Ah the dog days of summer. Normally a pretty dry time in the world of video games. This week though in the present day, we have an uncharacteristically full slate of worthwhile game releases to get us through an otherwise very slow and empty time. This wasn’t always the case, however, as we will see when we enter the Twinfinite Time Machine and see what August 3rd through August 9th was like five, ten, and fifteen years ago.
The Present Day: 2014
In a tradition as old as time itself, last gen 2D fighter Street Fighter IV (8/8: PS3, 360, PC) will receive another update by way of Ultra Street Fighter IV, adding new characters and new stages along with balance changes. Also, this week will see the console debut of The Swapper (8/5: PS4, PS3, PS Vita), a curious puzzle-platformer that tasks players with using a cloning device to make there way through a space station populated with highly intelligent space rocks. Yup.
Also happening this week: Sacred 3 (8/5: PS3, 360, PC), Road Not Taken (PS4).
Five Years Ago: 2009
The definition of a slow midsummer week in video games. This week saw very little in the way of interesting video game events and treated us with the thrilling releases of G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra (8/4: PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS, 360) and Ashes Cricket 2009 in Europe (8/7: PS3, Wii, 360, PC). I don’t think I could possibly come up with a less interesting pairing of games. At least the music in the beginning of this gameplay video for Ashes Cricket 2009 is pretty rad.
Also happened this week: Hearts of Iron III released (8/7: PC). On 8/4 former American president Bill Clinton and then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il meet and negotiate the release of two captured American journalists.
Ten Years Ago: 2004
Ten years ago to this very day was dominated by the release of the long-awaited reboot of the classic First Person Shooter franchise, Doom 3 (8/3: PC). Rebooting and bringing a classic franchise into the modern era is a very delicate and risky process but it seems as though developer Id Software was able to pull it off. Reviewers at the time from publications such as 1UP (R.I.P. you marvelous blog you) and Eurogamer gave it high scores, and it holds an overall score of 87% on review aggregate Metacritic.
Also happened this week: Nothing notable really in video games but the (in)famous musician, Rick James, passed away on August 6th of this year.
Fifteen Years Ago: 1999
Another pretty slow week in terms of games as the United States prepared for the release of the greatest video game console to ever grace Planet Earth, the Sega Dreamcast, only a month and one week away. The hype train was full speed ahead towards the legendary 9/9/99 launch date. No one in gaming did commercials quite like classic SEGA, and TV spots promoting the Dreamcast launch didn’t disappoint. I feel bad for anyone who wasn’t old enough (or even alive) to appreciate the launch of the Dreamcast.
Also happened this week: Platformer Croc 2 (8/3: PSX) made its European debut on this day.