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 Travel Through Time
March 11, 1995
Okay, that’s the last Cher reference we’re going to make, hopefully. As with many role-playing games, there are copious amounts of weaponry, some leveling up and different modes of attack like using magic—the usual stuff. Chrono Trigger, however, took the RPG genre to a whole new level with a plotline on par with Hollywood blockbusters. Players travel back and forth through time to complete quests and obtain new party members. Even decisions made in the past can affect the world in the future. There was also a unique way to combine attacks with everyone on the team, which is guaranteed to result in massive damage. Chrono Trigger is not only appreciated for its story, but for its music as it was composed by two legendary game musicians, Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu. Detailed graphics and animation also contributed to it winning multiple accolades and over 2.5 million copies of the game over 15 years and numerous consoles. Its legacy lives on with a Jay-Z mashup released just yesterday.
Among the Best of the Best
March 11, 2010
Many great games are released every year, but only one is considered the best. In 2010, the honor was bestowed upon Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. When Nathan Drake isn’t too busy hanging from a dangling train, he’s facing tanks and blowing up trees. Those sort of events are bound to occur in an action-adventure game, but nobody makes it look better than Naughty Dog. Total copies sold exceeded 5 million, making it one of Sony’s Greatest Hits. On this date, Uncharted 2 was awarded quite the handful of honors from the Game Developers Choice Awards. Because of its realistic environments and animations, it was given Best Visual Arts and the Blu-ray/hard drive combo gave it enough power to earn Best Technology. The whole shebang is a well-crafted, immersing game with tons of variety. This much quality and quantity gave it the top honor of Game of the Year.
March 14, 2010
“We are remaking an old game, but this is quite a challenge…We are working toward something that brings back memories, yet is also completely new!” The NPC Game Freak President speaks these words in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and he wasn’t wrong. Nostalgic Pokémon fans have long awaited a remake since the Red and Blue received a makeover in 2004. They stay true to the originals with the same storyline while offering the modern Pokémon experience on the DS. New locations, characters, updated mechanics and the most innovative feature involves the monsters directly. For the first time since Pokémon Yellow, all Pokémon, not just Pikachu, can follow your trainer and interact with their surroundings as they walk around. . Another (physical) addition was the Pokéwalker, a Poké Ball shaped pedometer that holds one of your Pokémon and aids in unlocking new areas to catch Pokémon every step you take. An item is earned when two Pokéwalkers interact via infrared, but most importantly, you can spot any real-life fan who wears their Pokéwalker proudly! Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are two of the most popular DS games ever sold.
Survive the Horror
March 15, 2002
One of the first video game based franchises of the new millennium, Resident Evil was adapted from Capcom’s most popular horror-survival game. While the games are globally recognized as the greatest in the genre, the same can’t be said for the movies. Although the first film grossed over 100 million dollars, it received mixed reviews from critics who felt while the action was intense and had some scare factor, it wasn’t enough to elevate it over generic horror fare. The characters just didn’t feel human enough in the presence of the “zombies”. Connections to the games are scattered throughout. There are references to S.T.A.R.S. and a Raccoon City newspaper. Of course, they did not direct the movie to be a carbon copy of the game, so giving us some easter eggs is nice. The film wasn’t a total flop, it was nominated for a few awards and Michelle Rodriguez always kicks ass.
I’ll Give You the Moon
March 16, 2004
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life appears on the Nintendo GameCube. While not the first in series to exhibit 3D graphics, A Wonderful Life offered something else; a unique form of gameplay as well as new features. For the first time ever, the player is taken through the game following a chapter-like storyline that begins with a farm inheritance and ends in old age death. This is the only game in the Harvest Moon franchise to not only have your character die, but have your child reach adulthood as well. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life was a pioneer in its series, giving its successors fundamental features that appear in games today. The marriage and child-bearing aspects of the games weren’t stabilized until this release. Goats, ducks, and hybrid-crops were all introduced. Players could also connect to Friends of Mineral Town via the GBA adapter. It takes awhile to progress through the game, which still makes it playable today. Happy farming!