Category Archives: Video Games

This Day in Video Game History – August 12th, 2002 – Beach Spikers Released for Nintendo GameCube

A beach volleyball video game from Sega was released fifteen years ago today.

Beach Spikers, developed by AM2 and published by Sega, was released exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube in North America on August 12th, 2002. It was based on an arcade game released the previous year.

beach spikers gamecube game

Courtesy: SEGA

The game is a beach volleyball game, where players control a team of two female beach volleyball athletes against their opponents. The game features an arcade mode as well as a career-minded World Tour mode, somewhat similar to Virtua Tennis, another Sega arcade-minded sports franchise.

This Day in Video Game History – July 6th, 2016 – Pokémon Go Released

A mobile game based on the enduring Pokémon franchise that would go on to become a massive phenomenon around the world was released one year ago today.

Pokémon Go, developed and published by Niantic, was released for iOS and Android phones and mobile devices in the US and some other countries on July 6th, 2016.

pokemon go

Players would see this screen while the app loaded. Courtesy: Niantic / Nintendo

The concept of the game brought the popular Nintendo Pokémon franchise to mobile. The player controls a trainer and ventures around locations based on the real-world locations they are at, thanks to GPS technology. Random Pokémon spawn that the player can catch to add to their collection. Items are obtained through Pokéstops, which are based around landmarks, parks, and other locations of interest from around the world. Players can also put their Pokémon in gyms to battle or win the gyms.

The game became a MASSIVE hit overnight around the world, as players ventured out to catch Pokémon and obtain items. At first, the game had the first generation of Pokémon only, but has since added the second generation as well. New features, upgrades, tweaks, and text fixes have been added to the game since its release.

Pokémon Go was covered massively by news media around the globe, and many businesses promoted the fact that they were a Pokéstop to increase profits and encourage visitors and new customers. The game also promoted walking and exercise, as players had to walk and travel to truly experience the game. (Driving doesn’t work, as the app says you are traveling too fast and locks out the Pokémon and Pokéstops.)

While the game isn’t the incredibly massive fad it was upon the first few months of its release, it still remains immensely popular, and has been downloaded over a three-quarter-of-a-billion times.

PERSONAL NOTE: Pokémon Go was a fun experience in multiple ways for me. It was a fun app to play on my phone, and it helped that I work near many Pokéstops and gyms. It was a delight to drive into work and see so many fans walking around my place of employment to catch, battle, and obtain items. Seeing Pokémon in news coverage both locally and nationally was a delight as well. I still play the game on a nearly-daily basis.

Classic Nintendo Entertainment System Games of July: High Speed

A video game based on an actual pinball table was released for the original Nintendo on this month in history.

High Speed, developed by Rare and published by Tradewest, was released for the NES in the US in July of 1991.

high speed box

Courtesy: Tradewest / Rare / Williams

It was based on an actual Williams pinball table released in arcades in 1986. Both the physical table and its digital adaptation are based around the theme of a high-speed police chase with the goal of earning the most points. The video game includes some mini-games as well.

A sequel based on the second High Speed table, The Getaway, would be released for the Game Boy.

PERSONAL NOTE: On a personal note, I rented this game many times as a kid from my local Drug store and played it often with my parents. It was a very fun time and a great memory, and we still talk about this game every so often to this day. If I had a working NES still, I’d love to have this game. Too bad there was never a virtual console release.

Classic Nintendo Entertainment System Games of July: Cobra Triangle

A unique racing and combat game set on the water was released for Nintendo’s 8-bit home console on this month in history.

Cobra Triangle, developed by Rare and published by Nintendo, was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the U.S. during the month of July 1989.

cobra triangle box

Courtesy: RARE / Nintendo

The game has the player control an armed boat from an isometric perspective. In the game, the player must race other boats, battle enemies, rescue swimmers in distress, or stop bombs from blowing up across a variety of levels.

The games soundtrack was made by noted gaming composer David Wise, who worked on numerous games, including the Donkey Kong Country series.

Cobra Triangle was later released on the Xbox One compilation, Rare Replay.

Classic Nintendo Entertainment System Games of June – 1991 – Battletoads

Battletoads, developed by Rare and published by Tradewest, was released in North America for the original Nintendo in June of 1991.

battletoads box

Courtesy: Tradewest / Rare / Nintendo

The game is predominately an action-platformer, where the player controls one of the two Battletoads, on a quest to rescue one of their companions and a princess.

Battletoads is perhaps best known for its high level of difficulty, especially beginning with its third level, Turbo Tunnel. That level involves avoiding obstacles and enemies with split-second precision while racing through a stage. Other later levels continue the difficulty. It also includes a two-player mode which is said to make the game even tougher, as players can harm each other! Despite this, and to some–because of it, the game is popular in the gaming community.

Battletoads was ported to many other systems, from the Amiga to the Sega Genesis.

Classic Nintendo Entertainment System Games of June: 1993 – DuckTales 2

Throughout the month of June, we’re looking back at various games for the original Nintendo that were released in the U.S. in the month of June.

DuckTales 2, developed by Move Software and published by Capcom, was released in North America in June of 1993, following an April release in Japan.

nes ducktales 2 box

Courtesy: Capcom / Nintendo

The game, like the original DuckTales for the NES, was a side-scrolling 2D platformer, based on the popular Disney Afternoon animated series of the same name. The player controls Scrooge McDuck in an adventure across various worlds, with his cane used for attacks and interacting with various objects across the levels.

The game, released late in the life cycle of Nintendo’s 8-bit behemoth, got generally good reviews although its release time meant it is more rare than the average NES game. It was recently re-released as part of The Disney Afternoon collection.

This Day in Gaming History – June 11th, 2007 – Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree Released

A game to test your brain on the Wii was released 10 years ago today.

Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, developed and published by Nintendo, was released exclusively for the Nintendo Wii in the US on June 11th, 2007.

big brain academy wii box

Courtesy: Nintendo

The game, a follow up to a game in the franchise in the DS, tests the brain power of players with various problems, equations, quizzes, and puzzles. The game includes the use of the popular Mii custom characters, as well as single-player and multiplayer modes.

The game sold over two million copies across the world.