Video games aren’t as old as their virtual siblings in television or film. However, in the four decades since its inception, the medium has improved in popularity and commercial success. Each new generation of technological marvels has trounced the last. Interactive storytelling has undoubtedly changed through video games, too. The human ability to depict a feeling and attempting to bridge the gap between two minds further has been enhanced.
The following is a list of celebrated games that will reach historic milestones in July 2018. They range between 10 and 40 years old. Each title has had a profound impact on the industry in some way. It may be laying the groundwork for the medium to thrive in posterity. Similarly, it may be through delivery of a breathtaking experience that fans the world over remember to this day.
Game Anniversaries in July 2018 – Persona 4 (10th Anniversary)
Persona 4 initially launched in Japan on July 10, 2008 with its Shin Megami Tensei name. Though it was well respected in the JRPG community, 2012’s Persona 4 Golden was responsible for all the mainstream success. Of course, it wouldn’t have earned its merits if the foundation wasn’t already excellent to begin with. The battle system from previous mainline entries had been revamped to get players straight into the action sooner. Party members were no longer as hard to use as before. As if acting as the cherry on this delicious cake, Persona 4’s music was profoundly addictive to listen to, too.
Game Anniversaries in July 2018 – Knights of the Old Republic (15th Anniversary)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic originally released back on July 15, 2003. To this day remains one of the best licensed games ever made. By the end of 2007 it had amassed nearly three million copies sold. It went on to inspire the popular BioWare-developed MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. If this doesn’t impress you, maybe its 93 Metacritic score will.
The game was set nearly 4,000 years before the formation of the Galactic Empire. Players were free to choose from three different classes and were allowed to customize their own character models. Your protagonist would fall to the light or dark side depending on his or her narrative decisions and interactions with in-game NPCs. The result was one of the most accessible yet thought-provoking single-player RPGs ever to be released. Moreover, the game contains a plot twist that still haunts fans to this day.
Game Anniversaries in July 2018 – Bionic Commando (30th Anniversary)
The very first iteration of Sega’s Bionic Commando was a Japanese arcade game released in 1987. The franchise didn’t make its way onto consoles until July 2018 for the NES and Amiga. Though Nathan “Rad” Spencer’s initial outing wasn’t the most revolutionary in terms of gameplay mechanics, its most notable design element came in the form of restricting the player’s ability to jump. It forced him or her to rely on the protagonist’s grapple arm to get from place to place. This varied in everything from crossing large gaps to climbing ledges. Thus, this made the player think how best to navigate an obstacle given the tools available in Spencer’s arsenal.
Game Anniversaries in July 2018 – Bomberman (35th Anniversary)
Bomberman was originally released back in July 1983. To this day, remains one of the most commercial successfully Japanese video game franchises in the world. With over 70 titles to its name, the main premise for most games in the series is simple. The player must place bombs throughout a level in order to defeat enemies and make their way to the exit unscathed. Complexity comes into play when facing off against unique villain types. The player must try his or her best to predict where a grunt will go next so as to clandestinely sneak a bomb underneath their feet. Perhaps the greatest challenge of all lies in competition with other human players. This astronomically propels the amount of strategy involved. It’s all equatable to a good game of chess. It’s really no wonder why the franchise has managed to survive for so long.
Game Anniversaries in July 2018 – Space Invaders (40th Anniversary)
That’s right: everyone’s favorite space arcade game celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. Since its first manufacture in Japan in 1978, the Space Invaders franchise has transcended the realm of video games to become a cultural phenomenon. It is a mascot of the medium itself, really. One of the earliest examples of the shooter genre, the title is cited by developers and consumers alike as one of forerunners of modern gaming. This is especially true considering its role in expanding the industry. A niche Japanese novelty turned into a product enjoyed by audiences all around the world.
In 1982 – just four years after its debut – the game amassed a staggering commercial success of $2 billion, or $7.5 billion today. It remains the best-selling and highest-grossing video game ever made. Its impact on gaming can be felt in the likes of titles made by Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideo Kojima, John Carmack, and more. Video games would look very different if it weren’t for Space Invaders, and we should all be very grateful for it.
What gaming anniversaries are you celebrating this month? Let us know in the comments below!