Video Works by Jeremy Parish

Another Game Boy puzzler? Yes, but at least this one is different. Rather than involving boxes and tiles, Amida-kun riffs on the traditional Japanese lottery game, amidakuji… the same game that inspired Konami's Amidar. It's pretty basic as games go, but the underlying principle is fun, and challenging, so this one's not so bad.

Another game licensed from a Japanese media property hits Super NES, but this one isn't quite as good as U.N. Squadron. In fact, it's really quite poor: A clumsy fighting game based on Ultraman's short-lived push into the U.S. television market. It might not be all bad if not for the unspeakably boneheaded victory condition requirement, which turns this into a jarring example of a faithful video game adaptation that suffers for its accuracy to the source material…

The Super NES gets its first sports game in the form of an entry in Jaleco's Bases Loaded baseball series, which doesn't offer a whole lot that you couldn't find in Jaleco's simultaneous release for NES, Bases Loaded 3. All this 16-bit iteration really offers over its 8-bit counterpart is a questionable race not for the pennant but rather for a "perfect" game, a task best left to masochists drowning in free time.

Direct download: Super_Bases_Loaded_retrospective_Yer_out___Super_NES_Works_014.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:17pm EDT

As if to prove there's no idea so good that you can't do it several times over in mostly identical ways, here is the third Battleship-like naval combat game for Game Boy. This one is from Nintendo themselves, which means that it's less offbeat than Use's Battleship/Navy Blue or NTVIC's Power Mission, but it's a lot more polished. And it includes an entirely original secondary sub combat mode, too! Just be sure to play with a friend, because the computer cheats like crazy in this one… as usual.

Who says Game Boy racing games have to be awful? Not TOSE and Tonkin House, who evidently took the likes of Monster Truck as a challenge. Roadster is everything previous Game Boy racers weren't: Fun, a joy to control, fairly balanced, thoughtfully designed. Will wonders never cease?

It's weird that someone in Japan made a game about the all-American pastime of monster trucks and didn't bring it to the U.S., right? Well, mystery solved: The game is a terrible Excitebike clone with inscrutable mechanics, and it would have bombed terribly here in America. It certainly didn't win many fans in its own home territory…

What a relief: A genuinely great game, and a licensed one to boot!? Yes, Ghostbusters II defies the odds by ditching all connections to Activision's other Ghostbusters games and going with a portable adaptation of HAL Labs' charming-as-heck Famicom game New Ghostbusters II. Sure, it has some rough patches, but it's sweet and entertaining — a nice, breezy, personality-packed rendition of the movie.

Ah, here we go: The second set of 100 Game Boy Works episodes begins with the quintessential Game Boy experience. Yes, it's a mediocre puzzle-ish game that plays better on other platforms. Not an auspicious beginning, perhaps, but at least it's a realistic one. It appears I missed a play mechanic here (clearing rows by pressing down) due to the manuals to this game only being available in German and Japanese, so I will revisit this game in some capacity in the future to make a small note. Just a small one — the added mechanic makes it a little less difficult but doesn't fix the color ambiguity issue.

The series hits its 100th episode and to celebrate… uh, well, it's business as usual. Thankfully, this episode tackles a pretty good (if somewhat unfairly balanced) shooter by none other than Konami: Pop ’N Twinbee. This shooter originally appeared in Japan in 1990 as Twinbee Da! (pictured in the video); the European version showed up four years later and is almost impossible to find complete these days (hence the lack of European packaging photos).