This Week in Gaming – 3rd January 20216 minute read

From Red Dwarf actors, to Japanese wrestling. From sentient-life generators and the Kingdom of Khanduras, This Week in Gaming has you covered for another week of gaming anniversaries and facts as we enter 2021.

28th December

Zen-Nippon Pro Wrestling Dash: Sekai Saikyō Tag  (image credit: Natsume)

Zen-Nippon Pro Wrestling Dash: Sekai Saikyō Tag (全日本プロレス’ 世界最強タッグ ダッシュ, Zen Nippon Puroresu Sekai Saikyō Taggu Dasshu, lit. “All Japan Pro Wrestling World’s Strongest Tag Dash”) is a Japanese game that was released for the Super Famicon in 1993. The game became further popularised when Natsume Championship Wrestling was released in 1994 in North America. Natsume Championship Wrestling was a conversion of the Japanese title for the American audience. Where the Japanese variant included licensing from All Japan Pro Wrestling the American variant is completely unlicensed.

  • 31 Years
    • The Sword of Hope – Game Boy (Japan)
  • 29 Years
    • Sonic the Hedgehog – Game Gear (Japan)
    • Super Ninja Boy – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • The Adventures of Kid Kleets – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Zen-Nippon Pro Wrestling Dash: Sekai Saikyou Tag – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • Sega Rally Championship – Sega Saturn

29th December

SimEarth (image credit: Maxis)

SimEarth is a 30 year old life-simulation video game designed by Will Wright. The player is able to control the development of a planet. 29 years ago today the game was released on the Super Nintendo under FCI. The player is able to vary a planet’s atmosphere, temperature and landmass etc. in an attempt to place life, watch it evolve and try to create sentient life.

  • 29 Years
    • GG Aleste – Game Gear (Japan)
    • SimEarth: The Living Planet – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 28 Years
    • Dragon Ball Z: Gekitou Tenkaichi Budokai – NES (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 26 Years
    • Dual Orb II – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • Road Rash – PlayStation
  • 21 Years
    • Shenmue – Dreamcast (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Fallout / Fallout 2 – PC

30th December

Sonic Heroes (image credit: Sonic Team USA)

Sonic Heroes is a title whereby players race characters through various levels in order to amass rings, defeat robots and of course collect the seven Chaos Emeralds. It was the first game to abandon the exploration style Sonic games such as Sonic Adventure and return to a linear game style more widely observed on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.

  • 21 Years
    • Barbie Super Sports – PlayStation
    • Street Fighter EX2 Plus – PlayStation
  • 18 Years
    • E.T. Interplanetary Mission – PlayStation
    • Extreme Ghostbusters – Game Boy Advance
    • Melty Blood – PC (Japan)
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – Xbox
  • 17 Years
    • Sonic Heroes – GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox (Japan)

31st December

Diablo (image credit: Blizzard North)

Set in the Kingdom of Khanduras, in the mortal realm, you must control a lone hero and battle to rid the world of Diablo, the Lord of Terror. Diablo launched 24 years ago and contains sixteen randomly generated dungeon levels for the player to battle through before entering hell to face Diablo himself. The game is an undisputed commercial blockbuster and spawned an entire franchise.

  • 30 Years
    • The Bard’s Tale 3: The Thief of Fate – PC
    • The Tower of Gruaga – Game Boy (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • King’s Field – PlayStation
  • 24 Years
    • Blast Chamber – Sega Saturn
    • Command & Conquer – Sega Saturn
    • Diablo – PC
    • PowerSlave – PC
  • 23 Years
    • Worms 2 – PC
  • 22 Years
    • Castlevania – Nintendo 64
    • Civilization II – PlayStation
  • 21 Years
    • Elemental Gimmick Gear – Dreamcast
    • Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return – PlayStation
    • Zombie Revenge – Dreamcast

1st January

Akalabeth: World of Doom (image credit: Richard Garriott)

Akalabeth: World of Doom was a game that had a limited release in 1979 before being published by California Pacific Computer Company for the Apple II in 1980. It is known as one of the earliest known examples of a role-playing game and is a predecessor to Ultima which was a series of games that kick-started the creator, Richard Garriott’s, career. Richard Garriott was a teenager at school when he created the game, which originally began life as a school project using the school’s mainframe and Apple II computer. The game released in Ziploc bags with photocopied instructions and a game cover drawn by his mother. The game went on to sell 30,000 copies, with Garriott receiving $150,000. The name was derived from Tolkien’s  Akallabêth, part of The Silmarillion.

  • 63 Years
    • Carnival Queen – Pinball
  • 41 Years
    • Akalabeth: World of Doom – Apple II
    • Mystery House – Apple II
  • 33 Years
    • Demon’s Winter – Apple II
  • 32 Years
    • Legend of Red Dragon – BBS Door
  • 28 Years
    • Serf City: Life is Fuedal – PC
    • Tecmo Super Bowl – Genesis/Mega Drive
  • 27 Years
    • Baren Realms Elite – BBS Door
  • 19 Years
    • Rayman 2 – Game Boy Color

2nd January

Simon the Sorcerer (image credit: Adventure Soft)

Both developed and published by Adventure Soft, Simon the Sorcerer is a point-and-click adventure that follows a boy named Simon who is transported to a parallel universe. The player embarks on a mission to rescue a wizard called Calypso from the evil sorcerer Sordid. The game contains many parodies from popular works including The Lord of the Rings. When the game was re-released on CD Simon was voiced by Chris Barrie.

  • 30 Years
    • Gain Ground – Genesis/Mega Drive
  • 30 Years
    • Gain Ground – Genesis/Mega Drive
  • 28 Years
    • Simon the Sorcerer – PC
  • 26 Years
    • Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, The Wizard and the Wardrobe – PC
  • 25 Years
    • Worms United – PC
  • 13 Years
    • Metal Slug 3 – Xbox 360

3rd January

Kid Dracula (悪魔城すぺしゃる ぼくドラキュラくん, Akumajō Supesharu: Boku Dorakyura-kunDemon Castle Special: Kid Dracula“) is a spinoff to Castlevania. It is a comical game and sequel to the NES game Akumajō Special: Boku Dracula-kun[2] (悪魔城すぺしゃる ぼくドラキュラくん, literally “Demon Castle Special: Kid Dracula”). It is a sequel to the original Kid Dracula and follows the events set therein. The main musical theme was an adaptation of Claude Debussy’s Golliwogg’s Cakewalk composed between 1906 and 1908.

  • 29 Years
    • Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihou – NES (Japan)
  • 28 Years
    • Elfaria – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Kid Dracula – Game Boy (Japan)
  • 26 Years
    • Super Chinese Fighter – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • Kengo: Master of Bushido – PlayStation 2
    • Vanishing Point – Dreamcast