A Quick History of eSports

ESports, or electronic sports, has blown up in recent years.  I’m sure you’ve heard of some of the games featured- DOTA 2, Street Fighter, freaking League of Legends?  More and more people are watching these contests, the prize money is growing, and the eSports industry is only growing larger and larger.  But, how did this happen?  How were eSports even born?

Well.  It’s been quite a journey for the new medium.

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The Sales, Reception, and Popularity of Paper Mario!

When you look at Mario, your first thoughts certainly aren’t on the complex story, the complex game mechanics that his games exhibit.  He’s a simple character, perhaps the single best character in all of gaming to showcase the concept of “fun.”  As such a flexible character, he has seen all kinds of genres, from racing to action to sports, with one of his more surprising appearances being in the RPG genre.

Paper Mario has had quite the reputation in the Nintendo archive, and as such, has received attention over the years.  It is now a series, so far consisting of five individual titles, yet many people have only ever known the first three.  So, really, what happened to the series after that?  How did it do?

Today, I wanted to try something new!  I’ll just be comparing sales, reception, and general consensus on each part of the franchise, and see how it looks.  Do the sales match the reception?  Is there any trend to be seen?  Well, let’s find out.
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Kirby’s Final Bosses are DARK

 

Kirby is a REALLY happy fellow, right?  I mean, REALLY happy.  You hardly ever see him without a smile on his face, happily swallowing enemies and food alike.  In fact, Dream Land as a whole is just happy, and bright, and colorful, and fun.  The famous bosses are a giant tree, a giant penguin with a hammer, and a one-eyed cloud with spikes.  For the most part, you’d expect such an upbeat series to have final bosses that make you feel good, or cool, or have sympathetic motivations at least.  Well.  No.

Ever since Kirby’s second appearance, the Final Bosses have had a trend of being scary, imposing, or at the very least, based around dark concepts.  It’s ridiculous at points, honestly.  Why would you have such thematically dark boss fights in a series that stars a cute pink puffball?

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The Disney Hack’n’Slash Adventure: Kingdom Hearts!

If you would have told anyone 16 years ago, that a hugely beloved franchise could spawn by combining Final Fantasy and Disney into a hack’n’slash adventure game, I’m certain many people would just think, why, and how?  What kind of strange concept IS that?  Well, in 2002, such a game was released: Kingdom Hearts.

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