Video Game History: On This Day July 21st

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On this day, July 22…

The Wizzard’s Palace arcade of Sterling, Colorado receives an Atari Star Wars arcade unit.  The fighter simulator is based on Episode IV: A New Hope and is only the second game in the entire Star Wars franchise.  After a weekend of unprecedented and unforeseen popularitiry, owners Dick and Sherry Kinnaman double the price of game play from twenty-five cents to fifty cents.  It is the first machine in their arcade and historically, the first arcade machine on record,  to cost more than a quarter anywhere in the US.  However, fifty-cents will soon after become the standard price across the nation.
Hudson Soft releases the platform game Adventure Island II for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in Europe.

Sega releases Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, the sequel to the 1989 game The Revenge of Shinobi, for the Genesis in the US.  The game was scheduled for release in 1992, but Sega sent the game back to development, despite previews having already been released in several majoring gaming magazines.

Capcom releases the game Goof Troop, based on the Disney animated series of the same name, for the Super Famicom in Japan.  The game will go on to become a cult classic for its excellent gameplay, despit its weak plotline and poor marketing.
Sega releases the platform game Pulseman for the Mega Drive in Japan.

Sega releases the tactical role-playing game Shining Force CD for the Mega-CD in Japan.

Next Generation Online published an article in which it reports that ten top Blizzard Entertainment employees, most notably James Phinney, the lead designer of the hit game Starcraft: Brood War, have resigned to found an an independent video game company of their own.

Capcom releases the second game in the Mega Man Legends series, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, as Tron ni Kobun for the PlayStation in Japan.

At the Chicago Motor Speedway, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) debuts a sixty-eight foot custom tractor-trailer designed and built to promote the PlayStation 2 video game system during the Hard Rock Cafe Rockfest.  The trailer features hands-on demonstrations of the a number of PlayStation 2 titles that will be available to the system’s October launch.
Sega releases the racing game F-Zero AX to arcades in Japan.  The game is either the fifth or sixth game in the F-Zero series, depending on how F-Zero GX, which is released for the GameCube at nearly the same time, is counted.  The game continues the series' tradition of being one of the most difficult racing games on the market.  It features the same basic game mechanisms as the console version, but the two games differ in the tracks and vehicles offered.
From Software releases the stealth action game Tenchu: Fatal Shadows for the PlayStation 2 in Japan. It is the fourth game in the Tenchu series.
Nintendo releases the fourth game in the Mario RPG series, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, for the GameCube in Japan.  It is the sequel to Paper Mario, and it features the same gameplay with improved visual elements.  (CERO: A)

Tomy releases the roleplaying game (RPG) Naruto RPG: Uketsugareshi Hi no Ishi in Japan.  The game is based on the popular manga and anime series Naruto, and it retells the Naruto storyline from Naruto’s first battle with Gaara.

2k Games releases the strategy game Sid Meier’s Pirates! for the Xbox in Europe.  The game is based on the classic 1987 game of the same name.

Empire Interactive releases Ultimate Pro Pinball for the PlayStation 2 in Europe.  

Global Star Interactive releases Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, based on the 2005 Tim Burton film of the same name, for personal computers, the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox in Europe.  (PEGI: 3+)

The THQ game The Incredibles  for the PlayStation 2 goes platinum.  

The THQ wrestling game WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw for the PlayStation 2 goes platinum.  (PEGI: 16+)

Activision releases the platform game Over the Hedge is released for the Nintendo DS in Europe. The game’s storyline serves as a sort of sequel to the 2006 DreamWorks animated film Over the Hedge.  (PEGI: 3+)
Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) releases the turn-based tactics game Field Commander is released for the PlayStation Portable“>PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Australia. Visit the game’s official website. (OFLC: PG)