SNES and Virtual Boy stories now fit on your coffee table

When it comes to retro video games, I don’t trust anyone but Jeremy Parish. In college, I obsessively listened to your retro podcast, Retronauts, memorizing each deep dive as if you were studying for a graduate school entrance exam on localization problems from early Final Fantasy games.

I was lucky enough to work with Parish during my first full-time job in game media and kept finding ways to collaborate (even at Polygon) until it came out of the press a couple of years ago to help the folks at Limited Run Games with preserve games. and his story. Parish left the media, but never stopped doing his job. He is still a co-host Retronauts, still produces YouTube videos cataloging the history of retro games in the entry at once, and still publishing books, the most recent of which, I adore.

And I think you will love them too. I use the plural because Parish posted two new books. The guy is prolific.

A book on Super NES games opens on the Populous page.

Photo: Limited Race Games

Super NES Works Vol. 1: 1991 It is the most conventional of the pair. As the title suggests, Parish limits the book to the early days of the SNES, providing written retrospectives of the system’s first 31 games released in the US These are not commercials; they are chapters. The F-Zero retrospective spans 9 pages and includes a release timeline, a sidebar comparison to other racing games of the time, a full page breakdown explaining the Mode 7 SNES hardware feature, a gallery of screenshots, a release history, and a beautiful hello. -res photography of the art of the original box.

Great games like The world of Super Mario, Pilot wings, and ActRaiser get this level of care. And also not so good games, like HyperZone and the video game adaptation of Home alone. Taken in a comprehensive manner, the book is a loving, patient, and astonishingly comprehensive documentation of the moment when games slowly began to break into the mainstream, not as a passing fad, but as a respected counterpart to film and television.

Parish’s other new book, Virtual book works, takes the same approach for the entire catalog of Nintendo’s failed 3D gaming system. The book includes a pair of cardboard stereoscopic glasses, so you don’t have to take pictures of the 3D screenshots; you can see them for yourself in all their muddy splendor. This is the book I dreamed of when listening to Retronauts, a complete combination of reporting and criticism within the forgotten and overlooked corners of video games.

A book on Virtual Boy games opens on the Wario Land page.

Photo: Limited Race Games

When both books arrived at my door, I opened the package, grabbed the Virtual Boy book, and moved on to the section on the video game adaptation of Aquatic world. 6 pages. 11 screenshots. Custom photograph of the game box and cartridge from multiple angles. Needles to say, I was not disappointed.

I would be remiss not to mention that most of what is written in these books comes from scripts written for Parish YouTube Videos. While I recommend those videos, I think they can be a bit dense, even for someone who has spent much of their life learning the essentials of the game’s history. In book form, the Parish experience has room to breathe. Your review reads like a conversation with a good friend who knows more than I do about the things I love (not unlike my actual conversation with Parish).

Chronicle of the history of Galactic pinball and Nester’s Funky Bowling It is not the most glamorous or lucrative job on the planet. But like I said before, I don’t get the feeling that Parish treats any of this job as a job. This is a quest for life and you can feel that dedication on every page. Even that of Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball.

Super NES Works Vol. I and Virtual boy works They are now available in limited run games. The books were provided for sampling by Limited Run Games. Vox Media has affiliate associations. These do not influence editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find Additional information on Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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