A last furtive broadcast

Oh, hello there, humans. Nice to see you. Unfortunately, I won’t see much of you this week; I’m traveling and dealing with responsibilities that don’t really involve writing. I might have time for a couple of pieces at USG — I’m plugging away at a Super TIME Force review right now — but that’s probably going to be about it.

In the meantime, here is old stuff I published last week that maybe you didn’t see yet?

I put together a Game Boy World video on Tetris. Also, words.

And, on a similar retro portable gaming theme, there was also this look back at the Bandai WonderSwan which ended up getting linked around far more than I would ever expect for an article about a 15-year-old gaming system that never came to the U.S. But this does happen from time to time; when you’re the only person who bothers to take the time to commemorate a historic milestone, sometimes you strike a chord. (Usually you’re just the voice shouting in the wilderness, though.)

And finally, I’ve hosted a new Retronauts. I made a drawing of Lum for the cover and spliced in a Yes song and none of the other podcast contributors could stop me. I’m drunk with power, is basically what I’m saying here.

And now I’m off to be quarantined… no, wait, I mean sequestered. Right.

8 thoughts on “A last furtive broadcast

  1. I think I would really like audio only versions of your Game Boy World videos. I think I could still follow listening to my MP3 player.

      • Don’t feel pushed into this if I’m the only one to ask about it.
        I think it’s mainly because the videos remind me of Retronauts and automatically make me want to hear them on the go :-)

      • No, actually, it could be a cool idea. At the very least, I should put the videos up on iTunes as a video podcast.

  2. Liking this new web format.

    I kind of concur with what you said about the Game Boy. Short as they may have been, the games typically didn’t grasp beyond their reach, and sometimes went in their own directions. There was also some killer detail put into the graphics every now and then (i. e. Nemesis).

    I think it took awhile for NES Metroid nostalgia to wear off, even following Super Metroid. Maybe about a decade ago, but not necessarily related to Zero Mission, did the complaints become more common. There are still some people, I take it, who prefer the minimalist approach of the first.

    Personally I have a theoretical admiration for Mach Rider, for the post-apocalyptic RoadBlaster on a bike style gameplay and the sweet soundtrack. But as with many early Famicom/NES games, there’s little depth to be had.

    But then I also think Zelda 1 has misplaced nostalgia. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good stuff; the mechanics and design limits have just soured me.

    Touchy subject though, and you guys handled it well.

    The WonderSwan was the right product way past its sell date, sadly. Would love to see a Klonoa: Moonlight Museum VC release.

    • I think nostalgia is such an overused an inaccurate term for the phenomena of describing what’s really going on here when we talk about and play these old video games, because ultimately there’s a reason why indie developers have decided to revisit and continue to utilize this aesthetic:

      When you compare something like Zelda 1 to it’s modern day contemporaries; an overhead perspective action rpg with 8-bit graphics, to a fully realized 3D virtual world, we quickly begin to forget that back then, when Zelda was first released on the nes there was nothing else to compare this to – This was the closest way we could get to exploring a virtual world other than our own and it was very simplistic and abstract in it’s nature.

      To immediately dismiss it in favour of it’s modern day contemporaries which take hours to create and complete would be ignoring what made these games so initially appealing to so many of us – that It’s ultimately, a drastically different and incredibly simplistic way in interacting with these virtual world.

      The sooner we move away from this idea of “nostalgia” and slowly begin to accept that these games are actually just another movement within the medium the sooner video games can flourish in maturity.

      Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Romanticism. What’s not to get here?

  3. I just totally realized the Tetris box art says “From Russia with Fun”, an obvious play on James Bond’s “From Russia with Love.” All these years and I’ve never noticed that :P

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