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F-Zero (Part 1 of 2) May 2, 2016

Even though F-Zero is part of Nintendo's long list of franchises that are only dug out from their vault for new Smash Bros. characters and trophies, it used to be one of the big names identified with Nintendo in the 16- and 64-bit days. As one of Nintendo's launch titles for the Super NES, it was a showcase of the system's capabilities as much as it was a sharply designed game, and essentially codified what people would get and expect from a futuristic racer - insane speeds, rocket engines, crazy jumps, and murderous race tracks.

Actual Sunlight May 1, 2016

A darkly autobiographic tale of young man struggling with life, there are few games as beautifully, grossly human as this.

King & Balloon Apr 29, 2016

An early variation on Namco's Galaga, where you fittingly protect a king from attacking balloons.

ROM Hacker Interview: Red Comet Apr 26, 2016

Bobby Vandiver, better known as Red Comet, is an accomplished ROM hacking and the man behind Twilight Translations. He's released a number of English fan translation patches for games, including several Dragon Ball Z titles, two Gundam titles, and the beat-em-up Streets of Rage 3.

Cosmic Smash Apr 26, 2016

Sega's high minded, artistic title with an abstract technological aesthetic, even though it's really just "squash meets Breakout".

Techno Cop Apr 23, 2016

This driving/shooting game by Gremlin Graphics had the questionable honor of introducing explicit gore to home consoles, years before it became a big issue with Mortal Kombat.

Tattoo Assassins Apr 21, 2016

Data East's pinball division tried to make their own Mortal Kombat II ripoff with Tattoo Assassins. We say "tried" because the game technically never came out, but it's still a testament to the absurd excess of the 90s fighting game market.

Baraduke Apr 19, 2016

Gamers were shocked when Samus Aran revealed herself to be a woman at the end of Metroid, but technically Namco's arcade space shooter Baraduke beat Nintendo to the punch.

Ancient Domains of Mystery Apr 17, 2016

Ancient Domains of Mystery seems like a standard cRPG, and has many things in common with the genre: overworld map with towns and dungeons, quests, karma system. But the game is also a traditional roguelike with the level of complexity and difficulty similar to that of NetHack.

500-Word Indies: Cast of the Seven Godsends Apr 17, 2016

Developed by Italy's indie game scene, Cast of the Seven Godsends emulates arcade classics like Rygar and Magician Lord, though with visuals that resemble a high-res Amiga game.

Magic Kid Googoo: Annotated Longplay (4/7) Apr 17, 2016

In world 4, Googoo and Sese enter a realm above the clouds - but that doesn't mean the obligatory underwater and fortress stages are missing here.

The Dark Spire Apr 13, 2016

A first person dungeon crawler for the DS that directly replicates the feeling of the classic Wizardry titles, though with a stylish visual makeover.

JJ Squawkers Apr 12, 2016

An eccentric arcade side-scroller from Athena featuring two crow brothers and their fight against evil.

Mamono Hunter Yōko: Dai 7 no Keishō Apr 9, 2016

Based off the 90s anime OVA, this Mega Drive action game is reminiscent of Valis, though playing it feels like navigating an alien world that's hostile to your every move.

Your Weeky Kusoge: Family Dog Apr 9, 2016

In the early 90s, there were a number of "adult" cartoon sitcoms after the early success of The Simpsons. These were all terrible (except The Critic) but one of them, Family Dog, had such high expectations that it got an SNES game tie-in. Like the cartoon, it is quite substandard.

Pony Island Apr 6, 2016

A super creepy game about a piece of software that seems to be possessed by the devil. Not actually (technically) about ponies.

The Stanley Parable Apr 4, 2016

It's easy to get the impression that The Stanley Parable just wants to mess with you, but it's actually making a lot of clever points about the nature and meaning of interactive storytelling... while also trying to mess with you. A lot.

Magic Kid Googoo: Annotated Longplay (3/7) Apr 4, 2016

Things get a little tricky in world 3, so we're resorting to use of the expensive transformation that essentially breaks the game.

Seicross Apr 2, 2016

An unusual sidescrolling shooter where aliens chase you on hoverbikes across a vaguely Tron-like landscape.

Magic Kid Googoo: Annotated Longplay (2/7) Apr 2, 2016

In world 2 we try out some more transformations and meet a few very familiar obstacles. In preservation news: We've now determined who's going to dump the game, but there'll be a bit of a delay since we've decided to try out some old leads for another undumped cart before shipping it across the Pacific.

Jazzpunk Apr 1, 2016

No April Fool's Day joke this year (no lies!) but instead we're featuring this comical first person quasi-adventure game, which flirts with dadaist humor, but misses the mark as often as it hits.

Read Only Memories Mar 30, 2016

A recent indie cyberpunk adventure game, heavily influenced by the likes of Snatcher.

Inventories: Platforming games before Super Mario Bros. #03 - Joust, Pitfall!, etc. Mar 29, 2015

Tracing the history of the platformer genre before Super Mario Bros. Featuring Joust, Jungle King, Donkey Kong Junior, Springer, and Pitfall!

Double Dragon Mar 28, 2016

The brawl is almost over. Left standing are only a variety of spin-offs and crossovers, both official and unofficial, inmidst a rubble of misguided media tie-ins.

Magic Kid Googoo: Annotated Longplay (1/7) Mar 27, 2016

An unlicensed, rare and (so far) undumped Famicom game that was only published in Korea. Hopefully the bad video quality here will be obsolete soon, but until we manage to arrange the game's preservation, this longplay will be the most comprehensive footage you can find. Turn on annotations for explanations about the gameplay, development background info, and more.

GameClub 199X Home Video: Sonic CD Mar 27, 2016

We try something the same but different today as we talk over a playthrough of SEGA's lesser regarded Sonic the Hedgehog sequel. Joining KaL and Bobinator is Muteki, a near Academic level student of the Sonic games.

Your Weeky Kusoge: Operation: Body Count Mar 26, 2016

A terrible Wolfenstein 3D clone from Capstone that puts you against an army of Islamic terrorists.

Segata Sanshiro Shinken Yuugi Mar 25, 2016

Sega Saturn shiro! The tough guy Saturn spokesman may have sacrificed his life (in the ads, of course) to save Sega from their evil competitors, but his triumphant spirit lives on in this collection of minigames.

Nelly Cootalot Mar 22, 2016

A charming duo of adventure games, Spoonbeaks Ahoy! and the brand new The Fowl Fleet, starring a pirate lass, and developed by British comedian Alasdair Beckett-King.

Double Dragon Mar 21, 2016

As beat-em-ups lost their place in the spotlight, Double Dragon tried to jump on the Street Fighter II train, followed by almost a decade of nothing. The series got finally revived thanks to a long string of remakes, with varying results.

Blazing Star Mar 20, 2016

Hey poor player! Our week of Neo Geo shooter coverage finishes up with Yumekobo's Blazing Star, a quasi-sequel to Pulstar that shows off the muscle of SNK's hardware.

Pulstar Mar 18, 2016

Our Neo Geo shooter coverage continues with Aicom's Pulstar, which is an R-Type game in all but name.

Last Resort Mar 16, 2016

We'll be covering a trilogy of Neo Geo shooters this week. The first, Last Resort from SNK, borrows heavily from R-Type, along with appropriating some imagery from the Akira movie.

Double Dragon Mar 14, 2016

The struggle continues as the series takes a nosedive thanks to a few unfortunate outsourced games, but also experiences an almost-return to form with a tragically rushed reboot on SNES.

Assault Android Cactus Mar 13, 2016

Recently released on the PlayStation 4, this fantastic twin-stick shooter takes the classic template of Robotron 2084 and Geometry Wars, and fuses them with the scoring mechanics and bullets patterns of a modern Japanese shoot-em-up.

Blood Mar 11, 2016

The best game using 3D Realms' Build Engine, Blood has an unmistakable visual and atmospheric style that marries H. P. Lovecraft with Unforgiven and Evil Dead. It drops the player into the Roaring Twenties of a dilapidated America where violence is so over-the-top it's borderline parody. Also followed up with a not-so-good sequel.

Shardlight Mar 8, 2016

Back in 2012, Wadjet Eye Games and Wormwood Studios released Primordia, a post-apocalypse adventure about machines surviving the world man left behind. In 2016, Wadjet Eye decided to return to the wastelands with a more human story with Shardlight. Unlike Primordia's focus on black humor and existentialism, Shardlight is much more grounded and, well, human.

Double Dragon Mar 7, 2016

Hardcore Gaming 101 takes on the Lee brothers, but to avoid biting off more than we can chew we're gonna spread the fight out across the entire month. Check back every Monday this March to find us brawling our way through the series. For now we're starting with the initial two arcade classics and their many mutations across multiple platforms.

GameClub 199X Home Video: Fear Equation Mar 7, 2016

All aboard the spook express, it's a horror-ish Post Apocalyptic Train game. KaL is your conductor as he tries to basically cover how to actually play the game so that the whole damn thing makes sense. Oh, also there's a fog that makes your nightmares real and a lot of people die and I can't believe we didn't make a single math pun through the entire video.

Tail 'Gator Mar 5, 2016

Join Charly the 'Gator as he takes on Basso Gila in this action-platformer for the Game Boy from Natsume.

The Cat and the Coup Mar 2, 2016

A short look at a short puzzle game, based on "Operation Ajax", a coup staged by the United States and the United Kingdom during the 50s.

Shōjo Kakumei Utena Feb 28, 2016

The 90s anime Revolutionary Girl Utena offers complex messages about gender roles, romance, and sexuality. Unlike other licensed video game tie-ins, though, the Utena Saturn game isn't just a dating sim with the Utena name slapped on it, but rather it understand the show's values, and knows how to apply those values to dating sim conventions.

Video Review: Magical Chase Feb 26, 2015

Quest's adorable TG16 cute-em-up doesn't quite live up to the expectations of its high price tag, but it's a fun game with a great soundtrack and plenty of distinctive details. Read the written review here.

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Essential Reading

JRPGs

Ys

Earthbound

Suikoden

WRPGs

Wizardry

Ultima

Might and Magic

Cinematic Milestones

Alone in the Dark

Prince of Persia

Another World

Fighting Games

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Leisure Suit Larry

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Gimmick!

Moon Crystal

Holy Diver

Super Famicom

Gunple: Gunman's Proof

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Rendering Ranger: R2

Japanese PS1

Panzer Bandit

Harmful Park

Gunner's Heaven

Features

Tracing the Influence

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Japanese Artwork of Western Games

Franchise Profiles

Asterix

Donald Duck

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles