This Week in Gaming – 21st March 202110 minute read

This Week in Gaming explores vast open worlds, a multi-million selling handheld console as well as Space Pirates, street-brawling and some Greek mythology. No other article see’s this much diversity as This Week in Gaming where you can read about the video game anniversaries reached over the last seven days. Enjoy.

15th March

SimCity 3000 (image credit: Maxis)

SimCity 3000 was released in 1999 in most parts of the world, but SimCity 3000 UK Edition was released in March 1998 according to GameFAQ. Developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts SimCity 3000 is a city building simulation game. The game differed greatly from SimCity 2000 with changes to aspects such as city management, landscapes and a graphical overhaul. The game was bet with fantastic reviews, with IGN giving it a 9.1/10 rating and global sales reaching an apparent 4.6 million copies. Various versions of the game have been seen since the original launch, with SimCity DS being a modified version of the original and SimCity for iPhone both being released in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

  • 23 Years
    • SimCity 3000 – PC
  • 20 Years
    • Okage: Shadow King – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Pro Evolution Soccer – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 14 Years
    • Lost in Blue 2 – DS (Japan)
    • Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side: 1st Love – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007 – Nintendo DS (Japan)
  • 11 Years
    • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood – Turbo CD
  • 10 Years
    • Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel – PlayStation 3
    • Gods Eater Burst – PSP
    • Total War: Shogun 2 – PC
    • Yakuza 4 – PlayStation 3

16th March

God of War III (image credit: Santa Monica Studio)

The fifth installment of the God of War franchise, God of War III, was released in 2010 by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game is the seventh game chronologically and was the last in the Greek era of the franchise. Even though players get drawn into the mythos of the game it is still only very loosely based on Greek mythology. Controlling the protagonist Kratos, the former God of War, the Great War is reignited as Kratos, guided by Athena’s spirit attempts to end the reign of the Olympian gods. The game received many awards, from “Most Anticipated Game of the Year”, to “Biggest Badass” being awarded to the character of Kratos. The game was remastered for the PlayStation 4 in 2015.

  • 22 Years
    • EverQuest – PC
  • 17 Years
    • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life – GameCube
    • Unreal Tournament 2004 – PC
  • 16 Years
    • Dynasty Warriors – PSP
  • 12 Years
    • Men of War – PC
    • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume – Nintendo DS
  • 11 Years
    • Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight – PC
    • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening – PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
    • Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon – Nintendo Wii
    • God of War III – PlayStation 3
    • Infinite Space – Nintendo DS
    • Metro 2033 – PC, Xbox 360
    • Resonance of Fate – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • 10 Years
    • Final Fantasy III – iOS

17th March

Streets of Rage 3 (image credit: Sega, Ancient)

Streets of Rage 3 was released in North America a day before the March 18, 1994 release in Japan. The game is a sequel to Streets of Rage 2 and is the final in the original trilogy of the franchise. The game had several improvements over Streets of Rage 2, such as a more complex plot, character dialogue, longer levels and faster gameplay. The game is a rare gem amongst the collecting community but it has also had several releases such as in the Japanese Sonic Gems Collection, the Wii Virtual Console, Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection and Sega Genesis Classics. The re-releases spanned several console generations too, from the GameCube to PlayStation 4.

  • 27 Years
    • Castlevania: Bloodlines – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
    • Streets of Rage 3 – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
  • 26 Years
    • Dai-4-Ji Super Robot Taisen – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Legend of Legaia – PlayStation
  • 16 Years
    • Harvest Moon DS – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 15 Years
    • Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI – PC (Japan)
  • 12 Years
    • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – Nintendo DS
    • Rune Factory Frontier – Nintendo Wii
    • Suikoden Tierkreis – Nintendo DS
  • 11 Years
    • Perfect Dark – Xbox 360

18th March

Bloody Roar: Primal Fury (image credit: Eighting)

Bloody Roar: Primal Fury, or Bloody Roar Extreme as it is known in Japan, is a fighting game developed by Eighting for the Nintendo GameCube. After it’s original release in 2002 it was later ported to the Xbox under the Japanese name Bloody Roar Extreme in all regions. The game was originally being focused towards a Sony console release but the development team decided that the GameCube had more capable hardware specifications for their vision of the game. The game received generally favourable reviews, with some question about the use of the GameCube controller on a fighting game. The soundtrack however was criticised for consisting of completely uncool guitar riffs, is perhaps a suitable match for its anime-influenced character designs, though it can also get rather irritating.” The Xbox variant however received more negative reviews due to the removal of the anime sequences with pre-rendered CG.

  • 27 Years
    • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Shin Megami Tensei II – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Chocobo Racing – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Um Jammer Lammy – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Bloody Roar: Primal Fury – GameCube
    • Geneforge – PC
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories – Game Boy Color
  • 17 Years
    • Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mark – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Katamari Damacy – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures – GameCube (Japan)
  • 13 Years
    • Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds – PlayStation 3
    • Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection – PlayStation 2
    • Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends – PlayStation 2
    • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • 11 Years
    • Gundam Assault Survive – PSP (Japan)
    • Yakuza 4 – PlayStation 3 (Japan)

19th March

Super Metroid (image credit: Nintendo)

Super Metroid is the third installment in the Metroid series of games. Following on the from the events in the Game Boy title Metroid II: Return of Samus it was was released in 1994. Players once again were able to control the bounty hunter Samus Aran as she travels to Zebes to find and retrieve an infant Metroid stolen by a Space Pirate named Ridley. Ridley was first saw in the 1986 game Metroid and has since had several aliases. Geoform 187 and The Cunning God of Death, as he is sometimes known, was named after Ridley Scott as Yoshio Sakamoto described the Alien film as a huge influence on the Metroid franchise. The game was well received but the sales did not mirror this due to the game being released very late into the life-cycle of the Super Nintendo. Regardless, it has received several accolades and in 2005 was ranked 11th in the top 99 games of all time list by IGN readers.

  • 29 Years
    • Inindo: Way of the Ninja – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Super Metroid – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 23 Years
    • Final Fantasy V – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Revelations: The Demon Slayer – Game Boy Color (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • Pokemon Ruby Version – Game Boy Advance
    • Pokemon Sapphire Version – Game Boy Advance
  • 14 Years
    • Custom Robo Arena – Nintendo DS
  • 13 Years
    • Armored Core: For Answer – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (Japan)
    • SimCity Creator – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Tales of Rebirth – PSP (Japan)
  • 12 Years
    • Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley – PSP (Japan)

20th March

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (image credit: Bethesda)

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is quite possibly one of my favourite games from the Elder Scrolls franchise. It was the first game that I spent hundreds of hours on without realising and was also the first of the Bethesda franchise I laid my grubby little paws on. The game takes place in the fictional province of Cyrodiil whereby the player must try to defeat a cult known as the Mythic Dawn. They are planning to open portals to a realm which is known as Oblivion in an attempt to overthrown the powers that be. The game is similar in style to previous games, with a huge open world, an massive arrangement of main quests, side missions, collectibles, weapons, armour and so much more. The game received two expansions called Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles which were also bundled with the The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition which was released in 2007 and 2011. The game was a critical success to Bethesda with an average review score of more than 93%. In 2020 it reached the Fing’rs & Thu’ums Hall of Fame.

  • 29 Years
    • Shining Force – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories – PlayStation
  • 18 Years
    • Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 15 Years
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – PC, Xbox 360
  • 14 Years
    • Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai – Another Road – PSP
    • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadows of Chernobyl – PC
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – PlayStation 3
  • 13 Years
    • Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia – Nintendo DS (Japan)

21st March

Game Boy Advance (image credit: Nintendo)

With an introductory price of only $99.99 the sixth generation of handheld consoles came in the form of the iconic Game Boy Advance. The original model released to some questions about the lack of an illuminated screen which was addressed by Nintendo with both the frontlit Game Boy Advance SP in 2003 and a newer Game Boy Advance with backlit screen in 2005. The console sold around 81.5 million units and also saw continued game compatibility when the Nintendo DS was released in 2004.

The Game Boy Advance was an overhaul of previous Game Boy consoles, shifting from portrait screens to landscape after French designer Gwénaël Nicolas designed the aesthetics in his studio Curiosity Inc. The game had backward compatibility with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games via a customer 4.194/8..388 MHz 8080-based coporocessor. The console also had a link port with the ability to link to other devices via a Game Link cable and GameCube Link cable.

The handheld saw various other accessories launched such as the Wireless Adaptor bundled with Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen, an Infra-Red Adaptor and Game Boy Advance Video which were cartridges released with cartoon programs such as Dragon Ball GT, Pokemon and Spongebob Squarepants.

  • 32 Years
    • Phantasy Star II – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • Kirby Super Star – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • Final Fantasy IV – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Pokemon Snap – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Wario Land 3 – Game Boy Color (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Mega Man Battle Network – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Serious Sam: The First Encounter – PC
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! Dungeon Dice Monsters – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • TimeSplitters: Future Perfect – PlayStation 2
  • 15 Years
    • Suikoden V – PlayStation 2
    • The Godfather – PC, PlayStation 2
    • Warship Gunner 2 – PlayStation 2
  • 14 Years
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – Xbox 360
    • Warriors Orochi – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 10 Years
    • Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy – PSP