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Jeremy Parish's Atari Lynx coverage on Game Boy Works Gaiden

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For those who don't know yet, Jeremy Parish of Retronauts began covering the Atari Lynx on his Game Boy Works Gaiden sub-series at YouTube. I'll be posting his videos here as soon as i can for everybody to enjoy. He'll cover the Lynx library per year with 3-5 title across each video...

 

Edited by KidGameR186496
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He has an easy, enjoyable style that makes these videos fun to watch, but I was still disappointed. "Unfortunately, the Lynx had few games to match the quality of Chip's Challenge..." WHAT? There's no doubt that Chip's Challenge is an excellent game, but it's not exactly the pinnacle of Lynx gaming.

 

And I get the feeling that Parish hasn't played the arcade version of Klax. I did, at PRGE, and think that the Lynx version is better than the original (which is too hard, and the controls too finicky).  Klax is also awesome, and his claim that it isn't as good as Tetris is just wrong on so many levels. It's simply an equally excellent game that offers different challenges in different ways. And the Lynx port doesn't have "passable" sfx -- they're incredible!

 

Also irksome: constantly carping about the Lynx's screen resolution as if that's the ultimate factor in determining the visual appeal of a game. I've played the entire Lynx library (with the exception of Bitchy), and I've yet to pass on a game because I found the screen resolution to be too low to enjoy it. What the hell!

 

Finally, why is he constantly comparing the Lynx to home gaming consoles?? That's a truly bizarre metric on which to measure the performance of a handheld system. You'd think that a brief side-by-side with the arcade original, and Gameboy and Game Gear ports (where available) would offer a much better overall evaulation of the port's relative faithfulness and playability.

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Well considering he's not trying to be funny so much as informative that's fine.

 

Also, quality is subjective. He really likes Chip's Challenge and hasn't played anything else on Lynx that matches up to it. Klax being better than Tetris is similarly completely subjective (and I would agree with him - it's good, but it ain't Tetris good). Comparing the Lynx to both other handhelds on the market at the time and the console world similarly isn't that odd; the Lynx is pretty much as powerful under the hood as the 8-bit home systems that were popular at the time and that was used as a major selling point for the system in its day. 

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9 hours ago, ubersaurus said:

Comparing the Lynx to both other handhelds on the market at the time and the console world similarly isn't that odd; the Lynx is pretty mCuch as powerful under the hood as the 8-bit home systems that were popular at the time and that was used as a major selling point for the system in its day. 

Well, to be fair I didn't say that Klax was "better" than Tetris...

 

Comparing the Lynx with other handhelds is perfectly fine, and expected; comparing the Lynx with systems that came out five years earlier is...odd. And yes, Atari did just that in its advertising (although it really focused on the GameBoy, as it should), but we know better now, and did anyone...does anyone now...really expect handhelds to provide the same experience as console games? I bought a Lynx in 1990 because of its portability, and use it now (and the Sony handhelds) for that same reason. Some experiences are better on the PS4, and I have a home console because of that.

 

And that might be fine if he compares NES and SMS releases to Lynx, GG, TGFX, and GameBoy releases in NES or SMS reviews...but I doubt he does that. 

 

I may have been more receptive to his approach to the outset if he hadn't framed his approach as a means to "define the GameBoy's existence by showcasing the competition". And then compare the Lynx to everything but the competition (ie. not the GameBoy, except in passing), and judge the games in four and five game blocks, "because the standard approach [of one or two games per episode] doesn't make much sense". Well, to each their own, but this seems to be a limited prospectus at best for a comprehensive overview a system.

 

And sure, it's all subjective, and he has a right to his opinion. As do I. :)

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I'm a longtime retronauts fan, but the challenge with their reviews/commentary often is, i suspect, they play a lot of games fast, but without a ton depth, due to the pressures of content creation and limited time. Not limited to lynx, i often find that when i disagree with their opinions, i am also suspecting they havent spent adequate time with a console/game/etc to truly delve into the nuances or positive aspects-----Or to develop a love for the idiosyncasies---and therefore perceive such, as flaws.   Additionally, their own biases show in many cases, which is fine--its subjective reviews, etc--but i dont get the impression that they have particularly deep nostalgia for many consoles, leading to ambivalent or negative commentary that fanners often dislike.

 

In fairness, Parish did give some needed love to the Virtual Boy, an unfairly maligned system, which made me think "there is hope".  In any case. Parish and Bob are doing great work.

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I enjoyed these videos. I don't think he's nearly as much of a Lynx enthusiast as most of us here, which is apparent in his efforts to frame the system as a "Game Boy competitor". Despite that, he's done a very good job at examining the games.

 

I do disagree with some of his assessments, particularly of the Epyx games in the first video. A common complaint I see leveled against Gates of Zendocon by newcomers is that it's a "slow-paced" shoot-em-up game...well, that's why there's also a "hard" skill setting which ramps up the speed and challenge considerably. Unfortunately, it looks like he never delved outside of the "easy" setting in this video (telltale sign: the scoring is different on hard).

 

On 10/1/2020 at 1:07 AM, davidcalgary29 said:

And I get the feeling that Parish hasn't played the arcade version of Klax. I did, at PRGE, and think that the Lynx version is better than the original (which is too hard, and the controls too finicky).  Klax is also awesome, and his claim that it isn't as good as Tetris is just wrong on so many levels. It's simply an equally excellent game that offers different challenges in different ways. And the Lynx port doesn't have "passable" sfx -- they're incredible!

 

Yeah, I'm with you here. I adore the Lynx version of Klax. I also feel it's the best version overall (and I've played a lot of them). Atari's programmers totally knocked it out of the park.

 

Whether Klax is better than Tetris is a matter of opinion...but what was a matter of fact is that Atari didn't have any license to bring Tetris to the Lynx (or many other popular games of the day). Rather than sulk and cry about the games that they couldn't license, Atari did their best to forge ahead with the games that they could license. In this case, I'd say that Klax was a good choice by Atari, as I'd consider it to be worthy of standing on the level of Tetris, much like Columns was for Sega.

 

Speaking of Sega, it's the same logic that applies to Sega's inability to bring Super Mario to the Genesis--they went ahead and created Sonic the Hedgehog. Whether you ultimately preferred Mario or Sonic in the 16-bit era is debatable, but I'd say that most reasonable people would at least consider both of them competitive with each other.

 

On 10/6/2020 at 4:45 PM, unoclay said:

Additionally, their own biases show in many cases, which is fine--its subjective reviews, etc--but i dont get the impression that they have particularly deep nostalgia for many consoles, leading to ambivalent or negative commentary that fanners often dislike.

 

I agree here. Strangely enough, there's something to be gathered here by hearing from someone who didn't previously have great affection for the Lynx, who is now (after all these years) finally taking some time to analyze its library. His opinions might differ somewhat from mine, but it's still a refreshing perspective to hear the thoughts of someone whose nostalgia wasn't colored the same way as mine.

 

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30 minutes ago, Agent X said:

 

Yeah, I'm with you here. I adore the Lynx version of Klax. I also feel it's the best version overall (and I've played a lot of them). Atari's programmers totally knocked it out of the park.

 

Whether Klax is better than Tetris is a matter of opinion...but what was a matter of fact is that Atari didn't have any license to bring Tetris to the Lynx (or many other popular games of the day). Rather than sulk and cry about the games that they couldn't license, Atari did their best to forge ahead with the games that they could license. In this case, I'd say that Klax was a good choice by Atari, as I'd consider it to be worthy of standing on the level of Tetris, much like Columns was for Sega.

 

 

I still haven't claimed that Klax is better than Tetris. Besides that, though, Klax isn't a tetromino (and I adore tetrominos), and I get a little tetchy when the two are mentioned in the same breath as if Klax is some type of poor-cousin gaming castoff. If anything, Klax is much more in the spirit of Columns (also a great game)...although I will say here that I think that Klax is better than Columns. More successful? No. More fun to play? Absolutely! :)

 

I agree here. Strangely enough, there's something to be gathered here by hearing from someone who didn't previously have great affection for the Lynx, who is now (after all these years) finally taking some time to analyze its library. His opinions might differ somewhat from mine, but it's still a refreshing perspective to hear the thoughts of someone whose nostalgia wasn't colored the same way as mine.

 

I don't disagree, but a lot of us are in the same boat as Parish, and only came to play the Lynx extensively in its afterlife, so I'm not so sure that we're simply fanboying here by raving about S.T.U.N. Runner and Rampart.  Perhaps there are a lot of enthusiasts here who have been playing the Lynx straight for thirty years, but I'm not one of them. I gave away my first Lynx in '93, having acquired about fifteen carts for the system, and only got to play the rest of the library a decade later when I was settled down enough (and employed enough) to take another look at the system. My point is, I think, that most of us who appreciate the Lynx do so even more after having the opportunity to have played everything that came after it. I started to play the Lynx again around the time that I got my PSP, and Lumines, which rekindled my interest in handheld gaming. 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, davidcalgary29 said:

I don't disagree, but a lot of us are in the same boat as Parish, and only came to play the Lynx extensively in its afterlife, so I'm not so sure that we're simply fanboying here by raving about S.T.U.N. Runner and Rampart.

 

I'm very interested in hearing what Parish has to say about the Lynx version of Rampart. Near the end of one of the videos, he appeared to drop a hint that he might like that version a lot.

 

Much like Klax, I think that the Lynx version of Rampart is outstanding. It might be the very best official home version of the game ever, even after the advent of emulated arcade games at home. I wrote this post about it on NeoGAF about 15 years ago, describing why the Lynx version is top-notch (hint: it has to do with the controls--see post #9 for details). I wrote that post shortly before the PSP version of Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play was released, hoping that it would fix the control problems that I experienced on PS2, but unfortunately it turned out to have the same flaws.

 

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I've been enjoying Parish's videos and was pleasantly surprised when he started covering Lynx games. All in all I feel like he gave them a fair shake and he seemed to appreciate them overall. He shared my sentiment with Ms. Pac-Man on why the heck didn't they make that port in portrait-mode. As a long-time Lynx fan I found his perspectives refreshing. His videos are always informative and laid back and I enjoy discovering games I'd not heard of before. I look forward to more Lynx coverage, although I do with he'd just title them "Lynx Works" or something.

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