This Week in Nintendo History: October 18th to October 24th
Hey folks. It’s time for another look back at history. This week is pretty big for our North American readers especially. The beginning, not of it all, but of the modern video game era. Other than that we’re looking at a few game releases, but I think it’ll be good so let’s jump right in.
October 18th, 1985 brought the video game industry back from the brink of death following the crash in 1983. On that day the Nintendo Entertainment system was released in America. One of the biggest factors in that success was the ability for third party developers to really show off their games on a system. Nintendo introduced their Seal of Quality and a game could not be released without it. Because of that developers were only allowed to release 5 games a years on the system. There were ways around it, but without that seal the game was generally not sold on the system. On that same release day the line up of games you could purchase included Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Dig Dug: Digging Strike, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Gyromite and Stackup, both which were compatible with R.O.B., Excite Bike, Wrecking Crew, Tennis, Ice Climber and Wild Gunman.
The NES was first shown to North American customers at the Consumer Electronics Show in June of 1985. Did you know the system was originally going to be distributed by Atari, the company many blame for the video game crash, under the name Nintendo Advanced Gaming System, but that the deal fell apart? The system is widely considered to be the reason that video games are still alive today and started a tradition in gaming unlike many others.
October 18th, 2004 saw the release of Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. This was the last Kirby game released for the GBA and the only game in which Kirby is not battling his nemesis, King Dedede. In the game Meta Knight is confronted by a dark version of himself, from another world and is defeated. During that battle a mirror between the two worlds is broken and Kirby must recover the eight broken pieces of the mirror to save Meta Knight. This game was different from traditional Kirby games in that you controlled Kirby through a maze layout rather than the usual side scrolling levels and you could have other players or CPU controlled allies during the adventure. Kirby’s trademark inhaling ability also had more limits and was not able to be used indefinitely.
October 20th, 2008 was download day in North America. The Virtual Console saw the release of two import games for the Turbo-Grafix 16; Digital Champ Boxing and Gradius II. WiiWare saw the release of The Incredible Maze and Tetris Party, which still to this day is in the top 20 downloads every week.
Many people consider Super Mario Bros. 3 to be their favorite game in the series and with good reason. The game was re-released for the GBA as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 on October 21st, 2003. This could be the longest title in the series history. The game featured enhanced graphics similar to the SNES release of Mario All-Stars, but game play was unaffected. The included release of the Mario Bros. multi player game allowed up to four people to play together rather than just two.
October 21st, 2008 saw the release of Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia for the DS, the third installment in the series on the system. The biggest difference in this game over previous installments was the new “Glyph System” which would allow heroine Shanoa to equip Glyph symbols to her arms and back for new powers that could be used in her fight against Barlowe. The game received rave reviews and has been considered by many to be the best game in the Castlevania series.
Tiny Toon Adventures was released by Konami for the NES on October 22nd, 1992. This game featured many of the characters from the popular children’s show. Buster Bunny was tasked with rescuing his friend Babs, who had been kidnapped by Montana Max. In the game you would travel through six side-scrolling locations that would be recognizable from the TV show.
Virtual console day this week was October 22nd, 2007. On that day Lunar Pool and Ninja JaJaMaru-kun were released for the NES, and Golden Axe III was released for the Sega Genesis.
Our last entry of the week is probably the most unusual. October 24th, 2005 saw the release of Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix for the Gamecube. The game features the same unique game play that the Dance Dance Revolution series was known for. It was also unique in that it was one of the only games that features Waluigi as the main antagonist for the Mario crew. Despite it featuring a number of characters from the Mario universe the game received a number of criticisms, the biggest being that the game never reached the higher difficulty levels typical of a DDR game. Even with that criticism the game is well liked among Mario and DDR fans.
There you have it folks. Another week is in the books. I hope you’re enjoying this article and as always if you know of anything you’d like to see featured in the future head on over to the forums or leave us a comment and let us know.
Edit: It was pointed out that I had omitted the date for Super Mario Advance 4. That has been edited into the article.