This Week in Gaming – 31st January 20219 minute read

This Week in Gaming is a taxing editorial to write. Each edition needs around fifty titles investigated, with seven focused writings and that can be a long process for such a small article. This week I am listening to Hatsune Miku while I am processing all this information and it just seems like the perfect soundtrack to write to. This Week there are some whopping names in the fold for celebrating release date anniversaries, including my all-time favourite game on Sunday.

25th January

Devil May Cry 2 (image credit: Capcom)

It doesn’t seem possible that 18 years ago today Devil May Cry 2 was released by Capcom. This is one of those anniversaries that makes me feel older than I did the day before. I still remember picking this up and watching Darius and Lucia stop Arius from summoning Argosax. The storyline was gripping, and the cutscenes were mind-blowingly amazing. Perhaps it is time to revisit this classic.

  • 29 Years
    • Dragon Call Z: Super Saiya Densetsu – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Final Fantasy VIII – PC
  • 20 Years
    • Onimusha: Warlords – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • Devil May Cry 2 – PlayStation 2
  • 16 Years
    • Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath – Xbox
    • Playboy: The Mansion – PlayStation 2
    • The Sagara Family – PC

26th January

Dirge of Cerberus (image Credit: Square)

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (ダージュ オブ ケルベロス -ファイナルファンタジーVII, -Dāju obu Keruberosu -Fainaru Fantajī Sebun-) was released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2. If anyone knows me then they will know that Final Fantasy VII is almost part of me, and this game is included in that statement. This is the first shooter game within the Final Fantasy franchise, which apparently caused challenging times for the development team. Role-playing elements were adding merely to make the game more enjoyable by fans of the existing series. Several aspects were changed when the game was released to a Western audience, and those changes were brought to the 2008 republication of the game in Japan also.

  • 34 Years
    • Dragon Warrior II – NES (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • Guardian Heroes – Sega Saturn (Japan)
  • 15 Years
    • Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 11 Years
    • MAG – PlayStation 3
    • Mass Effect 2 – Xbox 360, PC
    • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle – Nintendo Wii
    • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Starts – Nintendo Wii

27th January

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (image credit: Crystal Dynamics)

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver was published to the Dreamcast one year after it’s initial release on the Sony PlayStation and Windows in 1999. It is the sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. It takes place 1500 years after the events of Blood Omen and chronicles the journey of the vampire-turned-wraith Raziel. As a lieutenant to the vampire-lord Kain, he is killed by Kains own hand but soon revived by The Elder God to become a Soul Reaver – the same name of the sword that is acquired during the game. The title is dark, gothic and during the time of PlayStation titles generally being upbeat and colourful added a new dynamic to play – from my perspective anyway.

  • 32 Years
    • Clash at Demonhead – NES (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – Dreamcast
    • Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes – PlayStation
    • Resident Evil: Survivor – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • Skies of Arcadia Legends – GameCube
  • 17 Years
    • Mafia – PlayStation 2
    • Sonic Heroes – PlayStation 2
  • 16 Years
    • Death by Degrees – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Project Alrered Beast – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Radiata Stories – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 12 Years
    • Nobunaga’s Ambition: Iron Triangle – PlayStation 2
  • 10 Years
    • Kenka Banchou 5: Otoko no Housoku – PSP (Japan)
    • Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii wake ga Nai Portable – PSP (Japan)
    • Senjou no Valkyria 3 – PSPS (Japan)
    • The Last Story – Nintendo Wii (Japan)
    • Toaru Majutsu no Index – PSP (Japan)

28th January

Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel (image credit: Gust Co. Ltd., Banpresto)

Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel is the third and final instalment of the franchise, taking place in the Reyvateil-ruled country called Clustania. It is set two and a half years after the events of Ar tonelico II. Although the game is the final game of the series the mythos is actually continued in Gust Co. Ltd.’s series Surge Concerto. These games take place withi nthe same universe and build on some of the mythos and lore of the Ar tonelico titles.

  • 29 Years
    • Romancing SaGa – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Brain Lord – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Ninja Warriors – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 23 Years
    • Final Fantasy Tactics – PlayStation
  • 22 Years
    • Bloody Roar II – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Digimon World – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Langrisser IV & V Final Edition – PlayStation (Japan)
    • The Last Blade 2 – Neo Geo
  • 21 Years
    • Virtual Pro Wrestling 2: Oudou Keishou – Nintendo 64 (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Darkstone – PlayStation
    • Oni – PC
  • 19 Years
    • Drakan: The Ancients’ Gates – PlayStation 2
    • Grandia II – PlayStation 2
    • Tekken Advance – Game Boy Advance
  • 11 Years
    • Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel – PlayStation 3 (Japan)
    • Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Resonance of Fate – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (Japan)

29th January

Panzer Dragoon Saga (image credit: Team Andromeda)

Panzer Gragoon Saga, known in Japan as Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG, was developed by Team Andromeda and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn in 1998. The game stepped aside from the original rail-shooter concepts of previous titles and added some RPG elements to the game, like random encounters and free-roam exploration. You get to control Edge who is a young mercenary that rides up on a white dragon.

Sega created this game with the RPG elements so that it could compete against the Sony PlayStation and also Final Fantasy. Unfortunately the game became heavily delayed due to the addition of 3D graphics and voice acting, which were unusual and new at the time of develpoment. Delays were also caused due to the technical limitations of the Sega Saturn. The game suffered a drastically limited release in the west while Sega shifted attention to the Dreamcast meaning the game is incredibly rare to find and thus expensive.

  • 25 Years
    • Duke Nukem 3D – PC
  • 23 Years
    • Bust A Groove – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Panzer Dragoon Saga – Sega Saturn (Japan)
    • The Last Blade – Neo Geo
  • 20 Years
    • Phantasy Star Online – Dreamcast
  • 17 Years
    • Breakdown – Xbox (Japan)
    • Pokemon FireRed Version – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Pokemon LeafGrean Version – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
  • 13 Years
    • The Sims: Castaway Stories – PC
  • 12 Years
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time – Nintendo DS, Wii (Japan)
    • Ninja Blade – Xbox 360 (Japan)

30th January

Rogue Galaxy (image credit: Level-5)

Rogue Galaxy (Japanese: ローグギャラクシー, Hepburn: Rōgugyarakushī) celebrates 14 years of life today. Japan saw the release in 2005 but North America and Europe had to wait until 2007 to play the game. Morth America and Europe saw regionalised improvements added to the game which were then added to the Director’s Cut variant that was released in Japan in 2007 also. The game follows the journey of Jaster Rogue, a young agricultural worker who lives on isolated planet and becomes involved in a galactic conflict. Jaster soon learns the fate of the entire galaxy lies in his hands.  Once again it was a game that was created in an attempt to challenge the popularity of Final Fantasy and also Dragon Quest games. The game won several awards and, while reviewed as a great game, didn’t come close to challenging prior franchises for the top spot.

  • 36 Years
    • Ice Climber – NES (Japan)
  • 31 Years
    • Shove It! … The Warehouse Game – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Rayman 2 Revolution – PlayStation 2
  • 18 Years
    • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Entropia Universe – PC
    • Lifeline – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 17 Years
    • Fate/Stay Night – PC (Japan)
    • Shuffle! – PC (Japan)
  • 14 Years
    • Rogue Galaxy – PlayStation 2
    • Sonic the Hedgehog – PlayStation 3
  • 13 Years
    • Rez HD – Xbox 360

31st January

Final Fantasy VII (image credit: Square)

Well we have already seen two titles released this week that were developed to challenge Final Fantasy. This week saw the release of several Final Fantasy games and while I would love to talk about all of them I saved that for Final Fantasy VII – quite possibly the most amazing game that has ever been released (in my opinion).

Development of this game originally began in 1994, three years prior to its release in 1997. It was being developed for the Super Nintendo but experienced several delays due to technical difficulties. Square decided to move production to a CD-ROM based format due to the decision to use pre-rendered videos. It was the first game in the series to use full motion video and also 3D graphics. Veteran staff members from the franchise were included in development, including Hironobu Sakaguchi himself and director Yoshinori Kitase. The game came with a budget of $80 million which would be near $140 million today.

The game received commercial and critical success, selling 12.8 million copies worldwide. It is often citied as one of the most influential and greatest video games ever made. It boosted sales of the Sony PlayStation and also popularized console role-playing games. Everything from the story, music, graphics and gameplay were utter perfection.

  • 33 Years
    • Wonder Boy in Monster Land – Sega Master System (Japan)
  • 29 Years
    • Soul Blazer – Super Nitnendo (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • Final Fantasy VII – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 22 Years
    • Silent Hill – PlayStation
  • 21 Years
    • SaGa Frontier 2 – PlayStation
    • The Sims – PC
  • 19 Years
    • Grandia Xtreme – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • La Pucelle: Tactics – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • Kingdom of Loathing – Browser/Online
  • 15 Years
    • Mega Man Maverick Hunter X – PSP
  • 13 Years
    • Devil May Cry 4 – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (Japan)
    • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice – PlayStation 3 (Japan)
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl – Nintendo Wii (Japan)
    • Tales of Destiny: Director’s Cut – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 9 Years
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
    • SoulCalibur V – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360