Tag Archives: Nintendo

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 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.

This Day in Video Game History – June 11th, 2001 – Super Mario Advance Released

A unique installment in the Super Mario Bros. series gets an upgrade on this day in video game history.

Super Mario Advance, developed and published by Nintendo, was released alongside the launch of the Game Boy Advance handheld system on June 11th, 2001.

super mario advance box

Courtesy: Nintendo

The game is an enhanced version of Super Mario Bros. 2, originally released for the Nintendo in the US in 1988. That unique Mario game, which was originally another game called Doki Doki Panic, has players controlling one of four characters (Mario, Peach, Toad & Luigi) as they venture through a unique world. Players defeat enemies by picking up vegetables and other objects and try to avoid obstacles.

The Game Boy Advance version features enhanced graphics, the addition of voice acting, and other changes to the original game.

This Day in Video Game History – June 11th, 2001 – Nintendo Game Boy Advance Released

The Game Boy went 32-bit to advance to a new level on this day in history.

Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance system was released in North America on June 11th, 2001, following a March release in Japan.

game boy advance box

Courtesy: Nintendo

The system was a full upgrade from the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, featuring a wider screen, a horizontal layout, more advanced graphics, and an increased number of buttons. The initial model, however, had no backlight and a reflective screen like previous Game Boys.

The system was fully compatible with all original Game Boy and Game Boy color games. It was also released in a variety of different colors.

The Game Boy Advance saw a large library of games released for it, from Nintendo as well as third-parties.

A later model, the Advance SP, added a folding case, rechargeable battery and an internal light. The final revision was the Game Boy Micro, which was much smaller, but not backwards compatible.

The Game Boy Advance line would be the final in Nintendo’s enduring Game Boy family, dating back to 1989. The success of Nintendo’s DS line made it the dominant handheld for the video game giant.

This Day in Video Game History – May 15th, 2006 – New Super Mario Bros. Released

The first new side-scrolling Mario adventure to come out was released on this day in video game history.

New Super Mario Bros. , developed and published by Nintendo, was released exclusively for the Nintendo DS portable on May 15th, 2006 in the United States.

new super mario bros box

Courtesy: Nintendo

The game was the first new side-scrolling Mario adventure released by Nintendo since the early 1990s. Unlike those releases, which featured all 2D graphics, New Super Mario Bros. featured a mix of 2D and 3D graphics. Despite the new tech and graphics, the concept was pure Mario: he must venture on a quest through the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser.

The game featured 80 levels spread across 8 worlds, and features a mix of classic and new enemies for Mario to face. Aside from classic power-ups like the Mushroom and Fire Flower, Mario also can access the Mega Mushroom. That makes him grow massive in size and be able to smash through enemies, blocks, and pipes. Opposite of that, a Mini Mushroom shrinks Mario to a tiny size to access blocked off parts of the level.

A multiplayer mode in the game lets two compete in a race to collect stars.

There are also minigames for friends and family to play against each other in. The game was a massive hit, selling over 30 million copies across the world. Sequels to the game have since been released for the 3DS, Wii, and WiiU.

This Day in Video Game History – March 24th, 2003 – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Released

An installment in a popular fantasy video game franchise with a unique visual style was released in the United States on this day in history.

wind waker

Courtesy: Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was a video game released exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube in North America on March 24th, 2003. At the time of its release, it was the latest in the popular Legend of Zelda series that dates back to the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

The game, published by Nintendo, features a unique visual art style for the series that employs a technique known as cel-shading, giving it a more cartoon-like appearance.

The series follows Link as he ventures through a land with a vast sea, in his quest to battle the villainous Ganondorf. One unique gameplay element introduced in this installment of the franchise is the ability to sail though that sea between various islands.

Despite a negative reaction from some due to the switch in visual style from a previously displayed tech demo for the GameCube, The Wind Waker would become a hit, garnering many positive reviews and selling over 3 million copies.

The Wind Waker was later released for the WiiU, with improved high-definition graphics and tweaks to gameplay, in 2013.

This Day in Video Game History – December 5th, 2014 – Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Released for Nintendo WiiU

A unique spin on the Mario platforming franchise was released two years ago today.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, developed and published by Nintendo (with assistance from 1-Up Studio) exclusively for the Nintendo WiiU on December 5th, 2014.

captain-toad

Toad finally has his own game, Captain Toad, that is! Courtesy: Nintendo

The game was inspired by the bonus levels from Super Mario 3D World. In those levels, as in this game, the player controls Captain Toad in levels based around puzzles and obstacles. The twist is that there is no jumping ability and instead, the player must move on the ground while using obstacles, items, switches or other elements to reach the goal of the level.