100 episodes

A potpourri of classic video games-related video and audio projects from Game Boy World (a complete chronological history of pre-GBA handheld video games), Metroidvania.com (games that are like Metroid and Castlevania all at once), and Anatomy of Games (in-depth analyses of classic game design).

Video Works by Jeremy Parish Jeremy Parish

    • Leisure
    • 4.9 • 33 Ratings

A potpourri of classic video games-related video and audio projects from Game Boy World (a complete chronological history of pre-GBA handheld video games), Metroidvania.com (games that are like Metroid and Castlevania all at once), and Anatomy of Games (in-depth analyses of classic game design).

    • video
    NES Works #101: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom & Rampage

    NES Works #101: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom & Rampage

    A curious release this week, as we come to a game that shipped twice for NES: Once with Nintendo's approval, and once illegally. Ever the rogue, that Indiana Jones. Like Tengen's early conversion of Gauntlet, Temple of Doom adapts an arcade game but makes quite a few changes to its structure, format, and objectives. Capcom didn't have the monopoly on dramatic reinterpretations of coin-op titles for NES, it seems, although Temple of Doom is no Bionic Commando.
    On the other hand, we also have Data East's disappointingly literal interpretation of Midway's Rampage. Of all the games that could have benefitted from some sort of enhanced gameplay loop or added depth for its console iteration, this is it. But no, Data East simply stripped it down and removed features, making for a game with little challenge or variety over its entire running length.
    Production note: NES footage captured from  @Analogue  Mini. Arcade footage captured from MiSTer FPGA cores; special thanks to  @MiSTer Addons . Video upscaled to 720 with XRGB Mini Framemeister. Audio quality may suffer due to this episode being produced with portable gear during travel.
    Video Works is funded via 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! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more!

    • 16 min
    • video
    NES Works #100: Bionic Commando

    NES Works #100: Bionic Commando

    One of December 1988's all-timers arrives this week, and while it may not be the best-remembered of the bunch (not when the other two big releases belonged to huge ongoing franchises), but I'd argue that it's the best and most polished. It's also the most fearless; Bionic Commando didn't so much ask players to learn an entirely new style of platform gaming as demand it as the price of entry. But once you got a handle on the grappling mechanics, Bionic Commando played like nothing else on the system, becoming a fast-paced action game with breezy, high-speed action through a dozen stages linked by an interesting narrative and well-conceived adventure gameplay flow. It remains the gold standard for grapple-based action gaming to this day, and for good reason: It rules.
    Production note: NES footage captured from  @Analogue  Mini. Arcade footage captured from MiSTer FPGA cores; special thanks to  @MiSTer Addons . Video upscaled to 720 with XRGB Mini Framemeister. Audio unfortunately suffered this episode due to it being produced on portable equipment while traveling.
    Video Works is funded via 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! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more!

    • 18 min
    • video
    NES Works #099: Skate or Die! & Paperboy

    NES Works #099: Skate or Die! & Paperboy

    Two games about American youths wasting their lives. Two games with various ties to Atari. Coincidence? Yes, actually. Sometimes, this stuff just happens.
    Skate or Die! may bear the Ultra Games branding, but it really owes its existence to Electronic Arts—and ultimately, to the former Epyx crew that EA hired up when Atari Corp. sabotaged that company.
    And while Paperboy for NES comes to us from Mindscape, the original game debuted in arcades under the Atari Games label, only to be converted to NES by Tengen (AKA Atari Corp.), who was also filing charges against Nintendo and pilfering documents in order to attempt to sabotage THAT company. It's like poetry... it rhymes.
    Production note: NES footage captured from  @Analogue  Mini. Video upscaled to 720 with XRGB Mini Framemeister.
    Video Works is funded via 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! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more!

    • 15 min
    • video
    NES Works #098: Blades of Steel & Super Team Games

    NES Works #098: Blades of Steel & Super Team Games

    In this episode, I learned that the Power Pad is not really designed for use on hardwood floors. Bring back that deep-pile ’70s shag, baby. My feet are killing me.
    Super Team Games gives us the last of Nintendo's casual-appeal titles for 1988. There's still one final Nintendo-published game for the year, but it's kind of the opposite of casual-appeal—really, the closest Nintendo themselves ever got to "git gud" difficulty on NES. But Super Team Games is meant for small people to pretend to exercise with, or for big people to be uncomfortably intimate with.
    As for the headline feature, Blades of Steel, it's an even more casual-appeal approach to hockey than Nintendo's Ice Hockey. You don't have to make any meaningful choices in this game besides deciding when to shoot for the goal... and how hard to hammer the punch button during player-versus-player fights.
    Production note: NES footage captured from  @Analogue  Nt Mini. Video upscaled to 720 with XRGB Mini Framemeister.
    Video Works is funded via 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! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more!

    • 12 min
    • video
    NES Works #097: Cobra Command & Anticipation

    NES Works #097: Cobra Command & Anticipation

    This week we have a pair of perfectly tolerable games that seemingly no one remembers. Yes, by late 1988, the NES library had grown sufficiently large that it could contain games beyond "brilliant" and "execrable"—works of competent mediocrity doomed by their lukewarm nature to be relegated to the dustbin of obscurity.
    Cobra Command takes a mundane auto-scrolling shooter and turns it into a Choplifter-inspired adventure with a touch of exploration and puzzle-solving. A fine start! But utterly relentless in its difficulty level and saddled with some very strange, almost "sticky" controls. It's fine, almost good, but it just misses the mark.
    Meanwhile, Anticipation offers inclusive thrills (if you are a preppy, 30-something Caucasian) and demands you deduce the nature of premade connect-the-dots puzzles before your competition does. It's fine. It exists, and it rounded out the NES library with more family-friendly board games. But does anyone want to play it today? I can't imagine.
    Production note: NES footage captured from  @Analogue  Nt Mini. Video upscaled to 720 with XRGB Mini Framemeister.
    Video Works is funded via 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! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more!

    • 15 min
    • video
    NES Works #096: Dr. Chaos & Superman

    NES Works #096: Dr. Chaos & Superman

    I can't believe I completely failed in this episode to draw attention to the fact that Dr. Chaos is, in fact, a Superman villain. But then again, both games this episode read like latter-day comic book villains: Good-hearted souls with the best of intentions yet who somehow strayed from the straight-and-narrow path and now simply cause pain and suffering (especially among Gen X kids). The ambitions greatly outstrip the execution with this episode, as two attempts to tap into the exploratory action trend that dominated the NES in 1988 utterly fail to provide players with compelling reasons to delve into their worlds. Suffering from grievous design, visual, and technical shortcomings, both Dr. Chaos and Superman rank among the bottom tier of NES games to date despite their creators' obvious and admirably grandiose visions.
    Production note: NES footage captured from  @Analogue  Nt Mini. Video upscaled to 720 with XRGB Mini Framemeister.
    Video Works is funded via 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! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more!

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Puppeteer107 ,

Great footage and commentary.

I love the footage Jeremy captures. It’s more curated and developed than most let’s plays YouTube and I can watch on the train. Good luck to Jeremy on his quest to archive all this old gaming history. He’s one of the best at approaching gaming history with a serious mindset instead of just a nostalgia fan.

TheRationalReptilian ,

Game analysis for grown-ups

I started watching/listening after I found the host's old page on classic video games. I really dig the production values and level of detail that go into each episode. But the main thing that I love is that they treat gaming history in a serious manner -- video games are treated here as cultural products that can be examined and contexualized within the history of computing. Too many gamer podcasts schtick or flail around making fanboy noises. It's boring and irritating. Retronauts still cracks a joke here and there, but it's mainly about the games, the tech, and the context. If you're a programmer, game designer, or history buff, this podcast is definitely worth your while. I just wish episodes were a lot longer.

Ejulp ,

Best Voice Best Retro Best Curator on Internet

Jeremy Parish’s Works Series, the Retronauts Podcast and his youtube Gintendo let’s plays are ridiculously miles above all other game retrospectives available. Thanks for making these man.

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