This Week in Gaming History: If History is to Change, Let it Change
Do you ever wonder what great occurrences were happening at this time in the distant (or not so distant) past? Sometimes it’s awe-inspiring to look back at events now indoctrinated into the history of video gaming and remember how it felt to be in that time and place, to immerse yourself in nostalgia and embrace the significance of all you’ve lived through.
And if you didn’t live through it, well, everyone should appreciate their history. The world of video gaming simply would not be what it is today if not for the industry’s pioneering developers and the games that ushered the newly popularized idea of home video game consoles to the forefront of personal entertainment in the past three decades.
So as a testament to all of those treasured childhood memories and overlooked ancestors of modern beloved series, Addicted-Gamers is proud to take a look back at some of the most important gaming developments of yesteryear.
March 11, 1995 - Chrono Trigger Released for Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Chrono Trigger is a revolutionary role playing game (developed by Japanese developer Square) that follows the story of a band of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a world-ending cataclysm. The story starts off with a fateful accident that requires the main characters to travel back in time to save their friend. Their transgression into the natural flow of the timeline, however, sets off a chain of events that draws the group (and some new allies they pick up along the way) into a grand adventure through vastly different time periods, covering several real and imagined eras of human history.
Chrono Trigger has enjoyed overwhelming success, commonly being hailed as one of the best games of all time. In addition to having advanced graphics and a legendary soundtrack, the game also features groundbreaking gameplay. A deep and captivating (yet in many ways pleasantly simplistic) storyline featuring multiple endings ensures a high potential for replay value.
The original title has led to a series of sequels and side stories, but a great deal of Chrono Trigger‘s modern success still stems from the original game, which has been remade or ported to several systems. An expanded remake was released for the Nintendo DS in 2009, and the original version of the game has been made available on the PlayStation Network and Nintendo’s Virtual Console service. The Chrono Trigger soundtrack has enjoyed its own continuing success, being featured in orchestral performances and re-released several times over the years.
March 4, 1996 – Resident Evil Released for PlayStation
One of the founding fathers of the modern Survival Horror genre, Capcom’s original Resident Evil is appropriately considered to be one of the most significant releases in modern video game history. The game is played from the perspective of a special task force team member who, after being trapped with several colleagues in a mansion inhabited by unknown evil, must follow the various clues from the game’s story to unravel the mystery behind another team’s unexplained disappearance. To escape from the mansion, the player must solve various puzzles, escape dangerous traps, and face down unspeakable horrors. Oh, and survive.
Despite overall positive reviews, the game faced criticism for its unremarkable and cliche storyline. However, these setbacks never seemed to take away from the sheer fun of its gameplay and the frightful adventure it presented to the player. The different and exciting concept of actually being the main character in a scary survival story easily saved the game from any accusations of being too closely related to its horror film roots.
In addition to several remakes and ports of the original title, the Resident Evil series has since seen 18 new individual releases over half a dozen consoles. The franchise has also branched into comic books and novels, as well as being one of very few video game series to generate multiple film adaptations.
The fact that the PlayStation 2 holds the title of “the best-selling video game console of all time” should speak for itself. Twelve full years after its Japanese release, PS2 sales and development for the system are still continuing. This is one piece of history that will stay in its spotlight for many years to come.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first installment of A-G’s new retrospective series ”This Week in Gaming History.” The topic will be a regular feature, so check back in the weeks to come for more intriguing looks back on the best games of the past three decades and the legacies they’ve given to the gamers of today.