This Week in Gaming 3/3-3/9

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.

If I Could Turn Back Time
March 3, 2003

Yes, a Cher reference because she is timeless. The first Prince of Persia, released in 1989, was quite groundbreaking with its realistic “motion captured” animation. It did considerately well with 2 million units sold. Fast forward to 2003 when Ubisoft Montreal, the same studio behind Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, announced it was developing Prince of Persia: Sands of Time in an attempt to bring the franchise to new consoles and fans. After it was announced, the game was even featured on the Discovery Channel program How It’s Made, giving audiences a glimpse of the video game production process. After Sands of Time was released, it earned great scores and numerous awards. According to sources, Cher was not considered to contribute her voice to this game. It’s okay, she believes in life after love.


PlayStation Ni
March 4, 2000

The PlayStation 2 debuted against some tough competitors in the GameCube, Dreamcast, and Xbox. It was able to come out on top due to top notch graphics, online compatibility and the ability to play DVDs. This combination built appeal for everyone in the household. Launch titles in Japan included plenty of high rating games like Ridge Racer V, Kessen, and Street Fighter EX3. Over the years, the PS2 sold over 21 million consoles in Japan and more than 1.5 billion games sold worldwide. Its best-selling title was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the system still had games being produced even after the next generation of consoles were released. However, the PlayStation 2 came to an end in December 2012. It had a great run of nearly 13 years and will still receive plenty of playtime in homes around the world.


One Dirty Squirrel
March 5, 2001

You know, when he first made an appearance for the Game Boy Color, Conker seemed to have a lot of potential to be a staple character in video games. That chance went way downhill when Conker’s Bad Fur Day released to the Nintendo 64. Since Nintendo is known for its family oriented games, this particular title did not fare well at all. It was targeted for an older demographic because it featured many adult themes such as sex, alcohol, toilet humor and obscene language. Rare, known for kid-friendly games, felt Bad Fur Day would not have been noticed or any different from their other titles—hence the reason for turning Conker so crude. Despite all of these subject matters the game has scored well and was praised for its technical aspects. It won a BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Award for sound and was considered to have the best graphics of any N64 game at the time. All that is great, but the world just wasn’t ready for such a raunchy rodent.


Seven Stars Out Of Seven Stars
March 9, 1996

One of the greatest gems of the Super Nintendo system is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Before this game was released, Mario was known for his platforming and jumping skills. Now, he could take hits and deal damage with help from a few friends. In this role-playing game, Mario is joined by multiple partners including his archenemy—Bowser. Because of the success from the Final Fantasy series, Square were actually the developers behind this Mario RPG. Shigeru Miyamoto led both the Nintendo and Square teams taking over a year to develop the graphics. Musical selections combined pieces of Final Fantasy and Super Mario Bros. The music became available on CD and was sold later in the month to Japanese consumers. Legend of the Seven Stars was the predecessor for all future games in the Mario RPG genre.


March 9, 2008

When the Wii console was announced, one of the most anticipated games was definitely Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This Nintendo-filled fighting game made huge strides since its N64 and GameCube days. Updated physics, enhanced graphics and huge musical compilations contributes to a dynamic experience. Even a detailed storyline, which is rare in fighting games, gave the game some added value. The inclusion of new characters and even surprise appearances had fans warming up their controllers. Wario, Pit, Solid Snake and Sonic are just some of the new additions. Figuring out who you’re best suited to use is fun because there’s so many to choose from. You can’t beat my Luigi. Brawl is one of the best-selling Wii titles, selling over 10 million copies around the world. It’s won numerous awards including “Best Original Score” and “Best Fighting Game.” If you haven’t tried Brawl, then give this game a fightin’ chance. That’s another Cher reference.