Video Works by Jeremy Parish

Three—three!—consecutive vertical shooters hit Famicom in this episode. Well, for a certain value of "vertical." All three of these games about shooting things while moving up or down along the screen, but all three take a very different approach to it. Star Force is the most traditional of the bunch, while Elevator Action combines vertical shooting with the sort of platform-based character movement found in the likes of Donkey Kong. And Field Combat... well, I'm not sure that one even knows what it wants to be. But at least it's interesting.

Although the three games featured in this week's episode have already appeared in the vanilla iteration of NES Works, I promise that there's merit in revisiting them. All three titles—Nintendo's Wrecking Crew, Konami's Hyper Olympic, and Nintendo (not Irem's!) Spartan-X—hit differently on Famicom than they did on NES. Especially when one of the games came with its own controller designed expressly for the purpose of mindless hitting.

Sunsoft returns to Game Boy with a soul-crushingly brutal take on a movie that's about as close to being a cult classic as a major blockbuster can be: Gremlins 2 - The New Batch. It really captures the experience of being a small, helpless little fuzzy guy with stubby arms making his way through a skyscraper filled with raving murder-monsters. Although you'd think with Gizmo's gigantic eyes, he'd have better vision than the original Game Boy screen provides.

On the import tip, there's Pocket Stadium from Atlus, a curious baseball simulator... and by "simulator" I really do mean that it's a simulator. No timing or dexterity required!

You come at the king, you'd best not miss. In this case, they've come at Godzilla, the King of Monsters, and stolen his horrible little son Minilla. I personally would be happy to let Minilla languish forever in captivity, but parental instincts run deep even for a skyscraper-sized atomic-powered dinosaur... and the result is one of the best Game Boy puzzle action games to date. So, hey, thanks for existing, Minilla. I guess.

On the import tip this episode: Nekojara Monogatari, another of Kemco's reworkings of the Shadowgate engine into a role-playing adventure game. This one has a theme of kitty cats. It has never been fan-translated, a state of affairs I would love to see resolved; it's a pretty neat little game, from what I can tell.

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Our shared journey through the SG-1000 library has been illuminating, and in this episode I attempt to encapsulate much of what has been covered here over the past year. This episode isn't simply a recap and recontextualization of the system, though—it's also an attempt to reconcile some issues in my coverage of the individual games.

Part of what I've learned since early 2021 has been how to properly record the SG-1000 color palette, something I struggled with all along whether I was recording from Analogue clone hardware or an actual SG-1000. The system's limited but distinctive color options are a big part of what defines it! Also, we have a MUCH better sense of the actual release order of SG-1000 games thanks to the work of Gaming Alexandria. So, this episode is one part recap, one part quick review of 70+ games in proper order with proper color.

From here, I'm going to take a brief Sega break before returning late this spring or early summer to dive into the Mark III and transition into the Master System. Stay tuned!

In this episode, we look at the SG-1000's 1987 release lineup in its entirety... and, with those two games, we also wrap up the SG-1000 library as a whole. That's it! Go home! From now on, it's just Master System and beyond here on Segaiden.

These two works are not necessarily the kind of thing you'd want to spend much time playing in the modern day and age, but they are very impressive from a technical perspective. Imagine playing games like Borderline and Space Slalom in the early days of the SG-1000, then ending up with a complete graphical adventure set in Victorian London with Loretta No Shouzou, or playing a sprawling dungeon RPG with The Black Onyx! No question about it, the SG-1000 went down aiming for the fences. Bless this mess of a machine.

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