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USgamer's Daily Classics

Your daily look into the storied history of video games. Fun for the whole family!

Article by USgamer Team, .

The longer video games are around, the more anniversaries there are to celebrate. In fact, if you look at games that debuted in 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, and 1999 alone -- that is, games celebrating their 35th, 30th, 25th, 20th, or 15th anniversaries in 2014 and thus easily qualified to be considered "retro" -- you'll end up with a list of several thousand entries.

That's what happened to us. So we trimmed that list down to include only games that seemed notable or interesting... and still had several hundred games we wanted to write about. So, we decided the only thing to be done is to focus on the anniversary of a different classic each weekday throughout 2014. Rather than simply talk about them at random, though, we've grouped them together into weekly sets bound by meaningful connections, be it their publisher, their genre, their platform, their themes, or their characters. Each week, we'll be exploring different facets of gaming's evolution by celebrating the birthday of a different classic video game. Check back daily!

Week One: Tough Times for Nintendo

  • January 20: Radar Scope (1979)
    35 years ago, Nintendo's brush with arcade disaster nearly derailed the company's video game business before it even got off the ground.
  • January 21: Punch-Out!! (1984)
    As Nintendo set its sights on the home market, Punch-Out!! made a lovely swan song for their arcade business.
  • January 22: Duck Hunt (1984)
    With unconventional controls and roots in Nintendo's past, Duck Hunt embodied the Wii business model 20 years early.
  • January 23: Donkey Kong Country (1994)
    With technological obsolescence staring Nintendo in the face, it gambled on an empty-handed bluff and won.
  • January 24: Pokémon Snap (1999)
    How a frivolous photo safari embodied Nintendo's ability to make the best of a bad situation.

Week Two: When Platformers Came of Age

  • January 27: Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns (1984)
    The sequel to platformer legend Pitfall! added literal depth to its action.
  • January 28: H.E.R.O. (1984)
    How Activision advanced the run-and-jump game by abandoning the concepts of running and jumping.
  • January 29: Jet Set Willy (1984)
    Despite its coarse premise, this Spectrum classic raised the bar for platforming.
  • January 30: Montezuma's Revenge (1984)
    A startling sophisticated adventure that drew from... Adventure.
  • January 31: Pac-Land (1984)
    Pac-Man ushered in the dawn of a new era of gaming with another genre-defining adventure.

Week Three: 1989 and the Anime Invasion

Week Four: Games I Love (Valentine's Self-Indulgence)

Week Five: Oddball Sequels

Week Six: The FPS Comes of Age

Coming the week of March 3!

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Comments 11

  • Avatar for jmroo #1 jmroo 3 years ago
    Great Segments! Usgamer is really shaping up!! (that's a joke, it's always been great.)
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #2 jeffcorry 3 years ago
    @jmroo
    I am also really enjoying USgamer. It kind of fills the crater sized hole left when 1up went under. I love the approach to gaming here. @USgamer team:
    Great job! I love your writing and your research approach to gaming. It is much needed. The history of the game is fascinating. I hope to see this site around for years to come.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #3 Funny_Colour_Blue 3 years ago
    @jeffcorry It’s really difficult to find anything decent to read on the net these days, especially when it’s video game related. So I’m REALLY glad something like U.S.Gamer exists!

    Otherwise I’d try and force myself to read the sensationalist-smear-campaign that’s kotaku or just stop reading anything video game related altogether. Nothing else seems to be as thorough or as well written.

    Kudos U.S.GAMER!Edited 5 times. Last edited January 2014 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for DemiurgicSoul #4 DemiurgicSoul 3 years ago
    I love what USgamer is doing. Articles like this are what is missing at most game sites. So many of them are just press release rehashes among reviews and top whatever lists. Now I love me some reviews and lists, but editorials and articles like these are a breath of fresh air. Reminds me of the old game magazines that were printed on paper. Great job guys!
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  • Avatar for filgate #5 filgate 3 years ago
    I have enjoyed these articles so much. Jeremy's depth of knowledge on this material is amazing. I hope that this continues all year!
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #6 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    Let me just weigh in too and agree with the others: USGamer is a breath of fresh air in the game journalism scene! I really hope you guys continue to get more recognition, because you are the best around. And that's coming from a generally negative person!
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  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #7 Captain-Gonru 3 years ago
    Another vote for Great Job.
    I do feel the need, though, to point out how much the kid in the header pic sucks at SMB. Halfway through the board and only 100 points? No wonder your mom looks like she's on drugs.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #8 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @Captain Gonru Obviously he's going for a low-score time attack run.
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  • Avatar for garygalloway29 #9 garygalloway29 3 years ago
    I'm gonna pile on the USGamer bandwagon. I really like Mike, Pete and Raz's content. Also, (as a 1up refuge) Jeremy's retro articles are awesome; I'd like to see this article series continue. And, Cassandra's various articles are always enjoyable and amusing.

    (It's also nice to see 1up alums Bob and Kat have a fitting place to freelance.)
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  • Avatar for MattG #10 MattG 3 years ago
    Keep these coming! I love reading them.
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