This Week in Gaming – 20th December 20207 minute read

With some massive releases that spouted entire franchises, and Japan seeing a huge array of games in the lead up to New year, This Week in Gaming uncovers even more gaming anniversaries and nik naks of information for you to get your teeth into.

14th December

Mario Kart 64 (image credit: Nintendo)

The successor to Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo was released in 1996 in Japan, with the rest of the world seeing the game in 1997. The changes from the original included using 3D polygon-based graphics for the track design and the addition of four-player support. The characters within the game remained as two dimensional sprites. The game has since seen nearly 10 million copies sold worldwide.

  • 34 Years
    • Astro Warrior – Sega Master System (Japan)
  • 30 Years
    • Final Fantasy Legend II – Game Boy (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • Mario Kart 64 – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Dark Cloud – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Pokemon Crystal Version – Game Boy Color (Japan)
    • Pokemon Stadium 2 – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Animal Crossing – GameCube (Japan)
    • Mega Man Battle Network 2 – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 – Game Boy Advance (Japan)

15th December

The Final Fantasy Legend (image credit: Square)

Known in Japan as Makai Toushi Sa·Ga (魔界塔士 Sa・Ga, lit. “Warrior in the Tower of the Demon World ~ Sa·Ga”), The Final Fantasy Legend was released in 1989 by Square Co. The game is the first game in the SaGa series and also the first role-playing game that was made available on the Game Boy. It was Square’s first game to sell one million copies, despite it’s mixed reception.

  • 31 Years
    • Sweet Home – NES (Japan)
    • The Final Fantasy Legend – Game Boy (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • Suikoden – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Tales of Phantasia – Super Nintendo (Japan)

16th December

Jungle Strike (image credit: Electronic Arts)

Jungle Strike: The Sequel to Desert Strike (or Desert Strike part II in Japan) was both developed and published by Electronic Arts for release in 1993. There were several upgraded versions released for other platforms, with the Amiga version being published by Ocean Software and the Super Nintendo and DOS versions being published by Gremlin Interactive. The game engine for this title was actually carried over from a failed attempt at making a flight simulator. It kept much of the mechanics and core from its predecessor, Desert Strike.

  • 31 Years
    • Sword of Vermillion – Genesis/Mega Drive (Japan)
  • 30 Years
    • ActRaiser – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Jungle Strike – Genesis/Mega Drive
  • 26 years
    • King’s Field – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Mega Man X2 – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Parasite Eve II – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • Donkey Kong Jungle Beat – GameCube (Japan)
    • Dynasty Warriors – PSP (Japan)
    • Metal Gear Acid – PSP (Japan)
    • Super Robot Taisen GC – GameCube (Japan)
    • Tales of Rebirth – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • The Legend of Heroes II: Prophect of the Moonlight Witch – PSP (Japan)

17th December

Final Fantasy II (image credit: Square)

Final Fantasy II was the second in the franchise and has received numerous remakes on platforms such as the WonderSwan Color, PlayStation and Game Boy Advance. The game, like Final Fantasy III, was not released outside of Japan, so Final Fantasy IV was originally released in areas, such as North America, as Final Fantasy II.

  • 33 Years
    • Mega Man – NES (Japan)
  • 32 Years
    • Final Fantasy II – NES (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Dragon Ball Z Super Butouden 2 – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Mega Man X – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Phantasy Star IV – Genesis/Mega Drive (Japan)
    • The Peace Keepers – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • Mega Man 8 – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Ehrgeiz – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Suikoden II – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Thousand Arms – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Mario Party 2 – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Final Fantasy X – PlayStation 2

18th December

Mario Party (image credit: Hudson Soft, Nintendo)

The original Mario Party was developed by Hudson Soft for Nintendo. The project was supervised by Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario. Even though the game was an original conception, the game eventually received very mixed reviews, with some people criticising the originality and the graphics. Despite the mixed reviews it saw the continuation of the series with Mario Party 2 also on the Nintendo 64. To-date the franchise has seen 11 games with the most recent, Super Mario Party, being released on the Nintendo Switch.

  • 33 Years
    • Final Fantasy – NES (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Dragon Quest I & II – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 23 Years
    • Mega Man Legends – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Mario Party – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
    • Pokemon Trading Card Game – Game Boy Color (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • The King of Fighters 2002 – Neo Geo
  • 17 Years
    • The King of Fighters 2003 – Arcade

19th December

QuackShot starring Donald Duck (image credit: Sega)

QuackShot starring Donald Duck was developed by Sega and initially released in Europe in 1991, then North America on December 19th 1991 with Japan seeing it’s release a day later. Even though the game was perceived as unnecessarily difficult, it received praise for it’s music and puzzles, with Sega Pro describing the game as having “some of the best graphics around”.

  • 35 Years
    • Bomberman – NES (Japan)
  • 34 Years
    • Hikari Shinwa: Palutena no Kagami – Famicon Disk System (Japan)
  • 29 Years
    • QuackShot starring Donald Duck – Genesis/Mega Drive
  • 23 Years
    • Harvest Moon GB – Game Boy (Japan)
    • Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams – Xbox
  • 18 Years
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Panzer Dragoon Orta – Xbox (Japan)
    • Sonic Advance 2 – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Unlimited Saga – PlayStation 2 (Japan)

20th December

Phantasy Star (ファンタシースター, Fantashī Sutā) is a series of video games with the original Phantasy Star being released on the Master System in 1987. The story follows Alis and her journey to defeat King Lassic, the evil ruler of her start system. Her brother is killed by King Lassic so she begins a voyage to avenge her brother and bring peace to the star system. The game was originally an expensive game to purchase as it was being driven by a larger 4 megabit chip and also included a save battery which was a new feature to gaming at the time. At the time there was also a concurrent chip shortage across the gaming industry meaning the game was often difficult to find in stores.

  • 33 Years
    • Phantasy Star – Sega Master System (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • Soul Blade – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Wild Arms – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Sonic Advance – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Sonic Adventure 2 Battle – GameCube (Japan)
  • 17 Years
    • Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • Cave Story – PC (Japan)