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Jeremy Parish's NES Works #68 - Top Gun & Breakthru

Will these games take your breath away?

Two final middling releases for 1987, one of which is based on a licensed property. Yeah, you can definitely see the future of the NES shaping up here. Neither Top Gun or BreakThru is the worst game we've seen, but neither can quite make up its mind as to what it wants to be. Is Top Gun a flight sim or an aerial combat game? Is BreakThru a side-scrolling platformer or a shooter? Rather than feeling like brilliant hybrids, these both just seem a bit muddled...

Jeremy Parish's NES Works #67 - Jaws & The Karate Kid retrospective

Following on from Gotcha!, LJN continues plying the same furrow with two more games based on film properties, developed by Atlus. (Or at least someone pretending to be Atlus, anyway.) Two out of LJN's three 1987 releases are pretty decent, if a bit thin in terms of content, and really only The Karate Kid hints at the kind of crap the company would make its stock in trade over the coming years. Jaws might even be considered genuinely good, if only it had been given a little more time in the oven to allow all its concepts to come together...

Portland Retro Gaming Expo cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, Classic Tetris World Championship 2020 still figurine out what to do

The team behind the Portland Retro Gaming Expo has announced that they're calling off their event due to concerns over the coronavirus. The event wasn't scheduled until Aug. 14th to 16th, 2020, but the team felt it was best to get ahead of things and cancel the event.

As you might know, PRGE hosts the Classic Tetris World Championships every year as well. Does that mean Classic Tetris World Championships 2020 are called off as well? That's not the case just yet, as the team behind that tournament is currently figuring out a way forward. Check out their message below.

Thank you for all the tweets showing us love and support after PGRE shut down for 2020. DON’T WORRY! We are brainstorming and working on something great for this year... there WILL be a champion crowned, some how some way!

ESPN2 to air the 2018 Classic Tetris World Championship on March 22nd, 2020

Boom, Tetris for ESPN

ESPN and ESPN2 are hurting for content to air with so many sports being shut down due to coronavirus concerns. That's why they're turning to alternative programming, and gamers will have reason to watch tomorrow.

ESPN2 has showcased their schedule for March 22nd, 2020, and believe it or not, they're going to be showing the 2018 Classic Tetris World Championship at 5PM ET. It's just one of many, many different programming choices the channel will be implementing for the day. You can check out the entire unique schedule here.

Ben Schwartz, voice of Sonic the Hedgehog, asks Nintendo to add more NES/SNES games to Switch Online

Sounds like a good idea to u s!

Ben Schwartz has been fully immersed in the world of video games for awhile now. After taking on the role of Sonic in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, he's been opening up about how into gaming he is in general. Taking a break from the Sonic promotion for a bit, Schwartz turned to Twitter to ask Nintendo for a little more old-school love via Switch Online.

I think we'd all love to enjoy some more NES/SNES classics, especially while most of us are cooped up at home. I doubt Schwartz's request will make a dent in Nintendo's plans, but you never know.

Jeremy Parish's NES Works #66 - Kid Niki & Gotcha!

Mr. Parish continues is work through the NES library

Data East (finally) serves up a pretty solid game in the form of Irem's Kid Niki: Radical Ninja, but the real story here is Gotcha!: The Sport. Not only is it the debut release from one of the NES's most questionable publishers, it also very much represents a specific moment in popular and political culture. Gotcha! was based on a movie and a toy line, and its publisher's fortunes were impacted by poor toy sales right as the national conversation began to focus on some unfortunate results from America's gun culture and the early days of the the police's move toward militarization. That's quite a lot to tie to a simple NES Zapper game...

Harmonix's VR game Audica and Duck Hunt get a "Auducka" fan-made mash-up

Now dance, you dog!

What happens when you combine Harmonix's rhythm VR shooter Audica with the classic NES game Duck Hunt? Developer Skid Vis has thought about this long and hard, and the end result his is created called Auducka. It plays the same as Audica does, but now it uses a Duck Hunt aesthetic! This is one that's sure to get Nintendo's attention due to the direct Duck Hunt sprite rips, but at least we can watch the video above and enjoy the idea!

Cyber Gadget releasing 4th anniversary edition Retro Freak

Freak out!

Cyber Gadget is celebrating the 4th anniversary of the Retro Freak with something special. A limited edition is set to launch in Japan on march 18th, 2020, and it's priced at ¥20,000. This package includes a gray version of the console, a Retro Freak controller and adapter, and a standard Super Gray color controller. The Retro Freak will play cartridges from the following games.

- Famicom
- NES (with adapter)
- Super Famicom
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System (including NTSC and PAL)
- Game Boy
- Game Boy Color
- Game Boy Advance
- SG-1000 (with adapter)
- Sega Mark III (with adapter)
- Mega Drive (NTSC / PAL)
- Genesis
- Game Gear (with adapter)
- PC Engine
- TurboGrafx-16
- PC Engine SuperGrafx

Other features of the Retro Freak include the support for USB controllers, and microSD card for backing up your games. The console itself also allows for game backups.

Check out a video interview with Masayuki Uemura, the man who designed the NES

The man who designed a hit

We've featured a few interview snippets with Masayuki Uemura, the man who designed the NES, over the last couple of weeks. Uemura had given a special presentation on the NES at the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield, and those who attended had an opportunity to take the conversation further. If you're at all interested in the NES' design or what it was like to work at Nintendo back in those days, make sure to give this interview a watch.

Jeremy Parish's NES Works #65: Star Force and Side Pocket

After an amazing summer and autumn for 1987, the NES is well into its year-end doldrums. Don't worry, we've got some bangers (as the kids say) lined up for the grand finale a few episodes from now, but for the moment it's all tepid, dated games that pale in comparison to superior takes on these genres that have been showing up of late. But please don't give up on NES Works just yet. Did I mention Mega Man is on the way? Because it is.

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