Ok, class. No spring break when it comes to video game history, so sit down and prepare to learn. It’s time for another weekly dose of video game history.
On March 10, 2000, Microsoft stunned the industry by announcing the XBox at the Game Developers Conference. An enthusiastic Bill Gates was, at the time, seemingly the only one excited about the new console brand.
March 12, 1982 marks the date for Robotron: 2084, the granddaddy of dual-stick shooters. Creator Eugene Jarvis was frustrated at the controls of Stern’s arcade hit Berzerk, so he wanted the ability to run one direction while firing in another. After breaking his hand this scheme was simplified into using two joysticks, a control scheme popular in many games today. Jarvis was also behind the later Smash TV, which borrowed heavily from abandoned concepts originally dreamed up for Robotron.
On March 15, 2002 the first Resident Evil film was released. Despite mixed critical reviews, the film went on to gross $102,441,078 and seemingly spawn sequels in similar numbers.
On March 16, 1982 Sega unleashed Zaxxon, one of the top earning games of the year. The game earned a lot of popularity due to a television commercial campaign and a unique isometric viewpoint that was a radical new concept in gaming at the time. The title created some industry controversy, however, when Sega refused to release the game for a convertible game system they’d been marketing hard to arcade operators leading up to the game. Those who wanted this hit game in their arcades were expected to pay the full purchase price for a dedicated machine at the cost of $2,500-$3,000 each, plus freight.
Mark it down… every Monday you need to report to class here and learn more gaming history. It will count considerably toward your final grade.
Arguably one of the greatest FPS in the history of space and time has been modded out for the Comodore Vic-20. To those of you unfamiliar with the Vic-20, it was one of the first home computers, created in 1980, to sell over a million units. For those of you unfamiliar with Doom…please go here or here or here.
Obviously the above video shows off a port, seeing as the original Doom was not released by id Software until 1992, however, it does show off the hotness of the Vic-20 nevertheless and we’d be remiss if we didn’t share this with our audience of 1337 gamerz. Continue reading “What Would Doom Have Looked Like on The Vic-20? (We Thought You’d Never Ask)” »
Some of the most interesting video games ever came out in March. The three in this week’s history lesson are just the tip of the iceberg.
March 4, 1983 saw the birth of Food Fight. Published by Atari and developed by General Computer Corp (GCC… also known as the folks who created Ms. Pac-Man), Food Fight featured a character named Charlie Chuck, who seemingly pissed off several chefs that must not have been very good anyway, as they keep their ingredients on the floor. Anyhoo, Charlie just wants to eat the ice cream cone on the other side of the room, but the chefs aren’t having it.
March 5, 2001 saw the highly rated and highly controversial Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Developed for Nintendo by Rare, Conker is a party squirrel that likes to drink all night and have some fun. The shock value in the game, especially coming from Nintendo, is still talked about to this very day. A television commercial for the title seemed to push the envelope a bit too much as well, being pulled from a number of television networks. Naturally, it was considered perfectly okay for the history video this week.
March 9, 1996 saw the first release of Square and Nintendo’s Super Mario RPG. The Japanese hit later came to U.S. shores and proved popular, yet never had a direct sequel.
Just getting warmed up for the month of March… in coming weeks looks for anniversaries of some of the most challenging arcade hits ever and a number of iconic console hits. Check back each Monday.
On February 27, 2007, Peggle first hit PC. On the surface, the game seems to be a puzzle game geared toward a little girl who dreams of being a Disney Princess® or something…but the game turns out to be damn addicting, as gamers on other platforms later learned the hard way.
One of the most infamous ports in video game history, the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man, hit store shelves in March 1982. An agreement made in the late 1970s between Namco and Atari gave Atari the home rights to Namco’s arcade titles. At the time, Namco had no arcade titles… but when Pac-Man smashed into arcades in 1980 it gave Atari a potential gold mine. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History – Peggle addicts, Atari’s Pac-Man sucks, Joysticks film jiggles into theatres” »
Pretty major week in the chronicles of video game history — sit down, open your books to the third week of February and learn somethin’.
On February 20, 1987 the arcade version of Contra blew through the doors. While popular in the arcades, the game became far more popular when it was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System a year later. Watch the video to learn what the world record score currently is for the arcade version. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Contra, Zelda, Star Fox &The Future” »
Some of the most addicting games ever are celebrating a birthday this week. Hope you got them something…
Mario Kart 64 first rolled our way on February 10, 1997. Considered by some to be the best in the still-rolling series, this game is still a crown jewel in those hardcore game collections today. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Mario Kart 64 rolls, Splinter Cell hits PC, Lemmings Follow” »
Can’t get three games any different than the three in this week’s history lesson, but all three of them are big ones.
On February 4, 2000 the Sims came into our lives, allowing us to babble incoherently and make relationships move really, really fast. It was a huge hit that still sees new titles today.
Paper Mario jumped into our world on February 5, 2001 on the Nintendo SixtyyyyFooooooouuuuuuur! An incredibly fun spin on the Mario concept, the game was a critical success that still holds up today. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: The Sims, Paper Mario & Xevious, oh my” »
In your seats. In your seats please. SIT DOWN.
Here’s this week’s video game history lesson. Not many titles, but some of them are quite big ones.
Japan gained Gun.Smoke for the Famicom on January 27, 1988. A hardly-realistic wild west shoot-em-up, but fun for a bit nonetheless. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Smokin’ guns, The Duke and the epitome of Final Fantasy” »
More history lessons to be served as we roll through January. Open your books and let’s roll.
Nintendo’s Ice Hockey hit in Japan on January 21, 1988, bringing the concept of little cute fighting hockey people to the United States later that year.
January 21, 1998 saw Resident Evil 2 blast it’s way onto home consoles, leaving a lasting impact that continues to be felt today. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Little Hockey People, Resident Evil Zombies, and Tales of Ducks” »
Perhaps not for Tennis, though. This thrill-a-second Nintendo classic was first released for the Famicom on January 14, 1984 and came to America with the first Nintendo Entertainment System push later on. Nobody really cared, though.
They DID care three years later on January 14, 1987 when Zelda II: The Adventure of Link came out. Released on disk in Japan, the U.S. release of the game was delayed almost two years due to a chip shortage. It was the second and final Zelda game for the NES.
New school gaming fans and even some old schoolers might not care about the January 15, 1981 release of Rally-X, but the game has a lot of interesting footnotes. Back when new, industry insiders considered the game the “next big hit” and predicted it would do better than Pac-Man and Defender. They were wrong. However, 2011′s Wreck-It Ralph film pays homage to the game with the “TurboTime” game and Turbo character, which were based on the cabinet art for Rally-X.
January 15, 1999 was the beginning of the end for WCW, and it showed with the release of WCW/NWO Thunder for the PlayStation. Panned by critics, it also looked like the end of wrestling games from THQ, but they’d continue to make them for decades to come. (NOW it looks like the end, though).
Check back every Monday for more video game history lessons. Know your goshdern industry history ya try hards.
Hold on, kiddos. Before you eat that turkey and pumpkin pie and let Aunt CheapPerfume pinch your cheeks and ask how things are going at that place you haven’t worked at in years…. you have one more history lesson. Turns out this is a pretty important week in video game history, ya know.
On November 18, 1982, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man had a kid. Baby Pac-Man was an odd attempt to merge video games and pinball. Sounds neat, except that neither the video game or pinball portion of the game were any good. The game itself flopped but the licensing for Baby Pac made a lot of green.
Fast forward to November 18, 2001. Nintendo released the GameCube, a system people either liked or didn’t.
On November 19, 2006 the Nintendo Wii hit store shelves, becoming a huge hit despite critics who said nobody would care. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The Wii is one of only three game consoles in history to sell over 90 million units and has a shot at the 100 million mark despite the release of it’s successor. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Pac-Man Has a Baby, Zelda is Re-Born, Donkey Kong Goes Country” »
Odd mix of history this week around, spanning numerous decades. Open your books to page 958.
On October 28, 1994 one of the worst games ever made hit shelves as Shaq Fu came into our lives. Seriously… go play it… you’ll appreciate everything since.
Japan got the Sega Mega Drive on October 19, 1998, later known on US shores as the Genesis.
The first Call of Duty came to be on October 29, 2003, spawning numerous sequels and trillions of hateful forum posts. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Shaq Fu that Mega Drive, it’s your Call of Duty” »
Putting together this week’s This Week in Gaming History was fun, but almost too easy, as some of the biggest events in industry history can be tied to this week.
If you are a gamer, you owe this week’s rundown a serious look.
On October 14, 1977, the Atari Video Computer System was released. Known later as the Atari 2600, this console ruled the industry for a number of years and popularized the concept of interchangeable cartridges. Continue reading “This Week in Gaming History: Atari, Sega, and The Most Important Week Ever?!?” »