uses key features to highlight gameplay. New advancements in lighting, shadowing and animation brought the world to realistically creepy levels. In 2007 it was reported that over 3.5 million copies of the game had been sold. Critics gave high rankings to the game with praise to graphics and atmosphere. Doom 3 won PC Game of the Year as well as Ultimate Game of the Year. This game series has no signs of being doomed.