This Week in Gaming – 4th April 20219 minute read

This Week in Gaming has a competitor for Mortal Kombat, a strange regionalised addition to the Street Fighter franchise without being a Street Fighter game, a gore-fest game popularised by its violence, the pioneer of western Japanese RPG’s and a soft drink mascot that the soft drink company tried to hide. What a mix!

29th March

Shining in the Darkness (image credit: Climax Entertainment)

Shining in the Darkness, released as Shining and the Darkness (シャイニング&ザ・ダクネス) in Japan is a role-playing game that was released in 1991 by Sega. The game was developed by Climax Entertainment and Sonic! Planning Software and was the first in the Shining series. In 2007 the game was released on the Wii Virtual Console in both North America and Europe. The game might not be well known to many people reading this but it i in fact considered one of the pioneer of Japanese console RPG’s. The game wa especially well received as part of this genre in Europe, who would have to wait a further six years before they were to see the likes of Final Fantasy within their region.

  • 30 Years
    • Shining in the Darkness – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • Dragon Force – Sega Saturn (Japan)
    • Tekken 2 – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 23 Years
    • Parasite Eve – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • RuneScape – Browser
    • Super Robot Taisen Alpha Gaiden – PlayStation (Japan)
  • 19 Years
    • Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • Dynasty Warriors 5 – PlayStation 2
  • 14 Years
    • Digimon World: Dawn – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Digimon World: Dusk – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon (Special Edition) – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix + – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 12 Years
    • Guitar Hero: Metallica – Xbox 360
  • 10 Years
    • Dynasty Warriors 7 – PlayStation 3
    • The 3rd Birthday – PSP

30th March

Saturday Night Slam Masters (image credit: Capcom)

Saturday Night Slam Masters was released in Japan under the name Muscle Bomber: The Body Explosion (Japanese: マッスルボマー ザ・ボディー・エクスプロージョン). The game features character design by the hand of Tetsuo Hara – a famed manga artist known for his Fist of the North Star. The Super Nintendo variant is a port of the original and Sega Genesis and FM Towns Marty also received ports. The original game was a table-top arcade game which was ranked in Japan as the sixth best selling arcade game of this variety.

The game contains many characters, some regionalised, and crosses some other franchises. Titanic Tim (タイタン・ザ・グレート, Titan the Great) has a back story which explains how he was a tag-team partner to birdie within the Street Fighter series. Gunloc (ラッキー・コルト, Lucky Colt) is revealed to by Guile’s brother. Then there is Mike “Macho” Haggar (マイク・”マチョ”・ハガー) who was originally one of the main characters from the Final Fight series of games.

  • 27 Years
    • Saturday Night Slam Masters – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 25 Years
    • Resident Evil – PlayStation
  • 21 Years
    • Dead or Alive 2 – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Marvel vs. Capcom 2 – Dreamcast (Japan)
    • Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure – PlayStation
    • Tekken Tag Tournament – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 20 Years
    • BraveSoul – PC (Japan)
  • 15 Years
    • Contact – Nintendo DS (Japan)
    • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 2: The Phantom Fortress – PSP (Japan)
    • Over G Fighters – Xbox 360 (Japan)
  • 14 Years
    • Kangoku Senkan – PC (Japan)
    • Penumbra: Overture – PC
    • Shin Megami Tensei Online: Imagine – PC (Japan)
    • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent – PlayStation 3
  • 11 Years
    • Dead or Alive Paradise – PSP
    • Mount & Blade: Warband – PC
    • Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love – PlayStation 2

31st March

DOOM 64 (image credit: Midway Studios San Diego, Nightdrive Studios)

DOOM 64 is the sequel to DOOM II and was released in 1997 on the Nintendo 64. the game is a first-person shooter, as with all DOOM games prior, whereby the player must complete 28 levels (excluding 4 secret levels). The normal battling of demons, surviving traps and ambushes takes place. The Doom engine and the gameplay were completely customised for this title and because of this all weapon and monster graphics are unique to this release.

A remaster of the game was developed by Nightdrive Studios under the Bethesda label and was ported to Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2020. Limited Run Games also released a pre-order window for a physical release of DOOM 64 in 2020.

  • 26 Years
    • Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 24 Years
    • DOOM 64 – Nintendo 64
    • Theme Hosptial – PC
  • 23 Years
    • SaGa Frontier – PlayStation
    • Starcraft – PC
  • 21 Years
    • Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death – PC
    • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – PlayStation
    • Romance of the Three Kingdoms VI: Awakening of the Dragon – PlayStation
  • 19 Years
    • Dungeon Siege – PC
  • 18 Years
    • Def Jam Vendetta – PlayStation 2
    • Medabots: Metabee – Game Boy Advance
    • Medabots: Rokusho – Game Boy Advance
  • 17 Years
    • Resident Evil Outbreak – PlayStation 2

1st April

Cool Spot (image credit: Virgin Games)

Virgin Games both developed and published the Sega Mega Drive version of Cool Spot – the official game for the mascot of 7 Up. the game later saw ports to consoles such as the Game Boy and Master System by a mix of Virgin Games and NMS Software. The game is a single player platform game whereby the player must rescue other cool spots from each level.

Within each stage there are hidden letters that either spell “UNCOLA” or “VIRGIN” depending on the version of the game. Collecting these allows the player to enter a secret bonus stage. In the European release of the game the introduction sequence had the 7 Up logo removed from the bottle. This was to avoid associating Cool Spot, the mascot of 7 Up with 7 Up as Fido Dido was considered the official mascot in Europe. Go figure.

  • 28 Years
    • Cool Spot – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
  • 27 Years
    • Dragon Ball Z: Buyuu Retsuden – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan)
    • Monster World IV – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
    • Popful Mail – Sega CD (Japan)
  • 26 Years
    • Daytona USA – Sega Saturn (Japan)
    • Mortal Kombat 3 – Arcade
  • 23 Years
    • Famicom Tantei Club Part II – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside – Nintendo 64
  • 22 Years
    • SaGa Frontier 2 – PlayStation
  • 20 Years
    • Smurf Racer! – PlayStation
    • The Oregon Trail 5th Edition – PC
  • 17 Years
    • Digimon Racing – Game Boy Advance (Japan)
    • Kuon – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • Nobunaga’s Ambition: Rise to Power – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
    • The Legend of Zelda Collection – GameCube (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • Dynasty Warriors 4 Hyper – PC (Japan)
  • 13 Years
    • Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – PlayStation 2
  • 11 Years
    • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City – Nintendo DS (Japan)
  • 10 Years
    • SpellForce 2: Platinum Edition – PC

2nd April

RoboCop 2 (image credit: Special FX)

1990 saw the release of the critically acclaimed film RoboCop 2. And with all critically acclaimed films comes the chance to score the rights to develop a game. With RoboCop 2 the rights fell to Special FX, Ocean Software and Data East who developed the game for Amiga/Atari ST, Game Boy/NES and the Arcades respectively. The two Nintendo variants were primarily shoot ’em ups, and differed from the Amiga, Commodore 64 and Amstrad GX4000 versions, which all also differed from each other. The Amiga version was praised for the graphics and the sound but was thought to contain no originality. However it was still considered a challenging and rewarding game.

  • 30 Years
    • RoboCop 2 – NES (Japan)
  • 28 Years
    • Aerobiz Supersonic – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Final Fight CD – Sega CD (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • Final Fantasy III – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Phantasy Star Fukkokuban – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis (Japan)
  • 23 Years
    • Brigandine – PlayStation (Japan)
    • Dragon Force II: Kamisarishi Daichi ni – Sega Saturn (Japan)
    • Metal Slug 2 – Neo Geo
    • Sega Ages: Phantasy Star Collection – Sega Saturn (Japan)
    • Waku Waku Puyo Puyo Dungeon – Sega Saturn (Japan)
  • 16 Years
    • LEGO Star Wars – PlayStation 2
  • 13 Years
    • Star Ocean: Secon Evolution – PSP (Japan)

3rd April

Splatterhouse (image credit: )

Influenced by American slasher films as well as the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Splatterhouse was the first game of a series of home console games for the franchise. The game was originally seen in Arcades, but it eventually made its way to console via ports.

The game was marketed with its violent content at the forefront of each campaign – a mirror of what we see today. The TurboGrafx-16 version even had a fake parental advisory notice on the box reading “The horrifying theme of this game may be inappropriate for young children… and cowards.”

  • 31 Years
    • Splatterhouse – TurboGrafx-16
  • 28 Years
    • Breath of Fire – Super Nintendo (Japan)
    • Captain Tsubasa IV: Pro no Rival Tachi – Super Nintendo (Japan)
  • 27 Years
    • The Lawnmower Man – Sega CD
  • 20 Years
    • The Simpsons Wrestling – PlayStation
  • 16 Years
    • DOOM 3 – Xbox
  • 14 Years
    • Enchanted Arms – PlayStation 3
    • Guitar Hero II – Xbox 360
    • Prince of Persia Rival Swords – PSP, Nintendo Wii
  • 13 Years
    • Warriors Orochi 2 – PlayStation 2 (Japan)

4th April

Shadow Fighter (image credit: NAPS team)

The Commodore Amiga saw one of the most underrated fighter games when Shadow Fighter was released on the platform by Gremlin Interactive. The game was developed by NAPS team and was launched in 1994 – during the final years of the Amiga platform. The game was ported to Amiga CD32 also but unfortunately it was going up against the likes of console versions of Mortal Kombat and Body Blows at the time. Both these games were titles that it could not compete with in the ring.

The game was never one that could stand up to Mortal Kombat even though it tried. It came with a “blood mode” that could be toggled within the game. For those wanting some extra gore – expect disappointment as it merely changed the colour of the floor to red. Regardless of it’s small following Amiga Power still ranked it the 20th best game on the platform of all time. I am sure many will argue against that.

  • 26 Years
    • Shadow Fighter – Amiga
  • 23 Years
    • Sakura Taisen 2 – Sega Saturn (Japan)
  • 21 Years
    • Star Wars Episode I: Racer – Dreamcast
  • 19 Years
    • Armored Core 3 – PlayStation 2 (Japan)
  • 18 Years
    • Disney Princess – Game Boy Advance
  • 16 Years
    • DOOM 3: Ressurection of Evil – PC
  • 15 Years
    • Commandos Strike Force – PC
    • SWAT 4 Gold Edition – PC
    • Tourist Trophy – PlayStation 2
  • 13 Years
    • FlatOut: Head On – PCP