Thursday, 27 October 2011

Games of the 1990s

In my last blog I looked at the general advancement of our gaming technology and how our changing attitude and interest towards games drived this progression forward. The way in which our technology and its capabilities improve impacts what types of games we can play an even how we can play them eg. how the creation of the wii and xbox kinect has changed the way we play games massively.

During the 1990s our consoles began to improve hugely and
the video games available also took some significant steps

forward. The years 1987 - 1996 housed the fourth generation consoles, a time when 2D graphics improved from previous consoles and experimentation with 3D graphics started to occur. The Sega Megadrive was released in the late 1980s (1988) and brought with it such games as; Altered Beast, Streets of Rage and Road Rash. The SNES and the Neo Geo weren't far behind and were released in 1990.

From this point on consoles had become capable of supporting more advanced and complicated games and many of us will of started our interest in games somewhere around this time. Filling the cap before the next big console release was a steady flow of good video games. This included; Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter II, Super Mario World, Mortal Kombat, Mario Kart, Air Combat, Ridge Racer, Star Fox, Virtua Fighter, Killer Instinct and Earthworm Jim.

From 1993 - 2002 was the fifth generation consoles, the 32/64 bit era and the time when video games began to evolve into the 3rd dimension. The Playstation 1 and Sega Saturn were launced in 1995 and the N64 followed shortly after in 1996. With the introduction of these consoles the CD (or Compact Disc) started to replace and bring about the decline and end of cartridge games. Due to load times of CDs the N64 remained loyal to the cartridge but became one of the last mass produced consoles to use them.

As before the release of better more powerfull consoles lead to a stream of more advanced games. These included; Time Crisis, Resident Evil, Crash Bandicoot, Golden Eye 007, Final Fantasy 7, Odd World, Grand Theft Auto, Grand Turismo. Rainbow Six and Metal Gear Solid.  Handheld gaming also took a step forward during this time with Nintendo's release of the Gameboy Colour.

Right at the end of the 1990s the sixth generation of consoles was kicked off by Sega's launch of the Dreamcast in 1999. The dreamcast introduced several innovations including internet gaming and it was really the pioneer for online gaming. The dreamcast had a large libray of games counted as 688 offical games with many unoffical releases, this included; ChuChu Rocket!, Crazy Taxi, Eco the Dolphin, Fur Fighters, Marvel VS Capcom 2, Shenmue and Sonic Adventure 1 and 2. Despite its early success the Dreamcast was prematurely discontinued due to the release of the PS2 in 2000.

The 2000s brought about huge changes in video games and consoles with big advancements in games and the launch of the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and several handhelds all within the same decade. I will be looking at the 2000s and what it brought in the next blog.....yay for next gen! 

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