This Week in Gaming 11/18-11/24

Welcome to the very first edition of This Week in Gaming, Hardcore Gamer’s newest feature! We’ll be taking a look back at some of the most news worthy 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.

New Discoveries, New World
November 21, 1990

Japan’s answer to the original Famicom system and another sequel for Mario and Luigi was released 22 years ago. As a launch title for the Super Famicom, Super Mario World was able to give sales a boost for the console. It brought more popularity to both the franchise and company. This also marked the very first appearance of Mario’s dinosaur companion, Yoshi. Since then, he has become one of the industry’s most beloved characters. With this new installment to the Mario brand came new power-ups and enemies, some that have remained a part of the series to this day. Super Mario World still stands as one of the highest selling games in history.

Full Fun with Half-Life
November 19, 1998

Valve’s hit first-person shooter was released and met with absolute praise. It’s been hailed as one of the greatest computer games in history and won over 50 awards including “Best Game of All Time” and “Best-Selling First-Person Shooter of All Time”. It has sold millions upon millions of copies, even spawning a sequel that enjoyed the same level of success. The mixture of puzzle solving, scripted events, and shooting allowed Half-Life to stand out on its own in a genre filled with so many copies. It changed the face of first-person shooters and gaming in general. Instead of using cut-scenes to advance the story there are no breaks from playing. It was an industry changing game and still regarded to be better than current titles.

A Legend is Born
November 23, 1998

Zelda games have been around since the NES days, but it wasn’t until this specific title was released that the franchise truly became legendary. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the most iconic video games ever. It brought a deeper story, beautiful art and music, and paved the way for many innovative 3D games. It won several awards, placed highly in various rankings, and received the honor of winning “Game of the Year”. No Zelda game released before or after could match the reception of Ocarina of Time. The musical compositions have been so popular its soundtrack and live orchestral events still sell out. Proving not just a product of its time, the Ocarina of Time re-release for Nintendo GameCube was just as magical.

Making a Big Splash
November 18, 2001

Originally code named “Dolphin,” the Nintendo GameCube hit North America like a tidal wave. Out-buying Japanese consumers by about 9 million units, North American gamers took kindly to the console’s titles. Old Nintendo characters like Samus were given much needed makeovers and some even received their first starring role. Luigi’s Mansion was a launch title and was the first time Luigi was on a mission to save his brother. Some of the most unique and highest selling titles for the time period were GameCube exclusives. Resident Evil 4, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and Animal Crossing all reached over a million dollars in sales. GameCube was a sturdy, well-built system with tons of enjoyable software.

A Complete Turnaround
November 22, 2005

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since Microsoft released the Xbox 360. With the Christmas season right around the corner, this console was the perfect gift. As competition with Sony and Nintendo continued to grow, Microsoft took the lead with the new console launch. Call of Duty 2 and Madden NFL 06 helped push the need for a 360. Sales have never slowed down and as of this year Microsoft has sold over 70 million units worldwide. With its constantly evolving features such as Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Marketplace, and now Xbox SmartGlass, the Xbox 360 has become more than just about games.