This Week in Gaming – 24th January 20218 minute read

This Week in Gaming digs out classics such as Crazy Taxi, and games that caused controversies such as Rule of Rose and Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball. Below are some of the highlighted games achieving release-date anniversaries this week.

18th January

Quartet (image credit: Sega)

Quartet (カルテット) was released in 1986 by Sega. During the year of release it was the second most-successful arcade cabinet of the year. The game allows one-four player to control characters through a base which has been taken over by an army of robots. Beating a boss at the end of the game allows the players to obtain the key to the levels exit. The game was ported in the same year to Sega Master System and later to Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum.

  • 34 Years
    • Quartet – Sega Master System (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Fighting Vipers 2 – Dreamcast (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Etrian Odyssey – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Shining Force EXA – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Wario: Master of Disguise – Nintendo DS (Japan)

19th January

Rule of Rose (image credit: Punchline)

Everyone loves a controversy, including myself. So when the game Rule of Rose popped up as an anniversary of This Week I found it hard to resist mentioning. Rule of Rose caused “moral panic” in Europe and thus subsequent to the release in America Sony pulled the plug on the launch as the game did not fit their corporate image. The game is designed to show how children would behave if they did not have a filter on their guilt or their sins. When rumours of child-violence were published the British media soon became aware. They alleged that the game in fact had portrayals of “children buried alive underground, in-game sadomasochism, and underage eroticism.” These allegations were in fact untrue and the game actually saw age ratings of 15+ and 16+ in most released areas. The European Union slated the game as containing “obscene cruelty and brutality.” This led to several bans across Europe and later led to 505 Games cancelling the United Kingdom release. The British body that had decided the game would be a 16+ rated game responded to the European Union justice minister at the time stating “I have no idea where the suggestion of in-game sadomasochism has come from, nor children being buried underground. These are things that have been completely made up. […] We’re not worried about our integrity being called into question, because Mr Frattini’s quotes are nonsense.”

  • 25 Years
    • Policenauts – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • The Getaway – PlayStation 2
  • 15 Years
    • Lost Magic – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Resident Evil: Deadly Silence – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Rule of Rose – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX – PSP (Japan)
  • 12 Years
    • Star Ocean: Second Evolution – PSP
  • 11 Years
    • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – PlayStation 2, PSP

20th Janaury

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (image credit: 2015, Inc.)

The third game in the Medal of Honor series came in the form of Allied Assault. The game itself is a first person shooter that is set in World War II. More interestingly is that several of the levels are direct quotations from the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan, using some of the scenery from the film and even some entire sequences (like the Omaha Beach mission). The game saw two expansion packs called Spearhead and Breakthrough and has been part of three compilation packs for the Medal of Honor games.

  • 21 Years
    • Nanatsu no Hikan: Senritsu no Bishou – Dreamcast (Japan)
    • Rainbow Cotton – Dreamcast (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault – PC
  • 17 Years
    • Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II – PlayStation 2, Xbox
    • Maximo vs Army of Zin – PlayStation 2
    • Silent Storm – PC
  • 12 Years
    • Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica – PlayStation 2

21st January

Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land (image credit:)

Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land is a platform game that is the first to feature Wario as both a playable character and the main character. It also has the very first appearance of Captain Syrup and her Brown Sugar Pirates. These soon became recurring characters within the Wario Land series of games.

  • 27 Years
    • Fire Emblem: Monshou no Nazo – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land – Game Boy (Japan)
  • 23 Years
    • Resident Evil 2 – PlayStation
  • 22 Years
    • Akuji the Heartless – PlayStation
    • Evolution – Dreamcast (Japan)
    • Super Smash Bros. – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Forever Kingdom – PlayStation 2

22nd January

Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball (image credit: Team Ninja)

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (Japanese: デッドオアアライブエクストリームビーチバレーボール, Hepburn: Deddo Oa Araibu Ekusutorīmu Bīchi Barēbōru, abbreviated as DOAX) is one hell of an ummm…sports game? The game actually had some fantastic physics models when it came to the volleyball element, but there was seemingly a lot of time put into developing the “jiggle physics” too (and yes “jiggle physics” is the actual official term for a mechanic that allows a female characters breasts bounce, sometimes in an exaggerated manner). This game too came with some controversy after a community of hackers managed to change the textures within the game (you know where this is going don’t you?). They managed to change the textures to replace the swimsuits with highly detailed nude skins including genitalia and the subsequent foliage. Temco took to court for breaching the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on this game as well as Dead or Alive 2 and Ninja Gaiden, seeking between $1,000 and $10,000 for every skin that had been swapped over their website.

  • 36 Years
    • Balloon Fight – NES (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Airline Tycoon – PC
  • 19 Years
    • Disciples II: Dark Prophecy – PC
  • 18 Years
    • Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball – Xbox
  • 17 Years
    • Echo Night Beyond – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Phantom Brave – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 14 Years
    • Burnout Paradise – PlayStation 3

23rd January

Sid Meier’s SimGolf (image credit: Firaxis Games)

I could not bring myself to talk about PaRappa the Rapper games. I know they are popular, but I personally consider them utter trash. So instead I am discussing SimGolf (do you see what you have done to me?). Designed by the developer of the Civilization games, Sid Meier (alongside Bing Gordon), it is a near-isometric ‘dimetric’ viewable golf course designer game. The player is able to create their dream courses and then play them with a character called Gary Golf. That is all.

  • 23 Years
    • Divi-Dead – PC (Japan)
    • Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes – Arcade
  • 21 Years
    • Quest: Brian’s Journey – Game boy Color
  • 19 Years
    • PaRappa the Rapper 2 – PlayStation 2
    • Sid Meier’s SimGolf – PC
  • 18 Years
    • Cool Shot – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Silent Line: Armoured Core – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 15 Years
    • GT Legends – PC
  • 14 Years
    • Europa Universalis III – PC
    • Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel – Nintendo DS
    • The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean – PSP

24th January

Crazy Taxi (image credit: Hitmaker)

Crazy Taxi first appeared in the arcades in 1999. I believe I remember this too, and I witnessed its popularity rise creating the development of the port to the Dreamcast in 2000. The game was heavily popular and praised in regards to the soundtrack and game mechanics. The music was provided by The Offspring and Bad Religion. Sega took out a lawsuit against the creators of The Simpsons: Hit and Run over an abuse and alleged copy of their games mechanics. This was eventually settled outside of court.

  • 26 Years
    • Galaxy fight: Universal Warriors – Arcade (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • Die Hard Arcade – Sega Saturn (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Crazy Taxi – Dreamcast
    • Mario Party 2 – Nintendo 64
  • 19 Years
    • Guilty Gear X Advance Edition – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 15 Years
    • Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition – PlayStation 2