This Week in Gaming History will provide GameRevolution’s readers with a blast from the past, going back in time to outline all the biggest news stories from this week in games. Every Monday, we will take a look at some things that happened this week in video game history over the past three decades. We will see studios formed, games released, and much more during these weekly features. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at this week in gaming history for the week of April 8-14.
April 8, 2001 | Dr Mario 64 releases
Nintendo’s franchise character, Mario, wears many hats, and a doctor’s hat is one of them (metaphorically speaking). On April 8, 2001, Dr. Mario 64 was released on the Nintendo 64, as an enhanced remake of the 1990 Dr. Mario which released on the NES and Game Boy. Dr. Mario 64 is a falling block tile matching game where Mario and Wario (who are enemies at the beginning of the game) team up to get back stolen megavitamins from Mad Scienstein and Rudy the Clown, who have stolen them and are trying to sell them for a nice profit during flu season.
The game was met with mixed reception, with some loving it and some hating it. IGN gave it a 5/10 while Game Informer listed it as their #76 game of all time. The series has since seen few more releases, the latest being a mobile game called Dr. Mario World and is expected to release this summer.
April 9, 1984 | Jump Force creator Chunsoft is formed
After entering Enix’s (a Japanese video game publisher) national programming contest while still in high school, Koichi Nakamura found himself being handed the first place prize for his game entry, Door Door. Fast forward two years and Nakamura would find himself starting a game developing company known Chunsoft, during a spring break trip as a sophomore in college on April 9, 1984.
The start of this company led to the creation of Dragon Quest (also called Dargon Warrior) in 1986, which has been called a genre builder for RPGs. The original game was followed by four more installments from 1987-1992. Chunsoft has also made some other great games like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (2005), Nine Hours, Nine Persons (2009), Nine Doors (2009), and a whole lot more. In 2012 the company merged with Spike and become Spike Chunsoft. What started as a fun high school project turned into a very lucrative and successful game development studio. Spike Chunsoft is still around today and released Jump Force in February 2019.
April 11, 2005 | Konami starts the beginning of the end for Hudson Soft
Founded back in 1973, Hudson Soft started as a personal computer product company, but eventually expanded into making video games. You may know the company for its popular game Bomberman and the Mario Party series (up to Mario Party 8) or for its role in designing the TurboGrafx-16, which was designed to compete with the Nintendo and Sega consoles in the very early stages of the console wars.
What you may not know, is that on April 11, 2005, the independent company had the majority of its shares (54%) bought by Konami which officially became its parent company. Konami allowed Hudson Soft to continue to make games, and that led to Mario Party 7 and Mario Party 8 before Konami decided to merge them with Konami Digital Entertainment in 2012, nullifying the game making studio.
It is a real shame to see a great studio cease to exist, and it all started on April 11, 2015, when Konami became the majority shareholder.
April 13, 1992 | A Link to the Past launches in the US
The third installment to the beloved Zelda franchise would come to the United States on April 13, 1992. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past tells the story of Link as he tries to defeat Ganon and save Hyrule. The game is known for reverting back to the similar overhead perspective that was used in the first Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda, instead of the side-scrolling perspective that came with the second game in the series, The Adventure of Link.
When the SNES was retired, A Link to the Past had spent five consecutive years as it’s number one game. This is no doubt one of the games that shaped the future of the industry, and the Legend of Zelda franchise.
April 13, 2010 | Splinter Cell: Conviction comes out
We are all probably familiar with the Tom Clancy Splinter Cell series, which has six or so games in the series. One of those games, Splinter Cell: Conviction made its debut on April 13, 2010. While it may not be the best game in the series, it has been received rather well and is listed as VGChartz third best Splinter Cell game. It is primarily known for introducing some new features into the series, like “Mark and Execute,” “Last Known Position,” and many more.
It was released on Xbox 360 on April 13, 2010, and would later find its way to PC and Mobile devices. However, it never made its way to the PS3, because of strong relationships with Microsoft, and is still not playable on PlayStation consoles. Although, other Splinter Cell games are available on the PlayStation family of consoles. Splinter Cell: Conviction is responsible for bringing some great gameplay mechanics to the series, that we might not have without it!