Jeremy Parish Presents: Retronauts Video Works (Chronological Retrospective Series)

Super NES Works: Home Alone
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Nerdkiller

Nerdkiller

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Home Alone retrospective: Doing hard time in solitary | Super NES Works #027


Young Kevin McAllister had it rough being stuck all by himself with a house full of crooks for Christmas, but really that was nothing compared to the suffering experienced by anyone who played his game. Home Alone leads into the final run of 1991 Super NES games, and... they aren't great.
Watch the video, ya freakin' animals!
 

JeremyParish

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Oct 25, 2017
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I will be thrilled if I can add “toilet pizza” to the list of terms I’ve helped ease into the cultural lexicon (see also: metroidvania, battle panties)
 
NES Works: Elevator Action | Legend of Kage
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Elevator Action & Legend of Kage retrospective: Ups and downs | NES Works #046


Japanese publisher Taito makes its NES debut with a pair of games that, in stark contrast to the games that immediately precede them, quite faithfully recreate their arcade predecessors rather than reinvent them. That's not a bad thing, necessarily, but given the ambitious design of the games released on either side of this duo, it does cause Taito to feel a bit behind the curve. (They'll sort it out eventually.)
Next time, Nintendo confuses a generation of kids by making the title character NOT the protagonist.
 

Man God

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Oct 25, 2017
16,269
Both of those games were staples on the 110 in 1 cart my uncle brought back from Taiwan. I love NES Elevator Action.
 
Virtual Boy Works: Mario's Tennis
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Get ready folks, because this is one series Jeremy has promised to finish.

Mario's Tennis retrospective: Doubles vision | Virtual Boy Works #01


Welcome to Virtual Boy Works! This brief journey through the entire worldwide library of Nintendo's least-beloved system begins here, with the Mario crew's first outing on the tennis court. It's a decent game whose flaws are outweighed by its strengths—a perfect example of the Virtual Boy itself, and a great example of this series' central premise: Virtual Boy may not have been a great system, but its library was better than most people realize.
 

JeremyParish

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Oct 25, 2017
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My deal for anyone who wants me to do ______ Works: you set me up with the necessary RGB capture hardware and the system's complete boxed library and I’m in.
 
Virtual Boy Works: Galactic Pinball
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Galactic Pinball retrospective: Red sector, eh | Virtual Boy Works #02


Our second Virtual Boy Works entry takes us from the tennis courts to the far reaches of the cosmos for the sole contribution to the platform by Nintendo mainstay Intelligent Systems: Galactic Pinball. With four tables and tons of gimmicks, it's a fun and interesting take on a vintage amusement that works beautifully on Virtual Boy.

Special thanks to Chris Kohler for providing the packaged material for the photography here!
 
NES Works: The Legend of Zelda
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The Legend of Zelda retrospective: The gold standard | NES Works #047


Nintendo's biggest and most consequential release for 1987, and one of the most important games of the year across all platforms, brings a newfound depth and maturity to the NES. Other ’87 releases have been flirting with the idea of merging action and role-playing concepts, but Zelda goes all-in with a sprawling, challenging journey across the land of Hyrule to rescue the princess Zelda and retrieve the Triforce of Power. And in the process, an instant classic is born.
Next time, enter Justin Bailey.
 
Virtual Boy Works: Teleroboxer
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Teleroboxer retrospective: Eyestrain of the tiger | Virtual Boy Works #03


The third launch selection for Virtual Boy may remind you of another beloved Nintendo franchise, but that's just a coincidence. A coincidence, I say! This game is NOT Punch-Out!!, even though it does happen to be a comical boxing title with enormous, personality-packed sprites. For one thing, its control scheme and interface are VASTLY more complex than that other series.... (Thanks again to Chris Kohler for the software loan.)
 
Virtual Boy Works: Red Alarm
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Red Alarm retrospective: Fear of a black and red planet | Virtual Boy Works #04


The first third-party Virtual Boy title (sort of) and the final launch-day release (in the U.S.) attempts to give players a (technically) portable free-roaming 3D space-shooting experience. Developer T&E Soft had big aspirations with this one, but in practice it didn't quite pan out the way they evidently hoped. The result is an interesting game with a lot of promise and a control interface years ahead of its time... but the Virtual Boy hardware simply wasn't up to the task set before it.
 
Super NES Works: D-Force
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D-Force retrospective: Force manure | Super NES Works #027


While I'd love to wrap Super NES 1991 on a high note, the games actually seem to be getting worse as we approach the end of the year. D-Force is easily the lousiest Super NES game of 1991, and it's a strong contender for worst-of-all-time, too. A dull, clumsy shooter that would have been embarrassing on an 8-bit console, D-Force only throws its awfulness into sharp relief by including a Super NES-specific gimmick that somehow makes the game even less fun to play. Truly, we've punch through the barrel's bottom here.
 
Virtual Boy Works: Virtual League Baseball | Golf
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Virtual League Baseball & Golf retrospective: Red red whine | Virtual Boy Works #05


We move into Virtual Boy's post-launch lineup (and slightly out of rigid chronological order) with a sports two-fer: Kemco's Virtual League Baseball and T&E Soft's Golf. One of these is quite good, and one... is not. However, neither does anything new with two sports formats that have already been covered extensively on the Video Works series, so—on to the next!

Thanks to Chris Kohler for lending these games to the war effort.
 

Jazzem

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Feb 2, 2018
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Ha!

EDIT: Bloody hell at the Virtual League Baseball ad D:
 
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Virtual Boy Works: Mario Clash
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Mario Clash retrospective: Dream of the red turtles | Virtual Boy Works #06


Mario's second (and final) outing on Virtual Boy is a more traditional adventure for him. Exceptionally traditional, in fact, as it reaches back into the early roots of the series, well before the days of Mushroom Kingdoms and Koopa Kings, to present fans with a single-player update to the original Mario Bros. It's a remarkably complex game with a high degree of difficulty, but one that deserves not to be forgotten.
 
Virtual Boy Works: Jack Bros.
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Jack Bros. retrospective: Devil with a red dress | Virtual Boy Works #07


It's one of the Virtual Boy's holy grails... or should that be "unholy grails"? Jack Bros. holds an odd place in history, being Atlus's sole release for Virtual Boy, as well as the stealth debut of the long-running Shin Megami Tensei series in the U.S. But this is no RPG—no, it's something far more unique, and equally enjoyable. All of this makes a rare case of a game whose price has soared into the stratosphere but actually has appeal to more than just collectors.
DUDE, JACK, BROTHER! *plays Real American while blurting out slurs*
 

krae_man

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Oct 25, 2017
1,355
Jack Bros was my favorite Virtual Boy game and boy did that game get expensive.

Also paying $150 to get Jeremy to do his Hulk Hogan voice was the best money I've ever spent.
 
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Virtual Boy Works: Virtual Boy Wario Land
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Virtual Boy Wario Land retrospective: Red-blooded WAAAAH-man | Virtual Boy Works #08


The final Nintendo R&D1-developed title for Virtual Boy pulls double-duty as the best of the batch—not just among R&D1's creations, but for the platform as a whole. Playing like a supercharged version of Wario's first solo outing on Game Boy, VB Wario Land is a fairly brief adventure that doesn't offer much in the way of challenge, and it ultimately feels a bit slight compared to other games in the series. What it lacks in size, however, it more than makes up for in terms of polish and creativity. It would be a classic on any platform, but being on Virtual Boy makes it a true standout... and annoyingly difficult to play in 2019.
 
NES Works: Metroid (part 1)
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Metroid retrospective (part 1): Me and my Ze-best gal | NES Works #048 Pt. 1


Nintendo wraps its run of summer 1987 console masterpieces with the third entry in its not-quite-Black-Box series: Metroid. Playing like a midpoint between Super Mario and Zelda but with a flavor all its own, Metroid continues the trend of NES action games striving to present players with something more substantial than arcade-style test of twitch reflexes. (Stay tuned for the other half of this retrospective next week.)
I'd much rather you go back to your old ending jingle arrangement. Chiptune one isn't doing it for me.
 

Xwing

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Nov 11, 2017
861
I specifically sought out a copy of Heiankyo Alien for Gameboy because of Jeremy's Gameboy Works series (formerly Gameboy World). He's probably my favorite content creator on the subject of video game history. Found so many wonderful old gems because of him.

Edit: Just noticed how old this thread is and that the latest posts are primarily focused on his more recent output. Sorry for the random out of context comment!
 

JeremyParish

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Oct 25, 2017
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Isn't it taken pretty much directly from Neon Genesis Evangelion's "next episode preview" sequence? I think doing a chiptune cover is a bit more safe.
Yeah, I don't really care if people don't like it as much. With Eva hitting streaming distro this year, I want to keep the same theme without the risk of having my entire channel blitzed with copyright strikes.
 

Man God

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Oct 25, 2017
16,269
I'm waiting for Lynx Works, Wonderswan Works, and Neo Geo Pocket Color Works. Ngage Works might doom the project.
 

JeremyParish

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Oct 25, 2017
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Lynx Works is in development! I might kick it off later this year depending on how Virtual Boy goes.

With WS/NGPC, I'm waiting for someone to come up with a hardware hack to allow video capture. But I would chronicle the SHIT out of NGPC if I could, you have no idea.
 

El Pescado

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Oct 26, 2017
850
Lynx Works is in development! I might kick it off later this year depending on how Virtual Boy goes.

With WS/NGPC, I'm waiting for someone to come up with a hardware hack to allow video capture. But I would chronicle the SHIT out of NGPC if I could, you have no idea.
But the more systems you’re Works-ing the longer it’s going to take to get to Metal Gear Ghost Babel! ;_;

I’m all in for NGPC Works
 

shoptroll

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May 29, 2018
869
I'm excited to hear there's going to be a Lynx works at some point. I grew up on Nintendo hardware and I've found that retro content focused on systems I had little to no exposure to are a lot more interesting to me simply because they're usually a fascinating alternate dimension to peer into.
 
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Man God

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,269
Lynx Works is in development! I might kick it off later this year depending on how Virtual Boy goes.

With WS/NGPC, I'm waiting for someone to come up with a hardware hack to allow video capture. But I would chronicle the SHIT out of NGPC if I could, you have no idea.
I actually figured by the way you were talking that Lynx Works was, well, in the works. I love portable gaming about as much as you do and from a video game rental store closeout once got a nearly complete Lynx collection for less than 50 bucks. All packaging included. I completed it and turned around and sold it to an Atari collector a few years back for an enormous profit, but if I'd had more space and time in my life I would have kept it just to say I had it.

I've also had the complete NGPC US library before, not that that was particularly difficult as it was clearenced out. Never even sniffed at a Virtual Boy library though one of my best friends in high school had all the rare ones from being lucky scavenging the stores as the stuff was traded in.

When you're Seventy though and finally getting to the Vita there are definitely people in this forum with nearly complete physical copy libraries.
 

Knurek

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Oct 26, 2017
3,229
When you're Seventy though and finally getting to the Vita there are definitely people in this forum with nearly complete physical copy libraries.
With both Vita and 3DS, taking only care of physical releases would be missing the point so much - both systems have more than a half of their libraries available as exclusive digital titles.
 
NES Works: Metroid (part 2)
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Nerdkiller

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Metroid retrospective (part 2): Galaxy brain | NES Works #048, Pt. 2


The second half of NES Works' look back at Metroid explores the changes it underwent in coming to the U.S., how both the flow and the music of the game help shape the player's experience, and the greater legacy of Samus Aran.
 

Chairman Yang

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Oct 25, 2017
763
I'm most excited for Toastyfrog to get to the GBA, PS2, or Wii. They have a much higher proportion of good, relatively little-known games that need exploring and celebrating in video format, especially since so many video reviews have been lost.
 

Knurek

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Oct 26, 2017
3,229
I'm most excited for Toastyfrog to get to the GBA, PS2, or Wii. They have a much higher proportion of good, relatively little-known games that need exploring and celebrating in video format, especially since so many video reviews have been lost.
We won't live long enough for him to get to the PS2 and Wii (and most probably GBA as well).
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,039
I'm most excited for Toastyfrog to get to the GBA, PS2, or Wii. They have a much higher proportion of good, relatively little-known games that need exploring and celebrating in video format, especially since so many video reviews have been lost.
The amount of shovelware on those platforms would make Parish go insane if he actually tried to do a game-by-game complete retrospective. Game Boy was soul-crushing enough.