This Week in Nintendo History: October 25th to October 31st
Happy Halloween folks. It’s the last week of October and it’s filled with war. Well, there were two wars during this week that we’ll discuss. Pokemon makes a couple of appearances and you have to use the Force. Along with those mentions there are a couple different games that are released at the appropriate time around Halloween, so let’s jump in and see what’s happened this week in Nintendo history.
Perhaps you’ve heard of a little game known as Pokemon. It’s a pretty big franchise for Nintendo and it started back on the original Game Boy. Pokemon Red and Blue were the first games in the franchise and Pokemon Yellow set the precedent for having a remake that followed the two original titles. Pokemon Yellow was released on October 25th, 1999 and is the remake of Red and Blue and it differed from the originals in that the player always had Pikachu who would follow you on the overworld map. The same gym leaders and story were present in this version of the game.
“Use the Force!” On October 25th, 2005 Lego Star Wars: The Video Game was released for the Game Cube. This title, developed by Traveler’s Tales, followed the events of Episodes I, II, and III of the Star Wars Saga. The big hook of the game was that everything was made out of Lego blocks and the game was designed for a younger audience. All of the set pieces, environments and characters from the movie trilogy were present in the game. There were a large number of characters and secrets that could be unlocked. Each of the trilogy’s movies were split into six chapters that would be played through by the characters involved after which the level would be unlocked for free play by any character. This also allowed you to go back and obtain secret items previously inaccessible.
Gunstar Super Heroes was the sequel to the Sega Genesis hit Gunstar Heroes and was released for the Game Boy Advance on October 25th, 2005. The sequel took a surprisingly long amount of time to be released as the original game was released in 1993. Gunstar Super Heroes was developed by Treasure and featured game play that was similar to their previous titles such as Astro Boy: Omega Factor. To make fans of the franchise feel at home many of the locations and bosses were featured or were used to draw inspiration for the sequel. The biggest difference that this game featured was the lack of combinable weapons that were a very big part of the first game.
F-Zero is one of the most popular racing franchises in Nintendo’s history. On October 26th, 1998 F-Zero X, the second game in the franchise hit the track. This sequel had many of the same features, such as the racing modes, time trial and more. There were some big differences though. This game, due to the power of the Nintendo 64 was able to feature 30 different racers on the track at a time rather than the original four. There were also a lot of different modes. The GP race, time trials, practice and death match which would have racers trying to blow up the other drivers by ramming into their cars.
The sequel train continues and the next one is the sequel to many gamer’s favorite game of all-time. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was released on October 26th, 2000 for the Nintendo 64. This is one of the few times that a Nintendo console would see two Zelda games in the same generation. The game is a prequel to Ocarina of Time and was notable in that you would be required to replay the same three days over and over. The game also features a unique element in that Link would take on different appearances by donning a number of different masks in the game as well as requiring you to have the Expansion Pak for the console. Majora’s Mask is considered by many to be the most difficult game in the series and as such is either loved or hated by players. There are very few people that don’t fit into one of those categories.
Splinter Cell: Double Agent hit store shelves on October 26th, 2006 and is the fourth game in the Splinter Cell franchise. Shortly after the events of the previous game, Sam Fisher has to deal with the loss of his daughter to a drunk driver, but he must go undercover as a criminal to infiltrate a terrorist group. Being a double agent, Sam must balance his actions to maintain the loyalty of both groups, and depending on the events of the game, there are multiple endings that can be obtained. Double Agent was released on both the Wii and the GameCube and the reviews for the Wii version suffered due to the poor graphics and inaccurate motion controls.
Our first war took place on October 27th, 2005 with the release of Battalion Wars for the Nintendo GameCube. This game is part of Nintendo’s Wars franchise which also takes place on the handhelds with the Advance Wars titles. This console version mixes elements of third-person shooters and real time tactics games. You control a single unit at a time, but at any point you can switch units and move them around the battlefield where they would be most useful. The armies of the Western Frontier and the Tundran Territories have called for a cease fire, but the peace on the border of the demilitarized zone is very uneasy. The new leader of the Tundrans, Tsar Gorgi launches a secret attack on the Western Frontier and it’s up to use to bring peace back to the world through the might of your military.
October 27th, 2008 was download day on the Wii. The Virtual Console saw the release of Earthworm Jim for the Sega Genesis. The third episode of Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive people, subtitled Baddest of the Bands and Art Style: Rotohex were both released for WiiWare.
Halloween is known for its scary atmosphere and vampires are a huge part of the appeal of the holiday. It’s only appropriate, then, that Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest was released near Halloween for the NES on October 29th, 2007. This was Virtual Console day and Samurai Ghost for the TG-16 and Magician Lord for the Neo Geo were released as well.
Also on October 29th, 2007 war broke out again between the Tundran’s and the Western Frontier in Battalion Wars 2 for the Wii. There were other factions involved in the fight this time as well; the Solar Empire, the Anglo Isles and the Iron Legion. The war didn’t happen only on land this time as naval battles were added to the game. It also featured a large number of play modes as well as online play as it was one of the first titles on Wii to take advantage of Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection.
One of the most controversial games to see release on Wii hit stores shelves on October 29th, 2007. On that day Manhunt 2 was released for the Wii. The game initially received an AO rating by the ESRB, which essentially means the game can’t be released because console manufacturer’s will not allow them to be sold and stores may balk at putting them on shelves. As a result the game’s developer, Rockstar North, made some changes that allowed the game to be re-rated as M for Mature. It was most well known for its stealth action and the gruesome deaths that many characters would endure.
Our second Pokemon release of the week happened on October 30th, 2006 with the release of Pokemon Ranger for the DS. This game, while being a Pokemon RPG, differed greatly from the main games in the franchise. In order to capture Pokemon you were required to use the DS stylus to circle to Pokemon a different number of times based on their strength. Pokemon Ranger also has some connectivity with Diamond and Pearl and would allow you to transfer the egg of one of the most rare Pokemon, Manaphy to your trainers in those titles. The game was received fairly well by critics, though they did mention that the title would cause some users to experience very heavy scratching of the DS touch screen.
That’s it for this week folks. It was a busy week with a lot of Pokemon and a lot of war. We made it through and survived to come back next week to find out what happens during the first week of November. If there is anything you know of coming up or have any comments on this article feel free to drop a comment or send me an email.