This Week in Nintendo History: December 6th to December 12th
Howdy Howdy everyone. Welcome, once again, to our weekly look back at Nintendo’s history. I’ve been doing this for a number of months now and there have been a few weeks where I said not a lot happened. This is the first time when I really mean it. We have five game releases and a birthday this week so let’s get going.
We’re going to start the week with birthday wishes to Mr. Satoru Iwata. The current President of Nintendo was born on December 6th, 1959 in Sapporo, Japan. He is only the 4th man to hold the President’s office for Nintendo and he also serves as the companies CEO. Interestingly he is the first man to hold the office that wasn’t related to the Yamauchi family through either birth or marriage. He was a huge reason behind Nintendo’s success following the launch of the GameCube where they saw a 41% increase in sales for the 2002 fiscal year and the man behind Nintendo’s Wii and DS systems. Before becoming the President of Nintendo Mr. Iwata worked for HAL Laboratories in the early 80’s, at one time serving as that companies President. While there he was partly responsible for the Balloon Fight, Earthbound and Kirby series’.
Our first game release of the week happened appropriately on December 6th, 2004 when Mario Party 6 was released. In the game, two characters known as Brighton and Twila were arguing over who was more popular. Mario decides that the best way to solve the problem is to hold a contest. They decide to collect stars and the winner will be the one with the most stars. This means that Mario and the cast of more than 10 characters will hold a mini-game fest, yet again in order to obtain stars. This game was different in that it featured a day/night cycle that would rotate every three turns causing different things to happen to the rules of the game or the situation on the game board itself. Mario Party 6 featured over 80 original mini-games and was the first game to come packaged with the GameCube microphone.
Did you know that every week there are new games available to download on the Wii Shop Channel’s Virtual Console and WiiWare spaces? On December 8th, 2008 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released on the Virtual Console. There were also two games released on WiiWare that week; Bruiser & Scratch and Hockey All-Star Shootout.
One year before that on December 10th, 2007 three games were released for the Virtual Console. Those were Ghosts ‘n Goblins for the NES, Pokemon Snap for the N64, and Baseball Stars 2 for the Neo Geo.
Beyond Good & Evil hit North American shores on December 11th, 2003. This game follows martial arts expert and investigative journalist Jade as she attempts to uncover a worldwide conspiracy. In her quest to uncover the truth she had help from the boar-like human Pey’j and a spy known as Double H. The game was an action adventure game mixed with a bit of stealth. Jade could take on enemies in a direct assault or attempt to get around them by using stealth. The main “weapon” that Jade is armed with was her trusty camera which she used to collect evidence to uncover the conspiracy. The game was well received by fans and critics, enough so that a sequel was announced in 2007 with gameplay footage being shown during the Ubidays event in 2008. Not much has been heard since making many wonder if the project had been cancelled.
The super tough pink puff returned on December 12th, 1994 in Kirby’s Dreamland 2. In this sequel to Kirby’s Dreamland and Kirby’s Adventure has Kirby taking on an evil being known as Dark Matter. He’s possessed King Dedede and stolen the rainbows that connect the islands of Dreamland together and it’s up to Kirby to get them back. This time he has three animal friends who will help him during his adventure. Kirby’s Dreamland 2 has all the same features of the previous titles such as the ability to inhale enemies, but this time it’s compatible with the Super GameBoy giving the game a bit of a graphical upgrade if you have that device. Kirby’s Dreamland 2 was very successful, selling over a million units worldwide.
The crew from Final Fantasy IV is back, this time in Final Fantasy IV Advance, which hit stores on December 12th, 2005. This was a remake of the original Super Nintendo title, but featured graphical enhancements and some improvements to the game’s localization. This new release featured two new dungeons that were not seen in the previous version as well as changes to the spell names to remove the number from the spells and giving them new names.
Our last release of the week was one of the more unique titles from the early Wii library. Elebits was released by Konami on December 12th, 2006. This game was what many called a first person shooter for kids. In the game you, as a child named Kai, must find all the creatures known as Elebits hiding in various locations around your house. In order to do this you used the Wii Remote as a Capture Gun that can moves objects in your house and collect the creatures by pointing at them. Many of the levels were simply completed by trashing your house and finding all the creatures, but some gave you special conditions like not breaking more than a certain number of objects or keeping the noise level down below a certain point. Many people compared the game to Katamari or Pikmin and it received fairly positive reviews. There was a sequel to the game released on the DS.
There you have it, another week in the history books. As always feel free to leave a comment talking about anything in the article, head over to the forums to discuss it or shoot me an email. If you know of anything coming up you’d like to see featured in the article don’t hesitate to let us know. It could very well end up in a future edition of This Week in Nintendo History.