Which console was the first to always display full SD resolution and feature internet gaming as a standard feature?
What game introduced the 'job system' and the 'Active Time Battle' system in Final Fantasy III (1990) and Final Fantasy IV (1991)?
Which game established the term 'survival horror' as a genre and influenced future titles?
Which game introduced multiplayer capabilities in first-person shooter games?
Which game was a precursor to the survival horror genre?
Which console marked the transition period for video games to evolve into the third dimension?
Which game introduced the concept of a flagship platform title exclusive to a format, featuring a 'mascot' character?
Which game established the tactical RPG genre in many ways?
Which game popularized the stealth genre?
Video Game Events in the 1990s
The 1990s marked a decade of innovation and transition in video gaming.
Several genres of video games were introduced such as first-person shooter, real-time strategy, survival horror, and MMO.
Home consoles became more common, leading to the decline of arcade games.
Fourth-generation consoles such as Mega Drive/Genesis, Super NES, and Neo Geo were popular in the 16-bit era.
The fifth generation of consoles such as Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn marked the transition period for video games to evolve into the third dimension.
The Dreamcast, released in 1999, was the first home console to always display full SD resolution and featured internet gaming as a standard feature.
The 1990s saw the transition from 2D and pseudo-3D graphics to real-time 3D polygon graphics.
Optical disc storage became the norm for video game consoles and CDs replaced cartridges.
The Sony PlayStation introduced memory cards to store saved game data.
Game controllers introduced various features such as analog sticks, haptic feedback, pressure-sensitive buttons, and online networking peripherals.
Online gaming became prominent in video game consoles starting with Dreamcast online functionality in 1999.
The 1990s saw the introduction of several genre-defining games such as Street Fighter II and Virtua Fighter in the fighting game genre, and Wolfenstein 3D and Doom in the first-person shooter genre.Overview of Major Video Game Genres in the 1990s
The 1990s saw the emergence of several distinct subgenres of the role-playing video game genre.
Platform games evolved through several distinct phases throughout the 1990s, with Sonic the Hedgehog character seen as a new model for mascots in the early 1990s.
Racing games saw the introduction of full 3D graphics in Virtua Racing and the departure from realism with the introduction of the Mario Kart series on the SNES.
First-person shooter games gained popularity with Doom (1993) and the introduction of multiplayer capabilities in Goldeneye 007 (1997).
Interactive movies, like Night Trap (1992) and Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom (1995), experimented with plot twists and provided alternative storylines and endings into their games.
The advent of optical disks in fifth generation consoles in the late 1990s saw the rise of longer, more involved quests, better audio, and full-motion video in RPGs, as demonstrated by Final Fantasy VII (1997).
The development of "graphical MUDs" led to the first massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), with Meridian 59 (1995), Ultima Online (1997), and EverQuest and Asheron's Call (1999) becoming popular.
The tactical RPG genre emerged in 1990 with Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The fifth generation of home consoles in the early 1990s marked an evolutionary step for platform games, with a particular emphasis on having a flagship platform title exclusive to a format, featuring a "mascot" character.
The Sonic character was seen as a new model for mascots in the early 1990s, characterized by impatience, sarcasm, and frequent quipping to give them personality.
The Final Fantasy series played an instrumental role in distinguishing console RPGs greatly from computer RPGs, introducing the "job system" and the "Active Time Battle" system in Final Fantasy III (1990) and Final Fantasy IV (1991).
The rise of optical disks in fifth generation consoles in the late 1990s revolutionized RPGs, leading to longer, more involved quests, better audio, and full-motion video in games like Final Fantasy VII (1997).
The early-to-mid-1990s saw the experimentation of plot twists and alternative storylines and endings in interactive movies, like Night Trap (1992) and Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom (1995).Establishment of Tactical RPGs, Stealth Games, and Survival Horror in the 1990s
- Fire Emblem was released in Japan in 1990 and established gameplay elements still used today in tactical CRPGs
- Langrisser by NCS/Masaya and Master of Monsters were early imitators of Fire Emblem
- Shining Force for the Genesis was released in 1992, using even more console RPG elements
- Bahamut Lagoon began Square's line of tactical RPGs
- Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen was released for the Super NES and is more of a real-time strategy game, while Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together defined the genre in many ways
- Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was released in 1990 and improved on its predecessor in many ways
- Metal Gear Solid, Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, and Thief: The Dark Project were released in 1998 and popularized the stealth genre
- Sweet Home and Alone in the Dark were precursors to the survival horror genre
- Resident Evil was released in 1996 and established the term "survival horror" as a genre, influencing future titles
- Silent Hill (1999) drew heavily from Resident Evil while using realtime 3D environments and emphasizing a disturbing atmosphere
Notable Video Game Franchises Established in the 1990s:
- Pokémon, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid
- The highest-grossing arcade games of the decade included Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat II, and Dance Dance Revolution
- The best-selling home video games of the decade included Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow
- The best-selling game consoles of the decade were the PlayStation, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Nintendo 64.
Test your knowledge of the video game industry in the 1990s with this quiz! From the emergence of new genres and subgenres, to the introduction of home consoles and online gaming, this decade saw major changes and innovations in the world of video games. See how well you know the notable franchises and financial performances of the time. Don't miss out on the chance to relive the nostalgia of this era in gaming history.
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