This Week in Gaming – 18th April 20219 minute read

This Week in Gaming highlights several games across multiple generations. From massive-scale war games to games that have been used to measure fluid intelligence. Don’t just take our word for it – read about the fantastic games that have hit critical anniversary milestones today!

12th April

World of Tanks (image credit: Wargaming Minsk)

World of Tanks released as a beta in August 2010, but officially on this day ten years ago. Since then it has become a worldwide phenomenon with additions to the franchise such as a mobile version, consoles versions, board game and a collectible card game too. The game feature military vehicles from the 1930’s – 1960’s and features player vs. player gameplay. The game launched to very favourable reviews and since then has even been a game with Esports tournaments.

  • 30 Years
    • Final Reverse – Game Boy (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Armored Core 2: Another Age – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Tara’s Adventure – Game Boy Color (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Lunar Legend – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
  • 17 Years
    • Painkiller – PC
  • 16 Years
    • Jade Empire – Xbox
  • 14 Years
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Mortal Kombat II – PlayStation 3
  • 11 Years
    • Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City – PC
  • 10 Years
    • Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga – Xbox 360
    • Dungeon Hunter: Alliance – PlayStation 3
    • Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes – PlayStation 3
    • Patapon 3 – PSP
    • World of Tanks – PC

13th April

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (image credit: Nintendo EAD)

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a game that was developed for the Super Nintendo platform. It saw an initial release in 1991 in Japan while the rest of the world saw releases across 1992. The game was a return to the traditional top-down perspective games while the player once more tried to save Hyrule from Ganon. It was the first game in the franchise to contain The Master Sword as well as other staple offerings. The game was, as expected, released to critical and commercial success. The game sold 4.6 million copies worldwide. The port to the Game Boy Advance also sold well with 1.4 million copies alone being sold in the United States.

  • 31 Years
    • Batman: The Video Game – Game boy (Japan)
    • Crysalis – NES (Japan)
    • Cyraid – Game Boy (Japan)
    • GunHed: Aratanaru Tatakai – NES (Japan)
    • Qix – Game Boy (Japan)
    • Quarth – NES (Japan)
  • 29 Years
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – Super Nintendo
  • 21 Years
    • Gradius III and IV – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Overblood 2 – PlayStation
    • Rugrats: Totally Angelica – PlayStation
  • 19 Years
    • Warrior Kings – PC
  • 15 Years
    • Football Manager Handheld – PSP
    • Monster Rancher EVO – PlayStation 2
    • Touch Detective – Nintendo DS (Japan)
  • 12 Years
    • Sburb – PC
  • 11 Years
    • Blood Bowl – PSP
    • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony – PC, PlayStation 3
    • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned – PlayStation 3
    • Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City – PlayStation 3
    • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction – Xbox 360
  • 10 Years
    • Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes – Xbox 360

14th April

Dragon Spirit: The New Legend (image credit: Now Production)

Now Production developed Dragon Spirit: The New Legend (ドラゴンスピリット 新たなる伝説, Doragon Supiritto: Aratanaru Densetsu) for release under the Namco label. The game is a top-down fantasy shoot ’em up which is in fact a port of an arcade game titled Dragon Spirit. The port contained various differences from the original to make it work for the home console market. While Japan saw the release April 14, 1989 North America had to wait until June 1990.

  • 35 Years
    • The Mysterious Murasame Castle – Famicom Disk System (Japan)
  • 32 Years
    • Dragon Spirit: The New Legend – NES (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Vay – Sega CD
  • 26 Years
    • Myst – 3DO (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Pokeball Pinball – Game Boy Color (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Cossacks: European Wars – PC
    • Doubutsu no Mori – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
    • Metal Slug X – PlayStation
  • 18 Years
    • Golden Sun: The Lost Age – Game Boy Advance
    • Postal 2 – PC
    • X2: Wolverine’s Revenge – GameCube, PlayStation 2
  • 17 Years
    • TOCA Race Driver 2 – Xbox
  • 12 Years
    • Dokapon Journey – Nintendo DS
    • The Dark Spire – Nintendo DS
  • 10 Years
    • Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Taisen Z Hakai-hen – PSP (Japan)
    • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 – Innocent Sin – PSP (Japan)

15th April

Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (image credit: HAL Laboratory, Flagship, Dimps)

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror released across all regions throughout 2004. The game was developed by HAL Factory, Flagship and Dimps and once again visits Dream Land, albeit the skies of Dream Land. The game is very different for the reason that it does not contain King Dedede. The game also features a maze layout, which was different to other titles within the franchise and traversed a style that is somewhat similar to Metroidvania games (Metroid and Castlevania).

The game released on the Game Boy Advance, but in 2011 it was also released on the 3DS to people who became eligible to the Nintendo Ambassador Program. There have been no further plans to release a paid version on the 3DS console family since.

  • 33 Years
    • Kamen Rider Black – Famicon Disk System (Japan)
  • 31 Years
    • Neutopia – TurboGrafx-16
  • 24 Years
    • Exile III: Ruined World – PC
  • 23 Years
    • Nocturnal Illusion – PC
  • 22 Years
    • Super Robot Taisen F Kanketsuhen – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Gauntlet: Dark Legacy – Xbox
  • 18 Years
    • Come See Me Tonight – PC
    • Ikaruga – GameCube
    • Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II – Xbox
  • 17 Years
    • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom – PlayStation 2
  • 13 Years
    • Cory in the House – Nintendo DS
    • Gran Turismo 5 Prologue – PlayStation 3
    • Okami – Nintendo Wii
    • Rondo of Swaords – Nintendo DS
    • tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 – PC
  • 11 Years
    • No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise – PlayStation 3 (Japan)

16th April

Illbleed (image credit: Crazy Games)

Illbleed is a forgotten horror story from 2001. Developed by Crazy Games and published under both Crazy Games and AIA labels it was a financial failure. However, it has seen a cult following due to the nonlinear gameplay and the style of comedy, dialogue and voice-acting that it contains. The game is a survival horror, with six levels that are all represented as movie theaters. It is the only Dreamcast game that has an official Chinese version which was released in 2002. The game was planned to have an enhanced Xbox release, but this was cancelled for reasons untold.

  • 23 Years
    • Mystical Ninka starring Goemon – Nintendo 64
    • Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire – Saturn (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Illbleed – Dreamcast
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis – PC
  • 19 Years
    • Breath of Fire II – Game Boy Advance
    • Spider-Man: The Movie – PC, PlayStation 2
  • 18 Years
    • Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee – Xbox
  • 13 Years
    • The Sims 2 Double Deluxe – PC
    • TrackMania Nations Forever – PC
    • TrackMania United Forever – PC

17th April

Fist of the North Star (image credit: Shouei System)

Released as Hokuto no Ken 2 (Japanese: 北斗の拳2) in Japan, Fist of the North was the second Hokuto no Ken game released for the Family Computer. The game served as a tie-in for the Hokuto no Ken 2 anime series which began airing a couple of weeks prior to the launch of the game. The game is a beat ’em up whereby the player must scroll left and right in order to defeat enemies. The gameplay is similar to that of Kung-Fu Master which originally released in the arcades before being ported to the NES and beyond. The NES version of Fist of the North Star contained several differences from the Famicon counterpart. Predominantly the kanji being removed as well as some removals of certain side-characters throughout.

  • 36 Years
    • Championship Lode Runner – NES (Japan)
  • 35 Years
    • Atlantis no Nazo – NES (Japan)
  • 34 Years
    • Fist of the North Star – NES (Japan)
    • Renegade – NES (Japan)
    • Rygar – NES (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul – PC
    • Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragon Bone Staff – PlayStation 2
  • 15 Years
    • Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! – Nintendo DS
  • 14 Years
    • Tokyo Xtreme Racer DRIFT 2 – PlayStation 2
    • Valhalla Knights – PSP
  • 13 Years
    • Fossil Fighters – Nintendo DS (Japan)

18th April

Portal 2 (image credit: Valve)

I somewhat feel that this portion of This Week in Gaming should go under “where are they now?” Valve was a leading developer in the gaming industry with Half-Life, Portal, Counterstrike and Left 4 Dead titles to their name. Whilst the company is still around there is little to no activity from them, even though people have cried out for Half-Life and Portal sequels. Portal 2 was originally released across PC and consoles in April 2011. The game is a puzzler-platform game whereby the player must solve each “room” before moving to the next.

The game contained various famous voices from the likes of Stephen Merchant, J.K. Simmons and Ellen McLain. The story was written by Kay Pinkerton, Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek who received the “Best Narrative” award for Portal 2 in 2012 at the Game Developer Conference. The game was heavily marketed and saw some extra DLC content after launch. In 2012 “Teach with Portals” was released for “Steam for Schools” to help teach children in an educational manner. A 2016 study also demonstrated that Portal Puzzle Maker 2 was able to be used as a measure of fluid intelligence which is similar to the Bochumer Matrices Test. The game score an average of 95% on game reviews and sold a whopping 4 million units worldwide. Needless to say, we want more.

  • 35 Years
    • The Legend of Kage – NES (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Super Metroid – Super Nintendo
  • 24 Years
    • The Maid’s Story – PC (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Arc the Lad Collection – PlayStation
    • Capcom vs. SNK Pro – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Zoids: Legacy – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • Stronghold 2 – PC
  • 15 Years
    • Final Fantasy XI – Xbox 360
    • WRC: FIA World Rally Championship – PSP
  • 13 Years
    • Legacy of Ys: Books I & II – Nintendo DS (Japan)
  • 12 Years
    • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky – Nintendo DS (Japan)
  • 10 Years
    • Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection – PSP
    • Portal 2 – PC

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