This Week in Gaming – 11th July 202110 minute read

This Week in Gaming showcases one of our Hall of Fame entries, a classic point-and-click adventure and the infamous Doki Doki Panic which went on to become the basis for the western release of Super Mario Bros. 2. All these games have reached milestone anniversaries This Week, which you can read more about below.

5th July

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II (image credit: EA)

Lord of the Rings: The Battle For middle Earth II is definitely one of my all time favourite games from the Tolkein universe. The game was created by Electronic Arts LA and originally released for Windows before making it over to the Xbox 360. I have written about the game before in my Hi Five lists, referencing The One Ring as one of the most ultimate weapons in a video game. “In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a master Ring, to control all others. And into this Ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. One Ring to rule them all”. In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II the one ring is an obtainable item. If you play the Evil Campaign then this item will give you the power to summon Sauron himself. Now, whilst he is incredibly overpowered in the game I must admit that the books and the films did sway me on making this the top precious, I mean weapon, in this edition of Hi Five.

  • 34 Years
    • Leisure Suit Larry in the Lounge of the Lounge Lizards – PC
  • 25 Years
    • NiGHTS Into Dreams… – Saturn (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Eternal Duelist Soul – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster’s Bad Dream – Game Boy Advance
  • 15 Years
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II – Xbox 360
  • 14 Years
    • Chibi-Robo! Park PAtrol – Nintendo DS (Japan)
  • 11 Years
    • Shin Megami Tensei: PErsona 3 Portable – PSP

6th July

Tekken: Dark Ressurection (image credit: Namco)

Tekken 5: Dark Ressurection entered the video game universe originally in December 2005 when it debuted in Japanese Arcades. The game was ported to the PSP the following summer in Japan, with all other regions getting a staggered release date throughout 2006. The game follows the same story as Tekken 5 but contains three additional characters, each with their own background. Armor King II is a brother of the original Armor King and seeks revenge for his brothers death. Sergei Dragunov is a member of Spetsnaz who has been ordered to kill Jin Kazama. Finally Emilie de Rochefort is there to end her fathers financial problems by destroying the Mishima Zaibatsu.

  • 31 Years
    • Hiryu no Ken III: 5 Nin no Ryuu Senshi – NES (Japan)
  • 30 Years
    • Raiden Trad – Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Burstrick: Wake Boarding!! – PlayStation (Japan)
    • International Superstar Soccer 2000 – Game Boy Color (Japan)
    • RC de GO! – PlayStation (Japan)
    • RockMan Battle & Fighters – Neo Geo Pocket Color (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Breath of Fire – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Ultimate Sky Surfer – PlayStation 2
  • 16 Years
    • Coded Arms – PSP
  • 15 Years
    • Kodomo no Tame no Yomi Kikase: Ehon de Asobou 1-Kan – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Mega Man ZX – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Tekken: Dark Ressurection – PSP (Japan)
  • 11 Years
    • 4×4 Jam – PSP
    • Crackdown 2 – XBox 360
    • Dragon Age: Origins – Leliana’s Song – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
    • Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge – PlayStation 3
  • 10 Years
    • Deadliest Warrior: Legends – Xbox 360
    • Mortal Kombat: Warrior Kenshi – Xbox 360

7th July

The Bigs 2 (image credit: Blue Castle Games)

The Bigs 2 was the first baseball game I ever played – living in the UK means that the sport is not as popular as it is with our overseas brothers and sisters. The game literally made me fall in love with the sport and since then I have been a big fan. It was developed by Blue Castle Games and published by 2K Sports for a North American Xbox 360 release on July 7, 2009. It was only a couple of weeks until the Xbox 360 version received PAL versions around the globe, and then it was later ported to Wii and PSP. Writing just this small segment of text has made me remember the great gameplay within this title.

  • 34 Years
    • Getsu Fuuma Den – NES (Japan)
  • 32 Years
    • Blazing Lazers – TurboGrafx-16 (Japan)
  • 26 Years
    • Shiki Eiyuuden – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Bishi Bashi Special 2 – PlayStation
    • Final Fantasy IX – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 17 Years
    • Way of the Samurai 2 – PlayStation 2
  • 16 Years
    • Killer7 – GameCube, PlayStation 2
    • Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • We Love Katamari – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 15 Years
    • Silent Hill Complete Set – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 13 Years
    • Unreal Tournament III – Xbox 360
  • 12 Years
    • Tales of Monkey Island – PC
    • Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal – PC
    • The Bigs 2 – Xbox 360
  • 11 Years
    • Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge – Xbox 360
  • 10 Years
    • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition – PC

8th July

Beijing 2008 (image credit: Eurocom)

With 37 events and 32 nations, Beijing 2008 was a massive game consisting of some great sports. Personally I don’t think that it captured the spirit of the London 2012 video game, but it was still amazingly fun to play with friends and family alike. The game had little more than a month release window in which it was released internationally across all regions between June 26 and July 31, 2008 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The Windows launch took place between August 4 and September 8, 2008.

  • 27 Years
    • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Robotrek – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Street Fighter Alpha 3 – Dreamcast (Japan)
    • Vandal Hearts II – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Dark Angel: Vampire Apocalypse – PlayStation 2
  • 17 Years
    • Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life – GameCube (Japan)
  • 13 Years
    • Beijing 2008 – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games – Xbox 360
    • Carnival Games – Nintendo DS
    • Devil May Cry 4 – PC
    • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon – Nintendo Wii
    • Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution – Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • 12 Years
    • Battlefield 1943 – Xbox 360
  • 11 Years
    • Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns – Nintends DS (Japan)
    • White Knight Chronicles II – PlayStation 3 (Japan)
    • Wii Party – Nintendo Wii (Japan)

9th July

Discworld Noir (image credit: Perfect Entertainment, Teeny Weeny Games)

Discworld Noir follows the Discworld universes first and only private investigator. Lewton has to investigate a case which leads him into a deadly occult and the underbelly of Ankh-Morpork. The game followed on from the original point-and-click adventures of the original Discworld and Discworld II: Missing Presumed? games. New styles were brought to the game, with 3D rendering being the main selling point. However, regardless of the return of much of the original voice cast, the game did not sell quite as well as the original two and it ultimately ended the line of Discworld games.

  • 26 Years
    • True Love ’95 – PC (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • SimCity 2000 – PlayStation
  • 23 Years
    • B.L.U.E.: Legend of Water – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Discworld Noir – PC
  • 20 Years
    • Ephemeral Fantasia – PlayStation 2
    • Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec – PlayStation 2
  • 18 Years
    • Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided – PC
  • 17 Years
    • Samurai Showdown V Special – Neo Geo

10th July

Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic (image credit: Nintendo R&D4)

Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic was the game that boosted sales for Super Mario once again outside of Japan. The game originated as a prototype which was directed by Kensuke Tanabe. It was also designed by a team led by Shigeru Miyamoto who added elements that made the platformer feel more “Mario-like” than the original concept. The game was to be a tie-in with Fuji Television’s media technology expo and the characters and enemies were all made to represent the mascots of the company. The game was releasedon the Famicom in July 10, 1987 but has gained popularity in the last couple of decades when it became more prominently know that it was this same game that became the western version of Super Mario Bros. 2. The original specs for the famed Super Mario Bros. sequel were considered too difficult for western audiences, so Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic was re-sprited with Mario characters and used in its place.

  • 34 Years
    • Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic – Famicom Disk System (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • Armored Core – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 13 Years
    • Naruto Shippuden: Naruto vs. Sasuke – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil Zero – Nintendo Wii (Japan)
    • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Steambot Chronicles: Battle Tournament – PSP (Japan)

11th July

Prey (image credit: Human Head Studios)

Prey was developed by Human Head Studios and released in 2006. The game was inducted into the Fing’rs & Thu’ums Hall of Fame in 2020. Here is an extract from that induction:

The first incarnation of Prey was announced in 1995, envisioned to be running on a new and unique cutting edge gaming technology. This meant the game would play a similar role that Unreal did for Epic Games. Tom Hall completed the initial designs for the first year but then left the project. Paul Schuytema then came on board and a new design for the game took place. Portal technology was one item that was soon conceived for the game, and the 1997 and 1998 E3 saw amazing examples of what this looked like.

After several technical inabilities, this version of Prey also failed. Soon the game was put on hold until 2001 when id Tech 4 software was chosen to reinvent the game once more. It was officially announced as a game finally on April 26th 2005. nonetheless the game received great scores of 8-9/10 based on the “incredible” graphics and gameplay. The game sold one million copies to date an dis ranked third on the Game Informers list of Top Ten Video Game Openings. It is a game which really shows how tenacity can pay off.

  • 28 Years
    • Street Fighter II Turbo – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • SaGa Frontier – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile – PC
    • X-Men: Mutant Academy – PlayStation
  • 19 Years
    • Suikoden III – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • Kirby Air Ride – GameCube (Japan)
    • Ribbit King – GameCube (Japan)
    • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • NCAA Football 06 – PlayStation 2
    • Sid Meier’s Pirates! – Xbox
  • 15 Years
    • Prey – Xbox 360
    • Prey (2006) – PC
  • 14 Years
    • Riviera: The Promised Land – PSP
  • 13 Years
    • Dynasty Warriors 6 – PC (Japan)
    • Nancy Drew: The Phantom of Venice – PC
  • 12 Years
    • Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies – Nintendo DS
  • 10 Years
    • Panzer Corps – PC

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