Video Works by Jeremy Parish

There was a time, not so long ago, when the idea of another puzzle game sounded like pure suffering. Thankfully, some janky imports put things in perspective... and, of course, it helps that this latest puzzler—Asmik's Catrap, a remake of 1985's Pitman—is pretty darned good on its own, too.

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_059_Catrap_Asmik_Ace_1990.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:49pm EST

Game Boy gets its first old-school dungeon crawler, one of the least common genres on the system. This one offers an atypical setting for the genre (ancient Japan!), which is aesthetically cool yet somewhat frustrating in practical terms: The game text, which has never been localized or fan-translated into English, displays entirely in cumbersome traditional hiragana script (even English loanwords like "damage"). So it's a bit tough to play if you're not comfortable with reading awkwardly displayed Japanese text—and the heavy need for grinding up experience points doesn't help. It's not a bad RPG, though! Just a bit unfriendly to foreigners.

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_057_Ayakashi_no_Shiro_Seta_1990.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:47pm EST

A look back at Nintendo's Wild Gunman, the first-ever NES light gun game, and a shooter whose simple design belies its remarkable heritage. Best known in the U.S. for its faked-up cameo in Back to the Future Part II, Wild Gunman was to Japanese fans at the time the latest entry in a line of product evolution that stretched back more than a decade.

Both Florent Georges' book The History of Nintendo 1889-1980 and the Before Mario blog (www.beforemario.com) were invaluable resources as I researched this retrospective. Be sure to check them out!

Direct download: Good_Nintentions_004_Wild_Gunman_Nintendo_1985.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:44pm EST

Though it tends to be overlooked in studies of role-playing history, Venture iterated on the concepts of Atari's Adventure in a way that made the action RPG viable as an arcade experience—a forgotten yet important influence on metroidvania games.

Direct download: Metroidvania_Chronicles_004_Venture_Exidy_1981.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 8:59pm EST

Here we have the first NES release that wasn't based on a sport... yet it's hardly a bastion of creativity. By 1984, when Pinball debuted on Famicom, pinball had established itself as one of the most popular subjects for video games. Pinball stood apart, though, due to its remarkable quality... thanks in large part to a pinch-hit assist from future Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

Direct download: Good_Nintentions_003_Pinball_Nintendo_1985.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 8:58pm EST

Game Boy certainly didn't lack for puzzle action games in its early years, as we've seen. And here's another one! Lock ’N Chase, however, isn't merely some quick-and-sleazy money grab (despite the fact that the box art says, "Take the money and run!")—this game has an impressive history behind it, and its design reflects an attempt to build on Data East's arcade heritage. And it's pretty fun, too.

 

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_055_Lock_N_Chase_Data_East_1990.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 8:57pm EST

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