It’s kind of amazing to think that on this day in 1987, North American players were sliding their golden cartridges into the Nintendo Entertainment System for the first time and taking their first journey with Link in the very first Legend of Zelda.
Today in 1982, North American players saw their chance to continue the rivalry of Mario and Donkey Kong with Donkey Kong Jr.
It was today in 1986 that players were given their first ride in the Power Suit and journeyed into the depths of Zebes, all unknowing behind the visor of one of the strongest women in video games.
At this point, it’s safe to call Pokémon GO a certified global phenomenon. I could quote a lot of numbers, but there’s not really a point to doing so. It’s huge. It’s everywhere. It’s the subject of every other article that comes across your Facebook feed. It’s precisely engineered to strike at the nostalgic heart of those who grew up with the original 150 Pokémon, but given the game’s ubiquity it’s only a matter of time before creatures from later generations make it in.
It was on this day in particular that F-Zero X was released on the Nintendo 64, bringing unparalleled speed and smoothness to the racing genre.
When Donkey Kong came out worldwide, everything started to change not just for Nintendo, but for the industry as a whole.
Kirby: Planet Robobot was a blast from start to finish. The platforming, combat and level design are better than they’ve ever been in a Kirby game. The new Robobot Armor is fun to use, especially with all of the enemy abilities, though it does have some disappointing limitations. Coupled with the great use of the 3D environments on a 2D plane, Kirby: Planet Robobot has become my favorite Kirby game.
Nintendo’s E3 was all about The Legend of Zelda. Literally. Its booth in the Los Angeles Convention Center was transformed to look like a locale straight outta Hyrule, and the only title on display was the next game in the decades-old action/adventure series. Nintendo is putting a lot of eggs in one basket with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, making some big changes to the classic Zelda formula. I was worried that the massive open world and Link’s host of new abilities (he can cook!) would make Breath of the Wild feel less like a Zelda game, but after spending some time in the reimagined Hyrule, I’m no longer afraid of change.
Link’s Awakening was a trendsetter. That much is certain, but the game also stands the test of time as another great and magical entry in the long beloved series, and today we celebrate its initial release.
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a quiet achievement in Nintendo's library: an overlooked mystery game for the DS that felt like it belonged on the system, but still only "quiet" for being relatively unknown to most. Following the format of a visual novel, Hotel Dusk was heavy on dialogue with a story laden with secrets, but its gameplay was in line with a point-and-click with elements of risk similar to Broken Sword, as well as the occasional puzzle treatment. This blend made for a compelling and suspenseful detective story, one that nailed a 70s-themed noir art style.