Video Works by Jeremy Parish (general)

The NES's 1988 lineup begins with the debut of a gaming legacy. Renegade gave us both the River City/Kunio franchise AND the Double Dragon franchise, and given what lies ahead in the near future for both NES and Game Boy, we definitely need to have a look into the origins of these brawly species. Special thanks this episode to Steve Lin and the Video Game History Foundation.


Squaresoft returns with its second game, and its second game to feature 3D tech. This one's a little different than The 3-D Adventures of WorldRunner, though, even if what we saw in American worked the same. Ah, the rabbit hole of Japan-only Famicom add-ons!

Rad Racer marks the beginning of many things, from the Famicom 3-D System to the career of mad RPG genius Akitoshi Kawazu, but it also brings us to the end of an era. Pour one out for pixellated box art, friends.

Video Works is funded through Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/gamespite) — support the show and get access to every episode up to two weeks in advance of its YouTube debut! And be sure to check out the Retronauts podcast (http://www.retronauts.com), where I (and many others!) tackle a much wider array of classic gaming topics each week.


America's most undying game show makes its handheld debut, simplifying the TV show's format and rules for head-to-head portable play. It also simplifies the TV theme to a single audio channel. While barely passable as a work of programming, the fundamental appeal inherent in the show's mix of luck, strategy, and word puzzles allows this to be a mildly diverting little cartridge regardless.


With Super Mario Odyssey just around the corner, now seems a perfect time to look back to Mario's first 3D adventure: Super Mario 64 for Nintendo 64. This, the first part of a multiple-entry retrospective, explores the game's relationship to the platform and the lengths to which it goes to make the intricacies of navigating three-dimensional space intuitive for all players.


Irem's classic shooter series makes its debut on a Nintendo home console at last with a remixed conversion of R-Type II. And it's… OK. Riddled with slowdown and hilariously unfair, Super R-Type really has quite a lot in common with Gradius III. Not a terrible game, but a little bit of a letdown.

Direct download: Super_R-Type_retrospective_Bydo_your_time___Super_NES_Works_008.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

The Super NES gets its very first RPG, borrowed from the European PC scene, and it's pretty weird! Intriguingly weird, but weird all the same. For example: it's a 3D RPG that uses a flat scrolling visual effect but doesn't make use of Mode 7. What a strange little adventure.

Direct download: Drakkhen_retrospective_Hak_hak_n_slash___Super_NES_Works_007.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59am EST

The penultimate NES release of 1986 finds Data East once again struggling to find its voice as a console publisher. Karate Champ takes a seminal arcade release and turns it into an NES dud best forgotten, despite appearing on the surface to be a largely faithful conversion. It's all in the details....

Direct download: Karate_Champ_retrospective_Weak_jab___NES_Works_034.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51am EST

The NES gets its third third-party title, its second wrestling game, and yet another trash fire to burn away into the night. This may be the worst NES release yet thanks to its bizarre and poorly handled rendition of pro wrestling. But at least it gave us some memes.

Direct download: Tag_Team_Wrestling_retrospective_The_NES_gets_jobbed___NES_Works_029.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43am EST

The NES's second third-party release came to us courtesy of the same companies behind M.U.S.C.L.E., but thankfully it wasn't quite so dire. It's certainly not great, but there seems to have been a modicum of competence and even creativity behind it — this, despite its basis in another anime license.

Thanks to Steve Lin for use of the boxed copy of the game!

Direct download: Chubby_Cherub_retrospective_Fallen_angel___NES_Works_028.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42am EST

The NES gets its very first game from a third-party publisher, and... it really makes you pine for relative classics like Urban Champion and Stack-Up. TOSE and Bandai assault the sense with this vaguely wrestling-like brawler based on the M.U.S.C.L.E. Things toyline and Kinnikuman anime. The Nintendo Seal of Quality finds itself stretched to the breaking point in its very first outing.


While far from perfect (check out that abominable frame rate!), this adaptation of Capcom's popular platformer based on Disney's DuckTales cartoon is without question the best NES-to-Game Boy conversion we've yet seen on Game Boy Works. Demonstrating smart choices in terms of sprite art, level design, and mechanics, it's a fantastic port hampered only by a few instances of iffy programming. Once again, Capcom gets it when it comes to Game Boy.


Wrapping up Game Boy Works' solid month of sports titles, we have the most leisurely of the bunch: Data East's Side Pocket. Despite lacking a few features found in other ports of the game, this is a well-crafted take on billiards — albeit quite an unforgiving one.

Direct download: Side_Pocket_retrospective_Add_to_cue___Game_Boy_Works_087.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38am EST

Created by Human Entertainment and following on the heels of Nintendo's Pro Wrestling and the legendary Fire Prowrestling franchise, HAL Wrestling is regarded by some as the high point of pro wrestling games on Game Boy. There are plenty more to come, though, so it looks like the genre peaked early…

Direct download: HAL_Wrestling_retrospective_A_Human_work___Game_Boy_Works_086.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 7:37am EST

As a preface to Good Nintentions 1986, here's a look at an early 1986 game thaaaaat never actually came to the U.S. on NES and is therefore ineligible for normal coverage. Yes, it's Konami's The Goonies, the oddly missing link to The Goonies II that Americans only ever saw on PlayChoice-10.

Direct download: Good_Nintentions_Gaiden_Episode_04_The_Goonies_Konami_1986.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17am EST

The NES gets its very first rendition of American football — and on launch day, too! All thanks to Irem, who provide the second third-party Black Box title with this conversion of the arcade game by the same title. It's not a straight port, though, adding an entirely new aspect to the game, as well as a multiplayer mode.

Direct download: Good_Nintentions_015_10-Yard_Fight_Irem_Nintendo_1985.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05pm EST

The arcade classic makes the trip from NES to Game Boy with all the grace of a young child skipping his training wheels period to ride a mountain bike into traffic. This portable adaptation of a solid console port of a coin-op great totally misses the mark, with terribly compromised gameplay and some gratingly out-of-tune music.


There's not a lot to say about 1985's third and final NES light gun shooter, so after a brief look into Hogan's Alley this episode digs a bit into how the sausage is made — both in terms of how the NES Zapper worked, and what it takes to get the best possible footage of its games.

Please consider supporting the Good Nintentions video project at www.patreon.com/gamespite, and be sure to visit www.goodnintentions.com for more on these games (including high-quality photography and scans)!

Direct download: Good_Nintentions_007_Hogans_Alley_Nintendo_1985.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Game Boy World 1990 Vol. I comes to a close with the first game of the year's second half... and, alas, the first game published by LJN. I know they can't all be winners, but this one takes losing a little far...

Game Boy World is taking a hiatus for a few months. It'll return later this year, though! In the meantime, look forward to videos about games on other systems.

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_065_The_Amazing_Spider-Man_Rare_LJN_1990.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EST

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