This Day in Video Game History
Hudson Soft releases the single-player side-scrolling platform game Xexyz for the Famicom game system in Japan. The game is strikingly similar to Super Mario Bros. in terms of gameplay, graphical appearance, and story. Unlike Super Mario Bros., which give birth to an enormous franchise, Xexyz will only enjoy limited popularity.
Nintendo releases the single-player game Metroid II: Return of Samus for the Game Boy in the U.S. It’s the second title released in the Metroid series, and the only game in the series that will be released for the Game Boy. Unlike it predecesssor, advancement from level to level isn’t dependent on acquiring items but on killing a fixed number of opponents. (ESRB: K-A)
KEMCO releases the single-player sequel to the Drakkhen, Dragon View for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in Japan. Despite solid reviews from consumers and critics alike, the game will remain largely relegated to obscurity, due to its release late in the console’s lifecycle.
The Crystal Space framework for developing 3D applications written in C++ is first publicly released by Jorrit Tyberghein as free software under the GNU Lesser General Public License. It will become very popular as a game engine.
Acclaim releases the football game NFL Quarterback Club 2000 for the Dreamcast and Nintendo 64 in the U.S. (ESRB: E)
Midway Games releases the single-player platform game Gex: Enter the Gecko for the Nintendo 64 in North America. It’s a remake of the original, which was released in November 21. This version features a new level, replacing the secret levels of the former game. The new level, “Gecques Cousteau” is based on the Titanic shipwreck and is set almost entirely underwater. The game lampoons the James Bond franchise. (ESRB: KA)
Microsoft offers a full-price rebate on its DVD playback kit with the purchase of every new Xbox in the U.S. The offer ends November 2.
Midway releases MLB Slugfest 20-03 for the Xbox in the U.S. (ESRB: E)
Nintendo releases the single-player 3-D platform game Super Mario Sunshine for the Nintendo GameCube in North America. It’s the first original traditional Mario platform game released since Super Mario 64, released six years prior, and like it’s predecessor, Sunshine will be a commercial success, selling over 5.5 million units. It will be re-released as one of Nintendo’s Player’s Choice titles in 2003. (ESRB: E)
TeamSpeak Systems releases the first version of the TeamSpeak voice over IP (VOIP) application that allows gamers to speak with other users through a chat channel while playing games online, especially MMORPG games. Communicating with Team Speak gives teams a competitive edge by allowing their members to communicate hands-free.
Buena Vista Interactive releases the first-person shooter (FPS) TRON 2.0 for Windows in Germany and North America. The game is intended to be a sequel to the 1982 film Tron. Like the film, the game’s story is set “inside” a computer and employs the same dubious film-style computing conventions. Bruce Boxleitner reprises his role, providing the voice of his character in the movie, Alan Bradley. Cindy Morgan, who also starred in movie, voices a new character named "Ma3a." Rebecca Romijn-Stamos provides the voice of the character "Mercury." Despite the enormous amount of marketing surrounding the game, much of which comes from Disney initially announcing the game as an upcoming film before deciding on producing the story as a game, TRON 2.0 will fail to meet sales expectations, and both a planned sequel to the game and a comic series will be canceled due to the disappointing sales. (ESRB: Teen)
Crave Entertainment releases the puzzle game Mojo! for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America. In the game, which bears marked similarities to both Marble Madness and Super Monkey Ball, players must guide a marble through maze festooned with a series of deadfalls boobytraps to break up blocks in each level. There are one hundred levels, and there is also a stage editor in which player can create new levels. (ESRB: E)
Namco releases the fighting game Soul Calibur II for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox in North America. It’s the third installment in the Soul series. Electronics Boutique and Namco hold a midnight release party in New York City to launch the game.
Empire Interactive releases the shooter Starsky & Hutch, based on the Starsky and Hutch seventies television series, for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows, and Xbox in North America. (ESRB: Teen)
A portion of the first-person shooter Half-Life 2 is released through the Steam content delivery system. The release allows select customers to download encrypted game files to their system before the long-awaited game is officially released. When the game’s official release date arrives, customers will be unlock the files on their hard drives for immediately play without having to wait for the download. The pre-load will be available for several weeks and several subsequent portions of the game being will be made available, to ensure that all customers have a chance to download the content before the game is released.
Sega releases the party puzzle game Super Monkey Ball Deluxe for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in Europe. The game compiles 14 levels from the original Super Monkey Ball, 149 from its sequel, Super Monkey Ball 2, and an additional 47 exclusive levels, for a total of three hundred levels. (PEGI: 3+, USK: Free for All)
Ubisoft releases the tactical shooter Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike for the Xbox in Europe. (ESRB: T)