With the dog days of summer behind us, it’s time to start gearing up for one of the busiest parts of the video game year. Companies wait all year for the holiday season and it’s around this time that they start to bring out the big guns to beat out the competition. October (along with November) is generally one of the most crowded months and this year is no different. Let’s take a ride in the Twinfinite Time Machine to once again explore video game history and see if October was just as busy five, ten, and fifteen years ago.
The Present Day: 2014
There are A LOT of huge games set to release this month but perhaps none bigger than Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS primed and ready for its October 3rd release date. Generally exclusive to Nintendo’s home consoles, this is the first time that the extremely popular brawler will grace a handheld. Early impressions so far have been very positive, so it seems as though this bold move for the series is going to pay off.
If the handheld debut for one the most popular gaming series of all time isn’t enough for you October has plenty more in store. Another popular franchise will see a new addition when Civilization: Beyond Earth drops on October 24th for PCs. Although it isn’t technically a direct sequel to the beloved Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Beyond Earth is certainly seems inspired by it, and is likely to be welcome addition to the Civilizationfamily of games.
Last but not least, Sunset Overdrive will make its long awaited debut exclusively for the Xbox One. Another game that we played here at Twinfinite and fell in love with, it too is shaping up to be a killer app Xbox One, a console that is desperately looking to make up some ground on Sony’s PlayStation 4.
Also notable this month: Driveclub (10/7: PS4), Project Spark (10/7: Xbox One), and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (10/14: PS3, 360, PC).
Five Years Ago: 2009
Before the now popular Dark Souls series took the hardcore gaming world by storm, a then-little-known PS3 exclusive named Demon’s Souls paved the way. Released to relatively little fanfare back on October 7th of 2009, it quickly became a cult hit among hardcore video game fans looking for an intense challenge. Its high difficulty and unique multiplayer features put the game on the map and would eventually spawn a multi-platform spiritual successor called Dark Souls.
Apparently October 2009 was a great month for new IP launches as it was then that we also saw the release of the original Borderlands game on October 26th. Similar to Demon’s Souls, it didn’t exactly have a large amount of hype going into to release. However its eye catching art style and its unique gameplay mixing FPS and RPG elements quickly garnered attention. It was a big enough success that it got a sequel and even a pre-sequel (as mentioned above) in less than five years.
Also notable this month five years ago (more new IPs!): Brutal Legend (10/13: PS3, 360) and Bayonetta (10/29: PS3, 360)
Ten Years Ago: 2004
October 2004 was a tad bit lighter than 2009, and what 2014 is shaping up to be, but still had some big names as well. The popular Paper Mario series saw a new release by way of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Released on October 11th for the Gamecube, it was the first entry into the series since the original Paper Mario game for the Nintendo 64.
The other major release was the mega hit Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Released on October 26th for the PlayStation 2, it was Rockstar North’s most ambitious project to date. Players could explore three massive cities filled to brim with missions and side activities along with a traversable country side. Perhaps even more memorable than the game itself was the Hot Coffee mod which caused a huge controversy in the United States.
Also notable this month ten years ago: Mega Man Zero (10/5: GBC) and Dead or Alive Ultimate (10/26: Xbox)
Fifteen Years Ago: 1999
Perhaps October being a big video game month is a more recent development. As we move further into the past, the month becomes less crowded. Still, Pokémon fans got their first re-release by way of Pokémon Yellow for the Game Boy Color which made it to American shores on October 19th. It was similar to the original Red and Blue games except for the fact that players started with series mascot Pikachu and followed a storyline that was more similar to the popular anime TV series.
Also, Europeans finally got to experience the greatest console ever made: the Sega Dreamcast on October 14th 1999. Launching alongside that wonderful console was Sonic Adventure. Although it admittedly doesn’t hold up all that well, at the time Sonic Adventure was a pretty big deal and did a great job of showing off what the Dreamcast was capable of.
Also notable this month: Jet Force Gemini (10/11: N64) and Rayman 2: The Great Escape(10/31: N64)
That’s all for today! Did this trip through video game history spark any fond memories? Let us know in the comments!