This Week in Nintendo History: January 24th to January 30th
Howdy Howdy everyone. Welcome, once again to our weekly look back at Nintendo’s past. This week we’ve got parties, golf, vampires and a system announcement so let’s jump right in to our week already in progress.
Mario Party got its start on the Nintendo 64 and January 24th, 2000 saw the release of the second game in the franchise, Mario Party 2, hit store shelves. This board game style mini game collection featured Mario and friends, including Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Wario and DK, competing in a series of mini games. Mario Party 2 continued the board game theme that is common in the series with 5 new themed board games. One unique feature of the game also had the characters dressed differently depending on the board they were competing on, for instance on the western board each of the characters wore western style clothes including cowboy hats. There were 43 new mini games introduced in Mario Party 2 with some older games being updated and given new titles. There were also three new types of mini-games introduced; the battle mini-game, item mini-game and duel mini-game. The game was received fairly well, but would be overshadowed in many people’s opinions by its successor, Mario Party 3.
Castlevania went 3-D for the first time on January 26th 1999 with the release of Castlevania 64 on the Nintendo 64. Dracula has been gone for a century now, but has returned and it is up to the player as either Carrie Fernandez, or Reinhardt Schneider to stop him. Each of these characters is unique from the other in that Carrie uses magic as her main focus and Reinhardt as a Belmont heir uses the series’ trademark whip. There were two different endings that could be seen based on the number of days it took to complete the game. If it took 15 or less in game days to reach the end one event, considered series canon would occur. Take 16 days or more and another series of events would happen. The game was received positively with many saying the series transitioned well to 3-D, but that the camera didn’t work as well as it should.
January 26th, 2006 saw Nintendo officially announce their rumored update to their handheld system. The DS Lite would feature a smaller form factor, lighter weight and brighter screens that the previous version of the system. The redesign would be a big change from the bulky design originally seen and would be sleeker and feature a lip on the top screen that would better protect it while closed. The system would launch a little over a month later in Japan on March 2nd for $145.
Virtual Console day came on January 26th, 2009 and on that day Wonder Boy in Monster Land hit the virtual store front. The game was originally released for the Sega Master System. The WiiWare release for that day was Niki Rock ‘n Ball.
Skies of Arcadia was a role playing game originally designed for the Sega Dreamcast. A port of the game titled, Skies of Arcadia Legends was released for the GameCube on January 27th, 2003. Most of the game’s action took place through a third person perspective in a number of different dungeons and enemies were fought through a series of random encounters. When not traveling through dungeons players used airships to travel across the game’s vast Overworld. In the game Fina must travel the world of Arcadia in search of the six Moon Crystals which can be used to summon powerful creatures know as Gigas. Players would be in control of a character known as Vyse, who along with Gilder were the two permanent members of the four person party. Because the game was originally designed to use the graphical capabilities of the Dreamcast as well as the system’s external VMU there were a few changes that were made for the GameCube version of the game. Originally the VMU would let players know that treasure was near by making a beeping sound. In the GameCube version one of the characters made a noise to indicate the presence of treasure nearby. There were also 24 new discoveries to be made that weren’t included in the original game. Skies of Arcadia received overwhelmingly positive praise when it was released.
Virtual Console Day came yet again on January 28th, 2008. On this day people were able to hit the slopes with 1080 Snowboarding for the Nintendo 64.
Our last release of the week is a Game & Watch classic. On January 29th, 1981 Nintendo released Manhole. This was the sixth game in the Game & Watch series to be released. It saw the player, trying to keep characters from falling to their death by covering holes in the ground with manhole covers. There were four buttons on the originally game that corresponded to the four different areas that the player had to protect. If you missed a person would fall to their death below and you would lose a life. Lose three lives and it was game over. There was a widescreen version of the game released in 1983 and the game was remade featuring Yoshi in the leading role for Game & Watch Gallery 4 on the Game Boy.
So there you have it. Our look back at what’s taken place in Nintendo’s past throughout the last week. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If there is anything that you know of coming up that you’d like to see featured in this article, please let us know. Leave us a comment and tell us what you think or head on over to the forums to discuss this week’s events there.