Test your trivia might!
Below is a set of clues for games that have a notable US release date anniversary (5, 10, 15, etc.) in the current month. See if you can figure out the title before clicking the blurred image to find out if you were correct! Head down to the comments when you’re finished and reminisce about the personal memories that were dredged up. Remember that these are going by the release date in the United States. Have fun!
Konami developed and released this NES “shmup” which is a spinoff of Gradius, another popular shmup from Konami. In the US, the game had its name changed from the original Japanese arcade title of Salamander. Blast your way through six horizontal and vertical scrolling stages as Vic Viper, but hopefully you don’t want multiple endings as that feature from the Famicom release wasn’t included in this NES version.
A classic Nintendo franchise made its way to the Game Boy for the first time with this title that started off as a port of a very popular SNES game from this same series. For the first time Hyrule was replaced as the setting, with players gallivanting around Koholint Island. The trademark gameplay and dungeons are still there, however, along with a surprisingly emotional story. This title featured an all-star development staff including Takashi Tezuka, Yoshiaki Koizumi, and Kensuke Tanabe who worked on the game after hours as a side project to experiment with the capabilities of the Game Boy. It was relatively well known that the story was influenced by Twin Peaks, but it was recently revealed by that series’ co-creator, Mark Frost, that he directly consulted on the game. Who knew??
In what might be one of the earliest examples of video game remakes, Nintendo released this SNES compilation of four NES titles featuring their famous plumber. These weren’t just simple ports, as the graphics were upgraded in the series’ first three games and they also sported modified game physics, bug fixes, updated music, etc. The fourth title in this collection is actually the second title in the series that hadn’t been released outside of Japan because it was deemed too difficult for the baby North American gamers. Thankfully, they toned down the difficulty in this compilation, so Americans didn’t have to cry themselves to sleep at night. Four classic platformers in one cartridge? Let’s-a-go!
Natsume published this fishing RPG title for the Game Boy, which is canonically the third title in the series, but the first one released in the US. Your sister has a strange illness and it’s your job to catch the legendary fish to cure her. To do that, you must start at the bottom and catch a whole lot of other fish to gain experience and make money to acquire better gear. The game was marketed in the US and Europe as a spinoff of the Harvest Moon series…even though the fishing RPG series preceded the farming RPG by six years!
The N64 saw the release of this Crystal Dynamics 3D platformer published by Midway Games starring a wise-cracking amphibian. Collect remotes in the various stages that parody pop culture as you listen to the titular character spout ‘80s and ‘90s references. Compared to other versions, the N64 got the shaft. Six levels were removed due to cartridge storage limitations and there was a password system even though the other versions used memory cards. Maybe that’s why the N64 title was poorly received in comparison?
Namco published this fighting game on all three competing home consoles – including the GameCube – with each platform having their own exclusive character. I don’t think it’s a controversial statement to say that the GameCube was the clear winner in that department with Link while Playstation 2 had Heihachi and Xbox got Spawn. The game’s plot is pretty extensive, but the cliff notes version is that a legendary weapon was broken into pieces and each character is seeking to collect them in order to gain possession of the weapon or destroy it. All you really need to know is Link is there and he’s awesome.
Take over the diamond in another Namco – well, Namco Bandai…or it was at that time and is now called Bandai Namco if you want to get technical – game here, but this time it’s a Wii sequel to a Mushroom Kingdom bat-and-ball bonanza. Motion controls are added to the festivities to utilize the Wii Remote. Chemistry between your players also played an important factor and could help rob homeruns or earn items to enhance your chances to come away with the victory. The biggest criticism was the lack of online play. That’s a strikeout!
The Wii U may not have been a success, but there were still some great games including this Nintendo real-time strategy gem where you order your little plant friends around to collect fruit and satiate a juice addiction. Control up to three captains at the same time to solve puzzles or achieve your goals more quickly. Despite the somewhat cutesy exterior, this game contains some of the most disturbing deaths you will ever see in a Nintendo game. Hopefully you’re not too attached to your little buddies because you’re likely to see them squished or eaten alive while their death cries haunt your earholes.
Nintendo and Intelligent Systems combined to release this 3DS title in their long-running “microgame” series. This iteration is essentially a collection as most of the microgames have appeared in a previous title in the series. The plot centers around the greedy, garlic-loving antihero who has organized a gaming tournament with a cash prize…which he hopes to ultimately get his hands on. The most interesting thing with this game might be the introduction of full voice acting for the first time in the series. Do farts count?
The Nintendo Switch saw the release of this roguelike Metroidvania indie game developed and published by Motion Twin. Control the Prisoner stuck in the bowels of an island prison and attempt to kill the King and (maybe) bring change to the island. The game is very popular, but maybe the most enduring memory is the controversy around the IGN review, which plagiarized a YouTube review and eventually led to the firing of the author.