Category Archives: Video Games

Today in Video Game History – February 10th, 1997 – Mario Kart 64 Released

The original Super Mario Kart was a big success when it originally released for the Super Nintendo, and its sequel would be a massive hit as well.

Originally known as Super Mario Kart R, Mario Kart 64 was released in the United States on February 10th, 1997, following a late 1996 release in Japan.

mario kart 64 box

Courtesy: Nintendo

Like its predecessor, Mario Kart 64 involves various characters from the Mario universe racing through highly stylized tracks, some based around Nintendo settings. Not only do characters race against each other, they can use items like shells, bob-ombs and bananas to attack or affect other racers.

The game—and entire Mario Kart franchise–is extremely popular as a multiplayer game across a wide audience. There is even a battle mode, that forgoes the racing and involves trying to pop three balloons of competitors to win.

Mario Kart 64 brought the 3D graphics to the series, although the actual racers were 2D sprites based on 3D renders.

Several fan-favorite tracks debuted in Mario Kart 64 later appeared as “retro” tracks in future installments of the franchise such as Mario Raceway and Bowser’s Castle.

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This Day in Video Game History – February 5th, 2001 – Paper Mario Released for Nintendo 64

On this day in history, a new Mario game was released for the Nintendo 64. Unlike most of his previous adventures, though, this wasn’t a platformer, this was a Mario role playing game with a unique style.

The game was Paper Mario and it was released on the Nintendo 64 video game console in North America on February 5th, 2001.

paper mario box

Courtesy: Nintendo

The story in the game developed by Intelligent Systems starts out very similar to other Mario games, and Mario must rescue princess peach.

But in this case, Mario must venture to and from towns and other destinations, gaining experience and allies along the way.

Battles are turn-based in the game, and the paper in the title refers to the unique graphical style that resembles a pop-up storybook. The game got critical and fan acclaim.

Paper Mario has since received several sequels, including installments on the GameCube, Wii and 3DS.

This Day in Gaming History – February 4th, 2000 – The Sims Computer Game Released

It was a video game with a seemingly-mundane concept—manipulate and control the everyday lives of characters. But, following its release on PC on February 4th, 2000, The Sims would become a massive hit.

the sims

Courtesy: Maxis / EA

Will Wright had previously created other “Sim” or simulation game, where the player can control simulation elements of a particular kind. SimCity was a massive hit, where a player could control and manipulate an entire town or city.

Wright’s The Sims allows a player to design a character (or set of characters) and a house and then take that character through life. The character has several attributes that need to be maintained such as hygiene, hunger, bladder and creativity. The character is not fully automated, and its actions must be manipulated or controlled by the player.

Sims can also interact with other Sims, as friends, as romantic partners, and even as enemies.

The game became a massive hit, not only with traditional games, but a broader demographic and audience. The Sims had many expansion packs with new elements.

Originally released for computers, it was later released with unique elements for home video game consoles. Sequels with new features and enhanced graphics have been released over the past few years, the latest of those being Sims 4.

This Day in Video Game History – January 24th, 2000 – Mario Party 2 Released For Nintendo 64

The sequel to a smash-hit multiplayer video game to the Nintendo 64 was released on this day in history.

Developed by Hudson Soft, Mario Party 2 was the sequel to the original Mario Party for the Nintendo 64. The second in the series was released in the United States on January 24, 2000.

mario party 2

Courtesy: HudsonSoft / Nintendo

The basic concept of the game remained the same. Players would select an iconic character from the Mario Bros. franchise and guide them across a board. The goal–collect the most “stars,” which were mainly purchased by coins. Each turn, players had the chance to gain (and lose) coins through a variety of competitive (and occasionally cooperative) mini-games. The franchise has been lauded by fans for its multiplayer, especially where four players are involved.

Mario Party 2 included a variety of new mini-games as well as new versions of popular games from the first one. It also introduced new items to be used during the game, new spaces that helped influence the outcome of a game as well as a variety of new boards, modes, and other features.

This particular installment was later released on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console service.

This Day in Video Game History – October 12th, 2013 – Pokémon X and Y Released

The first handheld Pokémon role-playing adventure set in a 3D world was released four years ago today.

Pokémon X and Y, developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo, was released across the world exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS on October 12th, 2013.

pokemon x and y video games

Courtesy: Nintendo / The Pokemon Company

The game was the first of the “mainline” Pokémon adventures to feature 3D graphics, both for the world and the creatures themselves. While the general gameplay follows the formula of previous RPGs in the series, it does feature some notable new features.

Some of those features include 70 all-new creatures, an all-new setting in Kalos, “mega” evolutions for particular Pokémon, and as previously mentioned, fully 3D graphics.

As in previous installments in the series, both titles can be played separate of each other, but if a player wants to “catch ’em all,” they’ll have to use both Pokémon X and Y.

The game was a big hit, selling over 16 million copies around the world.

This Day in Video Game History – September 14th, 1994 – Super Punch-Out!! Released

A sequel to a hit boxing game was released on this day in video game history.

Super Punch-Out!!, developed and published by Nintendo, was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America on September 14th, 1994.

super punch out

Courtesy: Nintendo

The game was a sequel to Punch-Out!! released on the Nintendo, which itself was inspired by a Nintendo arcade game from 1983.

Like other games in the series, the boxing action in the game focuses on patterns and finding the right time for the player, controlling the character Little Mac, to strike his opponents for damage and knock-outs.

The game featured an array of colorful characters for Little Mac to fight against. Although it wasn’t as widely-successful as the original home title in the series, Super Punch-Out!! did receive generally positive reviews. It was later released for the Wii and WiiU virtual consoles as a digital download.

The next true sequel in the Punch-Out!! series wouldn’t come until 2009 for the Nintendo Wii.

This Day in Video Game History – September 9th, 1999 – Sega Sports NFL2K Released

Sega’s latest football series, which would become a beloved sports franchise, had its first release on this day in history.

Developed by Visual Concepts and published by Sega, NFL2K was released for the Sega Dreamcast alongside the console’s launch on September 9th, 1999.

nfl2k video game

Courtesy: SEGA / NFL

The game was the only football game on the Dreamcast, since the system did not get supported by Electronic Arts.

It received extremely positive reviews from critics for its graphics, gameplay, and commentary. That commentary, uniquely, was provided by voice actors Terry McGovern, Jay Styne and Marcia Perry.

The series would continue on the Dreamcast through NFL2K2, and move to other consoles following the end of Sega’s hardware era.

The series continued until NFL2K5, when Electronic Arts made an exclusive deal with the NFL and NFLPA for video game rights.

NFL2K5 is still considered by some to be one of the best football video games of all time.